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.

Thought for the day

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin

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