HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE QUERREY!! WOO, THE BIG 50!
By 10:00 we had made our passage from the Tennessee River, through Yellow Creek and were entering the relatively straight, man-made Divide Cut canal section of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (aka: Tenn-Tom). Contractor labored almost 8 years removing 150,000,000 cu. yards of earth to create this 27 mile long, 280’ wide and 12’ deep canal through which we now wandered.
Construction on the Tenn-Tom began in 1972 and the waterway opened for commerce in January of 1985. This massive project took over 12 years, cost $2 billion, is 5 times longer and has a total lift 3.5 times greater than the Panama Canal. 307,000,000 cubic yards of earth were removed, 2.2 million cubic yards of concrete poured and 33,000 tons of steel were used. It is one of only two man-made projects that can be identified from space. That’s some undertaking!
The canal opens into lovely Bay Springs Lake which spans 6,700 acres with 133 miles of shoreline. We crossed the lake then pulled into the last cove before the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam and dropped anchor for the day. It was an early day for us, anchoring by 1:30 and having traveled only 47 NM. There was no cell service for research and the blog posting but I worked on the composition then did applied some oil to the wood in the pilot house while Dan began the dastardly chore of sanding and varnishing the outside wood railings.
When our chores were done we dropped the dingy and putted over to the Bay Springs Visitors Center where we brushed up on our local history, chatted with the US Army Corps’ engineers, wandered the trail to an old dogtrot cabin, ogled the mighty dam then motored back to the Quest in our little dink. I told Dan that it was kind of like motoring around in a little convertible sports car.
THE DAMN DAM CRANE