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Saturday, January 26, 2013

HIGH VOLTAGE

OK, it is winter and not much happening at Bend of the Rivers Condo, mondo condo, that is.  However, like a challenged writer, I have discovered some mundane stuff to post.  How is that for an exciting intro.  Below is a natural method of locating water.  The Technical Expert with Kenergy is using an age old method for locating the buried water line.

Looking for water is an important job.  The instrument in his hand is only 2 pieces of copper tubing. As he approached the area the tubing split indicating the water line.  Not bad for the 1800's method.  Well, they degan to dig, dig and dig.


Now this is not the first, first hole dug. But the first hole I took a picture.  The Kenergy folks were working to get my power back to the BLC (best little condo), where we can enjoy the fire and a good weekend.  Well, being an older development, nobody really knows where the lines are buried.  Jimmy Hoffa may be there. 
Well they dug some more, in a different location.  I was available for assistance but the backhoe was faster. 
 
 
 Everyone around here wants a lake view. Well, they are digging with the view.  The Kenergy crew proceeded to the transformer in search of the line break.  I did acuse them of looking for Hoffa but they assured me he was buried under the nearby tennis court.  RIGHT. 

Well, do not tell anyone, but Hoffa was found.  Seems he was electrocuted while trying to rig the transformer to power his cell phone.  Anyway, they did excavate under the transformer but did not discover the broken line.  After much discussion, they decided to consult the engineers on Monday(this is Saturday) to consider replacing all lines to the building. To their credit and our comfort, they did rig power to our unit for the weekend.  Well, back to the fireplace.
 
 
I follow a blog published by a Canadian acquaintance at Green Turtle Bay Marina.  He is cruising the ICW (intercoastal waterway) doing the Loop.  Well, he anchored in a bay off the ICW and awoke to this situation.  He had 6 ft. of water upon anchoring but the tide did go out. Bit of a rude awaking. But after 8 hrs. and more water he did manage to move the boat.

 
 
Well, would you trust a cat in pajamas?  He seems to be searching for a new boat.   This was captured prior to invention of the internet, by Al Gore.   During his search for a boat many were discovered.  However, a sailboat was his heart's desire.  Money is a problem after trusting Ernie Madoff with investments.  Below is the only boat Mr. Cat could afford.
 
 
 
 
Please excuse that is is resting in the mudd.  This is a project boat for anyone willing to tackle the project.  Just needs a bit of rehab. But with a little work it could look like this;
 
 
OK, the boat did undergo some transformation along the way. I just love to have 6 best friends to hangout on the rail. As you can read I do have a vivid amount of imagination. 
 
Well Happy sailing all,
Captn. Barry, Adm. Denise, Sailors Bella and Bailey.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Boat Batching

New term. Boat Batching.  I seems the girls, Bella and Bailey and I are batching it on the 0 Regrets this weekend.  As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, my mother-in-law is spending the long weekend at our condo with Denise. A much needed Mother-Daughter weekend. So, being the good husband, son-in-law I volunteered to stay the weekend with the girls on the boat.  This provides sufficient room at the Inn for the ladies.  Man, am I good or what? 
The morning began with a short walk along the local jetty. This jetty extends into Kentucky Lake with a great view of the dam and lock. A bit brisk this am but sun was warming the good ole boy here.  Of course after a brisk walk along the jetty, my little tummy was grumbling.  But, before satisfying this hunger I had to capture some local real estate.


If you look closely to the top of the cliff, the roof of a dwelling is visible.  Now these are the Grand Rivers, KY. cliff dwellers.  These gravel cliffs keep eroding and I just wonder when these folks will end up in Kentucky Lake.  As you can see, it does not take much for my imagination to leap about.



I did locate a local with good balance.  This crane was comfortably perched with a great view of any available fish and the tow boat traffic near the damn.




