October 19, 2015 – Monday – Ingall’s Harbor, Decatur, AL to Ditto Marina – 30.0 statute miles traveled

Yikes! It was 33 degrees Fahrenheit last night. It is October and this is Alabama. What’s the deal?

We were ready to go by 0735 hours. In checking the oil I was pleased to find that the oil on the dip stick was absolutely clean even after running for almost four hours yesterday. This means to me that my extraction pump worked great and I must have removed very nearly all of the old oil.

When we pulled out of the harbor we found a tow coming up on us but at less than three mph. At first I was going to pull out in front of him and as I could go faster than that. Then I realized that a train was going over the railroad bridge a mile up stream and the bridge was closed to all but boats under 10 ft. 6 inches. I radioed the bridge to find that after this train passed he had “one more in the box” and then he would open for us. The second train took awhile to arrive and then we counted 136 cars after the double engine so it took awhile.

Once the train went by we headed for the bridge and the bridge tender raised the span and we were off. After thanking him for the pass we continued to look back and found that he lowered the bridge right behind us. In a few minutes another train was going across the river. I never did see the tow get through.

Once we left the Decatur area the river narrowed and became rural. The fall colors are just beginning to show and the river is very scenic through this stretch with rock formations here and there. We never did have a cruising boat pass us in either direction and the only boats we saw were fishing boats.

After Decatur, AL the Tennessee has become narrower and more scenic.  We are hoping we will see the leaves change while on this side trip to Chattanooga.

After Decatur, AL the Tennessee has become narrower and more scenic. We are hoping we will see the leaves change while on this side trip to Chattanooga.

We arrived at Ditto Landing Marina just after passing mile marker 333 under the Clement C. Clay Bridge at a height of 60.2 feet. They had plenty of space even though they had been totally full last night with looper boats. It seems that many are taking the scenic side trip to Chattanooga before heading down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. After we got settled more looper boats pulled in and as I write this there are now eleven of us in here.

Ditto Marina is too far to walk to anything and has no restaurants so I am expecting a looper dock party tonight and then dinner on board.

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