Friday, June 29, 2012

Clifton to Savannah, TN

  Before I start on the segment from Clifton, TN to Savannah, TN, I want to show these pictures I wanted to attach from the last post.
  The floating homes in the picture here are in the Perryville Marina. They back up to a fairly steep cliff and are pretty neat really, but some need some fixing up.

  This is the Beech River we found ourselves in, looking for an anchorage after a long day. I thought the picture would reflect just how narrow this channel was, but compared to what we have been traveling in, this was narrow but it doesn't look like it here.

  This is the low bridge that we had to get under on our way out of the river. The picture was taken from the flybridge. We had plenty of clearance coming out, but Rosie was right on when she told me going in that we had "about a foot" of room to spare. Glad the river went down during the night instead of up.

  Heading up the Tennessee River towards Pickwick Lake you see lots of river houses, many of them are new construction. This is a row of them and they are all very nice and they look affordable. I took this one for our friend James. He told me to be on the lookout for a house down here. Here ya go, James.
  We stopped into the Mermaid Marina on the way, just to see if they had anything we needed. As we pulled into a very narrow opening into the harbor and approached the gas dock/restaurant/lounge, a pretty girl came out and asked if we were tying up. I took a look at the rubber tires lined up along the dock and decided to ask first. "Do you have groceries?", was my question. To which she replied, "Yes, we do."
  I then got down to the nitty gritty and asked if she had bread. When pretty girl had to go in to ask someone if they indeed had bread, I figured right then that not bothering to tie up was a good decision.
  "We don't carry bread, but we have snacks and stuff", came the girl's report a bit later. Not being in dire need of "snacks and stuff", we pressed on.
  Fast forward to our trip in the dinghy to a restaurant in Clifton. We found "Smokies" bar and restaurant on a search site on the iPad. I read claims of "best restaurant in Clifton", "fine dining", etc. We pulled into the Clifton Marina and were directed to a place we could tie up and walk "just up the hill" to Smokies.

  Here's Rosie posing in front of "Smokies" on our way out. The trouble is, we ate there before we walked out. Normally we wouldn't even bother to eat anywhere as grubby as this place was, but I figured we had already walked all the way there, so what the hell.
  Even though the one half of the place had a sort of store where cigarettes and beer were sold, along with a few bags of "snacks and stuff", the waitress told us that they couldn't serve beer with our food. Hoo boy. Rosie ordered her usual chicken sandwich and I had a burger and we got the heck out of there. As we walked along on the grass next to the highway on our way back to the dinghy, one thing we were thankful for was that we didn't pay for a slip for the night. By the way, I think "Smokies" was named after the cook. Not sure if the smoke coming from the kitchen was from the beef or from her Marlboro.
  The trip from Clifton to our current anchorage just up from Savannah, TN was about 35 miles and we took a very leisurely pace of 6.5 M.P.H., stopping every hour or so for a dip in some very clear water.

  The river through here is also lined with some very nice homes. We thought this one was unique with the tracks to take the pontoon boat right up under the house. Hope they get the boat out of there before a flood shoots it through the roof of the garage into the living room.

  We approached Savannah with hopes of finding a short way to get into town and procure some groceries. We aren't getting too low, but it's been two weeks since we've gotten any and we are starting to look for an opportunity to get some. The main part of town was blocked with homes such as this one, old south construction and gated. Of the many homes we've seen, many much bigger than this one, this place was impressive due to the elaborate landscaping.
  The public park and ramp was too far away from town for walking, so we decided to forgo any thoughts of shopping in Savannah. We only have about 16 miles to the Pickwick Lock and Dam and thought about locking through but when we came upon our current anchorage, we decided to stay the night and make a nice day out of it instead of a chore.
  We put down the hook behind Wolf Island, behind actually two islands in a nice slough with some shallows at the top to prevent much boat wake activity. The current is a little more pronounced here which meant hanging on when taking a dip, but we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, sunning and swimming. I even cast a fishing line in too. We were positioned with the bow of Swing Set pointing into a nice pleasant breeze, but also into the setting sun which made for a cooler seat in the cockpit, something we'll have to pay attention to in the coming days. Predictions here for today are for 106 degrees.
  After dinner last night of the last of our minced clam penne with some more of our Steve Heubner home made pork sausage, we watched a movie on Netflix because we had zero T.V. reception. We cooled down the cabin while watching the movie and then turned off the A/C and had a nice cool night even with the hatch closed. I woke to Rosie mopping the decks at nearly 8 A.M., something that rarely happens. (Sleeping late, not the mopping.)
   We do have a very good Internet connection and thus were able to catch up here before heading upriver. I'll call the Pickwick Lock and Dam before we haul anchor to see what the commercial traffic is like at the lock. Our plan is to anchor in a cove just past the Pickwick Landing State Park where there is a waterfall. We stayed there 28 years ago and figure it is probably a good hangout for the holiday weekend.
  Thanks for all the well wishes we receive in our emails and on Facebook from our friends and strangers alike. Hope you all have a safe holiday weekend.


  1. We went through Savanna on our way to Florence, AL last year. Nice little town - "Catfish capital of the world." The fishing below Pickwick Dam is supposed to be awesome. We saw houses like your pix from the highway as we crossed the river north of town.

    Unlike our river, the TVA turns the current on and off almost each day according to their power generation schedule, which you can find on their website. You'll notice it. So be aware as it may affect your anchorages.

    The waterfall is a popluar spot on Pickwick. We heard people talking about it.

    Happy 4th!

  2. I forgot to mention that the water did drop about a foot last night. I called the lock and found out a tow was just in front of us so I took it very slow and got to the lock just as the tow was pulling into it. We dropped a hook, turned on the A/C, made lunch and waited our turn in the cool comfort of our salon.

  3. Waterfall Cove is one of my favorite all time anchorages!! Simply beautiful. You should read a blog from some former cruising friends of mine @ They had some great posts about good friends and times at Waterfall Cove! Look out for Bud the Iceman!!

    1. We found out that waterfall cove was just past the entrance to the Tenn-Tom and too small to anchor Swing Set with the amount of weekend traffic in the cove. We are taking the dinghy in there this weekend.