Leaving Demopolis Yacht Basin we started seeing alligators. Lots of alligators! They seemed to be everywhere, just enjoying the warm sunshine. This is pretty exciting stuff for a couple of yankees on a mastless sailboat!
We passed the remains of the US 80 (Rooster) bridge, where the tugboat Cahaba was caught by the current and capsized while being swept under the bridge in 1979. Miraculously there were no major injuries, but I suspect everyone needed clean underwear.
Thanks to advice we received from locals in Demopolis we spent a peaceful night anchored in the mouth of Bashi Creek.
Pressing on the next morning, the excitement of the day was going through our LAST lock, Coffeeville. After all the locks we’d been through, or in some cases over, this was a big milestone. From this point forward tides would begin to effect the water, and it would get increasingly salty as we moved south.
We anchored for the night in the Alabama River Cutoff, just over 50 miles from the Black Warrior River’s mouth.
Once we got into Mobile Bay things settled down a bit. Not due to fewer ships, but much more room. We were off the channel the big guys use, so it was pretty peaceful. Dolphins welcomed us to the saltwater as we chugged along to our destination. What could be better?
We wound our way through a long narrow channel that was deep enough for us and finally reached Turner Marine. At first they were putting us on a dock with no finger pier, but with our dinghy on the back of the boat, and a tall bow pulpit at the front, this just wasn’t going to work for us. After a bit of “negotiating” they directed us to a side tie area.
Although we somehow beat our masts there by a few days, we eventually became a sailboat again. We stayed here a bit to rest, see the sights, take a trip to New Orleans by car and watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.