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Swing Set

Aug 20, 201204:34 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Upper Tenn-Tom Waterway

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The sun is just starting to make an appearance over the low tree line on what is promising to be another beautiful day. Our anchorage is 50 miles south of where we anchored in Bay Springs Lake on Saturday night. If you are heading north, our anchorage is the last one on the Tombigbee River before it turns into mostly canal, but more on our transit later.

On Sunday morning, I installed our new Garmin GPSMap 640. It's in the picture slightly tilted above our older GPS unit. I had to cover the hole for the old chartplotter even if we bought a flush mount kit for the Garmin, and it costs $150, so we saved the money and installed it as a surface mount where the old unit was placed. The black Lexan trim matches the trim around our stereo remote. It's in the picture on the far right. The radar cover on the lower right is going to get a makeover to allow us to hold a book, or guide, on it to be used while under way.

We were at the first lock on the Tenn-Tom by 9 a.m. Sunday morning, and after about a 15-minute wait, an upbound tow exited the lock and we went in. The Bay Springs lock is fairly large, but the rest of the locks as went went south were small in comparison.

The next lock is the Montgomery Lock, a much smaller outfit. One thing about the locks on the Tenn-Tom: There are lots of them, and they communicate with each other. They all work on different channels, so instead of trying to remember them, just hail them on 16 and they will tell you what channel to go to. We got really lucky on Sunday; every lock was ready for us when we arrived, no waiting, and they were all very polite. There was also usually only one car at each lock, so the lockmasters seemed to be anxious to be doing something.

"The Ditch" is not a fair name for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. It first opened in 1985, and perhaps then the name may have been apt, but now plenty of vegetation has grown and its quite scenic.

There are homes behind those trees, and the water is very shallow. Be careful if you want to buy "waterfront" property in these parts. We have seen whole bays filled with nothing but stumps, and homes sat on the shore. I don't know how they get in and out.

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