I forgot to mention one interesting thing we saw while sailing through the Xiling Gorge. At one point, the gorge makes a turn to the north and dead ahead we could see a smallish city (to the Chinese it's probably a little town...). On the river shore was a little obelisk-like white spire:
This spot, just upstream of Yichang, is the farthest point penetrated by the Japanese during the "Anti-Japanese War", which is how Fred and all the other Chinese people we met referred to World War II. You just would not believe the amount of animosity that is still present towards the Japanese in nineteen forty whatever!