Friday, May 25, 2012
Back to Pearson's Cedar Creek Marina
This is our view as we pulled out of our anchorage yesterday morning at around 7A.M. We had our breakfast at the helm and it was a beautiful morning. We wanted to get to Gallatin, TN yesterday evening so we got an early start.
We weren't in too much of a hurry to not try some stuff out. Here I'm trolling a line behind the boat going our normal 7-8 miles per hour to see how the rod takes it. It appears that this will work just fine, now all I need is a fishing license.
By mid day we finally found out really where we were, according to the mile marker that was tacked to a tree. It's how it's done in these parts of the Cumberland River. We were ahead of schedule so we stopped for lunch and a swim behind a nice island and stayed over an hour.
By mid afternoon the temperature was heating up and I stopped for a dip in the middle of the river. We still had seen very little in the way of other boats with the exception of a bass boat or two.
Cocktail hour came fairly early due to the high temperatures, of course. Those little stainless steel ice cubes in Rosie's glass were a parting gift from our friends Carl and Mary. I wanted to show them that they are getting put to good use.
We were leaving the river and getting more into the lake part of Old Hickory Lake. This house looked to be the oldest we had seen, sitting on a point with a gorgeous view.
We started seeing some pleasure boats as we approached Gallatin. Although the people around here are friendly when we meet them, the habit of waving like a rube is not one that people seem to do around here. At home in St.Louis, we all wave at each other like it's our first day on our boats. When we first got down here we were waving at everyone like we were a couple of idiots and people just stared or didn't even look. We're still gonna wave.
We got to the Cherokee Marina and Steakhouse right on time, at about 4 P.M. We pulled up to the dock and were met by Chris the harbormaster.
We were nestled in for the night at the gas dock for $15 and extended our cocktail hour a bit too long. I started seeing the parking lot fill up and in my boating mind, figured it was holiday weekend boaters starting to show up but it was folks flocking to the Steakhouse.
By the time we got our duds on and made our way up to the restaurant we found ourselves in the middle of an hour wait. There was benches outside for people to gather and a loudspeaker to call you to dinner, so we rolled with the flow and talked to anyone who would talk back and soon enough we were seated to begin our feast.
I am no restaurant critic, so I'm not going to pass judgement on our dinner. Just say that we could have made better choices in menu items and the fact that the place does not serve alcohol doesn't mean we weren't three sheets to the wind by the time we finished dinner at nearly 10 o'clock.
Finding the pillow was no problem once we got back to the boat. During the night Holly woke us raising a ruckus and when I got up to investigate I found two trespassers making a getaway from behind the boat. Holly was still barking as the varmints made a loud exit, quacking loudly as they swam away. The fact that Holly could detect two ducks mounting our swim platform proves that she will make a good watchdog for us. She got extra attention in the morning if that is even possible.
We had offers to take us to the store but decided when we got up to take a walk to the closest store and left Swing Set alone with Holly. There was a convenience store at the end of the road to the marina at the main highway and the sign saying "Lakeside Market" looked like an oasis to us.
Once we got inside and began to see what we could get, disappointment settled in upon finding that our choices centered on beer and Snickers Bars. There were some hamburger buns and we cleaned them out and took all four packs. I asked the nice girl behind the counter if they had lunch meat and she looked confused before remarking with some regret that they didn't. We were about to leave with a case of Bud Light, some buns and crunchy snacks when I spied a small cooler sitting in a lonely corner of the market and there was gold inside in the form of bologna, cheese, eggs, butter and some yogurt.
I began to snatch stuff out of there like I had never seen flat meat before and Rosie had to put my brakes on. With a wild smile on my face, I even waved a package of bologna at the girl behind the counter and explained to her that they did indeed have lunch meat. I was even able to broker a deal on a half loaf of bread near the checkout that was designed for some deli sandwiches that were advertised on the door but apparently the "deli" part was a significant missing item.
We checked out our stash and even got $40 in cash. I wanted more but it would have cleaned her out at the early hour of our visit. I told her to call someone and stock up for a big weekend and she agreed that it would be a good thing to do.
We barely crossed the busy highway and here came the harbormaster Chris in a big Cadillac and gave us a ride back to the boat. Had I known we were getting a ride I would have made a bigger beer purchase. Chris offered to let us take his car to the local Kroger store but we'll play the cards we're dealt. We don't want to use up all our favors in one place. Rosie and I both agree that getting provisions is an adventure and each one will be different.
We gave Swing Set a bath and filled up her water tanks and cast off after leaving a RiverBill's.com sticker on an electrical box at the gas dock for them to remember us by.
All that bologna made me hungry for a fried "baloney" and egg sandwich but our inverter had faulted during the night and we decided to wait until we were under way for Rosie to make breakfast. It was odd that the inverter had faulted because we didn't use any electricity after stopping, except for the twelve volt stuff.
I soon found out why the inverter had faulted on low voltage when Rosie came up and said that there wasn't enough juice in the inverter bank to run the coffee percolator and the microwave after we had been running the normal amount of time for them to be charged. When I looked at the voltage meters on the instrument panel I saw that we weren't charging like we should and most likely weren't charging during the later part of our cruise the day before. Cocktail hour being early may have played some part in me not noticing.
The fact that both alternator belts were replaced on the Caterpillars 100 hours ago made me suspect that the belts had stretched a bit and were too loose to spin the alternators properly. I calculated a plan and came up with a good one.
We were only a couple of miles from our friends at Pearson's Cedar Creek Marina and I remembered not only did they serve breakfast all day, there was help in the form of a mechanic if we needed one. We pulled into the same spot we were in four days ago and decided to address first things first and order breakfast. We shared a breakfast burrito and some shrimp hash that was delicious, drowning it all with some fresh coffee before I attacked the alternator belts.
Nearly an hour later in a hot engine room and we were back in business. I fired both engines up and the voltmeters were registering a charge. Before starting my work, the idea came to me that if the docking fee wasn't too stiff, we would just stay here and enjoy some air conditioning and the band that was going to entertain for the evening. I found out that we could keep our boat right where it was, at the center of the activity later, for less than $35. That's a deal we couldn't pass up and switched on the air.
We had plenty of sun for the past few days and we decided to do some other chores on the boat before I caught up with this blog post. A nap is in order because the band is playing right next to where Swing Set is sitting and we like it that way. Everyone that has a boat here has to pass right by and we have already met some nice folks who want to know about our travels.
The evening should prove to be a fun one before we head out early tomorrow and make our way back to Skinnydip Cove tomorrow. Some folks we met there last weekend want to get together again and we agreed to meet them tomorrow afternoon. Of course, we could just stay here until Monday....