Friday, October 2, 2009
a.m. Departed Tellico Harbor Marina (our home
4:00 p.m. Arrived at Terrace View Marina
(Spring City, TN)
Distance travelled: approx.
Here we go! (Again!). After a 1-1/2 year
delay, we are embarking once more on the Great Loop
Adventure. Most of the day we travelled in rainy
weather, with winds gusting at times to 23 mph. After
the front moved through at approximately 3 p.m. we had
sunny weather for the remainder of the day. Travelling
with us are 2 other boats – Watauga (Bill & Nancie
Rogers) and Last Dragon (Ben & Sharon Birdwell with
their son Christopher). The fourth boat, Sundancer
(Ray West & Delila Callahan) will leave Tellico
on Monday and join us further on down the river.
Our first lock through at Fort Loudoun was excellent.
We will very shortly post pictures of the Fort
Loudon Lockmaster here (after we get them from our camera),
as we are convinced that he is the most cheerful and
accomodating professional on the TN river system. All
lockmasters have been great, but Fort Loudon has always
gone out of their way to make the process smooth, uneventful,
and rapid. Who can ask for more!
Loudon Lockmaster Terry Foreshee. A professional with a
sense of humor. Best of all worlds.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
7:55 a.m. Departed Terrace View Marina
p.m. Arrived at Island Cove Marina (near Chattanooga,
Distance travelled: approx. 60 miles
Soon after departing the marina we encountered fog
but by the time we got to the lock about 1 hour later,
it had lifted. We had a somewhat breezy but sunny
day the whole distance. Some of the foliage has
started to turn color and with the clear, sunny day
the scenery was spectacular. Our friends, Mike
& Helen Moran from Marietta, GA travelled to Island
Cove to visit with us. Together with them and
the other boating members in our flotilla, we enjoyed
dinner at the marina restaurant. It was a wonderful
way for Ken to celebrate his birthday today.
from Sharon Birdwell at table end nearest, Ben Birdwell,
son Chris Birdwell, Mike Moran,
Helen Moran, Brenda,
me, Bill Rogers and Nancy Rogers. Great way to
start a trip and have a birthday!
As previously stated, more pictures will follow soon.
We are moving along at a fairly strenous pace
to get through the Chattanooga lock which will begin
severly restricting passage starting Oct 5th. As
such, we are pretty tired at the end of each day right
now due to the long distances travelled.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Island Cove Marina
12:30 p.m. Arrived at anchorage
at Little Cedar Mountain (south of Chattanooga)
travelled: 50 miles
Weather: low 57,
high 66; rained all afternoon and night
All 3 boats left the marina and got through the Chickamauga
Lock without any waiting. Just after passing through
we met a tow with 5 barges so we were lucky we got there
before him or we would have waited 5 hours. One
of the boats, Watauga, stopped at downtown Chattanooga
and will stay there for a couple of days but catch up
with us later on down the river. Tellico Lady
and Last Dragon carried on down the river to our anchorage
at Little Cedar Mountain. It started to rain soon
after we got there and rained all night long. Ben,
Sharon, and Chris Birdwell brought (via dinghy) a pork loin to our
boat for dinner. We all then watched a DVD together
before calling it a day. Captain Ben and crew
braved the elements (rain) and successfully dinghied
back to Last Dragon with all crew accounted for.
Monday, October 05, 2009
7:25 a.m. Departed anchorage at Little Cedar
1 p.m. Arrived
at Goose Pond Marina (Scottsboro, AL)
Distance travelled: 49 miles
Weather: low 56, high 66; cloudy and sometimes
breezy (especially when we were trying to dock)
We had an uneventful trip down the river. The
only thing of note was a deer that swam across the lake
in front of us. After arriving at our marina,
Sharon and I took a 2-mile walk. The remainder
of the day was spent doing a little bit of laundry and
reading. Last Dragon is leaving tomorrow morning
to carry on down the river but we plan to stay one more
night at this marina.
would you explain running into a deer at 8 mph
is the control cabin of a typical Tennessee Rivre towboat.
(They actually push).
Tuesday October 06, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 -another day at Goose
Weather: low 54, high 75; bright
overcast with 5 mph breeze
Together with loopers we met here (Betsy & Rick)
we borrowed the courtesy car and visited “Unclaimed
Luggage” in Scottsboro. This used to be only unclaimed
luggage but now is almost like a discount store with
very little unclaimed luggage (maybe that means luggage
is not lost as much as it used to be?). Tonight
we had dinner at the marina restaurant with fellow loopers
Betsy & Rick Johnson (Rick ‘n Roll) and Jim and
Cyndi McKay who are making their annual journey to Orange
Brenda, Rick Johnson, Betsy Johnson, Jim McKay, Cyndi
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
a.m. Departed Goose Pond Marina
1:45 p.m. Arrived
at Ditto Landing Marina (near Huntsville, AL)
travelled: 44 miles
Weather: low 68,
high 82; sunny day with some breeze at times
We had a wonderful cruise down the river to our destination
today. The weather became increasingly nicer as
the day wore on. After settling in we walked around
the marina area which is huge and also includes a campground.
