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Monday, June 6, 2011

TN River Trip - Final Notes and a Story About a True Salty Dog.

Our trip from Goose Pond Colony Marina in Scottsboro, AL to Island Cove Marina in Harrison, TN and back, with a stop in Chattanooga, covered 219 miles, and put 39 hours on the Knot-So-Fast's 9.9 hp engine. This brings our total mileage on the boat to about 1200!

Mileage for the upstream half of this trip was 11.09 mpg. I have not filled up again, but judging by past trips and the fuel gauge, I suspect that the downstream ride was done at about 14 or 15 mpg for a round trip average of about 13.

We did better with our food planning this time. In the past we always packed twice as much food as we needed. This time we finished the trip with a little surplus food, but not nearly as much as before. I still packed way too many clothes. I've decided that in the future I need to pack a presentable set of clothing for restaurants or other social events, and wear bathing trunks and a tee shirt while travelling. This would be more comfortable and they could be washed out in the sink and would dry overnight. A couple of pair should be all I need.

Glenda and I are still studying how to move the batteries and fuel tank forward. This would solve two issues; 1) It would balance the boat better, putting her closer to the designed water line, and 2) It would give us some much needed space in the cockpit and eliminate the problematic water flow issues around the covers that I currently have over the battery and tank compartments.

Before this trip I made compartments between the cabin top beams to house 4 life jackets, a book rack on the port side of the bulkhead and a binocular/cell phone rack under the steering wheel. These small changes gave us extra storage under the port seat and eliminated lots of clutter on the dash. I'll continue to work on storage improvements.

The biggest lesson I learned on this trip was the need for a spare pair of binoculars! When our only pair broke on day one, I knew I'd have a hard time finding another pair. I was pessimistic about the super-glue repair I made, but with gentle handling the repairs held up for the length of this trip. I did become acutely aware, however, of how often I used them and how important they are. My aging eyes are not really all that bad, but I have severe color-blindness and can't distinguish the red/green navigational markers by color alone. The binoculars make it easy to see the shapes of the markers from manageable distance. We also use them constantly to read signs, look at wildlife, and a host of other essential tasks. As my Daddy use to say, I would have "been in a world of hurt" without them.

Now for the Salty Dog story. At about 4:30 on Sunday afternoon, we went to our church small group meeting which lasted until about 7:30. Daisy was in the back yard as usual, and Glenda made sure she had plenty of water on the shaded back porch, because it was really hot. Shortly after we got home our neighbor informed us that she had rescued Daisy from the tug boat, where she assumed we had mistakenly forgotten her. Glenda assured her that we did not leave her in the boat. A quick investigation revealed that Daisy had dug under the gate of the back yard, CLIMBED the stepladder we had put beside the boat, and jumped into the cockpit. Once there, she apparently was afraid to make the leap back to the stepladder (or she just chose not to get out). Apparently her condition caused a stir and a two unknown ladies had noticed her, giving her some water and then knocking on the neighbors door to inform her of the cruel owner's (our) neglect. I guess that proves that Glenda was right - Daisy loves to ride on the boat. What really makes me feel like an idiot is that we've been carrying her up that stepladder for over a year!!!

1 comment:

  1. That's a funny story Tom! Thanks for sharing it, I enjoyed reading your final notes.