Nov 24, 2017

Chicago to Mobile, WE DID IT!

Before arriving in Demopolis, we had the depressing realization that we would not make it to Mobile, AL in time for Halloween. A bummer not only because we wouldn't have a neighborhood to trick-or-treat in, but also because Hobie's NinjaGo costume was shipped to Mobile.

We spent a night going over the options and trying to figure out how we could make it work, but it just didn't look possible. After a day of sadness, we decided to look on the bright side, we would be catching up with our French Canadian friends, so at least we could hang out with them and "trick-or-treat" from boat-to-boat. 

But after our 70 mile run from Demopolis to Bashi Creek, I realized we might actually be able to make it to Mobile in time for Halloween. The current was running with us, and we lucked out with the tide which would also be in our favor after Coffeeville Lock.

I secretly asked Hobie: "Do you want to play it safe and stay with the French Canadians for Halloween, or take a chance on making it to Mobile for Trick or Treating?" He opted for Mobile, which is what I was hoping for, so that's what we did.

Each morning we fired up both engines and made our way down the river at top speed. One day we recorded a personal best of 80 miles traveled in a single day on the river. We hauled butt, and made it to Mobile on October 30th. Pretty good considering just a few days earlier we were moping around thinking would wouldn't arrive until November. 

Going through Downtown Mobile was pretty sweet. We passed under a low bridge and were instantly amongst huge ocean going freighters. It was a very busy port. There was also a boatyard building sweet Navy trimarans. It was a super cool area to go through.

As we left the river for Mobile Bay, I thought about the weather and open water conditions for the first time since leaving Lake Michigan. It was pretty windy, and I started wondering what the waves would be like on the bay. Fortunately they turned out to be pretty small, but with the high winds we got quite a bit of spray.

We made our way through the bay, then motored up the Dog River. It was REALLY cool. We had a bit of a gulf coast culture shock. There were suddenly palm trees, shrimp boats, just a whole different vibe from the river. It was awesome. I loved it.

The rivers seemed to last FOREVER. So long that stopped thinking the end would ever come. It took a bit before I realized: We did it! We made it from Chicago to Mobile! 

That had never been a "goal" of mine, so it wasn't really something I thought much about while we were doing it. But after having completed it, I realized it's a hell of a long way, and something to celebrate having accomplished. So we put our dinghy in the water and motored across the river to a waterfront restaurant for dinner. A night of luxury, someone else cooking, and cleaning up!

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