Miles Covered: 33 river miles, lm 391 to lm 364
Closest towns or landmark (chart): Goldbottom to Vidalia, La (Natchez, Ms)
Original Post date: June 21
All rested up it began as a wonderful day, in a moment of glee I turned the radio up and actively enjoyed the racket (music) as I idled along ogling the shoreline of trees. Somewhere during this I noticed smoke, excessive smoke whipping around from the rear of the boat. The motor fluttered and I noticed that the oiler was dry – not a good thing. Normally, I would have noticed any change of sound, but with the radio blasting – well, I was angry because I had been taught better by my Dad. Thinking that I had ruined the motor by not hearing any change in its running, I almost threw the radio out.
The motor stalled repeatedly leaving no room for error and with several barges in the area. I climbed out to the motor and changed/cleaned the spark-plugs until it ran no more – yes, I was a little concerned, but most of all – I understood that with no motor, the trip was over. I was able to post the following while floating;
“Well I might be kaput in Natchez – still floating that way – about eight river miles from there now.
After 1400 miles and 24 days the little motor may have swallowed a catfish, its barely puttering – not good. Just running it to stay out of tows way and to get to the ramp in Natchez to evaluate, just hope it keeps cranking – but for this Sunday morning, I am in deed ‘Rafting the Mississippi.’
will keep you posted.”…..
somehow, things could always be worse…………… 🙂
Made it to Natchez – without power – actually Vidalia, Louisiana (West side of the river) – all things point to this as an end to the trip – I could spend a thousand bucks on the boat – but would still only have a ten cent boat when I got to New Orleans, so logic says….. sleep on it.
The disappointment is bittersweet as I feel the accomplishment of 1400 out of 1700 miles – yet I feel the deepest disappointment for Patrick (crew). I have felt his accomplishments and perseverance first hand in the challenges that he took on, much more demanding than my simple ‘cruise,’ he definitely earned the ‘river-rat’ status. We just may see “Wilson” (crew) off tonight with hopes that Wilson may find that true ending for us.
Thanks to Officer Lipscomb (of the Vidalia,La. PD whom saw me as he passed over the bridge – I was stranded about 100 yards out from the landing (not another for miles) after throwing the anchor at last resort, but it was all susceptible to change from a tows wake – the officer called a nearby tow and they (The Betty Jenkins), promptly put the bird and I ashore, thanks.
Vidalia, La has a beautiful new riverfront park/walk with a Comfort Suite Hotel (just a couple hundred yards from the bridge) – I didn’t mean to see it this way – but am happy to find firsthand the effort that some communities are putting along the river. Anyone visiting the area or Natchez should check it out, it is really nice.
I will continue to update as this plays out – in the mean time I am under the bridge in Vidalia shooting at the trolls with my BB gun. 🙂
7 pm – Latest, its not quite over yet – after some persistence from David Campbell (local) I will check a couple marine places in the morning for an engine – several local folks have been kind enough to provide some leads…… we’ll go from there.
Right now I’m in a hotel room with a view of the river, A/C , big pizza, wash-machine, and a shower…. the trolls pitched in to get me out from under their bridge.
Noted ‘tows’ for the day; (the one’s I happen to notice before Natchez through the day’s issues)
The Carol P
The Golden Eagle
THE BETTY JENKINS