Monday, August 8, 2016

Trip Summary 2016

What a pleasant trip this year! It was fun to have Mike and Carol Kluver on board with us in Nashville for a few days. Clarksville, Tennessee was also a highlight for the 4 McGees as we spent ten days using a rental car to take in many local attractions. Boat performance was wonderful!

Weather was outstanding, allowing water to be calm nearly every day we traveled. Hot but nice! Many days near the 100 degree mark. Operated from inside the cabin most of the time to enjoy air conditioning. Could be that we are a little spoiled. Just wanted Bobbie the boat dog to be comfy!

Traveled 1237 boat miles in 160.5 engine hours for an average speed of 7.7 mph.
Dream Manor has now traveled a life time of 10,560 miles.
Went through 26 locks this year bringing lock total to 210.
 Anchored out 5 times this year. Total of 43 times since owning the boat..
Used 1016 gallons of diesel fuel. Averaged 1.2 miles per gallon. Total fuel 9349 gals since new.

It was 46 days from leaving Demopolis, Alabama until returning. No threats of walking the gang plank during the entire trip! Boated in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Carol and I (Allen) are returning to Louisiana this week. Keith and Maryann are going to stay on the boat for some time before returning home to Las Vegas. We look forward to additional travels next year. This ends the blog for now until new boating begins.

Dream Manor at Clarksville.



August 2nd was a great day on the water. Cooperation among the locks was outstanding as there was no waiting time at any of the four locks. In each case the gates were open and ready. Made 59 miles from Midway Marina to Columbus Marina in 7 hours.

August 3rd & 4th were two busy days devoted to service work. Changed filter elements in Separ filters and cleaned sediment bowels on fuel system for both main engines and generator. Changed oil and filter on generator and replaced the fuel filter. Tightened alternator belt on the generator engine and replaced water pump impeller.

August 5th was a travel day of 7.8 hours including two locks to Sumter Landing. Anchored in a secluded cove near a boat landing at mile marker 270. Hardly noticed the wind blew for a while as this location is nearly surrounded by trees and therefore well protected. Hook was set in mud in about 7 feet of water. It held very well all night. Miles today 64.9

August 6th seemed a longer day than it should have been. Raised anchor about 5:30 A.M. expecting an easy day. At mile marker 266.1 is Heflin lock and dam. Lock master had us in sequence for a quick lock down. Upon arrival at the open gate, red light stayed on. Shift change was apparently taking place as eventually a different voice came over the radio. We were told there was a tow coming down river and had priority. There was plenty of time to have been locked through before the tow arrived. Went back up river to get behind the tow. Waited 1.5 hours to be locked down. It was a nice day and eventually we just had to let go of anger that had set in from the way we were treated at the lock. It's only 53.4 miles from Sumter Landing to Demopolis but took 7.7 hours. Went directly to the fuel dock and took on 273 gallons of diesel. Made way from fuel dock to our slip in Kingfisher Bay Marina. It was a welcome sight!.
 Reflections on the water.
 Not a ripple!
 Egret standing in shallow water along the bank.
 Keith and Bobbie in the lock. Just for info-from Pickwick lake to Demopolis is an elevation change of 351 feet.

 White cliffs always attract attention.
Paddle boat tied up at our home port in Kingfisher Bay.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Aqua to Midway

 Sunrise over Lake Pickwick as seen from Aqua Yacht Harbor.
 Sun now peaking out from behind the trees.
 Looking back at wake from Dream Manor.

Looking over the bow it can be seen how straight the cut is on this part of the Tombigbee Waterway. There is 25 miles like this with only gentle turns. Clearly was hand dug. A lot of the original river was cut straighter to make navigation possible from Mobile Bay to the Tennessee River, a distance of 450 miles. Project was completed in 1985.
 Maryann loves to exercise on the stationary bike as we navigate the waterway.
Witten lock has a lift of 84 feet. Going down the Tombigbee it lowers us down that 84 feet.
Next two locks today lowered us 30 feet each. In other words elevation is 144 feet less now.

Another super day to be on the water. Much of the time surface of the river was so smooth it almost looked like glass. Went 54.2 miles in 6.6 hours. That time was only possible because with cooperation of lock masters and spacing to not interfere with barges, there was no waiting at any of the locks today. Hope we are so lucky tomorrow! Will only stay tonight at Midway Marina at mile marker 394.

