Friday, October 24, 2014

One week on the water

The weather has been great, the waters are calm and the scenery wonderful. Cruising the Tennessee is a great experience. In our opinion this has been the best all around experience. The boaters are courteous, the locals are friendly and accommodating, the fuel is comparitively dirt cheap and the marinas are running $1.00 per foot with electric. We feel like we died and went to cruisers heaven.
We entered our first lock yesterday and having been through several on other trips this was also a good experience. Unlike all the other locks we have gone through, these locks have floating bollards. You just throw your line around the bollard and it goes up a rail as you rise. These locks are faily large because they are used for commercial barge traffic. So we are like little rubber ducks in a tub. We passed a few working barges on our way up the river. Yes, the Tennessee actually flows north, so even though we are heading south we are going up river. Besides the barges being "towed" there were also barges being used as they were mining sand and gravel from the river bed. I used towed in quotes because one would think of towing as being pulled, but the barges are being pushed by tugs. It is amazing to see one tug pushing as many as 6 barges two wide. I installed AIS on the boat before we left. This is equipment that allows me to identify the tugs well in advance of seeing them. I can call them on the radio by name and ask them how they would like me to maneuver around them. They are friendly and courteous and very appreciative that we respect their lack of maneuverability. 
Below are some pictures taken along the way 

Guess where we stayed one night? Yes, the Mermaid Marina! The sign was the highlight of the accommodations. When you cruise some of the experiences you have make the trip most interesting. The grocery store was 15 miles away. They lent us their work van to use. It had 104,000 miles and was previously the town van. You had to jiggle the key for about 5 minutes so you could turn the ignition. If cleanliness is next to Godliness then we were in hell. A variety of things were thrown all over the place, electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, a lifer preserver, oil filters toilet tissue and what van wouldn't be complete without 22 caliber long rifle bullets. 

Our friends Rich and Cheryl early in the morning before pulling anchor. 

They do expect high water along the river. This height is typical of many of the houses along the way. 

Passing a tow on the river. 

Holy lockamoly!

Inside the lock during the lift. 

The floating bollard.

The lock princess and her wand. 

This is my sonar in the lock. Look at all those fish. We could have scooped up dinner. 

Jess and Cheryll with a cruser who failed to bring enough food. 

You can always find a good sunset when cruising. Every time you think you saw the best, another one comes along 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy the voyage. Chic & Lin