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DavidCrosby
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Initially Posted - 10/05/2021 :  09:47:39  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am prepping for my next adventure on the Great Loop. Sunday, October 10, I will pull my boat out of the water and prepare it to travel. During the week, I have a few projects to get done while the mast is down and it is out of the water. On Friday, October 15, I will head southeast from St. Louis to the top end of Kentucky Lake. This is where I left off on my previous river adventure. This trip will be just one week. We will head south on Kentucky Lake / Tennessee River. Our destination will be Grand Harbor Marina located on Pickwick Lake at the corner of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Distance traveled will be about 190 miles. I will post updates as I proceed along the route.

For this week's preparation, I brought the trailer home to replace one guide board (split) and the carpet on the keel bunk boards. That was fairly uneventful. While checking tire pressure, I noticed some loose bolts on the center pad. I attempted to tighten them only to discover that the pad board was very rotten. That lead to checking them all. Some were better than others, but they all were becoming questionable. Off they came and I am in the process of replacing them. Here is a picture of my efforts as it stands today. I will apply some water sealant to them next and then add the carpet before the end of the week.




David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614

zeil
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Response Posted - 10/05/2021 :  16:16:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Looking forward to your trip stories... wish you a great trip



Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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Voyager
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Response Posted - 10/06/2021 :  21:54:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agreed, please keep us posted on your progress. And add plenty of photos.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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DavidCrosby
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USA
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Response Posted - 10/16/2021 :  19:18:26  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Started my continuation of the Great Loop Western Rivers Section.

Thursday I brought the boat to the house to pack for the trip. It was raining most of the way home and all day once home. I parked out front in the direction that follows the flow of traffic (facing downhill). That was mistake number 1. I climbed up into the boat and water was pouring into the cabin. There are gutters on both hatches that are designed to drain the main hatch into the cockpit and the forward hatch into the anchor locker, which has a thru hull drain. The key for these gutters to work is that the boat has to be level. Trying to minimize the problem, I turned the rig around and pointed uphill and put a large plastic garbage bag over each of the hatches.



I had to work until noon on Friday. My original plan was to depart Friday immediately after work and drive to Kentucky Lake. I would get the mast standing and then the boat in the water and get a transient slip for the evening. The Friday forecast was for rain both at home and at Grand Rivers, KY for the entire day and worse in the evening. Where the forecast for Saturday and the entire following week is perfect. So, I made the decision to stay home on Friday.

Saturday, we had planned to leave the house at 7:00 am. We did not depart until 8:00 am. The planned 3.5 hour drive took 4.5 hours, between not driving quite the speed limit. Making too many stops. major traffic backup at the Ohio River.

Here is a picture just before departure, facing uphill and just showing another view.



The water level in Kentucky Lake is way low currently. I planned to stay the first couple of nights at Lighthouse Landing on the north east corner of Kentucky Lake. With the water as low as it is, their ramp was out of the question. The waterline is very close to the end of the ramp, which has a major drop off.

So, I back tracked a few miles to the west side of the lake to Launch at Kentucky Dam State Park Marina. I just barely got the boat off the trailer. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the ramp at my destination will allow me to get the boat on the trailer.

My wife had followed me from home to Kentucky Lake. She is returning home on Sunday and my brother is joining me on Sunday for the actual trip. Thankfully my wife did follow along. This helped with the logistics of relocating the boat and truck/trailer.

I have many reasons for starting at Lighthouse Landing Marina. 1) It is pretty much a sailboat only marina. 2) It is amazingly cheap. Just $0.75/foot. 3) They will allow me to leave my truck and trailer with them for the week even though I am only staying for two nights. Not only are they not charging for this, but they were able to promptly answer my question about leaving a vehicle and trailer. Two other marinas in the area either did not answer or had me calling people that referred me back to the person I called.

Rigging the boat took longer than planned. I still have sails to put on. We will leave that for tomorrow. Another Saturday glitch. When I got to the dock, I discovered they only had 15 amp service. I had moved my adapter out of the boat and forgot it. So, off to the store to resolve that problem. I did not necessarily need to plug in tonight, but want to make sure I don’t run into problems when I do need to plug in.