Clifton Marina Pics

July 30, 2016

Spent a pleasant day at Clifton Marina. Used courtesy car to have lunch at Meo Mia. Specializing in Cajun food it was very enjoyable. Toured downtown Clifton. That did not take long as total population is only about 1500 people! Many of them were really enjoying a nice day on the water. Calm day with lots of sunshine contributed to the busy day at the marina.
 Blue roof covers the ship store. Fuel dock in front.
 Dream Manor sits quietly just inside entrance to the marina.

looking south (upstream) at Tennessee River. Tennessee River flows north into Ohio River.
Dream Manor sits quietly just off the Tennessee River.

July 31, 2016 was cloudy with a little rain shower. Went up river. Retracing our route. Pickwick Lock raised the boat up 55 feet allowing us to be on Lake Pickwick. Traveled 8.5 miles on this beautiful lake. A significant point as three states come together: Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. No markers on the water to show exactly where the borders are located. Turned port into Yellow Creek (still part of Pickwick Lake). Went another 3 miles to Aqua Yacht Harbor Marina. Tied up for night having traveled 60 miles in 7 hours including the one lock.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pebble Isle & Clifton

Days go by rather quickly, and with times of poor internet service it's easy to fall behind keeping track of 4 mcgees travels. On July 27th we had a short distance of 30.1 miles from Paris Landing to Pebble Isle Marina at marker 96. It was just 3.8 hours of peaceful time on the water. Upon arrival we found a storm had knocked out their internet service and phone booster. Felt out of touch with the outside world. It rained hard all night and part of the day of the 28th. Out good friend Barry Watts who lives there on his boat, drove us to Waverly for lunch at a buffet at Rawlins Grill. Also took us to Walmart to get a few supplies. After the sun began to shine Brother and I got up enough ambition to change oil and filers on the diesel engines. Moved to fuel dock and took on 308 gals of diesel. Moved back to dock with warm engines and serviced them at 1341 hours of operation.
 Coast Guard stationed at Paris Landing to handle placement of bouys on the river.
 Young Osprey have sure grown since we navigated down the river a few weeks ago.
 Many of the tows we have seen were pushing empty barges.
On the way to the marina.
July 29 was a longer day. Cloudy with a few sprinkles of rain as we made 62.5 miles in 7.7 hours to marker 158.5. Clifton Marina is located in a hole entirely surround with high terrain except for the narrow entrance. So after leaving the Tennessee River through the short passage into the marina it generally is very calm.
 Dredging operation removing sand from the river. Tows full of sand are common on the waterways.
 Sand is going into barges on both sides of the dredge

Bobbie likes to get upon the helm to observe the river.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paris Landing

Another super day to be on the water. So smooth it makes for some spoiled travelers! Total water miles today was 64.4 nicely done in 7.3 hours. Went down the Cumberland River and turned port to cross through the Barkley Canal to the Tennessee River. Went south up the Tennessee River to Paris Landing State Park Marina at mile 66.1, notice the mile marker numbers will be getting larger going up river.

 Kentucky State Penitentiary is known as "castle on the Cumberland". A maximum security prison completed in 1886 is Kentucky's oldest prison facility. Located about 3 miles from Eddyville, Kentucky.
At Paris Landing it became obvious where the poop on the dock had come from. The Large Blue Heron was standing proudly on top of somebody's boat. Can't imagine how pleased the owners will be to find their nice canopy covered with an undesirable deposit!

Prizer Point

July 25, 2016

What a day. Departed Clarksville, Tennessee and traveled north down the Cumberland River 8.2 hours covering 72.4 miles. A beautiful day on smooth water. Arrived at Prizer Point Marina at mile 55 which is near the town of Cadiz, Texas. Took on 100 gals of overly priced diesel fuel. Pump was so slow it took a lot of patience to get that 4 dollars per gallon fuel.

 Looking ahead at ferry and power plant.
 Cumberland City ferry.
 Look at that terrible water vapor "steam" coming from the power plant stacks.
Dover Hotel as soon from the river. This became known as the Surrender House. It was the location where 13,000 Confederate troops were unconditionally surrendered to General Grant. We toured Fort Donalson on July 19th.
Look closely at the crest of the hill where the lighter green grass reaches the dark tree line. There are several Confederate canons facing the Cumberland River where they tried to protect Fort Donalson from Union troops
One small island was very interesting. The trees were loaded with dark birds called Anhinga!