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Monday, October 29, 2012

River Cruise Collage

As we were forced to complete our Tennessee River Cruise I felt a short collage was appropriate of all our scenes from this adventure. We are transitioning to the water way of life aboard "0 Regrets". I was encourage by Denise's acceptance of the cruise and handling of the boat in locks. When we cruise the Great Loop, 137 locks and a crossing of the Gulf of Mexico, good hands are needed. This brings to mind the first photo displaying Adm. Denise's cruising posture.
Now alert, man the battle stations, Denise and Bailey. Hopefully this is not the "man overboard" drill.
The Bailey Bench with the life vest pillow is a typical resting place for this very alert Spaniel. She is learning the water life, relaxing during the cruise knowing deck work awaits. Yep, the pressure of pottying on the astroturf in the bow can be too much for a girl.
Yes, evening on the flybridge. Girls must have their evening cocktails after a long day of grueling cruising. Of course, Captn. Barry is preparing the evenining meal, plotting the next day cruise all the while putting the deck in order. Someone must do the deck work.
We added a new "ensign" to the transom during the cruise. I enjoy watching the flag flutter as we cruise. The dingy tagged along but was not needed during the cruise. We plan to add a Kentucky State Flag tot he mast for next year.
The above new friend is traveling to Florida and the Great Loop in a 18 ft. Starcraft open boat. The boat has a small cutty cabin in the bow, no head (toilet) and no galley. I asked the captain were he began the cruise and it was St. Paul, Minnesota. WOW!. He anchors out each evening with an occasionaly marina stop for food, fuel and maybe a shower. Now that is an adventure.
One of the most unusal boats we encountered. At Pebble Ilse Marina, the marina owner had restored this lobster boat. The wood work is amazing. Many hours and years went into the restoration. He has very little time to cruise but does so in comfort and knowing he completed the work.
The Nordhaven Trawler is a true classic. The Nordhaven is the top of the line trawler costing millions. This boat is a 56 ft. trawler, do not know the year, but the captain said it was an old boat. We encountered the boat while traveling North. The captain hailed us on the VHF radio asking if we had engine trouble, "we were heading the wrong way". ALAS, I had to admit Denise has a "real" job and I must return the Admiral to here place of employment.
Well when the weather turns cold and wet, the inside helm becomes important. Adm. Denise is at the controls with Navionics for navigation. The inside helm is not as much fun as the bridge but much warmer and dryer. One must have some creature comforts when piloting such a vessel as "0 Regrets". I am fortunate to have such an Adm. as Denise who is willing to assume deckhand duties and help me drink the daily "grog".
While cruising the river we encountered several granite rocks with a lone tree growing out of solid rock. This is common in the 10,000 islands area of the Georgian Bay, Ontario, but not typical of the Tennessee River. In Ontario they haul out wood and build cabins on these islands. No heat or water, but run the snowmobiles out in winter when lake freezes and camp in the cabins. Wonder if the Corp. of Engineers would permit this on the Tennessee River?
Upon our arrival at Paris Landing we managed to enjoy a good "real" breakfast at the lodge with a ride up with the Ranger. They are not very busy being Ranger Rick this time of year. Upon our walk back to the boat we encountered this fall display and just had to tak advantage for a pic. Denise is the creature without the dress! She does look like autumn. Well the cruise is over and now we must paint the boat and remodel the condo. New adventures await "0 Regrets" and we invite you along. Happy sailing, Adm. Denise, Captn. Barry and deckhands Bailey and Bella.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

SAILING TO HOME PORT

Unfortunately, we were required to turn downstrean at Florcence, AL. due to WORK requirements. That ugly four letter word. However, the work puts us on the water to enjoy our most recent travel and method of exploration.
We eased out of Florence Marina Harbor to ride the current downstream floating back to Green Turtle Bay, home port of 0 Regrets. Riding the current increased our cruising speed to a high 8.5 mph with low rpms on the engine. This is much better than 1800 rpms with only 4-5 mph traveling upstream. We must leave Eva and Bruce in Florence Marina. They made our trip/stop enjoyable. Eva is quite vivacious, southern lady with a quick wit and sharp tomgue. She has run the marina for a number of years and has a good rep along the river. At least that is what cruisers tell her. Most know she cannot keep enough wine in the office.
During our stay we visited the Frank LLoyd Wright Home in the city of Florence. Although the home was not open to tours on Monday, the caretaker told us we could look into the windows. It is quite impressive and I do recomment you visit. It is located in an older neighborhood in town and within walking distance to town center.
Alas, we must move on downriver to Grand Harbor for our trip to Green Turtle Bay. We plan to return to Florence next year on the way to Chattanooga, TN. Happy Sailing, Adm. Denise, Capt. Barry, Crew Bailey and Bella.

