We left Midway Marina with a light mist on the river and almost immediately came to the Fulton Lock. We waited about 15 minutes for that and the next lock 15 miles away. We locked down alone in both.
As we started the 5 miles to the Amory Lock our AIS showed a tow just entering it to lock down. We slowed way down but still ended up waiting awhile before we could get in. We passed the tow on the way to our final lock of the day and were able to get through Aberdeen Lock before the tow could arrive. That was the only time we’ve ever waited for a tow at a lock. In talking to other loopers we have apparently been fortunate. Many have waited a number of hours while a tow breaks up its load and passes it through in several lock cycles. Our tow was small and fit entirely in the 600’ lock.
To get to the Marina we proceeded toward the Columbus Lock, turned just a few feet short of the guide wall and followed buoys across the pool above the dam to the Marina which is just off to the side. The lake above the dam is fair sized but very shallow. We had to follow a narrow dredged channel to the marina basin.
At 25,000 Columbus is the largest town on the Tenn Tom, and the largest town we have seen on the water since we passed Paducah on the Ohio River. Some miles downriver we’ll hit Demopolis AL and then it will be nothing until Mobile AL. This is probably the most remote stretch of the loop. Because of this we plan to get to a Starbuck’s with good WiFi tomorrow (yes, there is one in Columbus, the first Starbucks we’ve seen since St Louis) and try to get all this blog information posted.