The Tennessee River has a lot of anchorages, small marina’s, bass boats, and even a few barges. The barges don’t bother us here, there is full communication, and they are not near as large as the industrial rivers were.
I heard an old saying once, “Old Sailors never die, they just fade away.” I believe that saying probably came about on this River. There is an old dockhouse when you come onto the Tennessee, it must have been state of the art in her day, but look at the picture now! The folks still love to fish around her, though. There is a barge that was new once, and someone parked it on the side of the river, only to fill with sediment, grass, weeds, and large holes working through it. In a few years it will probably disappear altogether. Makes that saying more real than not.
We anchored out all week, behind quiet little islands, once again all on our own. We could leave lots of swing and not fear getting in someone else’s way. At Diamond Island we anchored, and then took our dingy to Shiloh, there was supposed to be a large memorial of a huge battle fought here in 1862 where over 23,000 men died. There was no place to dock, so we missed this.
Our guide book certainly seems outdated, although it was the latest one we ordered before we left, they are listing marinas at fifty to seventy cents a foot, and the folks here are all charging $1.25 to $1.50. We found a very appealing one at the start of the Tenn-Tom with a good weekly rate, so our plan is to stop there for a week before heading south. Hopefully the marina is as nice as the brochure!
People have come up with incredible ways of dealing with the high water on the Tennessee. There are houses on built on stilts. There are houses built with waterproof basements above ground. There are homes, usually huge ones built on top of the limestone cliffs. There are floating homes on the river. There are folks living in travel trailers under carports, when the water level increases, they just drive it away. That’s what I call adaptable!
MBA loves statistics (she is a banker after all) and has been keeping a daily journal (unlike my Captain’s Log that gets filled out when I pump out or fill up) and she has been keeping track of the number of days we have anchored, and stayed at marinas. When we started this trip, we felt we would be in marina’s about 2 nights a week. The tally to date is:
Marina nights: : 54
Anchoring nights: 28
Mooring ball : 21
Tie up at locks : 14
HA! No wonder my budget is shot. (Not counting the exchange rate, which was par when we left, and is now over 20 percent, and the investments we left until January so they could earn money, and instead have lost over 25 percent).
Oh well, we are not stopping this trip, we are having too much fun, I’ll just have to drive a little harder when we get home!
We are now stopped at the start of the Tenn-Tom Waterway until next week, when we meander down to Mobile, Alabama and the Gulf of Mexico.
Love to all,
Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”