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Sunday, June 1, 2014

CRUISING THE CUMBERLAND, FIRST PHASE

CRUISING THE CUMBERLAND, PHASE ONE!



The long awaited cruising season has begun.  The cold winter months have been replaced by warm Spring sun, 85 deg., cool evenings and the opportunity to sail into "uncharted" waters of the Cumberland River. 

We embarked on Memorial Day, escaping the madness of Lake Barkley to sail the lonely Cumberland River to Clarksville, TN and a good river city.  We have information from good sources, that a new marina awaits our visit.  The first marina was lost to floods in 2009, while the new marina was constructed in a "basin" to escape the current of the Cumberland River.  The City of Clarksville created a new park along the river from the material removed to create the marina basin.  What a great idea and leap of faith by the leaders of the city.  Now, a new restaurant is under construction, great walking trail is complete and a large dog part. 
The first landmark we encountered is the Eddyville State Penitentiary constructed in the 1930's along the Cumberland River.  The facility now houses the most dangerous prisoners with some having a good and I would think frustrating view of all the fun along the shores of Lake Barkley. Imagine watching all the fun while you can only watch and envy the freedom.  Oh well, do the crime, you do the time.

Now as you cruise the Cumberland, if you are lucky, you will encounter the familiar "tow" boats providing materials of various types to cities and power plants along the Cumberland. We approached this tow heading down river. Hailing the captain with instructions on how to pass is a very good idea and custom along the river.  This Captain was a bit chatty. He thanked us for calling, asked where we were bound and appreciated by "slow pass" not wanting to rock his boat. These boats can be 1,500 Ft. long drawing about 10 ft. of water and carry many tons of cargo.  The crew works 6 hrs. on and 6 off for 30 days, then 30 day off.   The pay is excellent but the work is dangerous.  In this trade, you can start as a deckhand and work your way to pilot and Captain.  Captain income is about $300-400,000 annually.  So, all you young sailors, there is opportunity here. 



OK, I did hold up Bailey for the pic.  Our Admiral Denise has a good eye and saw a picture framed by the mast and flag as the sun set along the shore of Dry Creek anchorage.  Our first evening was enjoyed along Lake Cumberland with a new anchorage for us.  It is always fun to explore new anchorages sticking our bow into new waters.  We enjoyed a quiet evening with a cool breeze.  A few fisherman came by to see our boat but did not leave any fillets.  When cruising it is typically early to bed due tot he early rise when sun peaks into the boat. 

OK, Bella does not stay alert when at the wheel.  Auto pilot does help but she tends to nod off.  I do think she is watching the chart writer on the dash behind the wheel.  She does tend to favor the Captain's chair.  Obviously, we do enjoy our 4 leg deckhands. 
 The above is a view of 0 Regrets docked at Clarksville Marina.  As I mentioned, the basin was dug, flooded and appears perfect for the City of Clarksville, TN.  The basis has 10-14 ft. of water with floating docks, fuel, pump outs at the dock, fresh water and within walking distance of supplies and restaurants. 
Another view of our home away.  She is almost 30 years old now but a real charmer.  Our best compliment was a sailor calling our boat "shippy".  He said she looks like a boat not some fiberglass sculpture with over powering engines.  We like that and enjoy letting visitors aboard who are curious about a trawler.  We had visitors here who are near 80 yrs. old with a small cruiser docked nearby.  More power to them.
 

OK, Ok!!!  Another selfie of the Admiral, Captain and 0 Regrets.  We could not fit the dogs(deckhands) in the picture.   We had enjoyed the riverwalk trail after a great lunch at the Blackhorse Pub in the downtown area of Clarksville. 
The Blackhorse Pub has many special items, but the pizza must be the favorite of many.  The Whitehorse pizza without meat was a surprise. I typically like the meat but this was excellent and goes great with the fresh brewed beers offered by the pub. 
I must caution all, two people may have a difficult time eating this meal when coupled with great beers.  They will give you a take boat box.
We decided to stop the return cruise with an early evening anchorage, Hickman Creek.  What a surprise!!  The creek is adjacent to Fort Donaldson with a narrow entrance, then opens up to a broad bay.  The entrance is 6-7 ft. but in the channel we had 10-14 ft. depth.  No homes here but just a few fisherman.  The Admiral put up her feet after managing the Captain all day.  But we will return to this anchorage!
  Bailey enjoyed a cool swim off the platform retrieving her new ball.  She does look good in here Vera Bradley "wrap".  After all, one must keep up appearances. 

