Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We're Done!

Got underway at 7:50 this morning under cloudy skies, but warm temps. We had a strong following wind all day which made steering a chore, but it was preferable to having a headwind.
When we were on "the river" we had a pretty strong current helping us along. Now that we were on "the lake" we lost that advantage and we were slower. So it took a little over seven hours to do today's 43 miles. We arrived a little after 3:00 to a sunny day and 83 degrees. We did the minimum chores, mostly getting our clothes off and drove back to Paducah.

Right now we are relaxing at Flamingo Row, enjoying beer, good Caribbean food, and being DONE!


Michael at the finish line
Steve at the finish line
Our old Kentucky home
At Flamingo Row

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Special Note for Charlotte

Michael and I have been looking for mermaids as we have passed the many miles of the Tennessee River, but have not
seen even one!

Yesterday we saw that there was a marina called "The Mermaid" and we knew at once that we had to stop there to see if there was a mermaid there. There wasn't. But they did have a very cool sign which looks like one.

Here's another picture of it. Hope you like it.

We'll keep looking!

Love, Opa

Last Night on the River!

We got an early start this morning, getting underway at 6:45. Today was mostly overcast, but warm. It got up to the high 70's. We had one more lift bridge to go under, which was a surprise to me, I thought we were done! But it was no big deal. So we just motored and motored. We quit at mile 66, after eleven hours and 73 miles. We're at a very nice marina and we're just tired. We only have a little over 40 miles to go tomorrow and the weather is looking good for the time we will be in the water.


Pulling gravel from the river bottom
Two of the three instruments we watch all the time. The wind instrument, is mainly useful whe sailing. The depth and speed are crucial.
The other instrument we watch (our guide) is the gps.
Cool bluff
houses and a pretend lighthouse on a bluff
Bridge to nowhere

75 Miles and Houses on Bluffs

We're both improved, health wise, if not done with our colds. We started at a little after 8:00 this morning and went through our seventh and LAST lock after about seven miles. Then we just cruised down the river, making an excellent 6.5 knots with current and tailwind help. It got quite warm today, in the mid 80's. I had on a short sleeved tee almost all day. So we just kept going, and going...and going. We started at mile 215 and now we are at the Mermaid Marina at mile 140!
We pulled in here about 7:50, so it was 11 and a half hours.

It's easy to see why people are attracted to the Tennessee, and why there are SO MANY very expensive homes along its shores.

With very nasty weather predicted for Wednesday night and Thursday, we're going to See if we can finish up in two more days. We only have 115 miles to go!

Today's photos will showcase some of them. I don't think these need labels, and there are a lot of them!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Among the Living

It's 10:30 and we've been under way since 8:00. We cleared our sixth lock around 9:30 which is really when today's journey begins. I am feeling better, that is functional. I was NOT functional yesterday! in addition to everything else yesterday, we had some drama at the end of the day. We had planned on mooring at a marina just below Wilson Lock, the one we cleared this morning, and the time frame was a bit iffy, looking like we wouldn't get there until after 6:00. But we couldn't get through the lock! It was malfunctioning and there were a couple of barges ahead of us. So we started looking for an anchorage. We tried the side of the river we were on with no luck and then went across the river looking. A lot of inlets but all built up. We asked a couple on a fishing boat and they said there was a small marina in the inlet just around the corner. So we headed that way, but there were power lines in the way and we didn't want to risk going under. There was a gentleman grilling on his dock. So we hailed him and asked if we could tie up there for the night and he agreed. Finally! A small, hasty dinner and then to bed. NyQuil!

More later...

OK, it' later. Yesterday was a 61 mile day, starting at mile 321 and we ended up at mile 260.
Tonight we are at Grand Harbor Marina in Mississippi at mile 215. So we covered 45 miles today. And is this place grand! A big full service marina with condominiums and lots of other stuff.

I felt OK (sort of) this morning, but deteriorated during the day, but still never as bad as yesterday. Another sunny day with temps in the mid 70's, but windy. We arrived here a little after 4:00 and took an hour to refuel, pump out, load water and ice. We have a 20 gallon fuel tank and have not yet put in more than six gallons. That has worked out to an amazing 30 miles a gallon! We have plenty of fuel for the rest of the trip.

We both took showers then used the courtesy van to stop at a grocery store and get dinner at a restaurant. We both ordered burgers, and neither of us could even eat half. They were huge!
Back to the marina. Michael is doing some laundry. I'm going to finish this and get to bed!

Photos. (no map today, sorry...don't have the energy)
Our mooring at the good Samaritan's house.
Wilson lock - a 90 foot drop.
Going under another bridge.
Grand Harbor Marina
The Broken Spoke.
How much of my dinner I didn't eat.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Half Way and Michael to the Rescue

I have had bad colds before, but none worse than this. I have only driven occasionally today, Michael has stepped up and driven for hours. I'm just suffering. If this doesn't break tomorrow, I don't what I'll do.

We went through a lock and under another railway lift bridge. We got underway at 7:15 at mile marker 321. We're tied up at somebody's house of the night.

I fill in later.

No photos.

Friday, April 5, 2013

On Our Way Again!

This morning dawned clear and cool. We didn't get under way until almost 9:00 what with settling up, pumping out the holding tank, getting ice,and filing up with water. We both felt better today, although I've been waning as the day wore on.

Our fourth lock of the trip, Guntersville, was a problem. There was a barge locking through ahead of us and we had to wait two and a half hours! Some pretty scenery today, including Painted Bluff. We passed the barge that locked through ahead of us and saw another headed upstream.

It was sunny the whole day and temps got up into the mid sixties, but I was chilled all day. The next several days are supposed to bring temps in the mid to high seventies. Maybe I won't be chilled. One can only hope!

We started at mile 357 this morning and we're now at mile 321, so we covered 36 miles today. Our guidebook suggested a possible place to dock here, but there were a bunch of locals fishing from it and it didn't seem like a good idea to try to kick them off, so we headed across the river to a likely-looking place to anchor, which we did, after running aground once (Michael got us off), and pulling anchor once to move it to a deeper spot. Then we assembled and hung our radar reflector, and put together the auxiliary anchor, which Michael generously donated to the cause. We're using it to keep the stern from swinging too close to shore. We arrived here at 5:00, but weren't ready to start dinner until almost 7:00!

Dinner tonight was linguini with sweet onion and roasted garlic sauce, salad, and buttered bread. We know there is Parmesan cheese aboard somewhere, but we couldn't find it!

Today's photos

Our berth at Alred Marina in Guntersville
Waiting at the Guntersville lock
Painted Bluff
Passing the barge
Michael with the assembled radar reflector
Michael rowing the auxiliary anchor out in the dinghy