Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You are never alone. Go marker to marker.

This is the front moving away on Sunday and a promise of better weather for Monday Oct 29th.
I like when we get promises like that. Gods word is filled with those kind of promises,too. "Red sunset at night a sailors delight", paraphrased by Joy. 
Our friends from the boat Sea Sea gave us this advice before they left us. Just remember you are never alone and travel marker to marker. Traveling down the Tenn tom may not be as scenic as some places we will and have seen but in itself there is beauty and it is full of history. 
Scenes like the Natchez Trace once an Indian trail traveled by pioneers and early settlers.
This can be traveled by car nowadays. The Natchez is maintained by the national park service. By the way Indians did not have the luxury of having this bridge.
The Tenn Tom is about 280 foot wide and riddled with islands, cypress, stumps, water hyacinths, birds of all kinds the sounds are simply beautiful.

 This is an example of the locks we traveled with 6 to 8 other vessels daily.
Then on October 30 we decided to anchor out but made a tiny mistake in our navigation which turned out to be a blessing. You got it! Proud Lady grounded! But, the trusty near a Captain Bill was able to maneuver her back into the channel. WHEW! then we called to vessel Betty L owned by Bob and Madelyn from Sandwich, MA. near Cape Cod, told them of the near miss by grounding and traveled with them to Waverly recreation area. We anchored in a beautiful cove near a old railroad bridge and took our dingy into Waverly mansion.

If you read the previous blog you seen another couple towing us in our dingy that couple was from a catamaran sailing vessel, Ron and Jean. They were just being nice but we know we were slow and the other couples wanted to get there faster. LOL!
Notice how this old train bridge has a turn style to open the bridge. It is no longer in use but I thought it was so cool. There used to be a community here in the 1800's it was a cotton plantation owned by Col. Young, with store, cotton gin and docks, then left abandoned was restored in 1962 by the Snows. It is very interesting. I loved every minute.
A Huge magnolia tree. It must be beautiful in the spring. Trey, Brent and Julie would love to climb this.
Then, we three 3 couples dinged back to our boats. Bill and I made supper (we usually eat 2 meals a day breakfast and dinner) tonight we had Ozark succotash and hot chocolate. We listened to the news and prayed for the storm survivors.
Well, I will have to blog more later we are cruising down the Tenn Tom, Captain Bill at the wheel.
Love Ya, JOY

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tenn Tom Waterway from Iuka, Mississippi

Hello friends and family...Mom and Dad and all our kids, We are having a good time cruising down the Tenn Tom. Sunday October 28 we followed the other cruisers into the divide cut and onto the waterway. Most of the scenery is swampy rustic but beautiful. We are locking through 3 locks daily. There are a total of 12 locks on the Tenn Tom waterway. Bill and I are learning the hard way to stay with the other boaters. (That story can wait for another time.) Today we visited Waverly Mansion
The Mansion and grounds are beautiful well worth the trip.
We dinged  into the park with other folks.Here is a picture of Ron and Jean towing us while the other folks, rowed their boat to the park. Then we walked to the mansion for the tour. SO fun!
The weather is beautiful but cold at night then it warms up during the day. I cannot wait to tell more but we have poor internet connection. So please look in later for more adventures. Love, Joy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The End of the rendezvous October 2012

October 24 marked the end of this rendezvous for 2012 above the picture of the sailboats in front of the ships store. Bill and I hope to do this trip again and go further up the Tennessee River.

The Race

On October 24 at the end of the day there was a dinghy race Bill and I signed up BUT, Bill decided to go into town at that time so a friend Darell captained this dinghy. We had so much fun!
The rules:
backwards, blindfolded, do not touch, voice commands only
So here we go! Darrell as captain and Me Joy as the navigator.
We got honorable mention. Darell was such a good sport!
I had so much fun that day. At dinner that night Bill and I sat among celebrities.
Bob ans Mavis Duthie
They are the authors of the dvd we made you watch.
" The Great Loop"
Will share more about this exciting day later,
Love ya, Joy


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Gathering

In September before we left Kentucky, we had folks visit this is Bill's Bro in law and sister Penny from Texas
 WE had an awesome visit with Penny and Dick, good food and conversation about old times and new adventures. Dick had a friend from high school days who was also friend of the family visit at the boat, Bill and I took them out on the lake for a cruise.
Later in September My sister Pam and her husband Mark visited we had a cleaning day, and oil change. I don't have pictures of them on that day but we appriciated the help getting ready. Then I drove to Fredricktown Missouri to visit with my parents and family before our departure.
Beth, My mother Betty, and the grand kids playing on front porch at Mom and Dad Rauls.
You know the rest its posted on the blog up until...

October 19 Mail Call......we got mail!

It was like Christmas having our mail catch up we had not received mail since October 1st.
 October 20th Joe Wheeler State Park in Alabama
Karen and Paul, Bill's 3rd  sister from Alabama visited on October 20, 1012 .  We at lunch at the beautiful lodge restraunt and wandered around the grounds visiting, Karen made some really good brownies.
 on Saturday October 20th we woke early excited about company coming and the upcoming Great Loop Rondezvous event, there was fog on the water.
Fog is common on the lakes and rivers here in Alabama.
 Proud Lady sitting alone in the marina it was very peaceful.
Behind Proud Lady the sun sets as it highlights a most beautiful hill. As other loopers gathered she no longer sat alone in the slips, we were surrounded by many boats that are in different stages of the GREAT LOOP.
Later that evening Donna and Larry visited, we had met them up in Kentucky at Kentucky Dam Marina. Larry and Donna are planning to do the Loop in 2013 so we walked the docks and looked at the different dinghy davits, Here is Bill, Larry and the Captain of PRIME TIME discussing the davit he re worked the davit to fit his needs. Larry and Donna has dogs so they are looking for ways to get the dogs and their dinghy to work.
We had dinner with Larry and Donna in the town of Rodgersville, Alabama. They left us with a bon voyage gift, we have so many snacks and drink to last a good way. What a wonderful day!