And for the final picture. After owning my boat for 11 years, I finally got the knot meter working. So, I thought it was worth a picture. This was not a simple fix. I bought a new sensor. Of course, it is not the same. It is the same diameter as the previous, but longer. This resulted in the need for changing out the thrill hull fitting. Thanks, to my brother who was available to work on the boat while out of the water for the week.




David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/17/2021 :  18:55:14  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 2, Sunday, October 17, 2021

Today was not a travel day. Just more preparation. Sails on. Hauled more stuff from the truck to the boat. We are starting to look like a traveling boat now. Hanging from the Cat Bird seats are a spare anchor, power cord and water hose. I have 13 gallons of gasoline on board. Can you tell that I am planning on more motoring than sailing? The forecast is great, clear skies the whole week. 70 for the high and 45 for the low. What we will probably be lacking is wind. When it finally fills in, it is predicted to be on the nose.

Prepping the dinghy was probably the biggest project. I have an 8 foot Walker Bay. I also have the inflatable ring. I do not use the dinghy in my normal sailing routine, so I remove the inflatable ring to keep it indoors when the dinghy is in outdoor storage. This probably took me an hour to install.

With the major work done, my wife departed for home and I settled in to some projects:
• The zipper stitching on my pop top cover let go for about three inches. So, I hand sewed that back together.
• I checked the bilge and found water. That lead to a hunt to figure out where it was coming from. Since I just had a new thru-hull installed for the knot meter, it was highly suspect. My v-berth mattress is a custom Sleep Number Bed arrangement. This makes it a bit of a challenge to gain access to the forward compartment. This is where the only below the waterline thru-hulls are at. So, I spent time gaining access to inspect. I am happy to report that it is bone dry around the thru-hulls. So, this was not my problem. As mentioned yesterday, I did have a problem with rain getting into the boat when parked downhill. So, maybe rain water is slowly making its way to the bilge. The other thought being, since the bilge pump was also just installed and tested by filling the bilge with water, maybe the problem is water seeping out of the hose via pass the check valve (which is more of a cross folded flap). There really was not that much water in the bilge. I am thinking less than a 1/4 gallon.
• I also noticed that an accessory outlet was no longer working. Looks like the recent work in the panel to add the bilge pump and another accessory outlet resulted in a negative wire disconnecting. I traced that and fixed that.

My brother arrived at 4:15. Time for more work. We loaded his stuff into the boat and then went grocery shopping for final provisions. Mostly, items that required refrigeration. Paul wanted to grill steaks for dinner. The selection was not very good, but the fish choices looked quite good. So, we grilled Cod with Old Bay Blackened Seasoning. Dinner was great.

Monday morning we depart Lighthouse Landing and start our trip south.

Water in the Bilge



My wife asked for a "Cheesy Photo" when my brother arrived.



Kentucky Lake from the Lighthouse Landing Club House Deck.



Lighthouse Landing marina Office



Lighthouse Landing Marina



Where is Waldo? Look in the center between the two blue sail covers.



Sunset from the cockpit. Look close and you can see Venus.



Almost a Full Moon



Cod for Dinner. Very simple meal.







David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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zeil
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Response Posted - 10/18/2021 :  09:43:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you David... great job taking us along

Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/18/2021 :  18:48:10  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 3, Monday, October 18, 2021

Today was our first travel day. Departed Lighthouse Landing Marina at 10:00 am. Lighthouse Landing is at mile marker 24 on the Tennessee River. Today’s destination: Paris Landing State Park Marina, mile marker 66, Buchanan, TN.

Absolutely beautiful weather. I kind of wish we were headed in the other direction. We were headed pretty much due south all day. Once the wind filled in, it was from the south at about 10 mph. We could have sailed all day. Oh well, maybe another day.

We ran under power all day long. Our speed with the dinghy being towed was 5.8 to 6.0 knots through the water. Speed over ground was 5.3 to 5.5, so we had a little bit of a current against us.

