We are docked at Florence Marina, Florence, Al. This is a great stop just prior to the 93 ft. lift to Wilson Lake. Visiting here includes the great restaurant, a Frank Lloyd Wright home you can tour and a good city.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
CLIFTON AND BEYOND
Our journey continues with a return to Clifton to permit the Admiral to board. Being a kind and patient Admiral, she agreed to drive 4 hours to Clifton, TN to join the expedition, “Up the Tennessee”. Tommy jumped ship at this point having enjoyed a return to Clifton and all the new friends he acquired along the way. I do think it was the gin and tonics.
Another good view of our mighty boat.
This being the weekend of the Clifton Music Festival, the docks are full and the bar is open. We were enjoying the marina so much we never did venture into town and the festival. The temps were very high for September, the a/c was working and the beer was cold. Now, why leave. We also have the entertainment of the Service Monkey. Right a service monkey. It seems the driver of the shuttle service to the festival camps at the point above the marina during the weekend. He has a well-trained, service monkey. The service seems to be his entertainment and side kick during the shuttle rides. Also, the monkey does were a diaper. Well, the Admiral was skeptical of this story prior to her meeting the monkey. She should learn to believe the Captain. Now I ask you, where in the world could you travel by almost any means and meet a “Service Monkey”. Only in Clifton, TN. Alas, I could not get a photo of the monkey, it is frightened by flash.
This large catamaran was docked at Clifton while moving to Florida. Seems the deck hand had a disagreement with the Captain and jumped boat. She was captured by the local law enforcement in the 700 populated Clifton and returned to the boat. Seems the disagreement continued and the deck hand departed the next morning. We departed leaving the Captain to handle the problem.
The above paddle wheeler arrived at Clifton Marina. The owner is the yacht broker at Pickwick Lake and all had a merry visit. He and his wife live aboard and conduct sales from this boat. A good life.
As most of our readers know, we travel with our deck hands, Bailey and Bella. They can be seen above with the Admiral in a high level meeting to determine our future course and visits. Do not be fooled by the somewhat relaxed posture. They really do pay close attention to their food needs.
We cruised up river (south by compass) to Aqua Yacht Harbor and anchored in the harbor. We were having difficulty with the air conditioning at this point and were told a tech at the yard was available. Well, we lost 1.5 days waiting for this tech who did not show for work. So, we let go of the lines and sailed for Florence Marina in Florence, AL. We have tied our lines here several occasions and it is a good marina with excellent restaurant. The town is close and well stocked with about anything you need. A courtesy car is available with a 2 hr. limit. Here the local heat and air man charged each up each a/c unit. We had air again to battle the 90 plus temps.
This is a 93 ft. lift up to Wilson Lake. there is no daylight inside this chamber. The largest lift east of the Mississippi River.
We sailed the next day, delayed by the lock at Wilson Dam. Arriving at the lock the lock master indicated he would put us in the chamber with a small tow boat and barge. Waiting another 1.5 hrs. in the heat the boat finally arrived. We entered behind the tow but had to flip our boat heading down stream (backward). We experienced a rough transit up in the 93 Ft. deep chamber due to turbulent water and winds. Then we were required to again flip around and pass the tow boat existing first. We made it without damage or loss of crew but were so tired and hot we decided to anchor for the night and not attempt the Wheeler lock that late in the day. Grog was available as well as a pretty bay to anchor. The Admiral displayed her culinary skills and prepared an excellent dinner with red wine as the adult beverage. As we turned into our bunks for the night we started the generator to power up our battery bank. Alas, although the generator ran great, no power was reaching our batteries, Yuck! We spent the evening on battery without air conditioning.
Now this is not your typical boat house. I do hope there is access to the home from the boat house. A high water condition must might crush the boat but the chances we take. This was seen on Wilson Lake above Florence, AL.
The short version of this story is that the a/c breaker on the generator had flipped and stopped all power flowing to the batteries. Whew!!! You cannot weigh anchor (50 ft of chain), start the engine (ignition) or use a VHF radio without 12 volt current. A new lesson learned.
Well the cruise did continue and I promise all my readers, more enchanting and nail biting posts will continue.
Adm. Denise, Capt. Barry and deck hands Bailey and Bella