Friday, 31 August 2007
Day 14 Anchor High Marina to Harpeth Shoals Marina
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Debbie and Sandy arrived at 7:30AM, but the Old Hickory Lock had already started down so it was about 8:30 when we left the lock and headed downstream. We decided to stop at the downtown Nashville dock for lunch.  The boat in the photo was in front of us. The owner helped us tie up and we had an interesting conversation with him and toured his unique boat. It is 39 feet long, 8 feet wide and built of plywood covered with epoxy. Powered by a 60 HP outboard it gets 6 mpg at 8 mph. It is built like a motor home with pine paneling and propane powered fridge, stove, and water heater. The head is a motor home type and drops waste directly into a holding tank. He bought it in Guntersville and has cruised the Tennessee River to Knoxville and is now doing the Cumberland. The owner is a retired NYPD officer and told us how he felt right at home when there was a drug bust on the rocks near the dock yesterday. He is planning to take the boat to Florida for the winter and up to his home in New York in the spring. The rest of the cruise was uneventful and we tied up at Harpeth Shoals at 5:00PM. After drinks aboard we all went to Riverview Restaurant for a catfish dinner.

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Posted on 08/31/2007 10:16 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 30 August 2007
Day 13 Cedar Creek YC to Anchor High Marina
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Anchor High MarinaIt rained last night and for the first time on the trip we had fog in the morning. I dropped the car off at Enterprise in Gallatin and was driven back without any delay. The Gallatin Enterprise is a good one to use. Then we went over to the fuel dock and got pumped out and took on 161 gallons of diesel. That should do us for the rest of the year. It is just 17 miles to Anchor High. They say they don’t have transient docks but at this time of year it is not a problem getting a space. There is only one 30 amp outlet. We are using it for the air conditioners and the the inverter for everything else. We’ll have dinner at the restaurant here so we won'’t need the stove. Part of the restaurant is on the paddle wheel boat in the photo. Tomorrow we are being joined by our friend Debbie and her new husband on the cruise to Harpeth Shoals Marina.

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Posted on 08/30/2007 7:20 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Day 12 Cedar Creek Yacht Club
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pot luck supper at the transient dock picnic tableWe took the day off and went to a movie at the new Providence Mall in Mt Juliet. The mall is a colossal project with all the big box stores as well as some smaller stores arranged in clusters. The largest Kroger store I have ever been in is there. In the evening, it cooled off and we had a pot luck supper at the transient dock picnic table. (see photo). Names are withheld to protect the innocent.

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Posted on 08/29/2007 7:19 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Day 11 Cedar Creek Yacht Club
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Club house at Cedar Creek Yacht ClubAfter much study of the area’s Enterprise car rental locations, I picked Gallatin as it was only 12.5 miles away and closer to Nashville. The driver got lost on the way but arrived at 9:30am as promised. He got lost again on the way back. It is not easy to find your way around the back country roads in this area. We got lost ourselves trying to find the Club that evening. We went home, did laundry, worked on a project for a client, and shopped at Costco. We set a new record for a cheap meal at Costco. Dinner for two was just $3.28 for their kosher bratwurst with all the fixings and a drink. The photo shows the club house at Cedar Creek YC.

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Posted on 08/28/2007 8:22 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 27 August 2007
Day 10 Defeated Creek to Cedar Creek Yacht Club
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It was 9 hours cruising down the Cumberland to make the 84 miles and one lock. Cordell Hull lock was open and waiting for us when we got there at 7:50AM. There was a fair current in the river leaving the lock at we made good time. Although the water temperature was 83 degrees above the lock, it dropped to 62.9 degrees few miles below the lock and continued cold until well after the Caney Forks River joins the Cumberland (see photo; 2nd line of data, second box from the left). By the time we reached Gallatin the water was up to 93 degrees. We went 60 miles today without seeing a single boat of any kind. We got to the Yacht Club at 4:30pm. Our looper friends that have been staying here for a month or so came over at 6:00 and talked boating for a couple of hours. We ate enough cheese, crackers, and melon to do for dinner. We will be here till Thursday and will rent a car to do laundry, shopping, and go to a movie.