As my readers may remember I am quite taken with the tow boat community. I would LOVE to crew aboard one of these monsters for a couple of weeks.  Seems that may not be possible due to Homeland Security requirements.  These tow boats, 3 with 1,500 barges, are lined up waiting to lock down at Kentucky Dam.  I think the traffic has increased due to the low water level of the lower Mississippi.  This line of boats may take more than 12 hrs. to lock down to the river.  The crews typically for 3-4 weeks on board and the same time off.  Not a bad job to work 50% of the year.  
Well, as my tummy was grumbling, I made my way to the best little cafe(blc) in the Grand Rivers area.  Our friends Bob and Irene own and operate this fine establishment with the daily fresh pastries and the famous "Bison Burger" as created by Bob.   Not only is the food wonderful and fresh, Irene always has the cafe decorated for the season.  If you are ever in the Grand Rivers, KY area do NOT MISS this wonderful experience.  You must try the fresh breads and sweets.  I made a deal with Irene, that if I plugged the cafe I would be a free breakfast.  I am honest most of the time. 


Well, being the good, nay the best dog handler, I took the girls on a brisk walk for the 3rd. time today.  Not much room on the boat for dog walking.  This is the view of our "beach" in winter wonder with a view to several large homes located on the point.  Much of the visible land is typically under water but the Corp. of Engineers is drawing down the lake to augment the Mississippi River levels. We might be able to walk across this portion of the Lake Barkley soon.

Well, that was my day being the dog walking, dog sitting, dog feeding, boat sitting Captain. of 0 Regrets.  Alas, the boat is winterized and we cannot cruise.  I hope everyone can enjoy their winter time as much as the girls and I.

Happy sailing,
Bella, Bailey and Captain. Barry

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MARINA WINTER

No matter how hard I try, it is still WINTER!  Bailey, Bella and I are batching it  on board O Regrets for the weekend.  It seems the Admiral has invited her mother to the one bedroom condo for the weekend and us dog have evactuated.  I have plans to work on teak handrails, repairing scrapes from Picwick Lake lock. We just bruised the rails in a few places, but trying my hand at teak repair in small doses seems the best way to train myself.

Therefore, Bailey. Bella and I plan to camp on the boat. We will import bottled water and use electric heat.  Seems the boat is winterized and we cannot use any water from the boat.  To add insult to injury, the Commonwealth Yacht Club is CLOSED for the month.  No trading drinks with my boating friends at the bar.  Bailey did not even bring a cooler.  She wants to be a HAPPY DOG, but does not contribute to the party locker.  Sometime you just have to get tough with the old girl.






Sometimes during the winter months the management of Green Turtle Bay Marina stage an evening gettogether at the Jade Spa.  Around the pool they gather to share winter stories and adult beverages.  Seems appropriate during the lonely, winter months without the bar at the yacht club.  Well, a heated pool, adult beverages and some lies and the evening gets interesting.

I really enjoyed my visit with the boat folks.  I am the novice  boater compared to these folks.  But  they accept me and seem to enjoy themselves each and everyday.  Below is a view of the flock of coots that frequent the marina. I love to startle them and watch them walk on water trying to fly.  The dogs, Bailey and Bella love to bark at them and watch them fly.  This morning I managed to walk the girls and then visit the marina office.  In need of a good cup of coffee I managed to beg one from the young man on duty. While there a couple cruising on their boat south wandered in with a small or miniature scotty.  Well, I could not wait to show them up with this dog perched on its owners shoulder.






The above pic is a new acquaintance at the local hardware store. It seems this little dog is 12 yrs. old with cataracts, almost blind and rides along each day, all day on the shoulder of the owner.  This is a miniature  Yorkie.  All dog owners should have such a trusting friend.

Well we continue to batch it on the boat "0 Regret" for the weekend.  My mother in law is visiting and our condo is only one bedroom while the boat is 2 cabins. Therefore, to ease the pain and over crowding, the dogs and I have evacuated to the boat.  The boat is winterized but we imported bottled waterand sufficient food and water for the camping.  The girls are doing great. 

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




Monday, January 14, 2013

CHASING 70 DEGREES

Yes, I am stealing a phrase from one of my current blogs I follow;  www.chasing70.com.  Visit this site for a glimpse into the lives of a young couple voyaging along the Great Loop.