Up at the north end of Kentucky Lake the channel markers are few and far between. There are some shallow spots in the middle of the lake. I strayed away from the channel and quickly went from 60 feet of water under us to 5 feet. A quick change of course resolved that problem. Had I had a bigger boat with a 6 foot draft I would have been making the call to TowBoat US. Disaster (or delay) averted.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. Some interesting sights:
• The Hwy 68 bridge looked to be poking its arches out of a fog bank. In reality, I think it was just an optical Illusion.
• A large cabin cruiser was headed towards us, it looked to be pushing a massive bow wave. Grab the binoculars for a look - again an optical illusion.
• A bass boat was headed away from us. Its wake looked like a halo around the boat. Have you seen the photos of the F-18 fighters with the shock wave compression creating this big circle cloud around the leading edge of the wings? That is how this looked. Again an optical illusion.
• There appeared to be a rock line just above the water extending half way across the lake. There was nothing on the charts showing an obstruction. I took a look with the binoculars and still could not determine what I was seeing. As we got closer, it was clear that it was wind generated ripples on the otherwise calm water. Again, an optical illusion.
• Two large white objects a fair way off. The binoculars revealed that they were White Pelicans, they were either very big pelicans or the mornings weather on the water was magnifying their size.

I was really hoping that this trip would be timed right to see the trees in their full fall foliage. Looks like we are too early. They are starting to change, but have a way to go.

We arrived at Paris Landing State Park Marina at 5:00 pm. I did call upon our departure this morning to check for availability. They do not take reservations. They had no concern about slip availability. They close at 4:00 pm. They said if we arrive after 4:00 to just take any open slip and check in in the morning. I did call at 3:45 to let them know we would be arriving at 5:00 pm. I am glad I did. They only have 50 amp, electrical service. They asked if I needed an adapter and offered to set one outside the door for me along with a brochure with gate codes, internet passwords, etc. Looks like the cost is going to be $1.10/foot.

Nice quiet marina. Two Great Looper boats were at dock. One is a gold looper and has just completed the full loop and is headed for home in Chattanooga, TN. The other was not very talkative. They both had very large cabin cruisers.

Here are some pictures from today:

First, a link to a short YouTube video of us passing under a bridge.

https://youtu.be/6GEBzZbMmEA































I think the iPhone photos are better than the GoPro photos. I did not do much camera work with the iPhone today because I was using it for navigation. I really should have brought my digital SLR along. But first, to get a more powerful lens for it.




David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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TCurran
Admiral

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USA
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Response Posted - 10/19/2021 :  16:53:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great stuff...thanks

Tom Curran
1981 Capri 25 Hull #101 "Dirty Debbie"
1988 Watkins 30
PAFB, FL
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DavidCrosby
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170 Posts

Response Posted - 10/19/2021 :  19:36:53  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 4, Monday, October 19, 2021

Last night we stayed at Paris Landing State Park Marina. In the morning, we woke up to fog on the water. I have posted a few photos of the marina. Transient fees for this marina turned out to be just $0.85/foot. Very nice marina. Offered all of the services we needed. Pleasant staff. Also, over in the corner of the marina they have a very large multi-lane ramp and parking area. We motored over and checked the depth at the ramp. I was in quite close and seeing just over 7 feet on my depth sounder. I could definitely launch or retrieve here in the future without any problem.

I also took a walk around the marina. There were some interesting sailboats that appear to have done significant traveling.
There was a large old ketch from Oregon. It was quite loaded down with a bike, dinghies, etc. Interestingly it had a monitor steering system laying on the foredeck.
There was a West Sail 32 from California.
A large steel boat from Michigan.
A few others that looked to be more forgotten derelicts.

Again, we had perfect weather. A nice southerly breeze was blowing. If I did not want to cover distance, but instead sail towards our destination, I would have been inclined to set sail and tack my way up the river. The current was only about 0.5 knots.

This portion of the river had many large houses up on the bluffs along the river which provided for some variation in the scenery.

There really has not been much barge traffic on the river. We only encountered one barge today. This one I definitely felt the need to call on the VHF to request how he would like for us to pass. When I travelled down the Mississippi and Ohio, I encountered a lot of commercial barge traffic. 99% called for passing “on the one.” Today’s encounter called for passing “on the two.” When meeting oncoming traffic on the rivers, one whistle means pass port side to port side. Two whistles means pass starboard side to starboard side. Instead of sounding whistles passing vessels communicate via VHF and they simply say “pass on the one or two.”

