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Friday, September 25, 2015

THE JOY OF THE JOURNEY


Almost as an afterthought, this summer cruise was created.  Denise, needing some time away from the grind of work, meetings and all the stresses associated with these demands, prompted her idea for a cruise.  Hence, the journey.
 
As we have traveled for several years, we discovered the most rewarding part of “travel” is the journey not necessarily the destination.  We rediscovered this portion of travel during our recent cruise.  Now keep in mind this type of travel, cruising, is not for all.  But if you want to spend every waking moment in the company of your spouse or loved one, this can be a journey of discovery. 
 

Our star ship is a 30 year old trawler, 36 ft. in length and 12.5 ft. beam (wide). Now if the boat was square, which it is not, we would have 450 SF of living area.  However, this living area is estimate at about 300 SF.  Probably the size of a typical bedroom.  However, we have a spacious bridge and sundeck to augment our living area.  In fact, except for sleeping, we spend much more of our day on the bridge than in the cabin. 
 

During this voyage we determined to NOT travel long days, say 50-60 miles which at our speed requires an 8-9 hour cruise.  Instead we planned to cruise 20-30 miles most days in time to anchor for an evening swim, adult beverages and dog entertainment. This planned has proven a success.  Our cruise did include a wonderful visit from friends who journeyed to Clarksville, TN to meet us for dinner.  Now those are friends. We docked at the Clarksville Marina on our upriver portion. 

 

Our first afternoon or day I should say was a WORK day. We had to provision the boat and this required several long walks from the vehicle to the boat pushing a cart loaded like a Pack Mule.  I was the pack mule.  We you try to prepare for 7 days and nights floating aboard 0 Regrets, one must prevision thoughtfully.  Now our boat has certain limitations on storage, thus an imagination is required.  Food flexible enough to serve as breakfast, lunch, snack and in a crisis dinner.  Dogs must be prepared for as they are part of the crew.  A bit of food, snacks, play ball and of course our dog ramp is all they really require.
 
After a quick stop overnight on the hook at Prizer Point, the real cruise began late morning the following day.  This required about a 30 mile upriver cruise to Ft. Donaldson and Hickman Creek embayment.  We discovered this bay last year and it is almost a hidden jewel of an anchorage.  After passing the entrance at depth of 6-9 ft. we are rewarded with an expanse of a bay with Donaldson Fort on the south side and just a couple boat ramps on the north.  No dwellings are visible along the shore. We anchored at 12 ft. depth and commenced the afternoon ritual of doggy swimming. That’s right our pampered pets retrieved a ball and swam out to Denise for a ride of the Admiral’s Barge (float).  The temp was very warm therefore, the cooling waters helps wash away the “trials” of the day.  This cruising is tough!
 
As is typical of our daily cruise, evening required some adult beverages while the gourmet chef prepared an always excellent meal.  No hot dogs here.  Crusted chicken breasts, some type of salad I cannot pronounce with on boat made dressing and of course an excellent red wine.  We do have a gas grill on the bridge which sees its share of use.  Sundown brings time to rest for tomorrow is another arduous cruise.

We planned to dock at the Clarksville Marina which we would recommend to all boaters. The design of the facility is excellent for a river marina and the staff are more that helpful.  We were assigned a covered slip which provides relief from a burning sun. It is summer you know.  We also recommend the Liberty Park Grill which is located just off the marina for a wide menu, good service and a river view.  We plan to return here on the down river portion of our cruise. 

Part of the journey include a bit of exploration.  We have not cruised above Clarksville, TN (upriver is always up).  We had considered Nashville as a destination but docking downtown without some security and our past visits did not entice us.   We instead planned to lock up at the Cheatum Dam and explore a portion of the Harpeth River. The Harpeth River is truly a great anchorage.  We were tipped about this anchorage by our good friend and fellow cruiser Doc.  Anchored in 12 ft. of water near high bluffs with the only noise being fish jumping and the wood peckers.  Again, time for the doggy swimming with some adult supervision. 

I am stopping this latest entry as we are planning the voyage to Pensacola. I will See you on Channel 16.

thanks for you attention. 

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