At mile marker 119 on the Tenn-Tom, about midway between Demopolis and Mobile, is Bobby’s Fish Camp.
Bobby’s has a dock on the river long enough for about three Great Loop Boats. We arrived late in the day with a group of seven boats and found a sailboat already at the dock. With help from experienced boaters in the group, one by one we passed Bobby’s, turned around and approached the dock from downstream. After two of the larger boats were tied to the dock, the remaining boats rafted three-wide off of the docked boats.
Bobby’s Fish Camp is famous for its catfish dinners served only on the weekend. We arrived just in time to enjoy Southern fried catfish with hushpuppies and cole slaw, in companionship with the other boaters.
The river was flooded due to recent heavy rains. It had a significant current and carried a lot of logs, branches and other debris, some of which hit/scraped/lodged under our boat during the night. Not our best night of sleep.
Early the next morning, after waiting for the fog to lift, our posse of boats headed downstream. We were advised to “clear our props”, that is, after starting our engines and before untying, briefly move both gearshift levers to forward and then to reverse, to be sure the propellers were clear of debris. When I shifted the starboard engine to reverse, we heard a loud THUMP and the engine stopped. When I restarted and shifted the starboard engine to forward, out came a telephone-pole-sized log that had lodged against the propeller during the night. We later discovered that the prop-clearing process had cracked one of R&R’s rudders, which we replaced in Florida.
R&R and Boyle N Water decided to travel faster than the others and were happy to achieve our goal of arriving at Dog River Marina in Mobile (135 miles away) in one day.