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Friday, June 3, 2011

TN River Trip - Thursday June 2nd

This entry is for Thursday, June 2, but was not posted until Friday, June 3rd.

Knot-So-Fast approahing the Island Cove fuel dock.
This morning was a lazy one for the Knot-So-Fast crew. We woke early, washed a load of clothes, and cleaned up. Then we pulled the Knot-So-Fast out of her covered slip and around to the fuel dock, where an Island Cove employee was waiting to help us gas up. My estimate of 12 gallons of fuel was pretty close – she took 11.75 to fill her 19 gallon tank. That translated to 11.09 mpg so far on this trip, which has been all against the current to this point.

Abby and Daisy wait for "Papa" to finish fueling.
Our experience at Island Cove was a good one. Transient slips are only $0.75 per foot, the restaurant was right next door, and the shower & laundry facilities were clean. The Wi-Fi connection worked perfectly, although a worker there had warned us of occasional problems with it. Island Cove is a busy place, with wet and dry storage for about 600 boats, a very busy boat repair facility and restaurant all squeezed into a fairly small space.

We emptied the porta-pottie and trash bag, then pulled out of Island Cove Marina about 9:05 Eastern Time, headed downstream toward Chickamauga Lock and Dam for our lock-down to Chattanooga. We noticed a tug and barge about a mile ahead of us, and I thought there might be a delay at the lock if we had to wait while they locked the tug down ahead of us. When we arrived at the lock, we learned that there was a problem with a tug that was in the chamber, and we would have an estimated 2 hour waitlock down. We circled awhile, visited the Chickamauga Marine and the TVA boat ramp/park across the river, then circled in front of the lock some more. About 12:30 we were joined by a couple on “Argosy”, a Californian flybridge cruiser, and a runabout with 2 young men aboard. We learned from radio communication with the lock that the plan was to lock us down as soon as the tug/barge could get underway and clear the lock. The Dennis Ross would have to wait a full cycle to lock down, since he had to go through alone because of his size.

Finally, around 3:05 the problem tug cleared the lock and we were given the horn signal to enter the chamber. Argosy went first and moved to the starboard bollard on the downstream end of the lock. The runabout grabbed the bollard directly behind Argosy. This forced us to tie up across from Argosy on the port side, meaning that Glenda had to swap a fender from starboard to port and then lasso the bollard while I positioned the boat as close as possible to the wall. Glenda performed her task better than I usually do, and we were secured quickly. The Argosy had already radioed the lock that they were secure, but then we noticed they had come loose and were moving forward. The captain quickly recovered and moved her back into position, calling again to report he was secured. We let the lockmaster know we were also secured, and almost immediately the water started dropping. The lock down seems much faster than locking up, and in no time we were watching the lower doors open onto Nickajack Lake. The Argosy pulled away and we followed. Once clear of the lock, the runabout pulled up beside us and asked permission to take a picture of our boat. (Permission ????!!!! We love the attention.)

Between the lock and downtown Chattanooga, we were running about 7 mph at 3800 rpm. Current makes a lot of difference in a little boat like ours. Once in in Chattanooga we tried radioing Marine Max to find out where we were to dock. The Captain of “Mas Bueno”, a trawler docked on the Bluff View dock, responded and offered to grab our lines if we wanted to go ahead and tie up beside him. We decided to go to the marina office first instead. We needed ice for the coolers, and I really didn’t want to have to move the boat once we docked for the day.

The marina had us reserved for another dock, but we asked them change us to Bluff View. We wanted to be near other boats, and the Mas Bueno captain had already gone out of his was to help us, so we knew we’d be among new friends. The Fruition was docked just ahead of the Mas Bueno, and we later met her owners and learned they lived on the Fruition at Hales Bar Marina. Like 2 other couples we met at Hales Bar, they remembered the Glen-L boat builders’ “Gathering” last September and were glad to hear that we’d be back there this September.

Glenda Says:

Island Cove Marina was nice. I feel ok about all the calories I’m consuming because I’m walking so far to the showers! We took some nice photos before we left and Tom let us sleep in till at least 6:30. Surprising there was no place for coffee again but when I went into the boat store and ask, the guy in there gave me some of their office coffee. We left the marina around 9:00. When we realized we had a wait to lock through we went over and investigated the marina closest to the lock. We didn’t stay long as Tom wanted to make sure we were ready when the lock opened. Three and one half hours later went got through. I was really fine the first 2 and ½ hours but that 3rd hour was rather frustrating. Abby read aloud some and played with her DS. We arrived in Chattanooga around 4:00. Had a great ,very late, lunch at TGI Fridays. Then we walked across the pedestrian bridge over to the park where Abby played briefly in the park foundation but being a little like her Papa she did not like the crowd. We came back over to the dock and she played on the waterfall stairs. It was rather crowed there too. We had a nice visit with the people who were docked here and enjoyed the comments made about our boat by the people strolling along the waterfront. I did have a little difficulty going to sleep. I was uncomfortable knowing the just anybody could be two feet away just outside the boat. But once I went to sleep I slept pretty good.

Abby Says:

I decided not to go swimming at the marina. I wanted to spend more time in Chattanooga. We waited a long time at the lock. When we got to Chattanooga I liked the steps best. But the BEST thing was a beaver that was living close to the boat. We saw him swimming in the water. Daisy saw him too and wanted to jump in and get him. I hope we see him again before we leave. I am having lots of fun.

Abby LOVED feeding the ducks. Daisy wanted to feed ON them!

Ready for the ride down river to Chattanooga

FINALLY inside the Chickamauga Lock!
This was Abby's favorite spot in Chattanooga
Abby and Papa take a break on Market Street.
The smiles tell the story!

Abby is waiting for the beaver to reappear.

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