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Sunday, August 18, 2013


Not being of sound mind or body I repeatedly encountered a word yesterday.  This all began as I was enlisting the aid of a fellow boater and river rat, our good friend Brad aka. "Doc". It seems that Doc is currently anchored on the Little Tennessee River after a cruise to Tellico. This river diverts from the Tennessee River near Knoxville, TN. Doc has sailed the Ohio, Cumberland and now the total Tennessee River.  Doc travels in solitary fashion without a pet or companion. 

Doc travels in a 28 ft. Albin Family Express Cruiser with all of 110 Sf living area.  Cruising speed is about 5-6 mph with a 60 hp diesel engine.  We met Doc almost 2 years ago at Paris Landing Marina on Kentucky Lake.  Quite an interesting fellow to say the least.  That conversation brought up solitude.

solitude may imply a condition of being apart from all human beings or of being cut off by wish or circumstances from one's usual associates.

Doc volunteered that in the past 4 days, he had only talked to one other person, while buying fuel.  Now Doc is an excellent conversationalist but cruising for more than 2 years alone, I think Doc has the solitude thing down.  By the way, he mentioned he had just finished his "river" bath prior to my call.  "I just hop in the river with my body wash and one of the sponge things". 

This brings to my mind, how I have dealt with solitude in past years.  I do not do well alone and I am fully aware of my short coming.  Bailey, my trusted spaniel can attest to my LONG conversations with her on many evenings.  I am more of an extrovert, meeting people easily and not retiring in my quest for conversation.  Yep, I can be a bore. 

I have grand plans to cruise the Tennessee River to Chattanooga starting early October.  While Denise and I cruised 2 weeks last October, a good portion of this cruise will be solitary(with dog & gatorhead). Of course not like on a deserted island for cell phone and Internet service will aid in the need to BOTHER other people.   As indicated in the above pic, we can get real inventive. 

I tend to like moving most days on the river. We anchor each weekend and occasionally I will take a short cruise with dogs and anchor overnight.  The river cruise will be about 900 miles at the blazing speed of 6-8 mph depending upon current.  I have invited a number of "friends" to join me along the way until Ms. Denise boards in Alabama.  Our boat can handle 3-4 hands with room for all.  However, this brings back the solitude factor.

I think I can, I think I can!  Fortunately, the Tennessee River includes a number of marinas placed about 30-60 miles apart. I do not know how much I will anchor, depending upon the talkative nature of Bailey(spaniel) during the running hours. She does not work, cook, clean or handle lines.  However, she is a good listener. 


View 2013 Tennessee River Cruise in a larger map
Above is the general map of the Tenn. River and markers at 1/2 and completion of the cruise. I plan to post a more detailed map of the adventure as it unfolds.  I anticipate 3-4 weeks on the water enjoying the autumn colors. 
Unfortunately, this may be my appearance after the cruise with that "bottle of rum". 

 So come along for the ride and we might make some waves.  

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

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