Day's log for Saturday, September 8th, 2001 - Chickasaw Bogue, Tombigbee River, AL

I got up. I heard a fishing boat come up the river. Then I heard a second fishing boat come up really closely. I heard one of them remark "look at the point on that thing!" I did my engine checks quickly and methodically.

0845 - raised the aft anchor, started the motor, and raised the forward anchor. The locals were looking at me. I waved to them as they swung their fishing poles but they did not wave back. I took this to be hostility. They seemed to be like "what are you doing here on our river". I motored out the way I had come in, first downstream around the red bouy, then upstream the west bank opposite Chickasaw Bogue.

Later I was thinking that it was possible that there was something near where I anchored that the locals did not want me messing with.

0929 - passed mile 189.4.

0953 - passed mile 191.4

1016 - river level 45' 10"

1047 - passed mile 195.0

A northbound towboat appeared behind me. I hailed him on the VHF to make passing arrangements.

1109 - I eased up and held close to the east bank. "Rita M" overtook me on the two. He was one barge wide and two long.

1115 - "Gilbert Tayler" overtook me the same way. He was three barges wide and three long.

1117 - resumed half speed

1120 - resumed full speed

1125 - passed mile 197.5

1132 - "Gilbert Tayler" was "smoking up the river" and he overtook "Rita M".

1205 - passed Sucarnoochie River

1245 - passed 203.5

1315 - passed 205.8

1335 - slowed to look at possible cave. This cave was about 2 feet high, five feet wide, went in about 5 feet, then stopped.

1338 - resumed course and speed

1343 - passed 207.0

1421 - passed Hall's creek

1453 - approached Demopolis Lock and Dam

1537 - completed lockage. Outgoing water level (at upstream end of lock) was 20

1614 - docked at Demopolis Yacht Basin. It was high time to take a shower, do laundry, make phone calls, and get a nice supper.

Later, I talked to the dockmaster about the incident at Chicasaw Bogue and he said that locals find the river the ideal place to try their guns; it has few people and a thirty foot bank to serve as a target. Jim told me later that there have been several instances of boats getting shot at on the Tombigbee River. The Waterway guide warns that locals view the river as theirs. One of the books I read warned of fishermen shooting over the tops of boats whose skippers did not slow down to minimize their boat wakes. I was doing nothing but minding my own business. Fortunately no bullets hit the boat.

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