Monday, May 21, 2012

Pulling Anchor and Heading Upriver

  We're becoming right at home here on Old Hickory Lake but are getting antsy and will head upriver this morning. Yesterday started out beautiful again weather wise and the cove we have called home for the weekend started filling up early with weekend boaters.
  Before it got too late, however, I took the dinghy to resupply the beer cooler and went back to the marina that sold us the older beer on Friday. A nice girl was taking inventory of the beer cooler when I walked in and I started checking out packaging dates on the available Budweiser and she said that she thought the date on the 12 pack was September of 2013. Sigh. I remarked as to how it couldn't possibly be that date and began to worry that it was September of 2011, but found that it was February of 2012, a bit long in the tooth but acceptable. The girl took up her post at the cash register while I continued with my selection when a well dressed gentleman asked me if there was a problem with the beer. I prefaced my response by saying that I wasn't complaining, but he did ask, so I told him about the beer we bought the other day that had a November date on the package.
  He immediately told me that he would refund my money if we only returned the product, but I said that I'd take responsibility for my mistake but that his distributor was not doing him any favors by trying to palm off last years beer to his customers. He agreed and was very appreciative of my comments, going as far as introducing himself as the owner of the marina and helping me to the dinghy with my purchases. I still paid way too much for a case of beer but I told Rosie that if I wanted to pay Stop and Go prices for beer, we better sell the boat and buy a camper. I feel like we made a friend with the marina owner and he'll be glad to see us come back. Still, this is what it's like selling beer to an ex beer factory employee.
  By the time I returned to the boat, Rosie and Holly were both ready for a swim and the cove was filling up with boaters. A 100 footer had pulled in and I took a picture of it, but it apparently didn't turn out. Just picture a very large fiberglass boat with a hull having classic lines, but with a superstructure from out of a Star Wars movie. Just plain big and ugly, similar to a couple of my high school gym teachers.

 We were taking in the scenery when the fella that owned this boat motored in and calmly dropped his hook and took a swim. We he returned to his boat, I took the dinghy over and chatted him up about his classic vessel. He was the second owner but had owned it many years and has just about rebuilt the entire boat, a 1968 Sidewinder. I was interested in the boat because a friend of ours from the Meramec River days had a Tahiti that looked almost identical to this boat. Don will appreciate the memory.
  It turns out that the owner of the Sidewinder grew up on Old Hickory Lake and Jerry lived "right around the corner" and gave me his complete address. He was "in the music industry" and dropped names of some country music stars who I didn't know and he also directed us to cruise by Johnny Cash's house on our way upriver when we go, a house now owned by Barry Gibb. Barry won't be home today, I suppose. His brother Robin died yesterday. Another coincidence we have encountered, albeit a sad one.
  I make note of Jerry's calm placement of his anchor as he putted into the cove, and watching boaters drop their anchors is an interesting thing for us, especially the ones with smaller boats with no windlass. A small Danforth or mushroom anchor is typically deployed and it's the anchor tossing that we get a kick out of. I don't know why people think that tossing the anchor is going to get it far enough away from the boat to do any good, but various methods of tossing are used; anywhere from the golf swing toss to the shot put style. I have yet to see the Will Rogers method, swinging the anchor around the head and letting go, lasso style, but I'm surprised that I haven't.
  After my comments yesterday about kids and the weather, two things happened yesterday that dripped with irony. First, a whole tribe of kids swam over to visit Holly. One of the little girls was named Holly too, and she got an extra helping of face licks from her namesake, and a couple of extra happy barks too. Their parents seemed to be interested in my offer to babysit, cheap, and I was almost afraid they would take us up on the offer.
  The other thing that happened was that some clouds tried to roll in, along with some thunder and lightening. The threat chased some boaters off but nothing serious developed and things returned to normal. We grilled some hot dogs for dinner and had a feast of dogs and cabbage salad. Yum. It was very calm when we turned in after some T.V. and reading but at around 12 A.M. I heard a strange noise and got up to investigate.
  Swing Set had pulled anchor and we were setting alongside a private dock as if we had planned it. I probably should have put some fenders out and tied up, but instead we positioned our boat in the middle of the empty cove with the bow pointed into the wind and about 200 feet of rode out. It was "a breezin' and a blowin'" as a friend from Meramec Marina used to say, and Rosie and I stood watch until we were satisfied that our anchor was happily stuck in the mud bottom. No rain materialized, but justice has been served, my chuckle over how other people cast their anchors has been adequately repaid.
  Speaking of a mud bottom, as pretty as this lake is, there are still litterbugs around, or at least the remnants of past litterbugs. I was walking on the bottom near the boat yesterday and I stepped on what felt like a rusty old steel soda or beer can and as the can collapsed around my toes, I sustained a scratch on one of the middle ones. This morning I applied some antiseptic to my toe to fend off infection. I wondered aloud to Rosie about the possibility of contracting lockjaw from my injury and I think she was genuinely concerned about my health but I did detect a wistful look on her face about the prospects of me getting lockjaw. I've long given up using the silent treatment as I know Rosie enjoys it too much.


  1. Thanks for blog...Keep it coming

  2. Hey Mike how long have you been retired from AB? Things have really changed when it comes to out of date beer. Five years ago, old beer in an account might just get you a visit from Three Sticks himself. Now that the Belguims own the brewery, the warehouse is always packed with beer even during the winter. Beer sits at least a month before making its way to the trucks. My wholesaler has the feeling that once it is sold to a retail customer, it is thiers till they sell it. We do not pick up old beer anymore. Code dates and born on dates are less visible and the old julian code dating is being used again. I wish that InBev would not use the Anheuser Busch name in their company name. The next time you are at a grocery store look at the dates. Marinas are notorious for having old beer. It is priced for convenience and a captive market. At the Alton Marina, I would say we picked up half of what we delivered there. Enjoying the blog! Have fun and be safe.

  3. Hey Mike I saw Don at Dog Days last weekend and he sent me your blog address. Looks like your having a great time. Be safe. Michael M.