Saturday, May 22, 2010
First, I want to thank everyone who has left comments on the blog. Other readers enjoy them too.
This morning I left Pickwick Lake Landing State Park Marina after the fog lifted and entered the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway known as the Tenn-Tom. Traveling 100 miles I ended up at Aberdeen, MS Marina traversing 6 locks. Watching a tug exit one lock, the remainder were almost drive-throughs as the upstream lock notifies the next one that you are on your way. Not much commercial traffic today but some beautiful trawlers and cruisers, and a trimaran sailboat were heading north, presumably to escape the FL hurricane season. I will be there to report but hope early June will not produce any hurricanes until after I head north on the Atlantic Intracoastal. Many of the big boats cannot get insurance if they remain south during hurricane season.
Red buoys, riverway navigation aids, are on the right when going up river to the source... giving meaning to the rule of "red right return.” Green is on the left. After leaving Pickwick Lake however they changed to red on the left, green on the right, as the river is going down to the ocean. Beginning at Kentucky Lake is part of the huge Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) project that began decades ago to harness the vast water resources of the south and producing millions of jobs. The TVA controls most of the water, locks and dams I've traveled the past few days and it is only a fraction of the total. The Tenn-Tom is said to be America's best kept secret both for beauty and scope. Work began on it in the 1800s (long before the TVA) to connect Mobile Bay with southeastern waterways thus shaving off 700 or more miles for commercial traffic traveling the mighty Mississippi. The canals to connect the rivers were completed as recently as the 1970s and their construction reportedly required moving more dirt than building the Panama Canal did. Time to wash some clothes in the sink. Cheers.
Photos: Waiting for Montgomery lock. First lock of the day was 80 FT DOWN, largest of Tenn tom. Tug in fog early.