180 miles to Aliceville, AL

Our first let was from Grand Harbor Marina to Midway Marina, MM394 (662) 862-7306, This was a long 56 miles because we caught up with the other 14 or so loopers that were making their way to the gulf from the last big rendezvous.  We had 3 locks on this leg Witten, Montgomery, and Rankin.  Having this many boats we had to wait for all the vessels to make it into the lock to lower us all at once.  Everyone travels at different speeds so this part takes a while to get everyone to lock through at the same time.  Arriving at a marina with 14 other boats is quite the exercise of patience as well.  We noticed one boat with the bilge pump running non stop, they realized they had a raw water leak on the engine and the boat was taking on water.  Scary to think about loosing a boat in this dark river water.  That’s why you have to keep on top of all your hoses as soon as they get brittle they can split or burst at anytime.

Beautiful morning before we caught up with the flotilla


There are only 10 bollards in each lock, some boats had to raft off to one another to accommodate everyone in the lock.  This is the biggest lock on the system at a 84′ drop


From Midway Marina we went to Columbus Marina MM335 (662) 327-8450 this leg is 59Miles with 4 locks Fulton, Wilkins, Amory and Aberdeen.  Columbus is a great marina, they have a store, fuel and courtesy car.  Owner T Caldwell ordered some BBQ for all the loopers and we all had a great dinner celebration.  KC and Steve were here from “Jetstream” they are going to be Platinum loopers once they make it to Jacksonville.  And Cynthia and Byron from “Bright Angel” were at Columbus relaxing after crossing their wake and becoming gold loopers!  We celebrated with all the other cruisers this evening and some good stories were told.

leaving at 0700 from Midway Marina,  first wake of the day


The last leg was from Columbus to Sumter Recreation area in Aliceville, AL.  MM270 this was a 65 mile day with 2 locks Stennis and Bevill.  Sumter Rec area is a good anchorage and there is a launching ramp here too.  I chose to do a Mediterranean Moore where you use your bow anchor and then secure the stern to the land to limit the boats ability to swing.  Our good friend Rusty and Frances invited my mom and I over for dinner at their home in Aliceville.  Rusty came and picked us up at the launching ramp.  We had a great time visiting with them and they are such great cooks and hosts!


194 miles to Grand Harbor Marina

Leaving Green Turtle we went south through Kentucky Lake, This was very beautiful water with lots to see.  Our first stop was Pebble Isle Marina (931) 535-3827 MM204, this is 74 miles south of Green Turtle.  Kentucky Lake is one of the highlights about coming south on the river system.  Kentucky Dam creates the largest manmade lake in the eastern United States. It backs up the Tennessee River for 184 miles and creates a lake that stretches south across the western tip of Kentucky and nearly the entire width of Tennessee. At maximum normal operating level, Kentucky Lake covers 160,300 acres.


Friends on S/V Windfall headed for the Keys and Bahamas 


Pebble Isle has diesel for 2.19 which is the cheapest from here to Carrabelle Fl.  The owner makes great cinnamon rolls every morning for the Loopers and they have a courtesy car you can take out to dinner or on a grocery run.  Driving into this marina reminded me of the Trent Severn.


Pebble Isle to Clifton Marina (931) 676-5225 MM140, 64 miles.  This is a perfect stop for the night, owners are very nice and so is the property 


Clifton Marina to Grand Harbor Marina 56.3 miles and one lock Pickwick Lock & Dam start of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway.  My sister Clotilde had been with me from Alton IL to Grand Harbor.  Our parents drove up to see us and my mom traded with my sister so she could get a taste of the cruising lifestyle on the next 400 miles home.  We got to celebrate my moms birthday that weekend as a family and enjoyed the hospitality of northern Mississippi.


Grand Harbor (662) 667-5551 is a great marina, they have a good ship store, courtesy cars and condos to rent on site.  along with a lot of other things to do.  The marina staff is great and we met over 40 loopers here that were just getting started after leaving the fall rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park.  This was super special seeing all the new loopers and hearing about how they got to this point!  “Inspiration” “At Last” and “Pura Vida” cruised south together from this point forward.