September 11, 2015 – Friday – Bar Island Anchorage to Willow Island Anchorage – 56.7 statute miles traveled.

I called the LaGrange Lock at 0630 to find out when we would be able to lock through. He said we if we could get there in 20 minutes he could take us through at that time. Unfortunately we were 5.3 miles away that would take us at least 40 minutes. He said if we couldn’t make it the next possibility would be around 0915 hrs. We raised our anchors and got underway at 0810 knowing we would be a little early but wanted to be there and ready when the lock was ready.

After milling around for about 25 minutes we were able to lock through at the time the lock had originally said. Another looper boat whom we have not as yet met was there ahead of us and the three of us locked through together.

An anchorage possibility for the night was at McEvers Island about 32 miles after the lock. When we got there we found that due to the river being low there was not enough water to get into the anchorage let alone the space to anchor inside. We elected to go on to our next possibility that was behind Wing Island but when we got there we found the entry to shallow for either boat so off we went again.

About four miles from our next anchoring possibility the engine belt on the Ford Lehman began to squeal. I slowed down and finally found the squeal would stop if the rpms were sufficient to make 6.2 mph. We limped the last few miles to our destination.

Finally, after 56.7 miles we found a great anchorage behind Willow Island. The channel was the perfect width for a boat to anchor in the middle and the depth was about 14 feet. Namaste anchored down stream from Sea To See.

As we had cleared the last bridge that was potentially lower than the air draft with the mast up I worked on erecting the mast to my anchor light would be where it belonged instead of on the end of a horizontal mast that had been lowered into a crutch in the cockpit. It was nice to get the boat looking proper once again and not only was the anchor light back where it belonged but now I could fly the AGLCA flag from the mast stays once again.

Jim, JoAnn and Sammy came over for happy hour where we continued to swap stories about our lives, laugh and generally enjoy the company. At dusk they rode their dinghy back to Namaste and it was dinnertime. After dinner I was trying to work on the computer but little tiny bugs kept landing on the screen and driving me nuts. We decided they were small enough to be getting through the screens on the windows so we closed the windows and then went on a bug hunt with the electric racquet zapper. After killing a hundred or so I gave up and we headed to the bunks.

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