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Bruce & Beverly's Blog

Entering the Tennessee River
By Beverly Kness
Posted on 10/08/2017 10:24 PM
The skies were gray and overcast as we cast off our dock lines for the day's 47-mile trip to Cuba Landing Marina in Waverly, TN.  Earlier in the morning there had been dense fog hovering over the water.  If it were the Atlantic Ocean, it would have been called "Sea Smoke" a phenomenon caused by the warm temperatures of the water (80 degrees) meeting the cold temperatures (50 degrees) of the land.  The dense fog was expected clear and when it did we were happy to pull our lines for the day's trip. 

For the most part, over the past several weeks, we have experienced good weather with temperatures in the 80's, light winds and mostly sunny skies since we left Chicago.  

Yesterday we started in the rain but the sun came out after we arrived at Paris Landing State Park Marina.  After we arrived, we filled up on diesel.  This marina is know to have the cheapest diesel price in the area at $2.45/gal. We took on 132 gal.

The marina had many slips available as there are only a total of four looper boats here.  About one half mile from the marina, the State Park has a restaurant.  As a convenience to boaters, a ranger picked us up at the marina and took us to the restaurant for dinner. After dinner, the front desk called the ranger, who graciously drove us back to the marina.  One reason we had for going to the restaurant's buffet dinner that evening was that it was the Canadian Thanksgiving Day.   It has been their Thanksgiving Day on the 2nd Monday in October, since 1957.  Just like in the United States, it is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest, enjoy time with family with Turkey and the trimmings.
Tammi and Mike on our buddy boat, Ned Pepper, are from Canada.   

We arrived at Cuba Landing, our destination for the night, at about 3:00 pm.  For the first time, we ran into a situation where the marina was closed for two days a week!  They told me, when I called to make reservations, that we could stay there and just put a check in the mail box to pay for the dockage!  We expected we'd have to dock ourselves when we came in, as no dock hands would be around .  We were pleasantly surprised when the guys from two sailboats, that were also docked there, came over and caught our lines.

The next day, as we continued down the Tennessee River, we passed those sailboats!

Below: our boats docked at Cuba Landing Marina.


Cuba Landing is in a very rustic setting and the marina is in a beautiful cove.

Below: Sunset at Cuba Landing Marina.


As we left Cuba Landing for Clifton City Marina in Clifton, TN my phone showed 32 degrees at home and 74 degrees where we were.

We continued our travel down Kentucky Lake which is the result of a dam on the Tennessee River.  The Tennessee River is wide and provides a 190 mile waterway south from Kentucky Lake to the entrance to the Tenn-Tom Waterway.       

Our trip was uneventful and uneventful is nice!   We saw several nice homes and we saw several eagles fly.
The barges are smaller these days. 

Below:  a pontoon, with no engine, serves as a dock!

 Below:  A buddy boat took Seaquest's picture.  It may not look like it but there really is someone driving the boat!  lol

We saw several houses that have been built in preparation for high water.


We left at first light the next morning knowing we had one lock to pass through, the Pickwick Lock and Dam, and 48 nautical miles to traverse.  Knowing that the Pickwick Lock and Dam is notorious for delays, we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the
lock, the lock doors were open and we could drive right in!  This was one of the better locks we've been through.  In this lock we had to tie our mid line around a bollard, the bollard and the boat floats up at the same time. 


Our destination for the day is Grand Harbor Marina at Counce, TN.  We plan to stay two days at Grand Harbor Marina to allow time to do some touring of the area.  The marina let us use their courtesy cars so all ten of us, from five boats, drove to Shiloh Military National Park.  Shiloh Battlefield spans a 4,000-acre site overlooking the Tennessee River.  In April 1862, 65,000 Union soldiers and 44,000 Confederate troops fought a fierce battle there that resulted in nearly 24,000 dead, wounded or missing. Shiloh Military National Park was established in 1894 to preserve the scene of this battle. 

The boat friends that we spent the day with are on Ned Pepper, Ocean Star, Total Eclipe and Junipero.
We also stopped at the Pickwick Market in the nearby town of Pickwick.  Though the market was relatively small, we were pleasantly surprised at the variety of merchandise available.  It was sort of a miniature Walmart with a more interesting atmosphere.  Besides groceries and fresh meat, you could also purchase DVD's , clothes, hardware and toys. 
We stopped for lunch at Hagy's Catfish Hotel Restaurant on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River.  On this spot in 1825, Henry Hagy and his wife Polly docked their flat boat, laid claim to several acres of bottom land and began to build a farm and a family.  Fire destroyed the original structure and a year later it was replaced by the present building.  The Catfish Hotel is one of the oldest family owned restaurants in the country.  We had to try the Catfish since they are famous for it.  It lived up to it's reputation. 

It was a beautiful sunny morning, without a cloud in the sky as disconnected our electrical power, pulled in our dock lines and began our 41 mile trip from Grand Harbor Marina to Florence Harbor Marina.

We were happy we made reservations at the Florence Harbor Marina some time ago as now they are full due to all the loopers who are gathering in preparation for the AGLCA Looper Rendezvous scheduled to start on Monday at the Joe Wheeler State Park.  We are thankful to be this far on our journey and happy to be at the Florence Marina, there are Loopers everywhere!!  

Yesterday morning it was announced that the locks we went through about a week ago, Locks 52 and 53, are now closed indefinitely! We are very happy we are through that area!!  The loopers that are on the other side of those locks will now not be able
to get to the rendezvous in time!

We plan is to continue our trip down the Tennessee River to Joe Wheeler State Park.  Our day will consist of going through two locks, the Wilson Lock and the Joe Wheeler Lock as we traverse the 21 miles to the rendezvous.     

A number of Loopers will be at the AGLCA ( American Great Loop Cruisers Association) rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park.  Some we have met before and other loopers will be new to us.   



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