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  The cold winter months have been replaced by warm Spring sun, 85 deg., cool evenings and the opportunity to sail into "uncharted" waters of the Cumberland River.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



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