When I reviewed the charts before ourDuring my overall review prior to the trip, I missed the clearance (or lack thereof) for this bridge. The closed span clearance is 24.9 feet. I need about 34 feet with my antenna. This resulted in the need of another VHF call today. So, no problems. I called about 20 minutes out and he promptly raised the bridge’s center span.

Our destination today was Bird Song Resort and Marina and Pearl Farm. My guide book gave this marina high praise and called it a “must stop on your great loop.” I reviewed the website last night and was really looking forward to this stop. I did not take pictures of the marina this evening, but I will get some prior to departure. I am not going to be recommending this marina. In fact, we have decided that we will be leaving earlier than usual in the morning. The staff has been quite pleasant. It just was not what I was expecting.

Paris Landing State Park Marina




Fog bank out over the river at Paris Landing State Park Marina



Looking to the north within Paris Landing State Park Marina. I liked the fog on the water.



This boat is a long way from home. Registration is Oregon and is now in Tennessee. Look at all the gear on the deck.



Just an interesting boat.



My boat.



Houses on the bluff over looking the Tennessee River.









Small World in travel mode



Remaining sections of an old railroad bridge.



A flooded out abandoned building. I believe it was a dock warehouse along the river prior to the dam. I had to get a picture. I see this building on all of the Great Loop blogs.



"Harley Hall," This is the barge that wanted me to pass on the two.



New Johnsonville Railroad Bridge had just been raised to let us through.



Overhead wires. Looked like a spider's web across the river with lots of captured bugs.



Sneak peek of Bird Song Marina. More photos to come tomorrow.





























David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/20/2021 :  19:14:39  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am in Clifton, TN tonight. Another night without shore power. Last night the entire marina was without power due to damage from a previous storm. Tonight's marina only has 50 amp service. I have a 30 amp cable. No adapter. My computer is down to 29%. I will charge with an inverter while motoring tomorrow and I will write today's story tomorrow. Although, I think we might end up anchoring out over night waiting to get through the Pickwick Lock. So, let's hope for cell signal.

David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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zeil
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Response Posted - 10/21/2021 :  08:04:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thank you for sharing...
With new "see-through", panels in the pop-top you are able to keep the pop-top up while motoring

Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/21/2021 :  18:35:31  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is another feature of my pop top modification. We had some rain today so needed to close things up. The entrance flap has been modified to be opaque, clear or screen.

Look closely inside, Not a great picture for what I want to show, but the pop top hatch has become my navigation table. I can leave paper charts out to easily view and they are out of the wind and weather.




David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614

Edited by - DavidCrosby on 10/21/2021 19:32:42
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zeil
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Response Posted - 10/21/2021 :  19:47:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Wow... that looks great and super useful as a chart table, storage or anything to keep handy and dry. Way to go guys...

Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/21/2021 :  20:06:53  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 5, Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bird Song Marina did not look quite so bad in the morning with the fog on the water. The place is called a “Resort and Marina.” The resort is an RV park. The marina is a typical, very basic river marina. Mostly covered slips for fishing boats and pontoon boats. Their claim to fame is that they are also North America’s only Pearl farm. They offer tours, have a museum and a gift shop. The web site portrays it very well. The marina is 2 miles off the main river on Bird Song Creek. It has a well marked channel, but you really have to wind your way back into this place. Navigating this channel was kind of fun. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the rusted hulk of a large river boat. It had been brought into the resort to be turned into a restaurant. It was leaking badly upon arrival and I was told they had six pumps onboard running non stop trying to keep it a float. Eventually they lost the battle and it sunk at the dock followed by flood waters submerging it completely shortly after. That was the end of the hopes to create a floating restaurant. Now, it just clutters up the place. Additionally, the marina had recently been damage in a storm. They were in the process of rebuilding the covers for the docks. We decided to skip the Pearl Farm tour and make tracks for Clifton Marina in Clifton, TN early in the morning. After looking at the chart the night before, we realized that we needed to cover the 2 miles back out to the river plus 56 miles to make our next destination. Additionally, we were going to need to cover another 50 miles the next day. Bird Song Marina did not open until 9:00 am. We wanted to be on our way early. Since we technically arrived after the marina had closed, we were not planning on getting gas until the morning. When we realized that we needed to get rolling early, we decided to take the marina’s courtesy car and drive into town with our fuel tanks and buy gas. That turned into quite the drive through the country side in the dark.