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Posted on 08/27/2007 8:09 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 26 August 2007
Day 9 Defeated Creek
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Defeated CreekWe took a rest day and stayed at the dock all day. Allan took us over to see the houseboat that Elvis is planning to take to Birmingham by water. It will be lucky if it makes it to the first lock. It is in pretty sorry shape and hardly built to go 900 miles. The anchor is a concrete cylinder with a line on it. Most of the boats on the dock along the river are wrecks. People are paying far more than the boats are worth to store them here. They are never visited. One homemade houseboat was used to get a bank loan. The application said it was a 2001 Homemade. The bank thought it was almost new and that Homemade was a brandname. The owner went bankrupt and the bank took it over. A man from Chicago was at the bank and looking for property. They mentioned the Homemade and he bought it for $2200 or so, sight unseen. In the morning we walked over to the Corps of Engineers campground and looked around. It is a first class location and a place we would like to revisit on the motorhome. There are many beautiful sites right on the water with power and water (see photo). At this time of year it was perhaps 30% occupied. Walking back to the marina large boat dock we spent a couple of hours on the shared party barge talking boats with several of the owners. John and Carol on Morning Mist II, a large 50 ft cruiser have cruised 2/3 of the loop. They are the only members of the Grand Lakes Yacht Club from Defeated Creek. We had a late lunch at the Creekview Restaurant and watched a movie on the boat.

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Posted on 08/26/2007 8:07 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 25 August 2007
Day 8 Roaring River to Celina to Defeated Creek
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Obey RiverTrue to form, whenever we anchor out there is a thunderstorm late at night. But we survived and the rain did a good job of washing down the boat. Andrew arrived at 9:00AM with the RIB and he and I left for the 24 miles cruise to Celina. I was wrong on the mileage in my last post. Mavis stayed aboard the Katy Leigh. The river narrows at this point with high bluffs. One is called the Seven Sisters which has 7 rounded limestone overlooks high above the river. It was named by Daniel Boone. We got to Mile 381, the end of the navigable Cumberland in about 1.25 hours with the RIB going 21 mph. The Cumberland actually continues for another 78 miles to the Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland. The Obey River is 7 miles long, drains Dale Hollow Lake and empties into the Cumberland at Celina. We went about a mile up the Obey to a boat ramp. The water was freezing cold in the Obey and there was fog on the water with the air temperature in the 90s. It was a strange sight. We were back at the Katy Leigh by noon, had lunch, pulled up the anchor, and cruised to Defeated Creek for dinner at the Creekview Restaurant and the Elvis concert. Another thunderstorm hit us tonight.

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Posted on 08/25/2007 8:05 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 24 August 2007
Day 6 Cedar Creek YC to Defeated Creek Marina
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The actual distance today was 89 miles. We left at 6:15 am and arrived at 4:20pm; a total of 10 hours underway. It wouldn’t be so bad except the temperature hit 104.5 degrees in the shade. We ran the generator, all 3 marine air units, and a fan the entire way. This was a good strategy. It was so hot by 11:00am that we moved to the lower helm and ran the rest of the way from there. It was quite pleasant with the maximum salon temperate 81 degrees. The name Defeated Creek originated when 4 settlers escaped from a raid by 60 Cherokee Indians in 1786. The marina is now owned by Alan and Caroline Vires in 2004. The people here are very friendly, the food at the store and Creekview Restaurant is excellent and the prices are like going back 10 years in time. A one scoop ice cream cone that filled a cereal bowl was $1.69. Entering the Creek is very confusing. Be sure to take this buoy on the starboard side as you enter the creek. There is an old very large diesel engine under the water on the other side of the buoy that has holed or heavily damaged several boats. It was apparently left there when the dam was built. There is no cell phone service or wifi here so this posting will have to wait.

