At daylight we could see that we had done a fine job of anchoring last night. Anchoring in the dark is not something we like to do because it is easy to get into trouble from things you can’t see or contingencies you didn’t consider; however, we were lucky this time. It was another cool morning, 49 degrees, when we pulled up the anchor and continued on our way at 8 am. We were hoping to clear two locks and make it to just below the Heflin Lock. Twice ‘S Nice was thinking about spending some time at Pirate Cove Marina to have a vibration in their drive leg looked at.
Just before noon we were approaching Pirate Cove Marina and the Tom Bevill Lock. We parted ways with Twice ‘S Nice at this juncture and hoped to hook up again in Demopolis. At one point along the route, we noticed a loan telephone booth someone had placed up on the river bank. We weren’t sure how long it had been there, but it was a reminder of days not so long past when telephone booths were a common sight. Also along the way, we noticed quite a bit of floating flora that seemed to gather up into small islands that could easily be mistaken as stationary. We made a note to check into this further.
By late afternoon we were approaching the Gainesville Lock. Talking to the lock master, she said that she would have the chamber filled and the doors open for us. In the lock, Gale asked the lock master what she knew about these floating plants. She said she thought they were called water hyacinth, but had also heard them called water lilies. We knew water lilies from back home and we wouldn’t put these in the same category. Later researching on the internet confirmed that the plants were indeed water hyacinth and not native to North America. They actually came from South America and can be so invasive as to choke out other life in a pond. We didn’t see them with the flowers blooming, but the internet pictures showed a very beautiful flower.
We cleared the lock at 5 pm and tucked into the anchorage just below the lock. Here we found three other boats anchored. Two were rafted up together and the other, a sailboat, was on its own. We noticed the boat name, Periwinkle, and remembered that they were the folks that had been traveling with Twice ‘S Nice until they had their mechanical problems. We introduced ourselves and told them we had left Paul and Sue earlier in the day and that they were looking into a vibration that had them concerned. John and Gillian, Periwinkle’s crew, said they were planning to call Paul and Sue anyway and would let us know their status. It turned out the problem was a minor one which they had fixed at the marina. They had continued down the waterway and were now only 18 miles behind us.