Friday, 26 October 2012
Oct 20-24 The AGLCA Rendezvous

Night View of A Dock at Joe Wheeler State Park Marina LeeAnne and Hui joined us for a short but pleasant cruise to Joe Wheeler State Park. We had to shoe horn ourselves into a narrow slip beside a PDQ catamaran from Tobermory. We had lots of help and didn't hit anything. Bill and Joyce were a few slips away and were having a banjo and guitar concert with Joel and Debby from Water Music, a 40 ft Fathom trawler. I filmed them playing Crooked Creek and made a video for YouTube. Internet access was so slow I had to give up uploading. After 16 hours it had only loaded 65%. I'll try again when we get home. The events started on Sunday afternoon. It was great to see many people we knew and so many happy people. About 250 people attended. Every attendee introduced themselves and told interesting stories about their boating experiences. One guy kept getting lost and restarted the loop several times. He finally bought another boat and started all over again. I counted over 60 boats but they became difficult to count when the looper boats were mixed with resident boats. There were some really great seminars. The ones on buying and selling boats were given by broker Curtis Stokes. Steve Zimmerman, another broker, talked about structural issues that can found in buying a boat. Bottom line it's a lot more difficult to buy a boat than to sell one. The big horror stories are with fiberglass cored with balsa wood. If water gets in to the balsa it rots and is very expensive to fix. Tuesday we were bused to Rogersville where we shopped and attended a concert on the grounds of a B&B. The music was so loud, we moved farther and farther away until we wound up on the B&B's veranda and sat in a porch swing.  Our friend Jerry from Charleston came with us . Jerry's wife sat in row 2 because she liked her music loud. The band, KGB, played country music and rock and roll and were very good. Wednesday night was the final dinner. After dinner I was astonished to be given the Skipper Bob 2012 award for "Making It Better". I was recognized for the CDs, TrawlerFest talks, reprinting Fred Myers' books, and the new Chartbooks. The award is an embroidered signal flag that belonged to Skipper Bob before he passed away a few years ago. His tombstone is engraved with "HE MADE IT ALL BETTER". Bob's widow, Elaine, was there for the presentation and gave me a nice shirt with the Skipper Bob Award logo and my name on it. I'll have to wear it as a conversation starter at a Grand Lakes Yacht Club events.

Posted on 10/26/2012 2:03 PM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 19 October 2012
Oct 16-19 Pebble Isle to Turtle Point Yacht Club

Chalk Bluff Chalk Bluff (really clay & sand) Every morning we leave at 8:00AM with Carried Away following. Soon we are passed by several other faster boats.  Our cruising speed keeps dropping as we approach Pickwick Dam due to the current there.  We went from 8.6 mph to 6.0 mph just before the dam.  The fast boats get several miles ahead then have to wait for a tow in the lock. When we get to the lock we just sail right in and the lockmaster closes the gates.  Lockmasters will always wait for the slow boats so they don't have to do another lockage which is work and wastes water as well as the energy in the water.  Tuesday night we stayed at Clifton Marina with 8 other looper boats. They have seen more loopers this year than ever before. One more sign the economy is improving. Marina owner Gene Anderson and I watched the debate on a big screen TV. Gene and I are pretty much on the same wave length as far as candidates. Wednesday night was at Grand Harbor Marina where even more boats were shoe-horned into the docks.  It was party night again with cocktails on the dock.  Thursday night we cruised to Florence Harbor arriving about 2:00PM in the middle of a fishing derby with 160 bass boats. Fred Myers (famous writer about the rivers) and Joanie who live in Florence picked us up about 4 and we went to their home. They have been in the same home 45 years  in a subdivision built  on a farm. Fred planted his own forest in the beginning and now the house is completely surrounded by tall trees. Dinner was at Ricatoni's Italian Grill. The name comes from the  two owners Rick and Tony.  It was really good!!  The place was jammed with people and a line into the street on a Thursday.  Mavis had pizza and I ate the spaghetti and meat balls. Tonight we are the only transient boat at the Turtle Creek Yacht Club.  It is quite windy and the dock is exposed so we are rocking and straining at the lines.  Tonight is the Brazilian Churrasco Barbeque Night with traditional barbeque served table side as the Gauchos roam the room with skewers of meats.  As long as you have a green marker on the table the Gauchos keep coming. A red flag says you have had enough.  Tomorrow our friends LeeAnne and Hui are driving here from Nashville and coming with us as we cruise to our final destination, Joe Wheeler State Park Marina.  They will get to experience one lockage on the way. Wilson Lock (mile 259) Formerly World's HIghest Single Lift Lock at 90 ft Waiting for the start at Florence Harbor Fishing Tournament Pickwick Lake Heading for Grand Harbor Marina 1830 Cherry Mansion in Savannah played a role during the civil war battle at Shiloh

