Out of the Rat Race

The Ohio River was after the Mississippi, and was very reminiscent of the big old Miss.  Very industrial, lots and lots of barges with tows piloting them in unbelievable spaces.  At Paducah we took the Cumberland River route, although it is about twenty five miles further, it was supposed to be quicker due to a long wait at Kentucky lock on the Tennessee River.  The Cumberland was a canal, with a few barges, certainly not as many.  We reached Green Turtle Bay marina, and spent a few days.  I rested; MBA scrubbed and bleached the boat.  I felt a little guilty sitting in the shade in my easy chair on the dock drinking a beer, watching her scrub in 85 degree heat.  But only a little.

We went to dinner at an 1880’s settlement called Patties.  It takes up a complete city block, and is mostly craft shops, and a huge Christmas (year round) store, with a restaurant that is out of this world.  Their specialty is a 2 inch thick pork chop, so of course that’s what we had, and took most of it home to eat the next day.  Dessert (always room for desert) was a seven inch high peach pie for MBA, and huge butterscotch pecan pie for me.  Presidents and actors eat here; apparently it’s a famous place.

As you can see from the photos, the Tennessee River (and the Cumberland to some degree) is just like being back on the Rideau Canal.  Quiet private anchorages, fishing, and water that is clearer than the pollution we just came through, although I will still not swim in it.

Oh yea, there are Bass Boats.  Shiny, flaked metallic painted twin 200 hp engines on the back of a 500 lb boat that slows down for nothing.  They race each other (generally two in a boat, with heavy coats and sometimes full face masks, they must be cold going that fast) to a spot, fish a few minutes, and then race off to another spot.  There are hundreds of them here, and because they throw very little wake, they like to get close to us, either cutting right in front, or speeding along side.  I suppose they want us to see their shiny paint.  They never wave; they have both hands holding on, probably for dear life.  We wave to them anyway.  Now that I know their wake is small, they don’t bother us, but they certainly keep us attentive.

It is warm here, the mid eighties are gone for now, it’s in the low seventies during the day, and cools into the fifties at night.  Makes for a lot of fog, and condensation.  We plan to get to a marina at the start of the Tombigbee Canal, and then stay there for a week.  Our insurance has a clause about being below 35 degrees north latitude during hurricane season (I believe its November 1), and I don’t want to risk that.  So we get as far south as we can, then relax until we can move to Mobile.  It’s too bad we are just going to miss the rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park, but we’ll probably see everyone coming out.

Just a couple of notes to finish previous discussions.  There are a couple pictures of the high water levels on the Ohio River; you can see how high it was.

The raft that with the four teenagers heading to New Orleans is now a duck blind.  The Coast Guard boarded it in Grafton, Illinois, and issued a Port Order that it was unsafe for the Mississippi.  So they sold it and each headed on their way.  It is kind of a shame, but after seeing the River, completely understandable.

Love to everyone,

Joe and Mary Beth
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold

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