The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kentucky Lake & Tennessee River

Tuesday, after a great week stay at Green Turtle Bay, we were ready to continue our journey south.  Moonstruck, Free To Be and we took off at the civilized time of 9 AM, as we only planned a 40 mile run.  We have our Looper event in Alabama beginning on Oct. 22.  It is a distance of roughly 260 miles, so with eleven days to get there, we can take it easy.  In fact, if things work out, we may take about a 100 mile side trip and get to Jolly Tolly’s home port of Goose Pond, TN.  That is near Chattanooga, so may involve a visit there as well.
Once Around gets all spiffed up at GTB
There is a bit of bad weather predicted for later this week, although probably nothing to stop us from moving.  We saw signs of it Tuesday, as the clouds began rolling in.  We had hazy sunshine as we headed south on Kentucky Lake after leaving Green Turtle Bay.  We had a lovely morning cruise on the lake, and when we pulled into Paris Landing State Park Marina at about 12:30 PM, it almost felt like cheating after the arduous days on the rivers leading up to GTB.  The Paris Landing Marina is nice, deep, and has some huge slips.  We had our pick of probably twenty empty slips. 
My First Mate was a bit under the weather.  She had developed some sort of a rash (not sure if it is heat, new soap, or what), and she took some Benadryl in the morning as we left GTB.  She then promptly fell asleep on the bench seats of the fly bridge.  After we docked and had a quick lunch, she disappeared on me as I was tidying up the dock lines, and I found her sound asleep in our stateroom.  Ah, the life of an Admiral.  (I’ll pay for that!).
Next day the three boats headed for Pebble Island Marina, TN.  It was even a shorter trip of only 30 miles.  Ginny on Free to Be insisted on her beauty rest, so by agreement we didn’t get off the dock until 10 AM.  By 1:30 we were secure in our slips at Pebble.  It was a Looper extravaganza.  Kadadi, Something Special, Kay-De-Anna,  Blue Skies, all joined Free to Be, Moonstruck and Once Around for docktails at 5:00.  John from Kadadi brought the evening to life with his ukulele and singing.  It was a great time in the mild Tennessee evening.  Everybody stumbled back to their boats about 7:00.  The Admiral and I had actually planned ahead and had short ribs in ale simmering in the crock pot.  Good thing, or it would have been frozen taquitos for the two of us for sure.
Happy Loopers, with John from Kadadi on the yuke
Thursday (this morning) we were moving a little slowly.  One excuse after another kept us at the dock until 9:00 AM, when I almost backed out into Moonstruck who had snuck out ahead of me!  Doug goosed the throttle a little bit to avoid me hitting him, and I don’t think anybody but he and I knew what happened.  Doug is a complete gentleman and hasn’t said a word about it.  I’m not as discreet, so I'll tell you what happened shortly afterward.
My depth sounder has decided to act up “intermittently”, which as you all know means, “when you most need it”, so my wingman was leading me through the channel markers out of the marina and reading depths to me over the radio so I could verify the readings on my equipment.  As we talked, I watched him as he wandered completely outside the entrance channel markers!  Before I could pick up my radio and warn him he discovered it himself and was on the radio warning me not to follow in his wake!  No kidding!
I was trying to quickly think of something sarcastic to jab him with, but before I could, he reaches the main channel and turns right, heading north.  Well, at least he was in the channel now, but right was the same direction we had come from the day before.  He was headed back to Green Turtle Bay…I guess.
This was too rich not to share, especially since Sid and Evelyn on Something Special were right behind us.  I got on the radio and told Sid, “Something Special, this is Once Around, please switch to channel 17.”  I knew Doug was monitoring that as a working channel while we cruised together.
Once Sid was on 17 I called out, “MoonstruckDoug, where are you going?”  By that time I had turned left, headed in the correct direction.  Doug responded sheepishly, “I’m not sure, downriver I guess”.  Sid pops in, “Don’t you know north from south?”  This was Sid’s chance to get even with someone (anyone!) for all the teasing he had taken a month or two ago.  (See the post, “Something Special” in August if you are in the dark about this).
A couple of minutes later when Moonstruck caught up with us he radio’s back, “Uh…Once Around…I think I’ll just follow you again today, OK?”
“Good idea”, I answered.  No martinis for them tonight.
The scenery today was absolutely gorgeous and we skirted around the wet weather for the most part.
Some Tennessee River scenery

An abandoned railroad Bridge

A dock that had seen better days!

These limestone bluffs lined the river in many places

Some homes (and a lighthouse?) built on the limestone bluffs.

A house pic for the ladies
So, 60 some miles later we all arrived at Clifton Marina, on the Tennessee River in Clifton, TN.  Spirit Dancer is here as well as the four of us who travelled (more or less) together. 
Tomorrow we head further up the Tennessee to Grand Harbor.  I think Doug wants to lead.  The Admiral has already taken the time to take Doug to the edge of the dock and point up river in the correct direction!

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