Start: 6:30 AM- 30 miles above Natchez MS
Finish: 2:30 PM - On the river
Daily dist: 65 miles
Total dist: ? miles
Weather: Clear with brisk north wind - chilly when I slow down but warm when I match speed with the wind.
Notes: Very nice day on the water.
Once on the water I maneuvered into the main flow of the river and began my system of running down the river.
The approach I have come up with is to follow the buoy lines that mark the navigable channel around every bend. These buoys (and the related navigation beacons on shore) are placed and maintained by the United States Coast guard. Essentially the Army Corps of Engineers creates the boating channel and the Coast Guard makes sure everybody knows where it is. Moving upstream from the Gulf all the way to Minneapolis (as well as into any port in the United States) you will find red colored buoys and beacons on the right hand side. The tops of the buoys taper to a point (like a cone) and related navigation beacons are triangular with the point to the top mimicking the points on the buoys. On the left side you will find green buoys and beacons with a square shape. The different shapes allow a person to identify which buoy type they’re looking at in less than ideal light situations such as low light or glare. The buoys are placed to show a boat captain where the safest (or preferred) channel is located. All a captain needs to do is keep his boat between the buoys and on the correct side (when there is traffic) and things should work out.