Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - Okatuppa Creek, mile 123.2 on the Tenn-Tom
We arose at 6:30 am to a foggy morning. There were thunderstorm warnings in the area and we could tell that places a little north and west of us were getting some rain. Along about 8 am, we felt the front come through from the north and experienced a few sprinkles. About an hour later, we had our own thunderstorm with heavy rain and a little lightning and thunder. By 10 am, the rain quit and the sky was beginning to brighten so we hauled in the anchor, washed off the mud and set out. The spider web picture was taken just as we got underway.
The barge traffic going north was very heavy again. The first one came by as we were enjoying our morning cup of coffee, the second as we were leaving the anchoring spot and the third just a few minutes later. In the afternoon, there were three more northbound tows before we anchored. In addition to the working barges, we were passed by no less than eight southbound cruising trawlers all in a hurry to get off the river. We thought that they were probably trying to make Bobby’s Fish Camp, mile 118.9, before dinner time. It would have been fun to see all of those big boats rafted up to the little dock at Bobby’s which can only accommodate two cruisers.
Our initial plan was to anchor at mile 134.7, Whites Bluff, where Todd and Brenda of m/v Life’s 2 Short said we could find a nice sand beach. Indeed, it was nice – and that was where we saw two alligators. The one in the picture below wasn’t the least bit afraid of us and stayed put the entire time we were there checking out the anchorage.
Since it was only 3:30 pm when we were at White Cliffs taking pictures, we decided to go the extra 20-plus miles to Okatuppa Creek and stay in a bit more protected spot. Gale thought the fishing might be better there, too. At 5:10 pm, we were in the entrance of the creek with our bow anchor set. We lowered the dinghy and the Captain also took out and set a stern anchor to keep us out of the trees if the wind came up.
As soon as the anchoring task was complete, Gale went fishing for dinner. Within moments, he was back with one fish and invited Maureen to go for a ride up the creek before the sun set. It was a beautiful place with many little lakes off the main creek. We were pretty sure we could take Blue Heron way into Okatuppa and anchor in one of these lakes, however, since we were getting a nice 3G signal at the entrance to the creek, we decided to leave the big boat where she was and use the dinghy to get into the backwaters.
The mosquitoes were beginning to come out in force as the sun was going down, so we zoomed back to Blue Heron and brought the dinghy up. Gale made a cast from the stern and brought in another bass for our supper.