Demopolis, Alabama, marks the end of the Tombigbee Waterway and the beginning of the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway. The entire span is called the Tom-Tom by the locals but the Black Warrior includes 14 more locks.
Sailing down the river and hidden around a bend, the calm suddenly turns to wonder. The White Cliffs of Epes come slowly into view. They are part of the Selma Chalk formations which were deposited at about the same time as England’s famous White Cliffs of Dover and are surprising and absolutely stunning!
In Demopolis, the wind is whistling through the gauges, the flags are straight out and I am wearing my new hat and gloves. The sky is grey and the 20 mile an hour arctic winds are following us south. Everyone says this weather is an anomaly, it should still be very warm. Winter doesn’t usually come to Alabama until January. I guess the only explanation is climate change.
We are marooned with about ten other Looper boats waiting for the forces of nature to subside. Traversing the locks requires two people on deck to control the boat and no one wants to be outside in this inclement weather.
The marinas party room is upstairs and outside but warmed by the many bodies and good cheer. Two courtesy cars are shared and a shuttle runs twice a day. The female dock master runs the organization with an iron hand. We made the mistake of handing off the car keys to another looper without handing them first to the dock master and were properly reprimanded.
4PM. Meeting in the laundry room! When it is really cold the ample laundry room serves as a closed party room. The agenda, “Who wants to leave in the morning?”. It is easier on the Lock masters for us to travel in caravan. Ok two groups the first leaving at five AM, the second at 7AM. Thank God we are in the second group, this is supposed to be fun.
The wind should die down by morning and the sun promises to be shining, Let’s go!