Wednesday morning arrived, very chilly and with fog on the water. Thankfully, it was just “smoke on the water” type fog and did not hamper visibility too much.

The day turned out to be another beautiful day. Just like the other days, the wind was on the nose so no real hope of sailing.

Lots of houses along the river. Some were extremely nice. Others were more typical river front cottages up on stilts. In other cases there were covered carport type buildings with camp trailers within. I would have to say that it all looked well taken care of. Much nicer than what is seen along the Mississippi River.

We also saw lots of high bluffs with interesting rock formations.

We saw multiple Bald Eagles. I saw one swoop down and catch a large fish with its talons and struggled flying along the shore line for awhile. It landed, pecked at the fish for a bit and then flew up into the trees.

The pictures do not do a good job of conveying the scenery. The river is quite peaceful and I really enjoy watching the world go by at 5 - 6 mph.

We arrived at Clifton Marina just after sunset. We did not have much twilight because we had a heavy cloud deck move in that blocked out the sunset.

Clifton Marina put us on the fuel dock for the night. In that area they only had 50 amp service and offered no adapters. So, we were without shore power for the night. No big deal other than we were without shore power the previous night as well. My laptop was in desperate need of a recharge.

The marina manager had us all a little spooked. She said they were expecting very dense fog in the morning until at least 9:00 am and that there is a bridge and barge fleeting operation just up river. She suggested that there simply was too much traffic for it to be wise to be on the river in the fog.

The forecast was for much warmer temperatures over night. I was not seeing anything that indicated fog in the morning. I figured we would just get up early and see what the morning would present us.






































David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/22/2021 :  18:31:06  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 6, Thursday, October 21, 2021

We had another long day today. We were hoping to be able to lock up into Pickwick Lake and make it to Pickwick Landing State Park Marina before dark. The actual distance to cover today is about 10 miles less than yesterday’s. 50 miles is still along distance when your top speed is only six knots. You never know how things are going to go at a lock. Commercial traffic takes precedence over recreational traffic. So, we could very well get stuck waiting for a long time.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the Clifton Marina manager had us all a little spooked about dense fog in the morning and lots of barge traffic. I really was not worried about lots of barge traffic, because frankly we had only been seeing one to two barges at the most each day. The fog… we had fog each morning and I suppose local knowledge opinions should be listened too. Although, just because we had fog today does not necessarily mean that we will have fog tomorrow.

Well, no worries. I woke up bright and early and went for a walk to take a look out into the river. To start with, there was no fog in the marina. When I got up to the top of the levy, the river was beautiful. The sky was a bit heavy though.

We got ourselves underway early and out onto the river. We were anticipating larges barges along the shore line around the first corner (based on our local knowledge). There were none to be found.

About an hour into the day’s passage and it started to rain. Out came the foul weather gear and flap down on the pop top enclosure. The addition of the window in the entrance flap (compliments of my brother’s handiwork) came in real handy. We were able to see through the pop top and avoid getting the interior of the boat wet. The rain, thankfully did not last very long.

The river is more narrow in this section and the current was running faster at about 1.5 knots. This was going to make the day longer.

As typical, the wind was on our nose. As the river started to twist, there were times that I felt I could hoist the sails and we could beat. I guess I was getting lazy and sloppy. We had lots of stuff out on the counter and along with raising sails, I would need to clean house first since the boat would be healing over. I passed on that idea and kept chugging away under power. Later in the day, we entered a section of the river where the wind was behind us and we had three to four miles before the river made another turn. It definitely was a good strong breeze. Even through we were making 6 knots of forward speed, the masthead fly was pointing to the stern. I figured I would start by unfurling the jib and see how that goes before going through the effort to uncover the main, turn us into the wind, hoist the sail, etc. With jib out, I was seeing that the wind was extremely shifty and we were gybing way too frequently to be a peaceful ride. The jib was rolled back up and we continued along under power.

