#69 Columbus, Mississippi to Sumter County, Alabama

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

December 5, 2019

The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m.

I hit the snooze.

Crawled out of bed at 5:20 a.m.

Ready for the day.

Kind of.

We were leaving Columbus Marina and heading to an anchorage in Sumter County, Alabama.

It was 18 degrees.

That is NOT a typo.

It’s for real.

When Sam talked me into doing this Great Loop thing, he said we would always be moving to get to great weather.

This isn’t it.

We warmed up the ole’ girl for about 30 minutes.

I went outside to take the lines off the dock.

They were frozen to the cleats.

Well, this is a new experience.

I had boiled water earlier to have hot drinks while underway but had to use that to unfreeze the lines.

So weird.

We left the shelter of the covered marina and headed out to the Tennessee-Tombigbee River.

Sam had met Serenity Blue and they decided to leave when we did.

The first lock which is called Stennis is about 5 minutes out from the marina.

Now it was up to 19 degrees.

We were the first two boats in the lock but had to wait for five more to join us.

I could have slept a little longer.

So Cold

I think this is the coldest that I have been on our trip so far.

My feet and hands were numb.

I had on 4 layers and I was still cold.

We definitely learned that we did not bring warm enough clothes on this trip.

We gotta get moving south.

We left the lock with Serenity Blue and since Kitumba was going our speed, they joined our little caravan.

Tennesee-Tombigbee Waterway

Even though the weather is cold, the scenery is beautiful.

We are still seeing fall colors along the river.

And today we crossed over from Mississippi to Alabama.

We have seen many style of homes on the shore and several RV parks and carport style shelters for RVs.

After about 30 miles, we came to the Tom Bevill lock.

Sam had phoned ahead and the lockmaster said we could get right through.

And we did.

No waiting.

Just like we like it.


We have a love-hate relationship with anchoring.

We love the overwhelming sense of peace that comes with it but we hate the uncertainty and all the things that could go wrong.

We argue about where to drop the anchor.

Every single time.

We’re just not very good at it.


Sumter Recreation Area

Since Sam was leading the pack, we were the first to enter the anchoring area.

Serenity Blue told us to stay close to the green marker.

They heard it was deeper on that side.

There were no other boats in the anchorage which is always nice to see, so we moved to the back and started our process.

I work the pedals to lower the anchor.

Sam moves the boat back to set it in place.

All the while arguing about where the best place to lower it would/should/could be.

The first attempt was not a successful one.

We got it in and set alright but there was no current or wind.

When we did get a breeze, it swung us right over too close to the shore.


We had to pull it up and do it again.

This time we made it happen and were in a perfect place.

Once the engines were turned off, the “calm” set in.

Anchoring with Serenity Blue and Kitumba
Serenity Blue took their dogs to the shore so they could take care of their business.

We spent the evening watching Netflix and had pasta and peas.

I downloaded a few shows and prepared several meals at our last marina in Columbus.

We are planning three more anchorages before we get to Mobile where we will fly home for Thanksgiving.

Mars vs. Venus

I always sleep great while we are anchored.

Sam never does.

The peaceful surroundings and stillness knocks me right out.

Sam, however, is a captain 24-7.

He never stops worrying about the anchor holding, the currents, the weather, the wind, the unexpected, etc.

I appreciate the fact that he takes care of us and even though I am a self-proclaimed Marina Girl, I know that he sleeps better when we are tied up safely and securely at a marina.

We are different and I am grateful.

Our Thoughts

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  1. Don’t you have heat on that big fancy boat?

    • Yes we do but it was still really cold! We had to run the generator while we were moving and it still didn’t warm it up as quickly as we wanted it to.

  2. Been following your adventures for a while but just signed on as logged in subscriber.
    Fascinated by the Loop and your postings. You recently cruised by my daughters house in Columbus, MS. I have stories to tell about Tenn-Tom but…. can’t wait to your postings from the Florida leg of trip.
    Maybe I’ll Loop one day.

    • We would love to hear those stories about the Tenn-Tom. We are getting close to Florida and cannot wait to get to warmer weather. Thanks for coming on this journey with us.

  3. I am not surprised that you are running into cold temperatures in the morning. We have done the loop twice and were told and actually did get to southern Florida by Thanksgiving.

    • Oh boy, we sure could have used that advice! We definitely will get south quicker next time!

  4. Great write up Rev! Different is a good thing! Appreciating difference is a great thing!! 🙂

    • Right?!? We each bring our unique gifts to the party!

  5. WOW, More excitement on America’s Great Loop! Rev, you finally got air conditioning without running the generator or even having to plug in the power cords! Guess the natural air conditioning was a bit overdone. I love the story of the hot water to unfreeze the lines. You are becoming a very resourceful boatswain’s mate! Hopefully the weather will be back to warm when you get to Mobile AL and the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Well, thank you Cousin Russ! I am really trying. Yes, we are really ready for warmer weather!

  6. Lisa and I enjoy anchoring out. I’m a “griller” and use the little Magma often. Sam, got the heads off the 3208’s and sent to the machine shop. The mechanic said they looked good – so crossing our fingers! Can’t wait to get it back together for a few nice December days in KY! Are you looking forward to the Gulf crossing? Which way are you headed??

    • Hey Keith! Good news about the engines. We plan on going from Carrabelle to Steinhatchee first. And then down to Tarpon Springs. Not exactly sure when but definitely before Christmas. Tell Lisa we said hi!

  7. Great posts! We are docked in Mobile getting our boat ready for the loop now. Hopefully in the next 2 years we will be joining the loopers on this great journey! Where will you be docking in Mobile? Can’t wait to have y’all down here in warmer (57 right now) weather!

    • Thanks, Marla! We are behind on our posts but you can always see where we are at the top of our website. We left Mobile a couple of days ago. We are really ready for some sunshine! Hopefully, we’ll meet you out here sometime.


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