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Posted on 08/24/2007 9:13 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 24 August 2007
Day 7 Defeated Creek Marina to Roaring River
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Cumberland RiverWe ran 42 miles today and anchored with some difficulty in on the Roaring River just off the Cumberland near Gainesboro, TN. The bottom is soft and the Danforth anchor wouldn'’t hold. The windlass was stuck so we had to manually lower the plow anchor with its all chain rode. I am sure it will sink a way down into the mud and be hard to pull up tomorrow. Andrew is towing the RIB to the boat ramp here and we will use it to cover the remaining 33 miles to Celina. We will then return to Defeated Creek Marina for an Elvis Presley concert. Hopefully, we will be back there by 7:00PM.  This part of the Cumberland is spectacular with high tree covered hills, islands, and wide expanses of water. There are very few houses or farms. It is a shame it is so far by boat. The temperature reached 104 once again today, but it is nice and cool inside with the generator running the air conditioning. Verizon Internet service is working at this location with just one or two bars.

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Posted on 08/24/2007 9:15 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 23 August 2007
Day 5 Nashville to Cedar Creek Yacht Club
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Ruins of Johnny Cash's home on Old Hickory LakeThere was very little current in the river so we made it to the Old Hickory lock by 9:30AM. There was a short wait while the lock was emptied, and we were underway at 10:00AM. We made a short stop at Anchor High Marina to get 120 gallons of diesel at $3.059 and to check out the transient docking facilities. There is one dock with power that will hope to use on our way back. The dockmaster said that they get very few transients at Anchor High. It has a great restaurant that we want to revisit. This was the hottest day yet, with a relentless sun shining on the boat. We ran the genset from Anchor High to Cedar Creek and then switched to shore power. Since the water is 85 degrees the marine airs have to work even harder. The best we could do during the afternoon was 83 in the salon and 79 in the aft cabin. There are two trawlers at the dock, both are live aboards that have done the Great Loop. We had cocktails with them tonight. They have been here a month or two and have totally insulated their cabins with reflective foam on all the windows and canvas “awnings” out side. It is like being in a cave with the lights on all the time. However, it was nice and cool and we enjoyed meeting them. Tomorrow is the long day 80 miles to Defeated Creek on Cordell Hull Lake. The lock master is expecting us between 3 and 4 pm. The photo shows the ruins of Johnny Cash's home on Old Hickory Lake. We had passed it 4 times before but never noticed it. Sadly, today it was easy to find.

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Posted on 08/23/2007 12:53 AM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Day 4 Ashland City to Nashville
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Katy Leigh on the Cumberland RiverThis was an easy day’'s cruise, just 32 miles, but once again we were in 100 degree weather. We left at 7:00am and arrived at 11:30am. We were the only boat on the dock until a couple of Dragon Boats arrived for the race this Saturday. I would bet there will be some river rescues with crews that have never set foot in a tipsy racing canoe.  It was too hot for Mavis so she stayed aboard and I went up to town and photographed 24 of my favorite restaurants and attractions for our next CD-ROM. At the Arcade I had a long chat with the proprietor of my favorite downtown restaurant The Greek Touch. It was 2:00PM and business had slowed down. He has opened for lunch weekdays only for 16 years and makes a good living. I also got to visit the new downtown Hill’s Supermarket. It is very upscale. He says he will give it another 3 years and that will be it.  Tonight we will go up town for dinner. Tomorrow we cruise to Cedar Creek Yacht Club. Our good friend, Bart, is joining us for the trip.