The shore line still had tall rocky bluffs with an over abundance of trees and houses perched on the edge over looking the river. In other areas the shoreline was quite flat and there were rows of houses on stilts. As mentioned yesterday, these are all very nice, well maintained houses. Along one of the bluffs, there was a house that was perched beyond the edge of the precipice. As we got closer we saw debris down the cliff from the house. Inspecting with the binoculars it became evident that the cliff had given way. All of one house went down the cliff into what became the pile of debris. The other house lost the entire back deck and one wall of the house.

While at Clifton Marina, the manager told me about this app called “Nebo” she says many of the Great Loopers use it for tracking and logging. This let’s family and friends see where they are at. You can also send messages and pictures via the app. The marina manager said that many marina managers also use it to see where their reservations and others are at as evening approaches. I decided to download the app and install it and allow myself to be tracked. I did find it to be a useful tool along with the navigation app I have been using. I had seen on the app that there was a boat that we saw at Clifton that departed after us, was chugging along behind us at only 0.5 knots faster than we were going. As we went around a bend in the river, I thought I might be able to see them pass by through an opening between an island and the shore. I did not see them. A little while later I saw on the app that instead of following the main channel they had turned into this opening between shore and the island. Not much later they stopped. I figured oh boy, they either ran aground or simply decided to stop for the day (about 3:00 pm) and anchor out for the night. Awhile later, I saw them reverse course and head back to Clifton. I assume they must have encountered some problems and decided to turn back. I suppose I could have messaged, but I did not know them, did not want to pester them and really could not have offered much assistance anyhow. And they certainly had not put out any calls for help.

The Nebo app also showed me two loopers stopped below the dam. One was showing onshore though. I assumed both were waiting to lock through. There was another recreational vessel showing in the lock and it seemed to be there for a very long time. When I was about an hour out from the lock, I decided to try messaging both of the boats that were waiting below the lock. The one that appeared to be on shore responded quickly. They said, “Our boat is on shore in storage just below the lock.” The other did not respond until the following morning. When I approached the lock, there was no boat anchored and no boat came out of the lock before I went into the chamber. The next morning, the boat that was showing anchored below the lock responded and said they are in Florida. For some reason Nebo stopped tracking them at that location and they could never get the problem resolved (There solution was to create a new user and forget that user).

At what I thought was 30 minutes from the lock, I radioed the lock to let them know I was coming, where I was at and would be there at approximately 5:10 pm. Surprisingly said there would be no wait. They would have the main chamber ready for me upon arrival and when I saw a green light to simply come on in and come along side at the starboard wall #7 bollard. Very quickly after speaking to the lock master, I noticed that the current was significantly stronger than it had been all day. Our speed over ground was down to 2.8 knots. That blew my projected 5:10 arrival. At about 5:05, I heard the lock master talking to a barge and told him to come along side the upper wall, but to leave enough room for a “little sailboat” to get by that will be arriving shortly and then locking through. Thank goodness for my premature contact of the lock. Since he had already set the lock up for me, I did not have to wait for the barge to lock through.

After clearing the lock, it was a short distance to Pickwick Landing State Park Marina. I could not get any answer on the VHF or phone. I decided that they must already be closed for the day. We went into the marina, found a slip and squared up with them in the morning. Many of the boats we had seen at Clifton Marina were already there and a short while later saw the whole gang come walking back from dinner.

We ended another glorious day with a full moon rising up through the trees and the sound of a heron flying up into a tree and screeching and groaning all the way.

Small World at Clifton Marina



Clifton Marina



Stern paddle wheeler



Landslide



Landslide closeup



Spider's web



#7 Pin in the Pickwick Main Chamber Lock



Inside the lock







David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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DavidCrosby
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Response Posted - 10/22/2021 :  19:45:09  Show Profile  Visit DavidCrosby's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Day 7, Friday, October 22, 2021

Today was a lazy yet productive day. In the morning we spent some time on the dock chatting with other loopers. Two boats, the owners were both from Oklahoma. They declared themselves finished with the loop and were returning to home ports upriver in Tennessee. One was going to their home port in Chattanooga, TN and the other was going to Florence, (next lock on the Tennessee River (not sure if Florence is in Tennessee or Alabama). Amongst three boats, it seems a common theme that Tarpon Springs, FL was a favorite on the loop.

