Days 96-100; October 1-5; Last half of the Tennessee River from Pebble Isle Marina to Mermaid Marina, Double Island anchorage, Clifton Marina, Wolf Island anchorage, and finally to Pickwick Lake and the Aqua Yacht Harbor where the Namaste will hang out for the next three weeks. Total miles traveled: 1217
On the first day of this leg Ron, who was in the lead, tried six anchorage spots along the way before settling on a marginal harbor at the Mermaid Marina. We watched as Ron would ever so slowly nose into a bay or channel only to back up, turn around and meet us back in the middle of the River. Apparently the Army Core of Engineers had decided to let water out of this part of the river. When we finally arrived at Mermaid Marina we were in the lead and upon directions from the Harbor Master, went directly aground as we approached the entrance. They came out in a pontoon boat with a 70 hp engine but couldn’t get us off – it took a pontoon boat with 90 horses and we popped right back into the channel. Here we paid the going rate for overnight accommodations with no phone or internet service, no restrooms or showers. The saving grace of the place was that they sold beer and that there was plenty of space for Sammy to run.
At this moment Fall made it’s arrival on October 1st. The wind picked up (part of our going aground issue along with current and a vortex something or other) and the temperatures dropped along with a light mist hanging about. Until now we had not worn long pants or sox and only the occasional sweatshirt in the early morning or late evening. Since then we have been digging deeper and deeper into the winter clothing bag. Today the high will be 58 (maybe) and the low tonight will be 52 but the sun comes back tomorrow and it will be in the 80’s by mid next week. Jo Ann bought a mum plant to decorate the Namaste for Autumn.
At the Double Island (I only saw one) anchorage we were joined by two boats we knew but it was cool enough that nobody but us manned their dinghy’s to be social. We took Sammy to shore where there was a long beach for running, a much used volleyball net which made us think of Lexi and a quiet spot to enjoy peace and the last of summer wildflowers. Over Chart Hour (aka Happy Hour or Dockside Hour) we shared our going away PowerPoint presentation with Vickie and Ron. There were some chuckles about the anticipations vs the realities – for example, did Jim ever tell me it might rain on the loop? However, for the most part our experience has been beyond our expectations.
On our final night along the Tennessee River, the Clifton Marina staff served spaghetti dinner to about 60 transient boaters and the Democratic Party of Clifton. This was particularly helpful since Clifton doesn’t have a restaurant and because we were hosting our good Boyne City boating friends, Jim and Kathy Mongene who are now building a beautiful home in Knoxville.
Well folks, after we share dinner together with our newest best friends to celebrate Ron’s birthday tomorrow, the blog will take a break until approximately the 25 of October as we drive to Michigan for a much needed fix of family and friends. Be well until next time. . .
Boat Name of the Day: “One Bay at a Time” (on a Bayliner boat belonging to a Canadian couple) tied with “Aft of Eden” (a small, homemade houseboat with the home port of Monterey, CA)
Bad Boat Name of the Day: Shameless (on a large ill cared for yacht)
Happy belated birthday to Patty Bolea and welcome to the world Max Shifflet-Chila!
Sorry, no pictures this time – The Mighty MacBook Pro is having trouble downloading – slower than slow connections these days – stay tuned