Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wilson Lake

  With all of our groceries stowed away it was time to unwind on Friday. It was too early to head up to the restaurant at Florence Harbor so we made a cocktail on the nicely cooled down salon on Swing Set. It seems like plugging in to shore power makes the A/C units work better.
  We called our friends Debi and John in Florida, and it was Debi whose birthday we missed the day before and she said it was OK, that at least we called on John's birthday. I told her that I'd rather be lucky than good and I was lucky because we had forgotten John's birthday too. All of these important dates are on our calendar just like when we were in St. Louis, but I don't find myself looking at the calendar much anymore. We had a nice chat, made promises to call more often, then Rosie and I headed up to the Barge Inn at the marina.
  We were asked if we wanted to sit outside or inside, we chose inside at the bar. You can't meet people sitting at a table usually. We sit at the bar to either inflict ourselves on the bartender, or to meet any unfortunates who stumble into our web. We perused the menu but decided to order a pizza to take with us later, deciding instead to give the ice cold Bud Lights our undivided attention.
  The staff was friendly and a band started playing at 8 P.M., and by then Rosie was bending the ears on a couple on her right and I met a local guy on my left who was a chiropractor. We exchanged numbers with me planning a visit to his office on our way back through in few weeks. He's going to have someone pick me up. My chiropractor showed me on his iPhone where the party cove was in Wilson Lake, just about five miles up from the dam, just in case we were interested in such things.
  At about ten o'clock we had had enough so we took our pizza back to the boat to eat it washed down with some refreshing bottled water. I will tell you that the pizza was one of the best we had ever eaten. We ordered the specialty meat pizza with extra mozzarella.
  We woke to rain on Saturday morning and after breakfast I topped off the oil in the Caterpillars before the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we started to bake. We both washed the boat and Rosie declared her desire to stay at the harbor one more night and enjoy the chilly air conditioning. I agreed in principle, but we discovered that our water tank was on empty and we needed to fill up the tank if we were going to stay. In the first place, we don't run the hose direct to our water system due to my concern about over pressurizing our plumbing and breaking something. Secondly, while I was filling our bucket to wash the boat I noticed black flecks of junk coming from the water supply. Once we found out we had to move the boat over to the fuel dock where the plumbing was better, Rosie said we might as well just not stay another night after all.
  I called Wilson Lock on the phone to see how things were going there. The canal leading to the lock is just outside the entrance to Florence Harbor and I knew we could be at the lock in an hour or so. There was a tow just about to enter the chamber locking down and we could ride back up if we were there when the tow exited the lock as they had to turn it around right away for another downbound tow. Once we filled our water tank and said our goodbyes to Cody the "harbormaster" of sorts, we headed up the canal to the lock and hailed the lockmaster on the VHF.

  The main lock in on the right and the auxiliary lock is on the left but is no longer in use. We only waited about 15 minutes on the auxiliary lock wall before we were called on the radio and told to come on in.

  Whether we tie on our port, or starboard side, our routine stays the same for each lock through. Rosie puts the fenders in the same place each time and the line goes on the same cleat. I may or may not leave the engines on, but I stay at the helm in case I need to adjust our position to avoid hurting the lock walls with our shiny fiberglass.
  We had an uneventful lockage and we were met with a welcome breeze once we exited the chamber at the top and into Wilson Lake. We keep getting blown away at the homes we are seeing around these lakes, and the homes around Wilson Lake are breathtaking. We headed for the party cove but were met with an obstacle that wasn't discussed previously; there was a bridge about one and a half miles up the creek leading to our destination and the clearance was not high enough for us to get under it. We decided instead to head for the other side of the lake where high bluffs meant less homes where we could plant the anchor and get in the water.
  By the time we had leftover pizza for our lunch and we jumped in the lake it was after 1 P.M. and we found out later that the temperatures were at a record high. The lake is very pretty but the water was as warm as bathwater and after a couple of hours we gave up and retired to the salon in some A/C and read our books. Dinner was Italian sausage and pasta and we had good T.V. reception and got to watch the news. People are still crazy, we found out.
  Spot storms were forecasted so we moved over to a spot were we could set a better hook away from the rock bluffs and we finished out the evening with three games of dominoes. Normally Rosie beats me but this time I won all three games. It may sound boring, but we talk about the day we had or the day coming up and it's a good way to pass some time instead of watching crap on T.V.
  Wilson Lake is only 16 miles long or so and we are anchored within sight of the next lock. In the morning I'll call them and we'll stay put until they can get to us. Until then, I have some minor chores to address before it gets too hot.
  We both were glad we didn't stay at the harbor today as we wound up having a pretty good time after all. We didn't hit a home run, but it was a solid base hit. Those base hits add up.


  1. Caught up again. Sounds like you guys are adapting nicely to your vagabond ways! Stay safe.

    1. Adapting and staying safe are a struggle. See our next post. Thanks for reading.

  2. Sorry I didn't think about the heighth of your bridge in relation to the clearance of the Shoal Creek bridge. Safe Travels

    Dr B

    1. No problem, Cary. We didn't have the energy for a big party cove type day anyway. See you on the return trip.