Rendezvous with the Famous KISMET

You can travel the waters of the U.S. and Canada and you may well run across the wake of the KISMET. Well, we traveled the Tennessee River and following the KISMET blog we were able to snag a quick raft up with this famous boat and couple. Jim and Lisa Favors have traveled thousands of miles in completing the Great Loop aboard their trawler. Now, they are traveling the country's rivers and lakes in a 27 ft. Ranger Tug. We knew they were making their way up the Tennessee River and our paths would cross. The KISMET only draws about 2 ft. of water so they anchor along their travels, a bit more than we do in 0 Regrets. We planned to raft up in Lick Creek between Cuba Landing Marina and Pebble Isle Marina. The weather was rainy and cloudy so we planned to stop over night at Cuba Landing. We arrived at Lick Creek anchorage in the late afternoon. We found the Kismet at anchor, so we followed the Garmin chart in a little creek right to Kismet. Due to the small size of the Kismet, we worked at bit more to raft up so as not too do any damage to Kismet. The crew was more than gracious, inviting us aboard. We remained on our boat due to our dogs wanting to follow us aboard Kismet, not a good thing typically. You know, new smells and all. We got to visit a short time as the weather was deterioting and we had to arrive at Cuba Landing prior to dark. We read several magazines about boating as well as follow blogs and we are continually entertained by the Kismet. We recommend you check out their blogs at http://trailertrawlerlife.com/. Our water journed continues toward our homeport of Green Turtle Bay Marina. We do hate to end this cruise but have gained much knowledge, experience and met so many new friends along the way. Happy Sailing, Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Sailors Bella and Bailey

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cuba Landing Harbor

After departing Clifton Marina we continued to cruise down stream with a 1-2 mph current giving 0 Regrets a boost to 8.5 mph. WOW, we are moving! The day was somewhat dark and wet. We planned to cruise down to Pebble Isle Marina, our first over night stop on this cruise but due to a late sail time, 10/30 am. We opted to dock at Cuba Landing. We were somewhat delayed in sailing due to our last visit from our new friend Sonya. While we loved Sonya, her Boss, Gene is a real gentle soul.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Gene purchased the Clifton Marina by default, he does seem to relish the vists from boating characters. We are proud to count ourselves among the many legions of friends they embrace each year. Gene is a retired pharmacist who though he would buy the marina and work 2-3 days per week and fish the others. OOPS! That plan vanished quickly. He found that a marina requires many hours of attention to get slips rented, take care of all the patrons and of course find a manager like Sonya. While Gene is full of stories of the Clifton community the stories bet more berter as the whiskey is mixed with his coke. Now I promised Gene upon our return to Clifton going down river I would provide some Woodford Reserve bourbon which adds a classic taster. I planted 1/2 bottle on the restaurant table and a couple hours later Gene polished it off. Now it is a good thing Gene is the gentle soul because I usually object to mixing Woodford with coke. You might as well use the cheap stuff. But I could not chastise Gene and I did see him pull from the bottle a couple of sips. Gene, we will see you and Sonja next year.
Alas, we approached Cuba Landing in wind and rain. We called by VHF radio numerous times just outside the harbor with no response. Now I called the marina via phone just about an hour earlier and was told to come on in. As we approached the dock we did not see dockage except the fuel dock. But our luck held and we were greeted by a friendly boater guiding us into a slip next to her YACHT. Yes YACHT. We managed to tie up to the dock narrowly missing the YACHT. I am convenced YACHT LADY was protecting the YACHT. During this crash landing we were helped and met Heinrik. It seems this Germain sailor was resting prior to continuing his travels up river to Chattanooga to meet his girlfriend and fly to Switzerland. Heinrik sailed from Germany crossing the Atlantic to the Bahamms. Now that is a sail. I did manage to get his email and web site so I can follow his progress. Cuba Landing is a reasonable stop but not the best Tennessee offers. It seems a bit abandoned with the restaurant closed and working hours reducted to 8 am-4 pm daily. We did meet the "harbor master" after our landing who cruised by in his truck. "I live in the trailer up the hill" he informed us from the truck. Well, too late Mr. Harbor Master. They did want to get paid the next morning. I must say the "master" and clerk at the small store were nice enough but I would suggest passing this stop unless you are in need during bad weather or darkness. You can anchor behind the slip pier without charge and that may be the best amenity of the landing.
Cruising the Tennessee River provided many "sites". One of the most stunning homes was purched on the clift with access to a good fishing hole on the river. While we marveled at many homes, big and small, they all shared a great view of this stunning river. Frankly, I would have to search Google Maps to find how they reached these homes via land. I can certainly recommend a cruise along this river. We hoped to reach near Chattanooga but now know we would need 3 weeks to enjoy the cruise that far up river. We are already making plans to cruise the Tennessee next year. We hope you will come along with us then and share the journey. Happy Sailing, Adm. Denise, Capt. Barry, Sailors Bailey and Bella.

