Thursday, December 3, 2020

Day 4 and 5 on the River - Relaxing with Wildlife

 We awoke early on November 21st to little fog and warmer temps. We wanted to get going before the sun rose to let the duck hunters, that we had met the previous night, have their favorite spot. I had been up a couple of times during the night to add some lights to the boat. I wanted to make sure we were seen if the fog was thick and an excited duck hunter was gong too fast to get to his favorite spot. As it turned out, we only saw two boats come by before we left and both of them were fishermen. We pulled the anchors before sunrise. We had about a quarter mile of very narrow creek to navigate before it opened up to the main river. We had to wait for one boat to clear the creek, but we did not encounter any other traffic on the creek. We made it to the main river right about sunrise, it was a beautiful day. 

Our goal for the day was Big Bayou Canot at mile 16.6. That would make this a shorter day at 47 river miles. We had a one knot current behind us and we were making 6.2 knots over ground. This area of the river is tidal and is impacted by the tides in Mobile Bay. The topography of the area was changing quickly as we approached the coast. Gone were the high bluffs and pine trees. Now the main trees were cypress and Palmetto. We were also seeing more birds and a few alligators sunning themselves on the bank. 

Some very interesting trees along the bank including this cypress.

We saw a number of gators along the river, but this is the only one that had his picture taken.

Blue Heron

Great Egret

It being a Saturday, we saw significantly more boat traffic along the river. Most were fishermen out enjoying the nice day. At mile 45 we left the Tombigbee river and joined the Mobile river. Then we made a right turn to avoid the Tensas river and make our approach to Mobile. As we got further south, we approached a major milestone when we went under the I-65 bridges. This meant we were only 20 river miles from the mouth of the mobile river.  

The twin bridges of I-65.

We then cruised down the river 4 more miles and made a starboard turn to head into Big Bayou. This is a fairly wide and deep bayou that is very beautiful. There are no roads or buildings along the bayou, so it is very isolated. We had just a few mosquitos, but that was only in the late afternoon to evenings. We had loud owls in the evening and lots of other wildlife around the boat. The only thing to disrupt our solitude was an occasional fisherman cruising by down the bayou. 

Our view forward in Big Bayou Canot

Our view out the back.

After spending 4 days moving down the river, we decided to take Sunday off and relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful place. We had no wind and it was a warm, sunny day. I was very happy with our anchoring in this place. It seems that we finally have a good system for setting our stern anchor. I don't think SHIFT swung more than 10 feet the entire time we were anchored in Big Bayou. 

I spent some of the day doing maintenance on the engine and preparing the boat to be a sailboat again. We looked at the weather forecast and found that we would have to make a move to somewhere in Mobile Bay the next day and then decide if we should stay there or then make the move on down to Gulfport. We still did not have firm plans or reservations. I guess that is just how we roll. 

In my next entry, I will write about our exciting arrival in Mobile and explain our decisions of our future plans. 


  1. Looks so peaceful but I am guessing you are constantly doing something and have your eyes out for debris, sandbars and the such.

    1. It is very peaceful. We can use autopilot for 10 minutes at a time in the straighter sections of the river, but you always have to keep an eye out any obsticles.

  2. What a pleasant way to spend the time.

    1. It is pleasant. The question I ask myself is, "Is it less or more stressful than traveling in an RV?" I don't have the answer to that one yet.