Many locals also come here to fish and to just enjoy
the area – some fish, others walk or bike, and others
sit on the benches overlooking the river. Tomorrow,
we will cruise to Joe Wheeler State Park to join Last
Dragon and probably wait a few days for Watauga and
Sundancer to catch up to us.
little panorama made at Ditto Waterfront park. Did
not do scene justice.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
a.m. Departed Ditto Landing
1:15 p.m. Arrived
at Joe Wheeler State Park (Rogersville, AL)
travelled: 57 miles
Weather: low 60,
high 85; sunny with clouds
We had another beautiful day on the water. The
big plus was that we did not have to go through any
locks today. We passed Wind Rose (Denver &
Denise) going upstream. When we arrived at our
destination, Sharon & Ben (Last Dragon), along with
other loopers here, including Jimmy Tant, helped us
get into our slip. We plan to stay here until
Monday so there will probably be no further updates
until later on Monday (also our internet service is
not great here so we won’t use our computers too much).
Friday, October 9, 2009 - at
Joe Wheeler State Park
We had a tornado
warning late this afternoon so we gathered up Miss Molly
and headed for the lodge. A tornado apparently
touched down further north; we had winds of approximately
38 mph. Other than ripping our new (2 weeks old)
U.S. flag off the back of the boat, all was well.
Saturday, October 10, 2009 -
at Joe Wheeler State Park
Bill Rogers (Watauga) arrived today so now we have 3
boats in our flotilla.
Sunday, October 11, 2009 - at
Joe Wheeler State Park
This was just
a relaxed lay day, time for cleanup, fill tanks, go
for walks, etc.
Monday, October 12, 2009
are still at Joe Wheeler. The weather was rainy
so we decided to stay another day which allowed Sundancer
to catch up to us. Now all 4 boats of the flottila
are finally together. Kathy and Rich Hawbaker (Sea-Pup)
stopped on their way back to Tellico Lake. Nancie
Rogers (Watauga) made a stew, so all 10 of us got together
for dinner, thanks to Nancie. We called it a mini
Knoxville Power Squadron gathering as we are all members
of that group.
& Nancie, Ken & Brenda, Ben & Sharon, Ray
& Delila, Rich & Kathy
thanks to Nancie. A little cozy, but lots of fun,
and the galley slaves working for beer.
Another boat named 'Seas the Day' also came into
the marina. Captain Ron Frye said he was on his
way to our marina, Tellico Harbor, where he plans to
keep his boat on B dock (he thinks maybe slip 23 or
near there). So, "B-Dockers" -- get
ready to welcome a new member and his beautiful Mainship.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
a.m. Departed Joe Wheeler
12 noon Arrived
at Florence Harbor
Distance travelled: 20.8 miles
low 63, high 73; pouring rain from 3 p.m.
We did not have to travel far today but we had 2
locks to transit so wanted to leave early in case there
was barge traffic. Once again we were lucky as
we did not have to wait for traffic. The 2nd lock,
Wilson lock, is neo-classical in design and has a drop
of 93 feet which is the biggest drop on the TN River
is the entrance ahead to Wilson Lock for our 93 foot
the Wilson Lock. Sundancer left, Watauga on right,
Last Dragon out of site on my left. Note the interesting
type of entrance gate. It slides up and down instead
at the size of the downstream gates! This was
a picture taken (not by us) during a maintenance period.
We were lucky to get through when we did
as a large tow with 15 barges later went past the marina
where we are staying - had we been later we probably
would have had to wait at least 6 hours to get through.
After getting settled, Nancie, Brenda, Sharon,
& Delila borrowed the marina courtesy van and went
to Walmart to re-provision. Now we are all settled
in our individual boats out of the pouring rain. More
rain is predicted for tomorrow so we will stay here
and do some sightseeing of Florence by marina
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
stayed at Florence Harbor Marina today and did some
sightseeing using the marina courtesy van. First,
we visited Ivy Green which is the birthplace of Helen
Keller. Learning about her many accomplishments
though she was deaf and blind was a very humbling experience.
Next we stopped at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame,
a very interesting and informative museum. We learned
that this area known as Muscle Shoals was the home of
many recording studios with artists such as The Rolling
Stones, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart,
Lynrd Skynrd, and Linda Ronstadt recording albums here
in their early days. After a delicious lunch at The
Dish in downtown Florence and walking the main street,
we then toured The Rosenbaum House which is a home designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright. This Usonian-style home
was Wright's vision of an affordable home for the average
American. It was a most unusual and interesting
design as was the story of the Rosenbaum family who
had it built for them.
only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Alabama. Very
Thursday, October 15, 2009
a.m. Departed Florence Harbor
12 noon Arrived
at Grand Harbor Marina/Counce, TN
Weather: Low 56, high 73; rainy, windy,
Just as we left Florence it poured with rain and
continued for about 1-1/2 hours. When we arrived
at Grand Harbor we actually had sunshine for about 10
beautiful Grand Harbor Marina. We were very well
treated here, and would recommend this marina.
The remainder of the day was cloudy and became increasingly
cold. The trip on the water itself was nice. After
settling in, Brenda, Nancie, Sharon, & Delila went
for a walk. We met other Looper boats, "Where's
Linda" and "Joanne Marie". Our
flotilla group, along with Pete & Linda (Where's
Linda) were picked up by van and taken to Freddy T's
for dinner - a unique and very good restaurant in a
"Loopers" at Freddie T's. Pete and Linda
on the left are a great addition to our group.
This will end our Tennessee River
portion of the trip. Now, we head south on the
Tenn-Tom Waterway to Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
You will need to use that button on our logbook
page from now on. Here is our location: Just
click on it http://tinyurl.com/yhp24rs