Shiloh Battlefield and the Arrival of Fall

While staying at the Florence Marina (in Alabama) we took the courtesy car and drove an hour with John and Gina on Alysana to explore the Shiloh National Military Park.One of our intentions on The Great Loop is to see and learn more about our country. This certainly checked that box. Shiloh was a 2 day Civil War battle that ended with over 13,000 Union and over 10,000 Confederate killed/wounded/missing before the Union claimed victorious. The park is arranged as a self guided driving tour where you stop and explore 20 key battle locations. This approach really helped you see/understand what occurred. Even though we did all of the stops we just scratched the surface as to what you can see and learn.
Shiloh Cemetery
Cemetery was much larger than the picture shows.

52 cannons lined up where they where during the battle.

Confederate Memorial
Playing Union Soldier dress up.
Back on Heartbeat we are now on the Tennessee Tombigbee (TenTom) Waterway. This waterway connects the Tennessee River with the Tombigbee River in Demopolis, AL for an approx. distance of 250 miles.  We are now finally heading south. In the last week we have felt Fall arrive. Temps have gone from hotter than hell (90F inside the boat) to digging out the puffy jacket (38F at sunrise one day, rain all day the next). We are ready to be heading toward warmer temperatures.

The TenTom Waterway construction moved more earth than that of the Panama Canal and was completed in 1984. It consists of 10 locks and damns and saves vessels from having to travel a longer distance and deal with current via the Mississippi in order to get to/from various ports.

The first portion of The TenTom waterway can be described as a narrow canal. It is here where we passed with a tow so close that we could have handed the captain a cup of coffee. Well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but there certainly was very little space between us and him. Interesting note is what we call barges are referred to as tows here on the inland river system and apparently you want to make sure you do not call a tow a barge, very much a faux paus.  

This week we anchored out several nights with John and Gina on Alysana, finding some scenic spots which as an added bonus surprised us with wildlife sightings.

Five Fingers anchorage – secluded, serene and scenic.

White egrets.

2 bald eagles checking us out.

White egret in flight.

Coyote walking the beach at dusk.

We managed to pass through 7 locks in 2 days. Four locks the first day followed by 3 locks the following day. Fortunately commercial traffic was minimal and we had no delays getting in and then locked down. We will add a post about the locking process here soon and share more details on what is involved.

At the moment we are in Columbus, MS where we will have Glenn join us and travel down to Mobile, AL. Fortunately for Glenn he knows what he is getting into – he spent time on SV Hiatus 10 years ago when he sailed with us from Costa Rica to Ecuador and then from Mexico back to Texas.

Curious what river we are on, what state we are in or where we have been? Click the “Track Us” button at the top of the blog.