Day's log for Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 - Mile 286.5 (Windham Landing Cutoff), Tombigbee River, AL
I was cooking breakfast and listening to the news. There was an announcement of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. You know the rest. I felt the age of innocence had ended. I was totally shocked. Then a fear came over me of a sort I had not felt since the Persian Gulf war in 1991. I kept my ear glued to the radio for the rest of the trip. One of the remarks by the Taliban totally pissed me off. Jim and I made plenty of jokes about knives and box cutters.
0945 - "TH Kelly" passed northbound
0950 - got underway. I was quite a bit slower than usual in preparing for the day.
1017 - following behind "TH Kelly". He was three barges wide and three long.
1020 - passed mile 289.0
1044 - passed mile 291.0
1124 - passed mile 295.1
1149 - passed mile 297.7
1206 - passed mile 299.4
Is it gonna hit?
1306 - passed mile 305.4
1315 - approaching the Tom Bevill lock. This was the lock I had visited by car in March 2000 on my trip back from Mobile to survey where to keep Andrea Lynn. This lockmaster asked me for complete information about Andrea Lynn: the home port, registration number, over-all length. I thought it had to do with today's events.
1343 - completed locking
1350 - passed mile 307.4
1423 - at Mississippi border
I saw three barges parked on the east bank. I timed my passage at 75 seconds. That means that the barges are each around 200 feet long.
1452 - passed mile 313.4
1550 - passed mile 319.3
1623 - passed mile 322.3
1645 - passed mile 324.6
1702 - passed mile 326.2
1724 - passed mile 327.8
1753 - passed "Sue Chappell
I then went into the north end of the small loop of water at Columbus, MS. I saw a lot of nice houses, docks, and boats. I proceeded slowly - until I got to a bridge that I didn't fit under. I turned around and went back to the river. The Sue Chappell was still there. I ran aground on some sand and gently came to a stop. Jim was on the bow. I turned up the engine, put the rudder over, and twisted the boat off the shoal. Jim was unaware I had gone aground.
Next, I called the Sue Chappell on the VHF, then proceeded south around it to the south finger. I was determined to get to a spot where I could dinghy ashore to see a television. I came to a railroad trestle that was of doubtful height. I slowed down to a craw and proceeded. It looked like I wasn't going to make it. I considered that the railroad from this bridge would be the same height or only slightly lower. But, I could be wrong. I noticed a slight current in the finger. I wanted to either touch the bridge or go under it but not hit it. Then I saw that the top of the antenna was past the edge of the bridge beams. I eased through, then gunned the engine to get to the anchorage.
This scenery totally belies what was going through our minds today.
1925 - anchored
Jim and I dinghied ashore. I had talked to Lori and she said the pictures were really bad. I had to see them myself. We went into "Harvey's" restaurant which had a sports bar. I found what I saw to be pretty horrific.
The Waterway guide mentioned Ruben's Fish House. Jim saw someone with a Ruben's shirt and asked him. He said Rubens was right by the water where we saw nothing but houses.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben FranklinPrev Home Next