 
I am not real "Artsie" when framing my pictures. However, this just caught my eye early morning in Hickman Creek.  We had fog, sun, water and our trawler home.  I even had a canary visitor that morning, sitting on the rail for a rest.  We will sail this morning toward out homeport.  We may not make it, just might find another anchorage.
Once again, we found a new anchorage, Motley Creek upriver of Little River area on Lake Barkley.  The Admiral found this shot while I was toasting the sunset.  I prefer the sunset toast, red wine and breakfast grits is not a good combo.  The Grill awaits the steaks. 
 
Not to be out done, Bella found here opportunity to enjoy the "Vera" towel. She does not really enjoy the swims but does like getting here sun time.  Vanity, vanity.
 
Well the cruise ended with no one hurt and no boat problems. We had a wonderful first cruise of the season, 200 miles on the Cumberland and only $180 in fuel costs.  Heck, we spent more on food and beverages. Who said boating had to be expensive?
 
Happy sailing to all,
 
Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bailey and Bella 
 



Monday, April 28, 2014

SPRING HAZE

I must apologize to my readership for a two month absent.  I do not have a good excuse.  My best attempt at blame is to pass the blame to my editorial "staff" for not keeping me on the beam.  So, since I have been so absent I am looking back to some of my favorite pics and people. 

 
The above pic is our great Bella.  She like all dogs likes the window view and this reminds me of the carefree joy of all dogs hanging about.  Update, we have complete remodeling the condo and will be posting after photos.  However, the view from the porch has not changed except the colors, temps and river traffic. 
 
My trusty companion, Bailey remains at my side always alert and lends a helping paw. 
 
This pic of my best friend shows the pensive side of her. She has a moment and I am sure she is planning the next in her article "Paws are Us".  She is the best sailing deckhand with four hands. 
 
The above view should be self explanatory.  The weathered face of the old sailor most likely trying to decide the next step aboard "0 Regrets".  I remain thankful the Admiral Denise finds time to help this "old man on the sea".  I know it must be a challenge.  
 
After completion of the condo remodeling I have to continue to "work".  One must pay those bills.  Challenged to work along the water front, I have positioned my office in a convenient location to be of assistance Coast Guard in case of a water born emergency.
 
Well, I have the laptop, coffee, environmental watch and weather watch.  Someone must monitor the commercial traffic along the Cumberland River.  I am you Man! 
 
Boating season is upon us and we have completed one short cruise on the Tennessee River with deckhands of two, 16 yr. old young men and one watchful father.  We typically make this cruise each Spring for a week, however, due to other commitments, the crew was only available for a shorter voyage. I must have a talk with them about things interfering with sailing. 
 
Well, I know this is a short catch up.  But as they say, "more to come".  Happy sailing all and we will see you on the water.
 
Capt. Barry, Adm. Denise and deckhands Bella and Bailey
 


 
 
 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

AMISH COUNTRY

In my professional experience, you just never know for sure how your day will unfold.  After 32 years in this business I had not had the experience of appraising property owned by the Amish. Our area of western Kentucky includes a few counties with a strong Amish community. 

So Here I go.  My current task is to appraiser an Amish Farm. Typically, they do not have a phone, however, this particular farm has another business which has a phone available 30 min. per day.  That does enable me to make an appointment to view the property. I must say they do have some pretty farms. 


After meeting the your owner of the farm, I toured the property with his company, and it is obvious he is proud of his farm.  While a small farm, it offers a wide variety of operations. He has a dairy herd, 43 head, milked twice per day, a tarp construction business, draft horses for plowing about 80 acres and a homestead.  This is a considerable operation for only 100 acres. 
The above horses are large, draft horses used to plow the fields. They are huge and well behaved.  I watched a young man back them into the barn with the plow.  Of  course you had better not be behind them at the wrong moment. 

While touring the property I stumbled upon these calf feeding. It appears they have been weaned from Mom and are in a feeding barn.  They are cute and one has a name.
I spied this calf and since the calf is named after our daughter I thought she deserved her own picture.
Notice the name and date of birth on the ear tag.  They have plenty of room in the small coral and must be destined for the dairy operations. 

In another farm visit I encountered another pet.  I saw any number of these in Vietnam but this one is a pet.
Just scratch this pig behind the ears and it is your friend.

After touring this farm I need to invest in some rubber boots to mind my walking.  The cows and horses do not seem to mind where they poop.  But I must admit I do enjoy seeing the farms and admire the simple life style of the Amish.  I do wonder what they think of me. 

Oh well, see you on the farm or the water.

