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.