[Rick] Today was a typical day on the Tombigbee Waterway. We left Midway Marina and quickly passed through the first lock. The lockmaster told us that he had not locked anyone through going in our direction and we should have clear running. By the third lock, we encountered a small problem. The lock had a barge and tow in it and one waiting to go in, both going our way. They had probably pulled off yesterday and started again today. This meant a wait of about 1.5 hours. We pulled into the Smithville Marina to wait. This is a very old marina, kinda dumpy, but with cable TV and a laundry.
The problem is that the next lock is only 5 miles, so once we clear this lock, we will be behind the two tows for the next lock. And this is exactly what happened. The next lock was just dumping the first tow and we had to wait about 1.5 hours for the second one to pass through. All of these locks are 30 ft drops, so they take about 25-30 minutes to refill and reload. Along the way, we saw a raccoon swimming across the Tombigbee.
We proceeded to the Aberdeen Marina, a total distance of about 39 miles. This unique marina is a Quickmart on the highway, selling gas to cars, and selling gas to boats at the back docks. We know of no other place like it. Also, most loopers visit this marina since they sell the gas for less that most marinas. Today, Gas is $2.85 and it was $3.29 at Grand Harbor just 3 days ago. The courtesy car is a Lincoln Continental, with 115000 on the odometer, but then, they do have a courtesy car. Aberdeen Marina is about 2000 feet off the main channel. It is well marked with red and green poles, and it really needs to be marked. The channel looks like a trip back into time. Fog rising up, old trees, stumps, birds mark the entrance. It is much like the Dismal Swamp.