Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lake Barkley to Clarksville, TN

  We've been MIA for a few days and there is good reason. Our friends Brett and Christine Thompson, along with 'Tines parents Madge and Jerry Koerner, keep their boats at Green Turtle Bay on Lake Barkley, just a canal away from Kentucky Lake.
  When we were resting after a long trip last Friday in Shedds Creek on Kentucky Lake, Brett brought a dinghy over and we caught up on gossip and then met him over at Green Turtle Bay where Madge and Brett helped us into the dock. Jerry was on his way and Christine needed to be picked up in Nashville, so we spent the evening with Madge and Jerry at the Club at Green Turtle Bay and had a blast.
  On Saturday morning, Christine took Rosie to the local IGA where she stocked us back up on stuff we might not see in a while, one of the items being cabbage that Rosie thought was iceberg lettuce. It made for an interesting salad.

  We also got to tour Madge and Jerry's 480 Sea Ray. It is absolutely gorgeous and Madge keeps this boat spotless.

  Brett and Christine's 42 foot convertible Silverton is a beautiful boat too. The layout is very efficient and the best thing is that the previous owner opted for an additional refrigerator in the galley instead of an oven. Brett uses it for beer only. There is a reason we are friends.

  When we got back to Swing Set, parked for a few hours in a slip, we threw rocks at it, our friends boats are that nice.
  On Saturday afternoon we took Swing Set and followed Blonde Moment to the rock quarry on Kentucky Lake. It's the local party cove and we did the place justice, even though it was cold and rainy. Brett and Christine's friends Allan and Agada came by in their 340 Sea Ray and we were troopers and made an afternoon of it.
  If that wasn't enough, we cruised back to the dock by dusk and we dropped Swing Set off, said goodbye to Holly, and jumped aboard Blonde Moment with Brett, Christine, Allan, Agada, and two more friends of theirs, Dave and Wendy, to motor up to Buzzard Rock to have dinner. I can attest to the fact that life is not complete without several orders of "Buzzard Balls", and some other dishes that are usually found on the floor somewhere, but taste like heaven.

  This is the dock that we visited at Green Turtle Bay and this is only about 3/4s of it. Don't forget anything in the car; it's a long walk back. Almost every slip has a patio area and it's a non-stop flow of boaters coming back and forth and everyone is friendly and offers a hello or two.
  Sunday was overcast and nasty and we joined everyone is some non-productive lounging until Brett and Christine had to cast off for St.Louis. Rosie and I shared a cocktail or two with Madge and Jerry and were happy when they let us join them at the club again on Sunday night.

  The club at Green Turtle Bay sets on stilts and is very nice inside. On Sunday night, Terry the bartender holds court and it's an event that shouldn't be missed. Some of the staff comes by and Terry and them usually have some good natured ribbing to dispense with during the course of the evening. It turns out that Terry is also from St. Louis and we had quite a few mutual acquaintances, some of them that actually stayed out of prison or didn't get blown up.

  Here's me, Rosie, Madge and Jerry having a real good time. Right after this, I tried to take Terry's picture and he politely declined having his picture taken. In fact, he declined so politely I was lucky to get a beer afterwards. It was a fun evening and we were the last to leave.
  Rosie and I got a slow start on Monday morning and headed up the Cumberland River on a very dismal morning. We didn't know how far or where we would wind up on Monday evening, but we quickly found out that the advice we got from some savvy captains at Green Turtle Bay about staying in the channel on Lake Barkley was true. From what I could tell, the lake was about 6 feet below normal. I began to wonder about where we were going to be able to drop a hook for the night.
  I saw some promising spots late in the afternoon and made an approach to one at Devil's Elbow and didn't like what the depth finder was reporting, so we pressed on. I saw another spot on the chartplotter that had some secondary markers, indicating a place to anchor off the channel, but others like it looked pretty skinny to me. I called a marina at Bumpus Mills, Tennessee and the nice lady told me to come on in but don't stray from the marked channel. I asked about a place to anchor and she said there were plenty of them, even knowing we wouldn't wind up as customers because they didn't serve diesel.
  We followed the markers in, but I wasn't sure of where to drop the hook when an older fella in a bass boat told us to follow him and he took us right to a perfect anchorage where we spent the night.

  I BBQ'd some pork steaks and then we sat on the deck to watch the sunset. You've seen sunsets, but you haven't seen Holly hold still like this for a picture. No sunset, just this shot.
  I tried to write the blog but cell service was poor. We played dominoes and turned in before 10 P.M. We woke after a delightful nights sleep to a soupy fog that lifted shortly after we had breakfast and Rosie was able to get a million bugs off the boat only using several buckets of Cumberland River water. I offered moral support because Rosie insisted on going it alone.

  We headed up the Cumberland River and set our sights for Clarksville, Tennessee, knowing that we could arrive around 5 P.M. doing our customary 7 miles per hour. I did find out that I had to be judicious about my union breaks with Rosie at the helm. She mistook a guy in a red tee shirt for a starboard marker: Understandable until you find out that he was in a jon boat with three other fellas.

  The Cumberland today was a slow, lazy river, not much bigger than the Meramec back home. The crystal clear water soon gave way to a murky debris field due to some recent rains, but it wasn't too bad.
  I checked earlier in the day on Active Captain for anchorages but didn't find any, but did see a courtesy dock at Clarksville. They offer free electricity, but no water. There is no charge at all. Ding ding ding. We're in.

  Here's Swing Set at the city dock at Clarksville where we left her and Holly. We walked up the hill to a neat little district lined with bars and restaurants. We picked out a place called Kelly's and met with some of the locals and had a nice time.
  Another vessel was at the dock when we got back and they were headed back the way we had come. We traded information and were both glad to get it. I know where the best place to get fuel is now in Old Hickory Lake, and he knows where to toss his anchor tomorrow night at Bumpus Mills.
  We plan on locking through at the Cheatham Lock tomorrow but are in no hurry. We're less than 70 miles away from Nashville and really don't want to get there until Friday or Saturday night. I hope tomorrow we can find a place to set the hook and spend a day and do nothing. We'll let you know how it goes.


  1. Rosie has always liked to mix things up! She is just making sure you are paying attention! lol

  2. Good to know things are going well. Just one question - where is Holly's life jacket?

  3. Holly is on a leash. No danger of going in with the leash while we are holding it.