Friday, July 31, 2009


July 31, 2009---What a day! Sometime during the night wind caused the anchor to drag. Upon awakening we were deeper in the cove and nearly against a bank. It was still raining and wind blowing with strong force. Attempted to weigh anchor and found the chain was wrapped around a water logged tree trunk. Unable to lift the tangled mess we maneuvered to the fuel dock at Shady Grove Harbor across the main channel. After some attempts in the strong wind we secured the boat to the dock. This made it possible to get the heavy, 10’ tree untangled from the anchor chain.

After the storm passed we pumped out the holding tank and headed downstream. Went thru the Chickamauga lock at mile 471. After lowering 48’ continued downstream to Chattanooga at Max Marine mile 463.5. This lock is 5800' long and total height is 129'. Construction began in 1936 and completed in 1940. The Chickamauga Lake extends above the dam back to Watts Bar Dam a distance of 59 miles.

Before arriving in Chattanooga the generator went down on high temperature. Short trip today of 24 miles. Tied up to the wall in front of the Tennessee Aquarium. It is not an easy place to tie up a 59’ boat because of the spacing and thickness of the vertical supports.

However it is scenic with the grassy park and bridges. Certainly an active area. Lots of foot traffic as many folks enjoy looking at all the boats tied along the wall. One such family is the Halls from Atlanta, GA. They looked closely at our stationary dog that seems so real. We sure enjoyed visiting with them.

Changed out the water pump impeller on the generator. Found all 4 missing pieces on the inlet to the heat exchanger. Ran the generator to make sure temperature was okay. Looked good at normal operating condition of 177 degrees.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


July 30, 2009---Weighed anchor and made the short run to Watts Bar Lock. This lock brought us down 59’. Total dam height is 112' extending 2960' across the Tennessee River. Watts Lake above the dam is 72.4 miles long to Fort Loudoun Dam. Construction of the dam began July 1, 1939 and was completed January 1, 1942. This hydroelectric plant produces 175 megawatts of electricity. The complex is unique because it's the only TVA site shared by a hydroelectric dam, a coal fired plant (inactive) and a nuclear power plant.
Smoke from the nuclear power plant blended in with the gray sky.

It was quite windy today so we drove from inside the cabin. Pictures thru the window really don’t show how choppy waves were. State Highway 60 Bridge made a frame over the trees in the background. Traveled 6 hours down the Tennessee River 42.4 miles and turned to port at mile 487.5 to go up Soddy Creek. We had been here before so we chose to anchor in the same cove directly across from Shady Grove Harbor marina.

Set the dinghy in the water and went to Steve’s Landing Restaurant about a mile farther up the creek. The food is great and the service is excellent. Checked out the turtles sunning on a log nearby. We had been looking forward to this fine stopping point.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


July 29, 2009---Late morning the rain had mostly passed and we decided to make a few miles. Before leaving Blue Springs Resort it seemed important to feed the carp. (See the video below.) The badly damaged prop hanging dockside at the office is quite the attention getter. Notice the wording on the plaque! Certified and Calibrated Series 4000 Depth Finder. A touch of humor!

At mile 532.5 on the Tennessee River turned starboard and went 5 miles up Piney River just to look. It is a nice area and the side trip was enjoyable. Turned around and went back down to the Tennessee River. Operated the boat from inside the cabin due to occasional sprinkles and it was somewhat windy. Just above the Watts Bar Lock near 529.9 miles we chose to go a short way into Lowe Branch Creek and anchor in a protected cove. Total distance traveled today was 27.8 miles. Toward evening the weather cleared to mostly sunshine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


July 28, 2009---Felt ambitious this morning so we washed the boat. Finished just in time for the rain. Mother nature did the final rinse! Much of the day was then spent doing Sudoku puzzles and other inside activites. Internet, TV, crossword puzzles and reading are regular hobbies.


July 27, 2009---After spending a quiet Sunday in the secluded cove, traveling urges became strong. We pulled anchor Monday and retraced the route down the Little Emory River into the Emory and down the Clinch to the Tennessee River. Just past Kingston, before entering the Tennessee River, Fort Southwest Point could be seen on the hill at port. This fort was an army garrison from 1792 to 1807.

Above Kinston several pictures were taken of the ongoing activity behind the Kingston Steam Plant. Later in the day we learned the story. This coal burning plant creates a lot of fly ash. The busy area is where the fly ash is deposited. Last winter a large containment levee broke which created a 19’ wall of rushing water. Many homes were destroyed and some actually floated down the river. Fortunately no lives were lost. TVA had to purchase all the homes in the affected area. Booms are concentrated to catch floating fly ash and many bucket hoes are digging for heavy metals that may have gone to bottom. We passed two boats that appeared to be gathering water samples.

Because of the sensitive situation, the police boat was busy making sure no wake rules are followed.

A Boy Scout camp with several green tents was spotted on a point overlooking the river.
On the Tennessee River we chose the Blue Springs Marina at mile 547.7 for an overnight stay. The courtesy car was available so we drove about 7 miles to have a late lunch at Mr. Twister’s restaurant in a little town called "Ten Mile", Tennessee.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


July 25, 2009---A busy morning as final preparations were made to start the journey down river. We took on 300 gals of diesel fuel and said goodbye to Bret King. He does a fine job as dock master. Our thanks to Beverly for her work in the office. She was a great help in handling our postal needs.
Looking forward to another day of experiences we called the lock, and what luck! He said to hurry and the gate would be open as there were two other boats also wanting to lock down. It is just about ½ mile to the lock from the marina. As we entered the chamber the lock tender said we should play the lottery to be so lucky to get right in! Lowered 72’ and away we went. The total dam height is 122’ and stretches 4190’ across the Tennessee River. The lock and dam was constructed 1940-1943. It is the uppermost in the chain of nine reservoirs that form a continuous navigable channel from Knoxville, TN to Paducah, KY a total distance of 652 miles.

Saw a couple of boats with diver down flags. It appeared they were diving for fresh water mussels.

It is 34.9 miles to where the Clinch River flows into the Tennessee River. We decided to go up the Clinch a little way. Went past the town of Kingston, TN. Got a close look at the TVA’s Kingston Steam Plant on the west side of the river. At 4.5 miles on the Clinch we turned into the Emory River and traveled 5.2 miles. There is a lot of construction work in this area and we had to zig zag around the booms and maneuver carefully between the channel markers. It looks like a new housing development going in next to the water. There were some temporary markers that took us through water depths less than 5’. After getting past all the booms we turned into the Little Emory River and went 1 ½ miles to the end of that tributary. Total trip today was 46.1 miles in 7.1 hours.

At the end was an open area where we set anchor in 6’ of water. The nearby boat launch had some activity with boats being put in and taken out, while folks were swimming close by. The pontoon boat with the lattice work was a rather interesting homemade addition.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


July 24, 2009---Steve & Michele Matt are owners of Stephen’s Deli located at the entrance to the docks at Fort Loudoun Marina. They are great folks and so good natured. Many of the items on the menu are homemade and all of the items are fresh and made to order. A good example is the BBQ North Carolina Sauce homemade by Stephen. Be sure to look them up on twitter: Be sure you purchase a Tee-shirt from Michele.

Michele kept busy serving guests on the deck, as folks listened to the band "Occasional Dilemma".

Carol is enjoying her Tee-shirt from the Deli as we travel down the river. She said it is made of good material.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


July 23, 2009---Maryann took some pictures near the marina during her morning walk. Later we drove into Lenoir City for lunch and supplies. Preparing to move down river, laundry was done and we changed oil in the two main Yanmar engines.