#71 Demopolis, Alabama to Bobby’s Fish Camp, 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 9, 2019

The alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. this morning.

It’s another one of those days.

The captains met the night before and decided to go the 96 miles all the way to Bobby’s Fish Camp instead of anchoring somewhere closer.

I was all for it.

I’m so ready for warmer weather!

It was in the 30s when we got up.

But the high is supposed to be near 60 so I am thankful for that.

Leaving Early

We pulled out of Kingfisher Bay Marina.

As we were going down the fairway, a boat with “Troll” in the name started backing out.

Sam sounded the horns!

I was outside and heard her say she didn’t see us.

We were wide awake at this point.

Didn’t even need coffee.

Four of us left the marina around 6:15 a.m. and headed for the Demopolis lock.

The lock was only about 2 miles from the marina.

Seasons, Gold Loopers, led the way.

We were second.

The Troll was third and Serenity Blue was bringing up the rear.

The lockmaster told us exactly when to be there so we could go right in.

He had rules – life jackets, no wake, etc. – and seemed to be one of the most organized that we have seen.

We all got tied and secured to the floating bollards and were lowered down with ease.

It was, however, freezing.

Frickin freezing!

I didn’t dress warm enough.


Thankfully, this is our only lock today.

Getting Organized

While we were in the lock, it was decided that we would exit the way we had entered and then work out the order of the fleet.

There was a tow barge waiting to enter the lock on the other side.

That plan seemed to be the safest.

However, the Troll wasn’t on the radio when that was decided.

But Seasons knew they wanted to go a lot faster than the rest of us.

After we all got past the tow, Sam started his pass around the lead boat, Seasons.

Serenity Blue was behind us.

Sam radioed the Troll so we could get organized.

The Troll was already passing us at about 15-20 mph.

As he passed, we caught his wake and our boat started twisting and turning from side to side.

It knocked us right off of auto pilot.

He really was a Troll.

So much for having a plan.

Sam, however, could not resist and picked up the radio and thanked him for the slow pass.

We are hoping that we got all of the excitement out of the way on this very long day of travel.

Cruising Down the Tombigbee River

What a beautiful day to be on the Tombigbee!

We are still seeing some industrial sights along the way.

There were trees, cliffs, beaches and homes.

And of course, my favorite.


Long and Winding River

As we maneuvered around the Tombigbee, the map looked a lot like those winding road signs.

On steroids.

It’s crazy.

I went up to the bridge to sit with Sam for a while.

All of sudden, I see it.

I yell, “A BARGE!!!!!!”

Sure enough, as the boat was autopiloting itself around those curves, it changed our view of N-S-E-W.

Our little boat icon was upside down now on the Garmin chart plotter and there WAS a barge coming our way.

When will the excitement end?

Sam made the call and we passed with no incident but it showed us that we have to be on our toes on the Tombigbee.

It happened two more times.

Come on!

Barges around corners.

Gotta watch out for that.

Beach or River?

We also started seeing shore that looked more like a beach than a river.

This sailboat seems to be in the wrong place.

And this group enjoying the beach on the river.

Bobby’s Fish Camp

We contacted Adagio, a powerboat, who had just arrived at Bobby’s Fish Camp.

There were already four boats on the dock.

Adagio plus three sailboats.


And the Troll was in front of us.

We didn’t know their plans, but Bobby’s is a very popular place to stay.

They have a wall with power and they make boats raft up so everyone can stay.

They make you.

There’s a sign.

About an hour before we reached Bobby’s, we got the word that Adagio had worked everything out for us and there would indeed be a place for our three boats.


As we pulled in around 3:40 p.m., sure enough, we saw the Troll there.

Oh well.

We are going to make the best of it.

We came in with ease, rafted the two other boats up and hooked up to power.

Sweet success.

Then we met Seasons, Adagio, Serenity Blue, and Grace for dinner at Bobby’s Fish Camp.

I recommend the Seafood Platter so you can taste everything they have to offer.

It will be a short night again.

We’ve got 66 miles to go to our next anchorage.

Our Thoughts

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  1. Ah, more excitement, thanks to the Troll. There is one in every crowd. Kudos to Sam for his professional demeanor. Glad to hear that it is getting warmer, soon you will be needing air conditioning, Rev! Thanks for posting lots of pictures, it makes your posts very informative – a picture is worth a 1,000 words. I enjoy traveling along with you and your adventures on America’s Great Loop.

    • And we are so glad you are coming along with us!

  2. Hmmm…a boater whining about being “rocked” by a wake. Must be a river thing. The Lake Cumberland crowd were constantly crying foul as well. Great Lakes?…not so much.

    • Not sure. We are new to rivers, lakes AND oceans. We have been waked before but nothing like that.

  3. Where are you from Sam? Really? You couldn’t understand Alabama speak? We love watching your videos, and we plan to do the loop in a few years, but go easy on making disparaging remarks about our beloved southern dialect.

    • I love your southern dialect I just wish I was smart and savvy enough to understand it.

  4. I also tend to tell people of what I think of their boating skills on the radio at times but am trying to breathe more and say less. We’ll see how that works out….Question for Sam: When I contacted Garmin about auto guidance on inland lakes and rivers they stated it would not be accurate. My maps for open water e.g. around Florida (outside of the ICW) remain fairly accurate. Have you heard the same?

    • No. Had not heard that information. We will test it out. Will also try the breathe more and say less method!


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