A Little Catching Up (this will take a while)

We left Green Turtle Bay on October 10, 2017.  What an interesting start at 4:30 in the afternoon – the Captain said we are leaving today.  Guess he meant it.  Darn good thing that the sun won’t be setting for a couple of hours.  Won’t be getting to the planned marina stop so this will be an anchorage.  Spent the night at Rhodes Cove – a very nice anchorage on Kentucky Lake.  I guess that you can call this day 1 of the trip.

On October 11 we traveled to Birdsong.  This was a recommended stop by the Captain of Halcyon.  What an experience!  First off they told us we needed to be escorted in to the marina from the lake.  We let them know when we were at the recommended location; we were met by a small boat and the adventure begins.  We followed our leader through many twists and turns for about two miles back to the marina.  There were several places on the trip in that we were very close to our draft limit.  The attraction at Birdsong is no longer — the Pearl Museum burned the previous December (all the exhibits are gone).   

October 12 (Columbus Day – traditional appropriate for this pair). We left Birdsong traveling to Clifton Marina (a nine hour trip).  The day started out cloudy, cold and windy (do we have enough layers of clothing to keep us warm?)   By mid afternoon the sun came out and we were warmer.  We walked around town and ate at a little place called  Dyanne’s.  Back to the boat and settled in for the night.

October 13 (Friday the 13th — you must remember this). Our goal for the day is to get to Pickwick Landing.  The day started out FOGGY.  Fellow loopers First Forty we’re also waiting for the fog to lift.  We left the marina about the same time and gradually kept getting farther behind them.  They were able to travel a little faster than we can and were able to lock through Pickwick Lock with another small boat.  When we were close enough to request a lock through, we were informed that we would have to wait about three hours for the tow traveling the opposite direction to be locked through.  We requested permission to tie to either a mooring cell or out of the way on a lock wall (permission granted).  We patiently waited our turn.  We successfully entered and proceeded to perform our lock through.  Now you must know that the sun has by now set and it is dark DARK!  The port engine suddenly shuts down — we leave the lock on one engine.  Now we have to find the marina in the dark and with the use of only one engine.  We were able to navigate our way to the marina although the channel was not well marked.  Remember First Forty that we met the night before.  Well they were very helpful in us getting tied up for the night (remember we only have the use of one engine.). There is more to this story than I can put here.  If you see the Captain in person or the first mate (admiral) ask.

October 14 – in order to continue traveling we must find out why the port engine failed.  A little detective work and the discovery was made that the newly (and new) installed fuel filters failed.  Fortunately, a couple of spare new filters were on the boat.  After a filter change the port engine was started.  It is a late start to our day’s planned travel, but we are going.  Today our destination is Florence.  This is going to be a later arrival, but the traveling was so much better.  

October 15 – today we are traveling to Joe Wheeler State Park.  This means two locks 1) Wilson lock with a lift of 97’ and 2) Joe Wheeler Lock with a lift of  47’ to navigate through.  We achieved two successful lockages.  With our arrival at Joe Wheeler State Park we were successfully tucked into our slip with the help of other loopers.  The Captain was amazed that we fit into a slip that he thought was too narrow for us.  

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