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MY HERO

I have discussed in this blog my good friend "Doc".  Well he continues his voyage along the gulf coast of Florida.  Having cruised over 4,000 river miles, Doc has expanded his sailing south to cruise the Florida waters.

Thus far, Doc has cruised along the Gulf Coast panhandle from Mobile Bay to Steinhatchee.  He is rounding the corner as explained by looper boats.  He could cut the corner from Carrabelle to Tampa, but this requires a 180 mile cruise overnight across the Gulf.  While this can be possible for Doc's boat, this range can task his fuel and increases  the risk.  Therefore, Doc has opted to round the corner and see what he can see.
Click on the layer to see the locations of Doc as he travels the corner.




The above map is a work in progress.  I am new to New Google Maps but trying to teach this old dog a new trick.  Envious as I am of Doc we will follow this old dog along his pirates route along the West Coast of Florida.  Who knows, he may like the Sea Hag!  This will take an education on my part but hopefully my skills will improve. 

As I follow my Senior Hero down the west coast of Florida I continue to envy his journey.  However, I do not think I would enjoy the solitude of anchoring many nights with out anyone to share the experience.  Doc seems to enjoy the solitude but also craves human conversation after days at anchor.  

Doc is currently at anchor off coast from Suwannee River about 3 miles off coast.  Seems access to the river can be very shallow and at low tide he felt getting caught was a possibility.  After spending a few days at the Sea Hag Marina, an anchorage may be a break.  He did provide his coordinate which I will update on the next map post.  Now that I know the last coordinates, I can inform the Coast Guard of his last known location. 



While I am writing about "old sailors" I have another sailor dog to introduce.  A good friend and college has purchased an Albin Family Cruiser to restore.  Restore is a generous word, rebuilt would be more accurate.  He purchased this boat after it sat behind a house in the rain for 3 years.  The boat sunk on its trailer.  Tom pumped over 1,000 gal. from the boat.  Now, the restoration is underway.  He plans to follow Doc along the waterways.   Notice the bumped up cabin in the stern. This area is a small sleeping cabin.  It has more space than appears but is like crawling into a coffin. The boat has a cabin with head, galley and bed.  The saga will continue during the next year as the boat is restored.  


 Found this wonderful pic, reminding me of Kentucky Spring. Yep, only good looking dogs and a beautiful women in this picture.  The old sea dog was the photographer.  We have experienced a rough winter and this is a view we all are looking forward to.  It will appear eventually.  

We continue to remodel the condo and I would estimate about 95% complete.  We will post before and after pics for all to enjoy when the project is complete.  Of course, Spring brings boat work which I certainly enjoy. 

Well I must bath the wife and walk the dogs.  Good time along Bend of the Rivers.  See ya'll on the water.

Happy sailing,
Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey 

 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

LIFE, IT IS A CHANGING

Sitting here along Lake Barkley shoreline I am a bit pensive and realizing, Life is changing.  This is certainly prompted by our recent move to a wonderful condo unit along the "beach" of our development, Bend of the Rivers.  I sit here daily watching the river, lake and view change. Each morning I am greeted with a new view, punctuated by my friends, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, uncounted birds and changing landscape. 

As visible above, our view changes many times in just 24 hrs. We have had sunsets, snow, fog and the ever passing towboats. 

As readers of this blog will hopefully remember, our plans have always been to travel as far and wide as we can manage.  As these plans have evolved, we found ourselves transitioning from land based travel via our motor home to water based travel aboard our trawler, 0 Regrets.  This included the purchase of our first condo unit, a one-bedroom charmer.  However, karma intervened and offers us an opportunity to purchase our current home on the beach with the view above.  We sold our one bedroom unit to the first viewer and happily began this journey to make the "lake" our home.  

This began the renaissance of Unit 4B.  However, this project has opened other doors to Ms. Denise and I.  Other factors must fall in line to complete this relocation, but it appears they are moving along.  I feel the most significant change is Denise seems more than happy here and has been "nesting" actively since our purchase.  I tend to stir the nest up i.e. demolition, and she puts things back together beautifully.  A good team effort.      
The above shot conveys the comfort we are feeling in our new home.  Although the entire unit is being redecorated, the view and dogs remain.  This picture seems rather "comfortable" to me which is how we feel here.  We will be completing our remodel in the next 3-4 weeks.  Our careers do continue but will require some commuting to and fro but a little driving is a small price to pay for our plans to continue. 
Above is our planned water borne conveyance, 0 Regrets.  Seen here a Grand Harbor Marina in Pickwick Lake during our fall cruise of 2013.  We plan to live aboard for 2-3 months then dock the boat, somewhere, escaping back to Lake Barkley to visit and get land legs back.  Then back to 0 Regrets to continue our adventures.  We are following a number of blogs of friends we have met along our river cruises, stealing ideas, anchorage and marina locations. 