Friday, October 12, 2012

DOWN RIVER JOURNEY

The above picture is of Gene, Sonja and the Captain at Clifton, TN marina. We stopped at several marinas during our Tennessee River Cruise but these folks are the best. It is like they have known you all their lives. Sonja stayed open late to cook us her famous Hamburger Steak dinner and Gene shared drinks and many stories with us. It seens that Gene purchased the marina by default when two potential partners backed out and here he is. Sonja and her husband "coach" have been there a few years and let's face it, Sonja runs the place. She even provided us with fresh pears and some cotton plants.
Now Sonja is famous for her signs around the marina. She does not cotton to messy persons or any wasted sympathy. When bands play on weekends, the tip bucket is displayed for all to fill.
Another of Sonja's famous signs leaves nothing to the imagination.

View ..Tennessee River Cruise. in a larger map The above map gives some indication of our marina locations along the cruise. WE have traveled along the river with many wonderful views, sunsets and more than interesting people met along the way. On this return trip we will visit Grand Harbor Marina again and maybe other marinas whick are new to us. Happy Sailing, Adm. Denise, Captn. Barry, Deck hands, Bailey and Bella.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Florence, Alabama Marina

New arrival at the Florcence Marina. We traveled about 6 hrs. her at 7 mph but the view was good with a clear day.
The small community is a strong college town with several historic dwellings available for tour, Frank Lloyd Wright home, Helen Keller Home and a civil war tavern and other historical locations. The Marina is good, although the restaurant was closed. Eva, the harbor master is more than gracious and fun.
We met several more "interesting" characters along this cruise. One of the new acquaintenances is Bruce, more commonly known as "McGee". Bruce is a retired TWA pilot and explained he owns a home in Argentina, raced professional downhill skiing and flew jets in air force. A world traveler and an entertaining person. We hope to see Bruce later in travels as he seems to be every where. We said good bye to Bruce at Florence as he was traveling to Chattanooga then return to home port of Grand Harbor Marina.
The C-Dory boat adjacent to us is such a cute boat. The couple aboard were from Chicago, IL. towing the boat to a location and later returning to pick up the trailer and continue. They are planning a cruise to Chattanooga, TN. before heading home to Chicago, IL. We have seen several C-Dory's in our travels and they seem to be a favorite for the trailerable, cruising boat. Just a bit tight without a shower etc. Alas, Florence, AL. was our turn around point due to time constraints. We cruised downriver from there with some current pushing us up to 8 mph with little work on the 0 Regrets engine and fuel burn. We plan to return to Florence next year on the cruise of the Great Loop, Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler Lake. We just cannot wait to return up the river. Happy Sailing, Adm. Denise, Capt. Barry, Deck hands, Bella and Bailey

