Monday, October 12, 2015

A dam good day!

No I did not misspell dam; Sunday's journey will take us from mile 230 on the Tennessee River (Pickwick Lake) through the Wilson Dam to Wilson Lake where we stop at mile 268.  Just an aside, we left our home at mile 222 on the Cumberland River (Old Hickory Lake), we cruised 190 miles to mile 32 on the Cumberland and stopped at Green Turtle Bay.  Once we made the cut over to the Tennessee River we started at mile 25.  So our total mileage so far is 433miles!  You could drive that in a few hours by car on much straighter highways!!
We woke to fog but the sun won out and we have a gorgeous day ahead of us!  Wearing warm clothes again in layers and all day I peeled one more off until shorts and a T was sufficient!
Getting close to the Natchez Trace Bridge, the same back country parkway that leads to Nashville.
This is the Muscle Shoals area with Florence, Al on our port and 3 other cities including Muscle Shoals on our starboard.  This area was the home to W.C.Handy the "Father of Blues" and Helen Keller.  Not taking the time to sightsee today.
The Wilson dam is open for us as we approach which is a lucky break.  If a tow is nearby, we would have to wait as many as 2-3 hours because pleasure craft are not the priority.  Note the tiny speck of white on the left side of the dam.  That is another looper the size of us which gives you perspective on how huge this 137 ft high dam really is!  When it was completed in 1925 it was heralded as the world's largest.
My job is to wrap the line around the bollard and tie it securely to the cleat on the boat.  I wrap it counterclockwise when we are being raised to keep us more stable (read that in a book!), then I nervously watch the bumpers and hope I positioned them well enough to keep the boat from slamming into the slimy lock wall.  Al gets to refresh his coffee, take a potty break and enjoy the experience of the lock.  His job of parallel parking the boat is done!

The lock doors are slowly closing behind us and you can see how tiny that third looper boat looks against the wall.  They entered just after us.

Almost tucked in now and soon that middle boat will be rocking because the lock is filled from underneath and the turbulance is strong. It took about 25 minutes for the lock to fill.  We raised up 93.5 feet to level out with the Wilson Lake.
The lock is full and soon that gate in front of us will lower into the bottom of the lake and we will glide right over it.
And on we go another 6 miles to a lovely cove for the next two nights on Wilson Lake.

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