I remain envious of friends who are currently aboard their boats along the Panhandle coast of Florida.  I have written about "Doc" in this blog and he continues to entertain and provide a glimpse into life along the coast.  Another long time friend has just begun a dream by purchasing his cruising boat.
The above boat is the dream and project of my friend Tommy. This is the same boat Doc lives aboard, just about 2 feet shorter. Right, 25 ft. of joy awaits Tommy.  The boat sank in the Ohio River and sat on the bottom for over a year. He purchased boat and trailer and has embarked on a total rebuild.  In fact, the only really good portion of the boat is the hull and trailer.  While we were talking "boat" we stumbled on the idea of cruising together when time permits.  He does anticipate maybe a year project to complete the rebuild.  Maybe he can help me with projects aboard 0 Regrets. That would be a challenge. 

Well, our transition continues.  I am starting to feel like a local. The lizard keeps changing but he has a smile on the old face.

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, hands Bailey and Bella

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CONDO RENNAISANCE

The first blog of 2014 has to be the " Renaissance of Condo 4B".  We purchased our first condo at Bend of the River development about 2 years ago.  We have so enjoyed our life here that the opportunity presented itself to improve our life here.  So, we sold our one bedroom unit and purchased a two bedroom, two bath unit on the water.  We now have "water front property". 

 We now have the water about 50 yds. from our door with a view east and west along Lake Barkley(Cumberland River).
So we have embarked on the complete remodeling of Unit 4B. Being a condo, this entails the interior of the property.  We are removing everything except the Sheetrock, including appliances and other fixtures.  We have the services of expert electrician, painter and floor covering specialists.  I want to let all know that Lowe's Store offers all veterans a 10% discount on all purchases, a significant savings.  We have invested significantly at Lowe's and enjoyed the discount. 

Our lake view offers every changing water and views.
 Sunny view looking across Lake Barkley with fog on the water .

Winter view this morning at 2 degrees. 
 
View of sunset with passing tow boat.
 
View from our old condo on a cold morning.
 
Sunset view with tow boat cruising by.  All these pictures were taken from our back door fronting on Lake Barkley.  The prime reason for locating here and living with "new" water. 
Living room with inherited furniture.  Stone fireplace is good and will remain.
View to dining room area prior to renovations.  Behind the curtain is the great view we purchased.  The condo is just a place to enjoy the view, as shown above.

Everyone will enjoy the faux distressed cabinets.  We are replacing all appliances, floor and counter tops. The cabinets will be painted and new hardware installed. 

We have plans for unit 4B to be our new Home, with the sale of our current dwelling maybe this summer.  Relocating to the Lakes area has been a long term plan and hopefully it will be a reality this year. 

This concludes the "before tour".  We will try to keep the blog updated as we proceed.  I am sub-general contractor, always under the guidance of the General Contractor, Denise.

Happy sailing,

Denise, Barry, Bella and Bailey.



Monday, December 30, 2013

MONDO CONDO MOVING DAY

Yehaw!!!  We finally closed on the new condo.  What a time closing due to an ill informed Indiana attorney. However, we did close and now excited about our move.  This will be our new home hopefully next year.  We can just hop and skip to the water from the porch.  I really thought I saw a blue whale surface this afternoon.  I know I saw future skinny dipping visions.  Yes, I was drinking wine. 

Now the fun will start. We have several contractors arranged to remodel the home, starting January 2.  First the painting, wallpaper removal, removal of carpeting, installing laminate flooring, new fixtures, bath floors, new appliances, and many other things we have not encountered.  Such is the result of moving.  We are more than excited about the view and enjoying twice the room. 

We made the move in anticipation of moving here full time. Our boat is only about 4 min. drive to the marina.  We plan to cruise long range with boat breaks here for a month or two at a time.  Condo ownership offers no maintenance worries with limited expense. 


Our new pool is still under construction but has taken shape and will be complete in the spring.  We all will be excited to enjoy the new pool which is larger and beautiful.  This is our main recreation in the development when not on the lake in our boat.
We have a great view in all directions. This view is looking west along Lake Barkley.  We have a herd of deer each evening and Canadian Geese during the day.  The dogs will have much fun.

Well, we will continue this saga in the next few weeks. Nesting in the new home is fun but just a bit of work.

Happy sailing,

Denise, Barry, Bella, Bailey
aboard 0 Regrets.