Thursday, June 23, 2011

No More Locks, Please!

We cruised from 6:00 this morning to 3:30 this afternoon and made it to Nickajack Marina, locally known as Hales Bar Marina and pronounced as Hells Bar Marina.  One lock today which we're sooo thankful that the tow and barge on our tail and the lockmaster decided to let us lock through ahead of the tow.  Otherwise, it would have been a couple hour wait in the strongest current we've seen yet.  We've been cruising over 8 mph, but were at 4.9 mph as we were passing the tow just below the lock.  It was truly a case of the racing turtles.  Fortunately, we put the pedal to the metal and beat him to the lock by.....well, seconds.  But the tow had to break down his barges to go through the lock.  So, the lockmaster and the tow captain agreed to let us go first.  Awesome!!!!

We've had threatening skies for what seems like a week.  Sometimes they turn into vicious storms, like the one at Guntersville.  Sometimes they don't amount to anything except "I'm watching you, Tide Hiker."  Today was no exception.  We have very limited connectivity here, so will add the pictures later.  BTW, we crossed into Tennessee today; and, tomorrow we change back to Eastern Time Zone.  Imagine that!

Lynnie Tierney asked me a while ago how the locks have been.  I told her " a piece of cake" and most of them have been easy.  Must have jinxed it-- we've had three that got the heart pounding.  The first was the one where we tied too loosely to the bollard and I fell into the lazarette.  The next was the tallest lock on the TennTom - the Whitten Lock.  It has depressed panels along the wall that a fender could easily get caught it and there's no way to position the fenders to avoid all those panels.  We ended up repositioning fenders along the way up the way -- a bit of a panic.  The other challenging lock was probably our fault again -- we tied very tightly to the bollard so there wasn't enough room for the boat to float away from the wall.  We thought the forward fender was going to tear right off the boat and both of us pushing off couldn't budge the boat from being mashed up against the wall for much of the vertical trip.  No more locks for awhile - thank goodness!

We're practically within spittin' distance of Chattanooga, our first destination.  Only 35 miles upriver, 4 hours tomorrow if the weather cooperates.  Can't wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment