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.


  1. Sounds like it was very exciting. So glad you guys are meeting such wonderful people. Enjoy reading your blog. The trees back here in Missouri are very pretty also. Bet is nothing like the beauty you guys are getting to see. Safe sailing. Love you.

    1. Thanks Angie Love you too Lots of prayers JOY