Posted on 10/19/2012 8:00 PM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Oct 14 Tennessee River Cruise

Tennessee River, Pine Bluff, Mile 54.5

Tennessee River, Pine Bluff, Mile 54.5, Facing Upstream For the first time since 2007 we are going to spend a lot more time than a weekend on the Katy Leigh, our 36ft Grand Banks Classic Trawler.  The trip will take us 225 miles up the Tennessee from Kenlake State Park Marina to Joe Wheeler State Park Marina in Alabama.  At Joe Wheeler we will spend 4 days with new and old friends cruising America's Great Loop. We drove to Kenlake on Saturday for the Annual Commodore's Banquet and spent Sunday getting the boat ready. We also saw a really great movie, Argo, at the Cheri Theater in Murray, KY. Sunday night we had pizza at the hotel with our friends Tom and Linda. They have now suspended their Loop trip storing their boat in Muskegon, MI.  We also got to know loopers Bill and Joyce  on their 45 ft Californian, "Carried Away". They will travel with us for at least part of the trip.  Departure is at 8:00AM and we expect to cruise 55 miles to Pebble Isle Marina near Waverly, TN.

Posted on 10/17/2012 12:02 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Oct 15 Kenlake to Pebble Isle Marina

The weather was perfect cool, sunny, and light winds. We left exactly at 8:00AM with Carried Away following.

Tom (left) and Linda (right) came to the harbor entrance, waved, and wished us bon voyage.

At one point we passed this canoe that was resting while paddling upstream. The letters on the side say "Protect….." Comment if you know what this traveler is all about. Canoeing the Great Loop?? 

A beautiful Palmer Johnson yacht, Captivator

A beautiful Palmer Johnson yacht, Captivator, followed us for miles at a little more than our speed and passed us just before we turned into Pebble Isle. The captain was extremely polite when making his request to pass by.

We walked 2.3 miles to the New Johnsonville Historic State Park in order to see the museum. Then we learned they had build a new museum on Hwy70 that was several miles in the opposite direction.  When we got back about 7 boats total doing the loop had joined us on the dock and it was party time. One couple had just started out from Green Turtle Bay. While they didn't have a procession following them like the Katy Leigh in 2003, we had a great party at the marina to celebrate.

Posted on 10/17/2012 12:10 AM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Sept 25-Oct 2 Trip to TrawlerFest, Baltimore, MD

We took I-71, 70 & 76 across Ohio and Pennsylvania with an overnight at Spring Valley Campground at Cambridge Ohio.

This is an excellent campground.  Our destination was Conshohocken, PA.  In case you have never heard of this town, it is a mainline suburb of Philadelphia.  

We spent two nights camping on the street beside our friends Corin and Brian's apartment. Touring gardens and eating in great restaurants were the major activities.  The Morris Arboretum was first. It has a unique garden and a beautiful 19thcentury fernery.

Garden Railway at Morris ArboretumFernery at Morris Arboretum

Thursday we toured a friend's private garden, followed by Chanticleer Garden with its vast array of different plants and two large homes.  We also spent time at Valley Forge National Park learning about the place where George Washington and his army camped for the winter of 1777.Friday, on our way to Baltimore, we stopped at Longwood Gardens, the home of Peirce du Pont with its enormous conservatory. One could spend a couple of days at Longwood, but we had to get to the boat show in Baltimore Harbor.  We were surprised to learn our friends from Key Biscayne, Susan and Greg were docked on their Krogen Whaleback at the harbor but on the other side from our parking space. We walked nearly 3 miles to get to their dock. A huge fund raiser with at least 1,000 people was being held on the dock. Greg guided us through security and the mob to the boat.  Greg is an expert on public transportation and told me about the free bus service, that goes all around downtown Baltimore.

George Washington Lived HereSaturday I gave my talk on the Great Loop to a crowd of 47 people and toured boats. That evening we had scheduled another trip around the harbor to Lighthouse Point to see Nashvillians, Bob & Julie, on their new sailboat, "Doc Holiday". We rode the free bus this time. Bob and Julie now spend 6 months in Baltimore and 6 months at home in Nashville. The cost of docking is about the same as Kentucky Lake, but they have a gym, underground parking, and access to 10's of great restaurants, entertainment, etc. all within walking distance from their dock. And they have the free buses. It is an 11 hour drive door to dock.  Bob has his office on the boat and works for a medical records company.  This lifestyle is well worth researching.  Sunday we headed back on I-81 to Nashville, stopping overnight at the really nice, quiet, Hungry Mother  State Park in Virginia.  Monday we were back to Nashville by 2:00PM. There is some work to be done on the View on Thursday and Friday we will return the unit to our shed in Murray KY.

Bob & Julie Live HereLongwood Lilly Pond

Private GardenBanana Trees at Chanticleer Garden

Posted on 10/02/2012 4:50 PM by Bob Duthie
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