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fathers Day Cruise

Not all fathers have the benefit of a deck hand, daughter to cruise the river. My opportunity presented itself when Rebecca returned home for a 2 monthh visit prior to relocating to Hawaii. Yep, the Paradise of the Pacific. She will be attending grad school for about 2 years. The "0 Regrets" was finally named with an official transom sign for all to see as we pass. The name depicts our attitude toward life in these coming years. We plan to cruise all the ports possible finding new friends and experiencing events not many have the opportunity to explore. The name just fits. Singing her way along on the flying bridge. Notice the hint of pink in that short ponytail! Always great to hear that sweet voice. Rebecca and I shoved off at 11 am on Saturday for a 2 night, 3 days cruise to Paris Landing Marina, TN. The Albin Trawler cruises comfortably at 7 mph which resulted in a 6 hr. transit to the Paris landing Marina. Just a beautiful sunny day cruise. Rebecca being the young, 28 yrs, decided she must "beer" me quite ofter during the voyage. She did not anticipate that ann old sailor can handle the Grog. Upon arrival at the marina, we enjoyed meeting up with the Green Turtle Bay Yacht Club group for light snacks and drinks prior to dinner. However, Rebecca and I decided to trip to Meo-Mio's for some country music and adult beverages, Imagine that. The return voyage began at 12:30 pm. after a failed attempt to have Sunday Brunch at the Paris Landing Lodge. It seems they only serve breakfast to 10:am and then lunch later. Of course we presented ourselves at just past 10:am. Well waiting about an hour was ok with coffee and pastries. We anchored in Higgins Bay behind a small island to protect from the wind. The day was great with a few brief showers. However, we were presented with a rainbow.

Pickwick Lake Stop

We are docked at Grand Harbour Marina at Yellow Creek which is the entrance to the Tenn-Tomm Waterway. The Tenn=Tom is the wateway to Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. We arrive here late afternoon 10/3/2012 after about 9 hrs. on the river. Picwick Dam is huge with high volume of water discharge creating a strong current down river. We were cruising at 7 mph. but current slowed us to 4.5 mph. https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200427680068389478770.0004cb079420c477f01dd&msa=0 We encountered a past acquaintenance at Grand Harbour. I looked across the harbor to another pier and saw a Albin 27 express. The last one I saw was at Paris Landing Marina last September. A tall fellow was at the end of the pier, I hailed him asking for the boat owner and he volunteer it was his boat. "Doc" is the same character we encounted at Paris landing.
The best thing about Doc is his sense of humor. His boat card indicated he was a PHD, hence Doc and his motto is "do not waster poverty". He wolunteered he is always broke living aboard his Albin for the past 2 years. But he is traveling south for the winter aboard the Albin and will continue to unknown locations. We toured the boat and it includes the stern cabine, small galley and a forward cabine with a head. While the boat is small, the living is easy and traveling economically burning only .6 gal. per hour. We finally installed an ensign at the transom making our coast guard registration official. We may fly a UK flag if we can locate and put it
igh on the Mast.

GRAND HARBOR EXTENSION

We have opted to stay one more eveing at Grand Harbor Marina due to cold temps and cloudy, rainy conditions today. We will push up river tomorrow to Florence, AL. marina.
View ..Tennessee River Cruise in a larger map Sailors we meet along the way create our new "characters" we remember along the river. We met yesterday and this AM "McGee". McGee is the nickname of a trawler sailor who has retired young as a commercial pilot for several airlines. He lives aboard a 40 ft. trawler and travels where the water takes him. We may follow him to Florence, AL. tomorrow before our coming about and heading down river to Green Turtle Bay. We do not know exactly where to stop but most likely Clifton, TN. which was fun and I owe Gene, the owner a good drink of Woodford Reserve.
The above boat is a 200 mph fast boat. BUT it ran out of fuel at our dock. It burns high octane gas, meaning Av Gas like a plane. They waited 2 hrs. for a 50 ga. barrell to be delivered to fuel. They finally left hoping to make it back to their dock. Not a fun situations. The boat had 2,700 hr. power.
The above boat is surely unique. The captain said he started at St. Paul, MN. and is heading to the gulf. Now this is a 18 ft. Starcraft boat with a small inboard/outboard, a cutter cabin and only a small inverter for heat/cooking. A long ride with a very small boat. He seemed very happy and was planning to anchor to night at 45 deg. evening with better temps tomorrow. This just proves you can do the loop in about any boat. However, Denise did not volunteer to tag along. I do not know what the ladder on the transom is for. Maybe boarding much LARGER boats. Like all boaters we use a chart writer to guide our way. So, what does a chart look like in a lock. See below:
Lastly, we locked up thru Pickwick Lock and this is the view of our boat in the lock. Just a bit disconcerting knowing you are located inside the chamber with no way out. Only about a 45 ft. lift to the lake. Happy sailing, Admr. Denise, Capn. Barry, Sailors Bailey and Bella.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ALONG THE WINDING RIVER