Now our day chasing 70 degrees.  Weather was unusually mild for January 12, 2013.  So we set out to spend some time outdoors in the sun. Well, sun is a vague statement.  We decided to walk the Livingston County Trails for part of the afternoon.  The below picture looks quite industrial but the trail is mostly wooded and ends at the Tennessee River, below Kentucky Lake Dam.  Really a good view, except we had a great deal of fog due to the unusual temps. The water temp is about 55 deg. and air at 70 deg.  Therefore, you get FOG.  

The area adjoins I-24 but along the trails you do not experience the interstate effect, you know noise, chemicals and auto crashes.  We were pleasantly surprised with the hike.  We followed our nose along the tail due to lack of maps.  We stumbled our way to the fog. Careful, there may be a movie idea in there.  The crush of rushing water pulled us closer to the river. The Tennessee River is not a rushing river but spill it over a dam and it is rushing. 
 
The above is a view of Kentucky dam lock (on left) and dam on right past the new bridge.  We attempted to walk closer to the dam and lock via a construction road but water impeded our passage.  Did not want to get my toes wet!  WOW, I JUST SPILLED MY WINE GLASS!  THAT IS ONLY THE 1ST. GLASS. Luckily it did not break due to the rugged construction of this unique glass.   
 
 
Fits right in with the "pontoon boat" crowd.  Now back to the things important, my day.  We walked along the trail parallel to the Tennessee River only to disturb a beautiful eagle lounging atop one of the trees.  I did not get a pic for I am slower than an eagle. Imagine that. 


 
 
The above view is on another sunny day along the dam and locks. Needless to say we enjoy our little walks on a sunny and/or warm winter day.  Today it is 36 degrees and anticipated to be near 22 deg. tonight.  Kentucky, just wait for a change. 
 
 
I want to encourage all to follow a unique blog.  This family is continuing along their venture to circumnavigate the earth aboard a trawler.  Three@sea.com is a wonderful view of their adventure. I have followed this family for 3 years and never miss their adventures.  They just transited the Panama Canal and turned north along the coast.  Their videos by Ayla, "View from the Pilothouse" are wonderful.
 
Well, not much wisdom today.  The beat goes on.  Only about 42 days till Spring!  That's right, I begin Spring March 1st.  The beginning of the boating season.  See you on the water.
 
Happy sailing,
 
Adm. Denise, Captain.Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey.
 
 








Saturday, January 12, 2013

Civic Duty


WellWell here I go serving my civic duty!!!
I apologize to my readers but I have been fighting the blogger battles during the past few days. Seems, the upload button for pics disappears?  I finally located a work around but I ALMOST changed blog sites.  I hope Google corrects this problem.  I would hate to relearn a blog site. 
 
Back to my civic duty. I have been "called" for jury duty.  Yep, after working as an expert witness at times, avoiding court appearances for legal difficulties, they finally got me. Seems after orientation the court has a number trials scheduled and needed my "help".  The previous call last year was interrupted by my heart problem and I was excused.  Oh well, we shall have some blog stuff to post unless they take my laptop. 
 
 
Yes, I know I am shamelessly promoting the sale of our beloved Phaeton motorhome.  We hate to part with this luxury cruiser, our current cruising is via water.  We have not found the time to cruise using both.  Therefore, we have decided to sell the Phaeton and let someone enjoy the comforts of this great home. 

 
 


The above pics might give you a view of the luxury of this Phaeton. I promise to bore you in later posts of the comfort and value in this motorhome.  Maybe we should consider a "charter" service, renting the unit for a few weeks to valued customers who wish to travel without the expense of owning. Now, that may be a good idea. 

This short post is part of my relearning the inclusion of pics after the Google failure.  We hope all are enjoying a good new year and please keep use up with your exploits. 

Happy sailing,
Admr. Denise, Captn Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey

 



Monday, January 7, 2013

A "light" Day

Well, all days cannot be exciting.  However, my opinion is that all days are good!  While today was relaxing with some work completed on the PC, no appointments got in our way of a "light" day.  Bailey, Bella and I just enjoyed a leisurely morning with good coffee and our usual Cherrio's.  Yes, the girls have their very own favorite flavor.  Now, I am writing about cereal, how boring.

