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Chattanooga, TN to Mobile, Al

Below is our route from Chattanooga, TN to Mobile, Al.

We had more beautiful views as we retraced our path back down the Tennessee River from Chattanooga.

Anyone know what this paddle boat does?

Answer: It mows the underwater grass that gets caught around propellers and clogs filters.

Passed several impressive riverfront homes

Many of the cliffs had caves in them accessible by skiff. Bet the teenagers have a great time!

The Tennessee River had been flooded for hydro power, so once again we had to avoid underwater overpasses {yellow rectangles} where roads once ran. However, we ended up not having to anchor, so all was well.

Some of the marinas were lonelier than others..

However, we had a great time at the rocket missile (think if Smithsonian Air and Space was designed by Disney). We highly recommend going here.

We saw a full scale model of the Lunar excursion module that Jason's dad helped design when he worked at Grumman.

Stopped at Muscle Shoals, AL which is a tiny town, where two studios recorded a ton of gold record music in the 60's and 70's

We returned through Wilson Lock, the tallest lock East of the Mississippi, as well as several other tall locks included this one below.

Stopped in Fulton, MS to have Thanksgiving with Nancy's childhood friend Neil Manson, a professor at Univ. of Mississippi in Oxford, MS.

Nancy's remote entry to the annual pie contest!

Went past the very White Cliffs of Epes, AL, which is very impressive until you learn that the high degree of chalk (which blocks water infiltration) in the soil means that some of the largest toxic dumps in the country are located in this very poor rural area.

We passed this historic "snagboat" the US Montgomery, which picked up flooding debris from the rivers and coast from the 20's to the 80's. We also passed this somewhat surprising yard decor.

It got very cold-below freezing on a few of the mornings, making taking Radar by dinghy to the shore challenging. We were also still in alligator country, but supposedly they can't really move in water colder than 70 degrees.

We had a pleasant stay at Demopolis, where they were getting ready for their Christmas boat parade the following week.

We also stopped at the famous Bobby's Fish Camp, which is being managed by the next generation, who are a lot less friendly, making us feel like a huge inconvenience.

The neighborhood had some "interesting" decor--we have no comment.

We finally made it down to Mobile, but there were many, many, many turns in the Tom Bigbee River to navigate first. Our first glimpse of open water was very exciting.

We pulled in to Fairhope Yacht Club, where Nancy rented a car and spent a few days in New Orleans and Jason took the boat into the Gulf intercostal waterway to Saunders Boatworks, to haul out the boat, clean the bottom, put salt water zincs on and get the engines and generator serviced.

Well, navigating down the inland rivers all the way from Chicago was quite the trip. Weirdly, Alabama is the most remote stretch of the Great Loop, with anchorages extremely far apart and no repair services for hundreds of miles. We both gave sighs of relief when we entered the more marine oriented Gulf Coast! We also want to thank Kim Russo, President of America's Great Loop Cruisers Association for all her help coordinating such a backlog of southbound boats. We loved the sticker they handed out to us Loopers!


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