Friday, December 4, 2015

The End of our TN River Cruise!

Woah, that sounds ominous.  Don't worry, it just means we turned off the Tennessee River, and we are now on the Tenn-Tom waterway.  Finally heading SOUTH!!!  I'm afraid winter is awefully close on our heels!

The last few days saw a new side to the Tennessee.  Lots more barge traffic.  We counted 7 targets on our AIS in Decatur!  Also in Decatur, we had a railroad bridge open for us.  Yes, all 12 feet tall of us.  It has about 10 feet of clearance, so we needed it open.  Once we arrived, we saw that we would likely be delayed just a bit...yes, an opening now would be just a bit messy!

So, yes, we left Huntville, never mind that the new damper plate arrived on Wednesday at 4pm, and that we were underway at 7 am Thursday morning.  Oh, and nevermind that that Thursday happened to be Thanksgiving?!?!

Thanksgiving for two, at anchor at Joe Wheeler State Park...

We shared the anchorage with a few loons and white pelicans.

We had an uneventful lock through Wheeler lock, but Wilson would not be the same.  As we approached this lock, we saw targets on our AIS display both below the lock and above, so I thought we might be in for a long wait.  In the end, the tow in front of us had already moved his load down, and was only a single tug going down.  They agreed to share the lock with us, so our first time sharing a lock with another boat on this trip, was with a tow!

After exiting the lock, we ended up following close behind this tow, now pushing his load, for several miles before we could pass.  Yes, we actually passed a tow.  Then, later that day, we passed another.  Tatiana was showing off with her new damper plate!

We found some nice anchorages along the lower section of the Tennessee, and found some great places that we'd like to go sailing - lower Wheeler lake looks so inviting!  Unfortunately, we remain a motor boat for now.

Our final anchorage on the TN river was in a small slough just off to the side of the river on Pickwick Lake.  From the anchorage, you could watch the tow boats go by.  Here was an early morning shot from our anchorage.  In it, there are two tows about to pass each other.    Sometimes, it is worth getting up to see the sunrise.  This was actually the last time we would see blue skies for the next four days...

Here's our turn off the TN river!  Interestingly, this point is spittin' distance from the point where Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi all connect.

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