However, we did venture out on a sunny, winter day.  We chased some squirrels, smelled our way to lunch.  Not a bad day for a dog.  Not wanting to fritter away the day, I decided to return to the Kentucky Dam for a good brisk walk.

The walk along the dam is somewhat special. The Corp. of Engineers closed the road across the dam but created a great bike/walking trail along the dam.  I do not really know the length but estimated round trip at about 2 miles.  This is the view from the parking area toward the dam. Windy at times but a good view of the lake and locks.
 Considerable water being spilled from Kentucky Lake to the Tennessee River.  This is to augment the Mississippi River helping water levels for commercial traffic.  Barkley Dam is wide open as well. Kentucky Dam had 8 gates open.  Due to a recent boating accident below the dam the Corp. is limiting fishing below the dam.  You just cannot help those who are stupid enough to get close to these gates. 
 


Yesterday, I posted pics viewing the fake owls guarding the locks.  Today, I noticed the gulls lining the lock standing adjacent to and on the head of an owl.  See the picture center with the elevated gull.  Right, just sitting on the fake owl head. Typical of the Corp. of Engineers plans to protect the locks.  Does provide an interesting picture. 
 
Well, that was most of my day other than work.  Another beautiful day at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. 
 
Sail away,
 
Barry, Bella and Bailey. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

DAM THE WINTER

Well winter does continue.  I am trying to be positive for the next 51 days.  I consider March 1st. the beginning of boat season with winter being terminated.  Like all "old people" I truly detest winter months.  I must admit, the 90 to 120 days of winter (my calendar) is easier to accept since purchase of our lake condo. At least we can escape to the lake each weekend. 

Today we made an effort to enjoy some sunshine on a partly cloudy day.  So, we visited friends who own a restaurant in Grand Rivers, KY.  Bob and Irene are a great couple who work so hard in their restaurant but really enjoy the Grand Rivers community.  Irene is very creative with baking, arriving early AM each day and working well into late afternoon after closing at 2 pm.  Bob is the bison king, cooking the famous bison burger!  Bob is a Vietnam Vet having paid a heavy price during his service.  But each and every day they open the Light Side Restaurant to all who enjoy fresh food and the warmth of their company. 



We spent part of our afternoon revisiting the Kentucky Lake Dam to walk the new bike and hiking trail.  All traffic had been removed from the dam to create this trail. The total trail is about a 1 hour walk with great view of lake and river below the dam.  We walked the trail on a blustery afternoon with part sun and clouds.  Not bad weather during January!  During the trail we encountered some interesting views.

Now, just imagine you are the crane operator, up in the sky for 8 hours per day.  Where do you to use the potty?  Well, I could not zoom in close but the spot just right of the crane is the porta potty!  What a view.  No need to read the paper or check you facebook posts.  It must be a long ride or climb down to just take a break.  Just proves the fact that all must "rest" at times.

We continued our walk along the Kentucky Dam lock viewing a large tow boat clearing the lock after locking up to Kentucky Lake. We had this experience during our 2 week Tennessee River cruise.
The power of the tow boats continues to amaze me.  I have always wanted to cruise on these boats for a week or two.  Maybe someday someone can get me a ride.  I would wash dishes, sweep or whatever was needed in order to get the experience.  
 
Well our walk continued and we encounter the newest "homeland" security item featured on Kentucky Dam. We were told the reason for removing all the vehicular traffic from the dam was security. Well, 2 new bridges were constructed to move vehicular and rail traffic from the dam.  But, what do the Corp of Engineers put in place to guard the lock.  You got it, OWLS. 

These guardians of the lock and dam are in vigilance along the lock wall.  This does not work for the geese due to we viewed evidence of their visit along the walk.  Owls do look menacing to some but I think they are just looking to pose for a pic.  I feel the owl looks as if longing for a river cruise.  What do you think?
The pic above is a great example of the large tow boats and barges traveling the rivers. This tow is at least 15 barges long, waiting to lock up to Kentucky Lake.  I think the tow boat traffic has increased due to low water level on the Mississippi due to the draught.  You just have to admire a captain who can maneuver these giants around the rivers and locks.   We have learned on our river cruise to radio these captains prior to meeting the giants in order to learn how they wish to pass.   

