Bashi Creek Anchorage to Sunflower Cut-off Anchorage

October 19th, 2016

Start: 6:50 AM

Finish: 4:28 PM

Hours: 9:38:00

Statute Miles: 63.03

Average Speed: 6.54

Locks: 1

Coffeeville Dam -20'

We twisted up a bit overnight but not badly and were able to get on our way FIFO-wise (First In First Out).

We had a small sailboat tag along most of the day before and found them anchored just outside the creek when we were leaving.

Once on our way a fog was on the river and visibility was limited. The SV-Time and Tide has a AIS transceiver so commercial traffic can see us (though I haven’t been able to get our older chartplotter to show other AIS enabled craft.) All commercial traffic are required to carry AIS transceivers so I know they can see us regardless of the weather.

There was a shuffling of the steaming order as Captain Bill on Nomad cruised up to the lead.

The sun soon started burning off the fog and we increased to our normal cruising speed.

The river had be getting very curvy. In some places there were area where we might have been able to see each other if the leaves had been off the trees.

The leaves were changing color but still had lots of green left in them.

Bajan Speed cruised on past to get behind Nomad.

Another lock. We are getting to be pros locking through.

And away we go again.

A very typical home along the way, though this one had a “cat house” in the yard.

Cats seem to be enjoying themselves, just kicked back. No clue as to what the arrangement was for.

Another home….

The infamous “Bobby’s Fish Camp”. Almost could hear the banjos.

When just rectangular windows won’t do.

After locking through this lock, a look back showed that like the last few locks, the spillway was immediately adjacent to the lock itself.

A head on view.

The water is typically pretty stable here in lower Alabama. Not a lot of erosion other than around tight curves. It looks like a sandstone layer is slowly breaking onto the lower chalk layer.

This tug had a great riverboat name.

Without a lot of trees, I believe this long pile of sand is the result of dredging.

We say several examples of buoys being damaged by the barges, especially on the bends where any decent rise in the water would cover the buoys.

I like to think of these stone hills as the last of the Appalachians before the coastal plain starts.

We say more of this type of tug the father down we went. Most carried Benzene.

We still had the big boys as well.

This paper mill had acres of timber piled up around it being watered from large sprinklers.

Just a reference on how high the timber was stacked. You can see the top of another load on the truck trailer.

Another part of the same mill complex. This was easily the largest we saw.

The mill also had a really large boat ramp as well.

Starting to get a bit excited for the ocean when we saw a skimmer. Not sure which type but a definite ocean type bird.

Off loading coal near the paper mill. Possibly used to fire the boilers for the pulp process.

This was typical for the dredging operations though this time we got to see the business end out of the water.

Up close. Cutting teeth along the edge of the open impeller that forces the material into piping.

Here is some of the piping staged. At times it looked like the teams used barges and other times the piping ran up the banks of the river.

Barge for staging the coal to be offloaded in one of the previous photos. Staging areas could be a significant distance from the loading/unloading areas.

A gravel operation. Depending on the area, some were in the water and some on land on old bends in the river.

In the lower river we always had to keep an eye out for these. Submerged trees or large limbs that had not sunk completely.

Some more of the skimmers. I’m fairly sure these were African Skimmers. Don’t ask me how they got named that…..

We arrived fairly early in the day (from our usual days) at a long wide spot in the river called Sunflower Cut and rafted up on one side well past the buoys.

A log was floating down but missed us to the inside sans the heron who took flight before it got to our raft.

Sundowners flowed and the cooking got started. Another great day on the water.