October 29, 2015 – Thursday – Ditto Marina to Second Creek Anchorage – 57.7 statute miles traveled

Again, it is getting dark so early now that we tend to go to bed within a couple of hours after it gets dark. Then we wake up and get up around five AM and want to get under way as soon as it gets light. We were off the dock at 0700. The river was like mirror most of the day so we really enjoyed the “Vicki Water”.

There is a railroad bridge in the town of Decatur at MM 304.5 that has vertical clearance of only 10.5 feet when it is closed. There is a lot of train traffic here so it is closed a great deal of the time. Sure enough, when we arrived a train was coming so we waited for it to arrive and then for a 130 plus car train to slowly go over the bridge. This took about 45 minutes total.

After Decatur we made our way into the very large Wheeler Lake. Since all of this is flooded territory behind dams the original riverbed is marked on the charts along with all of the original islands. The lake is deep enough that you can go right over the old islands with plenty of depth. It is a fascinating mental exercise to imagine what all of this must have looked like before the dams by envisioning the depth contours and what they were like when only the original river existed.

We arrived at Second Creek Anchorage just before the Joe Wheeler Lock and Dam by 1430 and had a great, beautiful and well protected anchorage with perfect weather. Later in the afternoon Blue Haven joined us at the anchorage.

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