Well, a good day has passed in the company of my loving wife, Admiral Denise.  We did not take our deck hands, Bella and Bailey in that they are not welcome at the Light Side Restaurant.  Must be some health codes. 

No matter how cloudy the day, cold the weather or low my mood, each and every day with Denise and our four legged children remains a special day in my life.  We retired back to the warm condo, enjoying the fire and life is good!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

SEMI HIBERNATION

Well, here we sit.  We are wintering in the Lake Barkley Condo, watching the wood fire and longing for boating weather.  The lake is a bit gray this time of year but offers at least a water view. 

To get out and about today, we visited a winery in the area.  The Eddy Grove Winery is located near Princeton, KY.  Formally known as the Black Oak Winery, but had to change name of wine to Medicine Man Wines due to a conflict in names with a winery in California.  They should have told that left bank winery to shove the bottles, but lawsuits would have ensued. 


Above photos show the winery(1st. photo) and the winery owner's home.  Must be some $$ in the wine business.  Actually, the owners are husband and wife doctors who purchased the property because they love wine and the life style associated with making of wine. Me, I just love the drinking of the stuff.  Simple, right.

In cruising the waters we encounter a number of unique T-shirts. However, I found a new entry into the dry T-shirt contest.  Someday I will embark on the wet T-shire contest but not brave enough as yet.  The following entry was offered by cruising blog we follow;
 
The shirt reads " fish naked, it adds color to your cheeks"! My kind of shirt.
 
Well, we cannot all have our wishes.  Can you see that I am suffering some winter blah's already.  Next week is predicted to be in the 50's.  I may plan a water skiing adventure.  I know, nude- naked water skiing. Now that is a plan.  I will make an effort to provide video for the blog entry. Who needs a wet T-shirt?  
 
Well, that is the most interesting portion of our day.  A good escape from the roaring fire at the condo and a good visit to a local winery. We will see you on the water.
 
Happy Sailing,
 
Capt. Barry, Adm. Denise, Sailors Bella and Bailey
    
 
 
 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Beginnings

Starting the new year with a new exercise routine.  This was suggested by my loving Sister!  Also, I have increased the font to help those experiencing the aging process such as I. I hope that is correct English, Kentucky style.  

 
The beloved Phaeton pictured here is now officially for sale. We have decided to transition to a water way of life and travel. After purchasing our trawler, "0 Regrets" and a waterfront condo, we have found so little time to travel in the Phaeton.  So, you may find it listed on RVTRADER.COM.  http://www.rvtrader.com/ We hope you will cruise this ad and relay to anyone wanting to move up to a grand 42 ft. coach.  She has all the extras one could desire.   

Above is the new travel vehicle.  The waterway of life is in many ways similar to motor home travel.  The boat is named "0 Regrets" to reflect our lifestyle or motto.  We plan to cruise through this life without regret, this being our time.  Our 6 children are adults  and are finding their way in life.  Now is the time for us to enjoy the fruits of our labors with many adventures.   Our long range goal is to complete the Great Loop, circumnavigating the eastern 1/3 of the U. S. 
 
That would be a cruise of 7-9,000 miles over a 2-3 year period with side trip to Bahamas for a winter stay.  Now that is cruising.  We have sufficient room on the boat for a grand child for part of a trip or one of our children. Of course our current children, Bella and Bailey must be our deck hands.   Bailey, above tends to guard the fly bridge, sunbathing is a more accurate description. 
Above they are acting as 2nd in command on the bridge.  Look alert don't they?  Good thing we have auto pilot!   They are quite comfortable aboard running up and down from the bridge.  We even have a dogie head for their use while aboard.  This limits the trips ashore for a dogie potty. 

Well, I suppose that is enough for the day.  I may create a new blog site dedicated to "0 Regrets" cruising.  I am sure I will use Google blog.spot and will alert my readers/followers.  Hopefully, all will join me in an attempt to maintain two blogs until we no longer travel via the Phaeton. 

Happy New Year and good Sailing to all,

Barry, Denise, Bella and Bailey
wishing we were aboard "0 Regrets"