OCTOBER 21, 2012

Today was registration for the rendezvous. As you can see Proud Lady is sitting among the many many boats.

OCTOBER 22, 2012

Bill and I enjoyed the seminars and the food, days begn at 830am and ended at 900pm

October 24th 2012

after the seminar on Tuesday....we traveled by school bus to a party, the band KGB played country, bluegrass, rock, Elvis, oldies

 Bill singing along.
 Smoking an Ol stogie
Bill and the mayor talking  about cigars.

this video is of the band playing "SWEET HOME ALABAMA" and the mayor of the city of Rodgersville with his beautiful wife dancing.
The setting of this event was at a georgeous bed and breakfast 1/2 mileout of town in Rodgersville, Alabama. It was simply beautiful with antiques and such....We had a great time. Check back I will tell more about the week in Joe Wheeler...Love ya,  JOY



Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18 2012

Joe Wheeler State Park - Alabama

As I was saying earlier in a blog from October 14th We arrived at Joe Wheeler 5 days early to the Great Loopers Reunion, Bill and I took the opertunity to do some cleaning, laundry and just relaxed on the back deck of Proud Lady. The weather has been beautiful with all the fall folage AWESOME! Here is a picture of the view from the boat in late evening....
There have been boats arriving about 2 a day for the last few days. Some of those folks arrived early and then left again to travel the Tennessee River north east to see the folage from the river near Knoxville and Chattanooga, we hear wonderful stories about the beautiful the scenery on the upper Tenessee. Bill and I will save that trip for another time. On October 14th I posted a few pictures as we locked through the 2 locks to get to Wheeler Lake, today I will try to tell the story of that was truely AWESOME! On Saturday the 13th Bob and Ann on Sandpiper pulled into the dock at Florence Harbor.
These 2 folks, Bob and Ann are amazing, I think they have done it all. They have white water rafted, they have done the Loop ....and they just keep on boating, their vessel is "Sandpiper", a 44 foot trawler cat. Bill and I were intreged by their stories and their adventures. ANYWAY, we were taken under their wing. Bob has a vast knowledge in boating and is a coast guard auxiliary. Sunday October 14 2012 about 0745 we left Florence Harbor, Sandpiper in the lead. Bob called ahead and spoke with the lockmaster at Wilson Lock this lock is small compaired to Pickwick. Bob gave instructions that we were to take the starboard, He and Ann on port inside the lock, I was told to do whatever Ann did so I watched and placed my finders just as she did, we entered the lock I was able to catch the bollard without problem and Bill notified them we were secure, the lockmaster chatted with Bob and Bill as he walked the wall inside the lock. He was very polite and asked if we were going to take the trip on up to Knoxville, he informed us about the fall follage and how beautiful that part of the trip was. .
This is a picture of the inside with the gate shut, the water is rising to lift us to the lake. I have to hold on and adjust the rope as we rise. Bill helps from the upper decks to push away from the wall if needed. In this picture you can see I have my lifejacket on and Bill and I wear earphones to communicate with each other. Wilson lock has a gate that drops down 22 feet to let us out. It was hard to take pictures and hold the rope and Bill was very reluctant to take pictures. I guess he needs to learn.
The water on Wheeler Lake was very choppy with about 1-2 foot whitecaps. As we entering the cove at Joe Wheeler State park it was like being in an aggitated washer. Bob instructed Bill to speed up and give it power to get through the entrance, the water on Wheeler Lake was so aggitated that the lock closed down after we came through. We made it to the marina safely. I told Bill if we managed that trip without problems we could do anything. It was near noon so we checked in at the marina paid our slip fee then explored the area. Bill and I were so exausted from the trip that after lunch we slept for about 3 hours. Most evenings are spent with docktails visiting other boats and sharing tales of adventure and sometimes a glass of wine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler

Today we locked through from Pickwick lake in Florence up to Wheeler Lake in Rodgersville Alabama. Here's how the story unfolds...
Florence Harbor in Alabama, we stayed here 2 nights not very eventful they have a beautiful harbor. We met a wonderful couple Bob and Ann on Sandpiper who are veterans at doing this Great Loop trip. We shared the courtsy care at Florence Harbor to eat supper downtown Florence at a place called Rigatonies it was a wonderful meal(but, I love italian food). During our visit we decided to hook up with them to lock through teh locks. Bob is an awesome captain and lead. Ann is wonderful at being the admiral.
Sunday Morning October 14 2012. There is 5 days before the Great looper meet at Joe Wheeler. This is the first part of our adventure. Our first lock was Pickwick which I posted on earlier in teh month. Today we will go through 2 Wilson and Wheeler.
Sandpiper aproching Wilson lock. they took port we were on starboard.
A water fall on the outside of the Lock.
Inside the Lock. I will post more pictures tomorrow ....It hss been an exciting dsy!