Lower Mississippi Mile Marker 499 to Mile Marker 452

Oh…what a beautiful day. High of 81 but a bit breezy. The sun shined as Bryce pulled up anchored. I just knew it was going to be a great day on the L-Mississippi. I’ve been asked a number of times the difference between the upper and lower Mississippi. Now this is my view. We have approximately 352 (452-100) more miles so we are about 2/3 way down the lower. We have traveled down the upper twice now and the difference of course is the lower half it’s like traveling on a lake apposed to a river. 

For those who have done the Tenn-Tom, its like traveling on the Kentucky lake but with more current and more sandy beaches.  There is turbulence in the lower half as there is in the upper half perhaps a bit more. Check the NOAA Web Site on the depth of the river. There appears to be the same type of groynes and weirs on the lower and upper.  The lower is considerably wider and deeper.  Probably a bit easier to navigate because of that.  We often times pass tows on bends in the lower, but less so in the upper.

This is what I call a whirlpool. It is where the water flows in both directions and creates an underwater tornado. You will see these on the upper Mississippi and the Lower Mississippi. Nothing to freak-out about unless you are a kayaker.  That’s my job…LOL 


Unlike the Tenn-Tom, there are no Locks and so far all bridges are over a 100 feet tall.  So there are no time constraints to get to locks.  With tall bridges, we could have re-stepped our mast at the Ohio River if a marina was available. The current is nearly always 5 mph, but can go up to 7 and as low as 3.    Active Captain is a great resource for anchorages and info on towns.  Bryce has been posting all our anchorages on Active Captain.  So the number of anchorages on the lower has tripled.

There are probably many more anchorage possibilities on the lower.  We typically anchor on inside bends where current is low and anything floating in the river tends to go to the outside.  Tows run slow on the bends, so wakes are small.  Also, inside bends is where the sandy bottoms are, so excellent holding.  And of course inside bends have no junk on the bottom to trap anchor lines.  On the lower we are often off the channel edge by 1000 feet and well inside any buoys that mark the channel edge.

Our current trip so far: http://trackmytour.com/35L17


Most issues I hear deal with fuel, water and pump outs.  Our in a sailboat fuel tanks are not that big. Our tank is 40 gallons. However, with the river current our mileage increases to 10-15 mpg.  If we need fuel we take our wagon and two 5 gallon cans into shore and walk to a gas station. The wise thing to do is to google things you need on your tablet/phone. Call the gas station make sure they have diesel before you take your walk into town.  If we had our power boat with its two hundred gallon tanks, we would probably carry 4 jugs rather than two.

Water is pretty much a non-issue for us.  We carry about 90 gallons plus two 6 gallon jugs.  We have a complete raw water system that is filtered with 1 micron filters to produce quite clear water from the river.  These filters also remove any smell. Our separate filtered raw water has its own water heater separate from the tank water heater.  We use this water for wash down, showers  So we get nice hot showers every day if we chose.  The galley sink also has a separate faucet to use for rinsing.

For pump outs, we are fortunate to have two electric heads, each head has a 22 gallon tank.  So we can go for about a month or so before we need a pump out.

If you been following our blog you know the stops we have made. There have been other stops near towns or within walking distance but there just isn’t enough time to see every thing.

  • Hickman-nice place to visit walked to gas station
  • New Madrid- We did not go into Shore but heard it was nice
  • Mud Island Marina Memphis-awesome place. full services marina
  • Greensville Yacht club-full services marina. but we anchored out

Now, plan your adventure and enjoy.

We found another great sandy beach anchorage on the lower Mississippi for the night. We are at mile marker 452 and 12 miles north of Vicksburg MS for the night. The Current 1.7mph and water depth 22 feet and water temp is 61.7.  We are anchored on a slight inside bend between two groynes.  So sandy bottom, lower current.


After Bryce pulled up anchor at MM-499 and I put us in the river I noticed this tree floating down the channel.  You have to watch for logs in the river, but it is worse than it sounds.  I think the sail boats have less of an issue with these logs as the keel tends to protect the prop and prop shaft.  I have met many power boaters that have bent shafts, struts and props.  However, this is an issue with the Tenn-Tom, the Illinois and the Mississippi.  So I do not see it worse on the lower.


I just love to see how others live.  We are seeing more homes on the lower.


See how far this tow is away, the river is typically 1/2 mile wide.  Channel is typically 0.1 to 0.2 miles wide.  Kinda like a 1000 mile long Kentucky Lake.


This area is so nice. I think I could actually live here it’s so pretty.  A number of homes on this inside bend with huge sandy shore.


Now this is a sight you don’t see to often a tow pushing a tow. Must be headed to Greenville.


Some tows have Towers like this one rather than super structures.


Another canoeist doing the Mississippi. I wonder what their blog might have to say?


It was a warm day. Bryce is happy setting the anchor. And as usual, when it gets this warm, he is in a swim suit.


George is just being himself.  With the light winds, he spent a good part of the night wandering the deck.


A big thanks to all of you who follow our blog.Red rose

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