-E.B. White

Friday, October 17, 2008

Well we are back at Columbus Marina and are planning on leaving to drive back to Minnesota on Saturday the 18th of October. It's been a great trip. We pretty much did the reverse trip with the exception of instead of staying at Short Creek on the Tennessee River we found a cute little anchorage called Fred's Hollow. We also did not make Midway Marina due to lots of traffic at the locks and ended up staying in an anchorage just above Rankin Lock.

Picked this hitchhiker up somewhere along the way - there were actually two of them and they traveled with us for quite awhile. Not sure where they finally hopped off.

Anchorage at Fred's Hollow

Fred loves lapping morning dew off the cap rail and deck.

I think your just asking for trouble with this boat name

Friday, October 10, 2008

As we were leaving Chattanooga alot of race boats (about 25-30) were heading into town. As usual we figured some big event was happening in town - now what where we missing - oh well. Later in the day they came back our direction so I guess it wasn't an event. Anyway one of the boats hit a boat wake and flipped. Rick watched it happen - we turned Broulee around to help but where waved off by other race boats that had arrived on the scene. We watched his buddies try to rescue his boat before it almost sank 40 feet to the bottom of the river.

They are trying to hook a line to the boat that is totally submerged.

Got it hooked up and bow out of the water

Oops it's going down again!

I think there might be too many brains working on this.

Oh, good, here comes more help

This is as good as it got - they finally dragged it to shore.

Ran a few errands before leaving the town wall and again weather was perfect. We hiked downtown to pick up a few groceries before leaving - wow - quite and extraordinary experience. It kind of felt like we were back in the islands. Shopping carts should not have been allowed in this tiny market. Buried beneath collard greens and turnip greens I finally found a couple of bags of Dole lettuce salad. We came up with a plan - Rick stay put with the cart and I would peruse the aisles for items on our list. After 20 minutes in a checkout line that wound around in the aisles I finally asked "are you always this busy?" "No, just first two weeks of the month". Hmmm, timing.

Very Interesting?

Starting to see color change in the leaves

Tennessee Aquarium and water cannons - town wall, Chattanooga

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chattanooga was alot of fun and the weather was perfect. We spent 2 nights, but only had one day of sightseeing so we really packed it in. We got up early and walked the pedestrian only Walnut Street Bridge, a 
centruy old , where we were able to get a great pic of Broulee.

We found out where to catch the electric trolley to visit the Chattanooga Choo-Choo that has been turned into a restaurant and hotel rooms as part of the Holiday Inn downtown Chattanooga.

Sleeping Cars converted into private rooms and the dinning car into a restaurant.

We then hopped a bus to the Incline Railway (I wish I would have read about this before we did it). Hailed as "The World's Steepest Passenger Railway" you travel up the side of Lookout Mountain and near the top you are traveling at a 72.7% grade. Rick had to put blinders on me to get me off. We visited the National Park at the top of the mountain called Point Park. This is where the famous "Battle of the Clouds" was fought in 1863. Rick managed to persuade (drag) me back to the Incline for the return trip to St. Elmo Station at the base.

View from top of Lookout Mountain

View of Chattanooga from Point Park

This sign really needs to be at the base of mountain at St. Elmo Station!

I got smarter going down the mountain we sat in the back of the car instead of the front seats. Look at all the people that can break my fall.
We got back on the bus and headed back to Broulee for a little R & R before heading to the IMAX Theater for a 3-D showing of Dolpins and Whales. Then another break for the cook - dinner at Sticky Fingers - Bon Appetit calls their ribs "fall of the bone delicious". They where pretty good. Whew what a day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8th (Cont.)

Some of the most spectacular scenery on the Tennessee River is along the 46 miles of Nickajack Lake. It is widely regarded as the most scenic stretch of the river (even in the rain it was gorgeous). It cuts thru the Cumberland plateau known as the Tennessee River Gorge and sections of the gorge were 100 feet deep. We passed thru a section of the river called the Narrows. Early boatmen named the various bends on the river the Frying Pan, Skillet and Boiling Pot because they thought the splattering, flying and frothing waters resembled cooking utensils at work. The next bend was called The Suck. The river thru here today is MUCH calmer. We reached Chattanooga around 5:00 PM; docked on the town wall and hiked into town. The Galley Wench got the night off!!!!

