We have completed the Kentucky Lake portion of our trip and are now on the actual Tennessee River. Our first day we covered nearly 50 miles in some intense heat. The wind was blowing just about the same speed we were going, but only from our stern, so it was as still as can be onboard. We initially stopped in Duncan Bay for lunch, but the flies had the same idea and there is little worse than heat when the flies are around.
By late afternoon we were bushed, not having really recovered from our great weekend, so I found a place to anchor called Richland Creek. We went way back up in there facing a wind out of the North/Northeast and let the wind generators sing. The wind caused some light chop and that gentle lapping against the hull turns into slapping and thunking, something that makes sleep a bit restless, but we did OK.
It was Cheerios and coffee for breakfast and the day started out crisp and clean with low humidity. Rosie mopped the boat and I checked fluids in the engine room and found a loose hose clamp in the process. I also did some minor repair on our cockpit seat bracket; it's been a while since it's seen as much action as it did last Saturday night.
By 11 A.M. we were on our way and we planned on stopping at Pebble Island Marina to see what they had to offer at the ships store and since it was going to be noon when we arrived, we decided to patronize them by having lunch. The ships store had none of the four items that I was after and the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Sorry about their luck. We did talk to a guy who keeps his boat there about our wind generators and about his solar panels. He liked our setup and may add on one wind generator to his houseboat. He's headed to the gulf by late August so we may meet him on our way.
Birdsong Marina was another hour up the river and we wanted to go there too because we stopped there back in 1984 and have fond memories of it. The marina is about 2 miles up a crooked creek. I've ridden on moto-cross tracks with less turns. We hailed the marina on channel 16, then on 68, but as we got closer we got the impression that the place hadn't seen much in the way of upgrades since 1984. If I don't like the looks of the transient dock, Swing Set isn't getting close. Our friends know about some of the places we've docked Swing Set, so when I say it was bad, well...it was bad. I don't want to give them a bad rap if they don't deserve it, but I should have known. When I mention to the fella at Pebble Isle that we were stopping by Birdsong, he was mysteriously silent. I think now we know why.
After Birdsong the river gets narrow soon after and we started looking for an anchorage and that's when our day started going downhill. The wind was really blowing against the current, what there is of it, but causing a lot of chop. One place that was mentioned in Quimby's looked promising, but we couldn't get a hook to set using both anchors, and the rest of the places looked too skinny to stick our bow into.
Our travel day lasted longer than we wanted it to and it was late afternoon by the time we reached Perryville, Tennessee when we pulled into the Perryville Marina. I wanted to post pictures of the place but we are in a remote part of the world here and my photos won't load up on this blog. I'll try to add them all later. Suffice it to say, the marina harbor is interesting. As you enter the harbor there is a long row of floating houses, some are in better repair than others. There were sticks in the water directing us to the gas dock and it looked like no one was home, and again, like Birdsong, the docks were not in very good shape.
We pulled out of there and stuck our nose into the mouth of the Beech River where the charts promised an 18 foot depth but a bridge about 1/4 mile up the very small river blocked our path, or so we thought. I eyeballed the clearance of the bridge and posted Rosie atop the dock box on the flybridge with a view of the particulars. "Plenty of clearance", Rosie said, but plenty to her once questioned was about "one foot", she said. The river, more of a creek really, twisted around and we found a spot to drop the hook out of the way of anyone transiting the area at night.
We had a real nice dinner of leftovers and we both hit the computers; me with the blog and Rosie on Facebook. I gave up when I couldn't post pics and we finally hit the hay about 11 P.M. which is late for us. I woke up around 4 A.M., worried about the river rising and us not having enough clearance on the bridge to get out. I've inherited worrying for nothing from my dad. Hi Dad. While I was up anyway, I checked our charts and marked possible anchorages all the way to the Pickwick Lock and Dam and found plenty of them.
When we finally got up this morning I discovered that the river had actually dropped about a foot during the night. It could have gone the other way too; but I do have an alternative plan for just about anything, but it would have meant a little work, and I hate work.
This morning was absolutely gorgeous but we know the heat is coming. Temperature forecasts in much of this part of the country are in triple digits. We're scaling back our miles traveled for a couple of days, so we only planned a twenty mile day today and that's what we did. We anchored behind a nice big island just 2.5 miles up from Clifton, Tennessee at the 155 mile marker. We dropped the dinghy in and went for a ride to see what the Clifton Marina had to offer. They didn't have anything we needed but we were offered the courtesy car anyway. We settled for use of their dock to park the dinghy later when we return to go to dinner at one of the more popular restaurants in town, just "up the hill" from the marina.
We motored back to the boat and laid around in the water some and tackled a fix it project on our steering but did more harm than good. Presently we have the generator going to cool down the cabin and finish this blog. If I hit "publish" and nothing happens, I'll be adding on what happens tonight onto this blog too. If not, I'll post again when we have better service here with AT and no T. Here goes nuthin'.