Our last entry had us at anchor just up river from lock and dam 52 on the Ohio River. We started our evening ritual, dinghy down, then Toots into the dinghy. We’ve been working on how to get Toots off the back of the boat and down the 5′ to the dinghy.
We tried three different ways;
The pass between Dearest and myself, that didn’t work. Toots seemed to grow extra long toenails and hold on to everything.
The Life-jacket on and use it as a carrying strap with me trying to carry Toots one-handed and climb down the ladder, that didn’t work either. Toots wiggling around at the end of my arm and me swing around on the ladder.
Dearest suggested we use the dingy crane and hook the handle of the life-jacket and lower her down. This seems to be the best so far. Toots doesn’t really care for the idea, however with me below and Dearest above we try to keep hands on her at all times. I have to say it’s the best so far. Toots goes up easier than down but she is getting better and more used to flying and we seem to have solved the on/off problem for the mean time.
We spent a peaceful night anchored, had a beautiful sunset, that I posted on Facebook.
We found an anchor alarm app from Active Captain. (Anybody that does any cruising should check out the Active Captain web site, it will help.) The anchor alarm uses GPS to triangulate onto where you set the anchor. Just a hint try to start the alarm close to where the anchor is dropped, and give yourself some room to swing. Sometimes if the GPS signal is lost the alarm will sound. With our first attempt Dearest could walk around the boat and if she got to the back of the boat the alarm would sound. We reset the alarm from as close to the anchor as possible and had a quite night.
We were in a good spot tows coming south would be slowing for the lock and tows coming north would be still leaving the lock and moving under the nearby bridge. This gave us a night of very little rocking.
We left our anchor weaving between tows that were waiting for the lock and proceeded towards Paducah, Kentucky. After our lecture from Fern at Hoppie’s we decided to bypass the Tennessee river at first and head for the Cumberland River a little farther north. This would add a few extra miles but less tow traffic and a more pleasure craft friendly lockmaster.
The Cumberland River is much narrower and on a Sunday we only saw one tow boat working a staging area and just a few small pleasure craft.
The Cumberland is a scenic ride with many turns and a current that is surprisingly strong, and slowed us 2-3 miles per hour. Dearest helmed the boat for the first part of the day and I took over a little later. While taking my turn at the wheel I found myself playing riverboat captain, with visions of Mark Twain and old style steam boats with paddle wheels trying to find the part of the river with the least current. Constantly watching the depth and the banks of the river. It was a fun ride.
We came to the Barkley Lock and Dam, the highest lock we have seen so far on our adventure. The lock has a lift of 58 feet. From the pool waiting to enter we could see birds flying below the top of the dam. It reminded me of a scene from movies like “King Kong” or “Tarzan” with birds flying along the edge of the escarpment. I was impressed.
Once inside the lock the ride up was quite fast and we covered the 58 feet in a shorter time than the 12 feet in lock 52 the day before.
We arrived at Green Turtle Bay Marina (GTB) and Resort shortly after leaving the dam and found our slip and were ready for a few days at the dock.
We found the people of GTB very helpful and accommodating. It was time for some routine maintenance on engines, so we scheduled the work to be done while we were there. Our stay went from 3 days to a week with special prices the longer we stayed. If it makes a difference if you have fuel enough for the additional trip up Kentucky lake it is worth the money to wait to fill your tanks at Pebble Isle Marina on the South end of Kentucky lake, Fifty cents a gallon less plus Boats US discounts.
Upon leaving GTB we proceeded South on Kentucky Lake to Paris Landing State Park. Just a short distance, 40 miles. Wind was blowing right up the lake at between 15-20 and with a long distance gave the lake some pretty good chop. Nothing real bad but Dearest did mention that it was like being back on Lake Michigan and she would be happy to get back to river travel.
There was lots of room at Paris State Park, attendants didn’t assign spots but told you to pick a good one. It seemed that the attendants were more interested in the Football game on TV and the nice looking lady behind the desk. It happens. Our stay was not bad but we heard from others that had little of no help at all. It is a pretty place that could be handled better. However, we did have an attendant that was interested in fishing from the dock next to ours.
From Paris we went to Pebble Isle, as spot we had planned to skip but stopped for other reasons. I would now make it a primary stop. The owners were very helpful and with extra people coming in called for a cook to open the restaurant. We stayed an extra day due to weather and the owners put out free snacks for travelers that evening. A car was available to use, with stores close by, great fuel prices and less than a dollar a foot slip rental, makes Pebble Isle a great stopping point on the trip.
We have made a longer day today, 70 miles, with great weather and beautiful scenery the day went faster than we had expected. We are now in a nice small marina in Bath Springs, Tennessee.
Tomorrow, if the weather holds, we move south again. We are starting to realize that we are moving into the real south. We should pass the Shiloh Military Area. Even the charts are showing Civil War areas. We are following history now.
Until next time we are having a great time and hope to be able to do some more sight-seeing once we finish with the Looper rendezvous. Schedules can be so confining.