At mile 444 is the discharge tunnel of the Racoon Mountain Pumped storage plant. High atop the mountain, one of the largest rockfill dams ever built by the TVA impounds 528 acre Racoon Mountain Resevoir. Water released from the resevoir during the periods of heaviest electrical usage falls 1,160 feet to the powerhouse inside the mountain. At night and on weekends when the demand is lower, the generators drive the turbines in reverse and pump the water from the river back up to the top of the mountain.

Arrrgh more Rain! - It rained all the way to Nickajack Dam. Just as we called the lockmaster to lock thru a storm with high winds hit us. We told the lockmaster we needed to wait until the storm passed before entering the lock because Broulee does not like wind. Of course, we were not prepared for the storm so anything not bolted down up top went flying. One of our 5 gallon gas cans blew off and headed for the dam - we were glad thats all we lost. When the storm finally passed we called the lock and told them we were ready to lock thru. As we were heading for the lock there it was bobbing out in front of us - our short lost gas can. "Get the hook out!" "I got it - I got it!!!!" Ahh simple pleasures.

The Escapee

Rain Is Ending - Yeah!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

After leaving Joe Wheeler State Park I commented that the river reminded us of certain parts of the Mississippi River very wide and boring and also very industrial. Just past Decatur, Alabama the river (which is actually Wheeler Lake) narrows and starts to become more hilly. Just before Decatur is the TVA's Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant with its thin, tall tower. This is one of the world's largest nuclear/electric plants. Sunday, Oct. 5th we made it as far as Mile 310.6 at Limestone Creek - a little intimedating at first because the entrace was so narrow, but, it opened up further in and proved to be a nice quiet anchorage.

Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant

Who Knew????

October 6th, we traveled from our anchorage at Limestone Creek at mile 311 to Short Creek at mile 361 in Guntersville Lake. At mile 344 the river narrows and on the northern bank is Painted Bluff, a famous riverboat landing and one of Tennessee River's more spectacular cliffs, towering more than 550 feet above the water.

Beyond the bluff is Guntersville Dam at mile 349. Like all other TVA dams they were built for flood control and power production. There are four turbine generators at the powerhouse, they can produce more than 700 million kilowatt hours every year. Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson power plants produce much of the electricity used in northern Alabama. When you enter Guntersville Lake you can't help but notice the size of the hills. The Appalachians to the southeast and the Cumberlands to the northwest rise 1,000 feet above the lake.

October 7th we finally got rain. Guntersville Lake reminds us of Trempealeau, Wisconsin area of the Mississippi River. Made it to mile 420 just before Nickajack Dam to anchorage at Burns Island.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well I thought we would take a break for a moment from the travelogue and show some pics of the new improvements made to the boat this year. While in Marathon, FL (Jan-April) Rick spent alot of time on the teak (varnishing) and also changing the pilot house doors & eyebrows from teak/varnish to a two part epoxy white enamel. At home in Minnesota this summer I made new navy blue curtains for the saloon and we have been talking for years about converting the dinning table into a hinged leaf table. Rick decided to take on the task and unfortunately 15 stitches later, in his left hand, we now have a hinged leaf table. Lefty O'smithy is doing well and removed his own stitches a few days ago.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We got thru Wheeler Lock around 4:00 pm on the 4th and proceeded to the Joe Wheeler State Park Marina at mile 277. The Marina is new and very cheap (75 cents a foot) and the lodge and cabins are beautiful. Check out was not until 2:00pm on Sunday so we took advantage of the extra time and hiked some of the nature trails (saw several deer). We headed out around 1:00 to make our next anchorage at Limestone Creek mile 310.8. Wheeler Lake is 74 miles long and has 1,063 miles of shoreline. Kind of felt like the Mississippi River (wide and boring).

Lodge at Joe Wheeler State Park

Hiking Trail at the Park

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another beautiful foggy morning we are now anchored at mile 229.8 on the Tennessee River and hate to say it, but, it is gorgeous. Decided to just have another cup of coffee and enjoy the fog lifting. We have no set plans today - hope to make it thru Wilson Lock (95 ft lift) and maybe Wheeler. After passing thru Wilson Lock we will be in Wilson Lake which is dotted with homes (mostly McMansions), small private docks and parks. Unlike other TVA lakes, Wilson's shoreline is almost entirely privately owned. Yet along this reservoir's 46 miles of shoreline there are many isolated, protected, deepwater coves that are ideal for cruisers.

Power Plant before Wilson Lock on Pickwick Lake

Approaching Wilson Lock & Dam. The 93 foot lift of this lock is the highest on the Tennessee River and one of the three or four highest in the world.