Day 39 – Chatanooga, TN

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Thankfully one thing that hasn’t happened is we haven’t trashed any more propellers.  Yet.  Last Thursday John from Crazy Love and I took their mini van loaded with the set of props we wrecked leaving Pisgah bay and drove 582 miles to Gulf Shores, AL.  We dropped off the newly wrecked set and picked up the set that was dinged in Alton.  In total we were gone for about 17.5 hours having driven just shy of 1,200 miles.  We stopped once each way and quickly in Gulf Shores.  It was a very long day.  The payoff for the long day was that the next morning we were able to have the boat hauled out, the props replaced and be on our way.  Our exit from Green Turtle Bay was over due and it felt great to be on our way again.

On Friday we were able to leave Green Turtle at about 11am and were able to run through the canal to Kentucky Lake and down the length of Kentucky Lake to Pebble Isle Marina.  There we were able to buy cheap diesel, enjoy a good dinner at the local restaurant and enjoy really good cinnamon rolls they serve all the transient boaters in the morning.  The trip down Kentucky Lake was very pretty and featured some interesting remains from before the land was flooded to form the lake.

The next day we got up early and ran a long ways from Pebble Isle Marina to Florence, AL.  It was a run of about 160 miles and took 9.5 hours.  By the time we got to Florence it was dinner time and we went to the restaurant at the harbor for another good dinner.  We were very ready to be off the boat by then.

The following morning we went from Florence to Joe Wheeler harbor.  This took us through two locks including Wilson Lock.  At a 93 foot rise it was largest rise or fall we have been through thus far in the trip.  It will be among the largest of our trip though we will beat it later.  Joe Wheeler Harbor is on the Joe Wheeler Resevoir and part of a large Alabama State Park.  It is a really beautiful setting with a nice lodge, pool and good facilities around.

A little while after we arrived at Joe Wheeler Laura’s mom Cathy and Jim arrived.  The girls were very excited to see both of them.  We had brunch at the lodge and then while Laura and I ran a couple of errands Jim took the girls fishing.  Jim was great with the girls and taught them a lot.  I’m a complete neophyte when it comes to fishing so having someone with Jim’s knowledge show the girls the ropes was really great.  Jim bought the girls live bait and despite our concern they might be grossed out they couldn’t have been more excited about it.  They both caught fish with Molly taking the prize for the biggest fish.  A 10lb carp.  Thankfully the line snapped before they reeled it in.

We spent the next morning, Monday, with Jim and Cathy before they headed home.  We made our way planning to stop at an anchorage on Lake Guntersville.  As we were headed there we heard from Mike on Rowe boat that they were at the Lake Guntersville Yacht club for a gold burgee ceremony for another looper we’d met in Alton.  So, we headed there instead, got to see Tim and Carol from Liquid Assets as they were also there and spent the night.  The next morning we got up and headed to Goose Pond in Scottsboro, Al where we pulled in as Kathy, Livia, Claudia and Sabina pulled into the parking lot.  The image of Livia and Claudia bouncing up and down waving at us was awfully sweet.

We caught up with them, had a nice dinner and got the girls to sleep.  All four in the bunk room.  As anyone who has been on the boat knows, the bunk room is not large.  Four bodies in that room is hard for me to fathom.  In the morning we headed out of Goose Pond and about 50 miles to Cedar Creek on Nickajack Lake.  Cedar Creek was a beautiful anchorage just past the Nickajack Lock.  We got there in the early afternoon giving the girls lots of time to swim.  We then made a nice dinner and got the girls to sleep.  Courtesy of Madelyn that wasn’t an easy task.

This morning we got up quite early and got on our way to Chattanooga.  We arrived around noon and quickly did a little exploring.  The girls rode a carousel and played in a big fountain attached to the aquarium.  We had dinner at a very unusual burger bar on a barge attached to an excursion boat on the river.  The site was odd but the burgers were very good.  Tomorrow night Jack flies in and Sunday Laura turns 40.

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