Our 4th day on this journey has proven to be the best thus far. The day dawned with low fog along the water, 40 plus degrees but the sun was rising over the hills lighting river for a new day. https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200427680068389478770.0004cb079420c477f01dd&msa=0&ll=36.469889,-88.077393&spn=2.676855,5.72937
We began our day at Pebble Creek Marina in New Johnsonville, Tn. in light fog but a warm day on the water. We plan to cruise up river to Clifton, TN. on our way to Picwick Lake and Grand Harbor marina. Our cruise today was eventful and a learning experience. The river began with low lands, huge wildlife revervations and changed to limestone bluffs lined to large and small homes. Cyprus trees lined the river linking Kentucky to low lands in Tennessee.
We met numerouse tow boats with large barges in towe. Now, I got a good education listing to these captains on their commercial vhf channel. Of course we found a huge tow boat in our path about 4 miles prior to the stop and Clifton Marina. Now, tow boats cruise at about 4-5 mph. while we cruise at about 7 mph. So, passing a 1,500 ft. tow boat does take a couple of miles. I had to hammer down the "0Regrets" to 8 mph to pass the tow prior to our marina. I know the captainn was amazed at the speed of this trawler. He even moved over so I did not push him out of the river. RIGHT. Due to the patience of this captain, we docked at Clifton Marina being greeted by several new friends helping us dock, cooked our meal and shared a bottle of wine. We cruised 64 miles today which took 8.5 hrs. along a beautiful river. The slow travel permits us to enjoy the river scenes, weather and each other. The dogs even enjoyed the trip, yes they said they did. Tommorow is a full day ending above Pickwik Dam at Grand Harbor marina. We may stay at the marina 2 days to clean boat and just rest up. The journey continues, Happy sailing, Adr. Denise, Captn. Barry, Deck Hands, Bella and Bailey

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Three Hour Tour"

Yes this is the three hour tour of the 0 Regrets! We shoved off Sunday 09/30/2012 from Green Turtle Bay our home port for a 2 week cruise on the great Tennessee River. We do not know our return point, just floating UP the river in our trawler, seeing what we can see. Although we have cruised and anchored many evenings on Kentucky Lake, this will be our furthest watery adventure to date. Who knows, I may be in the "dingy" before the return if Denise cannot take anymore of the Captain Barry.
Our first leg of the journey was a day early, so we anchored in Panther Creek for the evening anticipating heavy rain thru the night and on Monday. We did experience some temporary anchor problem but held us thru the night and did retrieve in the morning. The moring dawned with rain, fog and light wind. Now this was decision time. We have been experiencing some fuel contamination causing the engine to die. Fortunately the engine does restart but the "warm and fuzzy" feeling does not endure.
Our view late today, October 1, 2012, from Paris Landing Marina to the breakwater. The bridge is out there somewhere. Hopefully, not as fogged in tomorrow. We do have radar but those big tow boats prowl these waters.
We decided to call our mechanic (on retainer) and he is meeting us at Paris Landing Marina Tuesday AM. Hopefully this will solve or relieve the problem. We may have to row our way to the next stop but Admiral Denise indicated she was game. I did not tell the dogs! Professional photography is provided in part by "0 Regrets" traveling expert, Ms. Denise Young. I am sure National Geographic or the Tattler will pick up this story and photos. On board technician, Admiral Denise, managed to power up Direct TV so we can continue to have our fill of the political season(4 yrs old) while cruising. Now one may wonder what are Captn. Barry's duties on the cruise. Well, many. I navigate, drive the trawler (with direction), walk our Sailors and pick up the poop, take out the trash, grill food, and any other details found in need by the Admiral. Fair skies, gentle breezes and following seas, Capt. Barry, Admiral Denise, Sailors Bella and Bailey.