Fulton to Smithville MS, Mile 4190 to 4207, Day 218

October 24

We didn’t make it to Columbus Marina before dark today – we didn’t make it to the marina.

Along with 8 other boats, we left Fulton about 7:30, and headed for the (Fulton) lock, the first lock of the day. The lockmaster had some difficulty getting the gates to close properly; not sure why. He re-closed the lock about 3 times before it finally was in the position he was looking for. The lockage was about 25 feet or so, and didn’t take long. Then we headed downstream towards Wilkins Lock, passing a tow called Heloise. We waited for a tow to come up through the lock, and then the lockmaster asked Heloise whether they wanted to let us go first, or come into the lock. Heloise was doing a crew change at the lock, and didn’t want to wait. We anchored neared the lock out of the channel.

Four hours later – after Heloise went through and the lockmaster waited for another upbound tow, the lockmaster asked the next down bound tow if they were willing to let the recreational vessels (us!) go next. The captain was. Jim & I started thinking though – with 2 tows ahead of us, 2 slower boats in our group and the amount of daylight remaining, we weren’t going to be able to make Columbus Marina by nightfall. And the available anchorages between Amory Lock and Aberdeen Lock were if-y choices. We decided to stay where we were; the rest of the group went through.

We heard later on the radio that they were all stopped by Aberdeen Lock – no lockages until 6:30pm.

It was a cold evening at anchor – 38 degrees – and only 2 tows went through the lock in the night. Fairly quiet.

Sunset over the lock

Mileage Today: 15.2 nautical

Trip Duration: 7.0 hours (moving time)

Loop Miles: 4207.0 miles

Estimated Loop Completion: 77.9%

Segments Completed: Okeechobee Waterway, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, North Atlantic Ocean, Hudson River, Erie Canal, Oswego Canal, Lake Ontario, Trent Severn Waterway, Georgian Bay, North Channel, Lake Michigan, Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Tennessee River

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