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Posted on 08/21/2007 10:17 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 20 August 2007
Day 3 Clarksville to Ashland City
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Harbor at Harpeth Shoals MarinaWe had a quiet night at Clarksville with only some mild rocking from tows as they went by. We left the dock at 7:00AM for the 32 mile cruise to Harpeth Shoals Marina. The most interesting sight along the river is the Clarksville Boat Club located about 5 miles upstream. It consists of a whole chain of covered slips all held in place by a steel cable that goes up the bank to a tree. The transient dock is the diverter dock which keeps the trash flowing down the river from going under the boat houses. However, it diverts the trash so it goes under the transient boats. We got to the lock at 9:30 to find a 10 barge tow waiting and one coming down. It was 2 hours of circling before we were allowed in. Harpeth Shoals Marina is brand new and impressive. It has a sprinkler system on the docks. The condominiums are now under construction. Once the restaurant is in place and the shop this marina will be one of the best places to stay on the river. The harbor is very sheltered from any river traffic. (see photo)

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Posted on 08/20/2007 7:53 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 19 August 2007
Day 2 Barkley Lake State Park to Clarksville
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River Explorer in the background, with the Katy Leigh and Nordhavn on the new public dockAnother hot day with temperatures in the high 90s. We left at 6:15am to get the most out of the cooler mornings. It was an 8 hour cruise to Clarksville. We overtook and passed 2 barges but otherwise did not see another cruiser or any barges coming down the river. Just as the dock was in sight, at 2:00pm, it started raining hard. It was a scramble to get the boat docked and covered up and we got soaked. About an hour later a Nordhavn also docked in front of us so we have some company now. Clarksville has spent a fortune fixing up its waterfront with walkways, elevator towers that take you up to more walkways, benches, etc. However, while there are a lot of government buildings in the downtown there isn’t much else. A couple of fast food restaurants are nearby but that is about it. The River Explorer (a huge cruise ship on 2 barges) is also docked here. It leaves tonight at midnight for Nashville. It cruised here from St. Louis. Tomorrow should be an easy day, just 32 miles and 1 lock to Ashland City. The photo shows the River Explorer in the background, with the Katy Leigh and Nordhavn on the new public dock. The wakes of the small boats going full tilt up the river make it a little bumpy during the day.

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Posted on 08/19/2007 11:49 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 18 August 2007
Day 1 Kenlake Marina to Barkley Lake State Park Marina
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Museum at Kentucky State PrisonIt was a hot day with temperatures way up in the 90s. We left at 9:00AM with Casting Away, a 42 ft Hatteras, to cruise 48 miles to Barkley Lake State Park Marina. Our ETA was 2:15pm and that's about when we arrived. Passing through the Barkley Canal at the north end of Kentucky Lake we came to the Cumberland River at about mile 33. The Kentucky State Prison is one the most spectacular sights along this part of the river. It houses the most dangerous prisoners in the state and was built in the 1800's. The photo shows one of the homes built for the staff, but I believe it is now a museum. Around noon, the VHF radio blared with a "Pan Pan Pan" and the Coast Guard announced that there was a fire on the railroad bridge that crosses the Ohio River at Metropolis and that the river had been closed. I will listen to the broadcasts tomorrow to hear the latest news. Tonight we will attend a Grand Lakes Yacht Club party at the convention center here. Tomorrow it is a 68 mile cruise to Clarksville. Verizon phone service is very poor here but there is free wi-fi. You have to get a code from the marina office.

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Posted on 08/18/2007 10:26 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Introduction to Cumberland River Cruise 2007
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Katy Leigh

Bob and Mavis leave Saturday, August 18, 2007 on the Katy Leigh on a cruising journey to the head of navigation at mile 381.0 of the Cumberland River. The trip is expected to take about 3 weeks. We will leave Kenlake Marina and head north to the canal that connects Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River to Barkley Lake on the Cumberland. We will then head upstream to Barkley Lake State Park Marina at mile 59.1 where the Grand Lakes Yacht Club is holding a "Supper Club Afloat" at the hotel there. Sunday morning we plan to cruise to Clarksville (mile 126.1) and stay at the new dock.  The photo taken in June shows the Katy Leigh on the new transient docks at Kenlake Marina behind Oil & Water, a 45 ft Carver, belonging to our friends Bob & Ginny.

 
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Posted on 08/15/2007 2:18 AM by Bob Duthie
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