The two Oklahoma boats departed and we were just about to shove off as well, when I decided instead to chat with the owner of a trawler. The boat had a lot of character. If I were going to the dark side of power boats, I think I would like something similar. His boat is a 1987 Transpac Eagle 32.

We finally got underway. First item of business was to check water depth at the two different boat ramps within Pickwick State Park. While we were continuing on to Grand Harbor Marina, if the ramp near them did not prove to be useful for loading Small World on to the trailer, we would need to return to Pickwick State Park if their ramp proved to be better. I definitely needed to know this information. Both ramps were over six feet deep in close to shore. They would work, but it would mean back tracking nine miles.

We then headed out into the lake. We only had nine miles to go to get to Grand Harbor Marina, our final destination. I picked this marina for a few reasons. They had a courtesy car available for transient boaters. This gave me transportation to get to the nearest U-Haul location to get our one way ride back to my truck and trailer. Second, they actually allowed me to reserver a slip for our intended stay as well as reserve the courtesy car. Third, This marina is located at the turn into the TomBigBee. We departed the Tennessee River at mile 215 and entered the Tenn-Tom at mile 450. I figured this would be a very good stopping point for this trip and a good starting point for the next adventure.

With only nine miles to go and a full day to play with, we just poked a long at slightly above idle. We had hoped to take our time and sail to Grand Harbor Marina even if it meant tacking our way against the wind and current. Well, there was no wind. So, we went for a peaceful motorboat ride. With the engine running at low RPMs the noise was minimal. The highlight of the nine mile trip was, we encountered the trip state corner of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee out in the middle of the lake. My brother, who is extremely well traveled, has never been to Alabama or Mississippi. He was able to check off those two states with some small adjustments of the tiller.

We motored past Grand Harbor Marina and continued on one mile to the recommended boat ramp to check its usability for our Sunday AM pull out. I am pleased to report that with my bow nearly on shore I was reading almost seven feet on the depth sounder. So, we are good for pulling out at the most conveniently located ramp. We also discovered Aqua Yacht Harbor (Iuka, MS) which is very near this boat ramp. Aqua Yacht Harbor will be the starting point of my next section of the Great Loop.

We then went back to Grand Harbor and checked in. The courtesy car was available for the afternoon and a call to the U-Haul location and we were able to pickup the truck today instead of Saturday AM. This was a worth while change. It took us quite awhile to accomplish this task. Now we can just get in our U-Haul chariot and make our way north without delay in the morning.

With that task out of the way, I then worked on preparing the dinghy to travel. I remove my inflatable ring to protect it from chafe while traveling. This takes close to an hour. I am also glad to have that out of the way. Turns out that I did not need the dinghy for this trip. We did not anchor out a single time. So, a lot of work for nothing. Speaking of a lot of work, I am thinking for the next segment of the Tenn-Tom, I will leave the dinghy, mast boom and sails behind. I do not anticipate any chance of being able to sail that section of the Great Loop.

So, effectively, this is the end of this trip report. Saturday, we will be spending most of the day on the road. We will be driving 3.5 hours north. picking up one of our vehicles, returning the U-Haul at a drop off location (about 13 miles from our vehicle location). Returning to my truck and trailer and then driving both vehicles 3.5 hours back to the boat. Sunday, we will pull Small World out of the water early in the morning and get her ready to travel. I hope to be on the road by noon. I head for home about six hours north west and my brother heads for home about 16 hours north east.

Small World at Pickwick State Park Marina. The dock lights had just come on and I thought, "That would make a nice picture." I am pleaed.



Sunrise at Pickwick State Park Marina. Just a few minutes later and the color was gone.



Can you tell that I like photographing fog on the water?



1987 Transpac Eagle 32 Trawler.



Tri-state corner in the middle of this picture. We are in Tennessee at the point of the photograph. A light jog to the left and we entered Alabama followed by a hard turn to the right and then entered Mississippi.






David Crosby "Small World"
'02 C250 WK #614
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Dave Brown
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Response Posted - 10/27/2021 :  19:09:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My dream as well,
Thanks for your stories,
I will be following.
DB
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csmcg
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Response Posted - 12/28/2021 :  02:43:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks David. It is wonderful to read your travel stories.

Edited by - csmcg on 12/28/2021 02:43:48
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