The boat ramp is packed with maybe 15 truckes and trailers as I set off on a Saturday morning. Some people come by and talk, a few say nice boat and others just give me a look of amusement as they put in their bass boats with twin outboard engines. Little Joy feels heavy and sluggish like rowing through mud. 14 gallons of water onboard will do that.
The river was busy with fishermen and commercial traffic. I decide to cross the river in front of Vicksburg right near the 90 degree bend in the river. Its choppy, rough and slow going with limited visibility around the bend. In midriver I see a police boat which turned out to be the county sheriff. It slowly comes to me and I quickly put on my PFD, probably a good idea anyway. My boat isn’t registered in any state and I have no idea what Mississippi laws are. “Are you alright?” they ask a little concerned and bemused. “Yeah I’m fine. Just a little tough crossing.” I said. The helmsman left the wheel and came over and took a picture of me. They waved goodby and told me to be safe. They remained in the middle of the channel by the bridges keeping an eye on things.
I only made 32 miles with the late start and camped on a beach on an island with the glow of Vicksburg to the north and the glow of Natchez to the south. There was no moon and overhead were stars and stars and the soft band of the milky way stretching to the horizon..