OUR PLAN

We are writing this blog for one reason and one reason only. To provide a vehicle to make it easier to remain in touch with our family and friends back home.

Our plan is simple. Depart our home port of Goderich Ontario in the Summer of 2011. Cruise Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron while visiting some of the ports and anchorages we have missed over the years. As well as revisiting some of our favourite haunts hopefully with some of our very good friends with whom we have cruised with many times before. All the while adding up the miles and gaining experience with our new trawler. Our first and only self imposed deadline is to be in the Chicago area around Labour Day. South of Chicago, weather and circumstances will guide us!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Green Turtle Bay in Grand Rivers Kentucky for the second time 10/11 to 10/18/11

I awoke this morning with a plan. The coal dust of Kentucky and Tennessee had not been kind to Terrmar. I had been contemplating getting the boat professionally washed and waxed for the last week or so.  There was such effort put into waxing in the spring that to let all of the wax wear off would have been insane. With Terri’s encouragement I was going to go for it. Neither she nor I had the time or desire to put forth this effort right now. A couple of days ago I had contacted the boat works department of Green Turtle Bay to enquire about the work being done here. Actually I had talked to them before we had left for Nashville and at the time they were too busy to even quote on the job. But I had returned here with a renewed vigor and a desire to talk to them in person rather than over the phone. Well I did just that and after a number of the staff had come to inspect the boat and a price was settled upon the work began that very afternoon. They did a fantastic job and after about three days we had a boat that we could be proud of again.
TERRMAR AT NIGHT

ALL SHINED UP

HAPPY CAPTAIN

On the second day after our return here we had noticed that Smudge had not been herself. She seemed lethargic and always seemed to be scratching, licking or rubbing herself. Her ears appeared to be infected and as this was not the first time we had brought along some ointment with us from the Veterinarian back home. We started applying it and while it did appear to not be getting worse it wasn’t getting better. With the help of the staff at the marina who recommended a veterinarian in Calvert City arrangements were made for a vet visit. They were a walk in clinic about minutes away so our two hour allotted time with the courtesy van didn’t leave too much time for error. Off we went, and found the vet’ location with only a small amount of geographical challenge. When we entered the office we were met with a receptionist with big hair. She asked all the pertinent questions and then motioned us towards a waiting room. We were then called into an examining room where another tech person did the preparatory examination. Soon, Dr. Roger Freeman the vet entered the room and quickly started grilling Terri about symptoms. It was quickly decided with great apologies on the good Doctor’s part that Smudge was allergic to Kentucky. It appears that all of the pollen, ticks and fleas that reside in the grass had challenged Smudges anti-flea program. All though it was working the program was challenged and overwhelmed. Not to worry though as there is a shot for everything it seems and there was indeed a shot for this. Also we had to keep Smudge on the boat or at least off of the grass. Yikes, this puppy needs to run and this is not going to help. But we or rather Terri will persevere.
TERRI QUITE CONCERNED

DR. FREEMAN AN AWESOME VET

NOT FEELING SO WELL!

This weekend our girls and their families had decided to get together for a Wey Family Thanksgiving all be it one week after the fact. Terri and I were pleased at the effort that they had put into the weekend. They all arrived on the Friday and Saturday at Candice and Brad’s house and spent the weekend visiting. Our Granddaughter Lauren was also there and from what we here she was the star and lapped up all of the attention that was cast her way.  On the Sunday they put together a feast that made Terri and I wish we were there. Of course Terri and I have taken a little bit of grief from our children for abandoning them to their own devices while we did our loop. Maybe they are getting used to it. Wait until they hear our plans for our post loop travels. Lol!
THE GIRLS AND TERRI AND I ON SKYPE HAPPY THANKSGIVING


AHH! OUR LITTLE LAUREN

LAUREN GETTING ALL THE ATTENTION
MMM PUMPKIN PIE

UNCLE BAD (BRAD) AND LAUREN

I WANT SOME

LEARNING MANNERS

THE GIRLS

The rest of the week flew by and again we rented a Golf Cart for a tour of the town. We had done it all before so we returned the Golf Cart early for a small refund. We also took the courtesy car into Paducah for another trip to Wal-Mart and another stop at the local beer store. It wasn’t planned this way but Wall-mart had just started modeling their beer display the day before. When they remodel the beer they ship all of the beer to other stores not really worried about customers and their allotted time with courtesy vans.  Green Turtle Bay had been very nice to us and we had a blast but we were ready to leave.
GO FIGURE A GREEN TURTLE IN GREEN TURTLE BAY

The next morning we noticed that Frank and Kathy or at least Rory their dog had returned from their thanksgiving celebrations in Canada. Only Rory was available to talk to as Frank and Kathy was MIA. We hoped they would be leaving soon and catching up with us.   When the fuel dock opened we moved the short distance to it and took on 252 gal of diesel and pumped out the head tank and then we were off to Paris Landing, another marina.
WE LEAVE SALTY PAWS WITH ONLY RORY ON BOARD. WHERE ARE FRANK AND CATHY?

WE LEAVE GREEN TURTLE BAY AGAIN FOR THE LAST TIME

THE WIND IS BRISK AND THE TOWS ARE PUSHING HARD

Mark

Nashville TN. To Green Turtle Bay 10/9 to 10/11

We departed Nashville at 1320. It was a great visit but it was time to go. The trip back to Green Turtle Bay would be uneventful as we had already travelled this route. Only this time we had picked out some anchorages that we had passed on the way to Nashville. The first one was to be Pardue Recreation Area in Cheatham County TN. We were with Last Chance and they had stayed here on their way to Nashville. It was truly beautiful and deep about 25 to 30 ft. Now while usually deep is not a problem it was an issue for us this time. The anchorage was small and we couldn’t use a lot of anchor rode so when we went to set the hook and feel our accustomed tug we just dragged the anchor into deeper water as it was a descending bank. Most anchors don’t like this and ours was no exception. But eventually we did get it to hook and we were rewarded by a glorious sunset and a great dinner on the BBQ.

LAST CHANCE AND THE CLIFFS IN THE BACKGROUND

The second day was much the same and while I have been known to embellish somewhat there is nothing to embellish. We stayed on the hook that night at Dover Island and were met very late in the day by Duddon Pilot. They had travelled all day from Nashville and must have been exhausted after the trip and the loss of their beloved dog the day before. I talked to them a few times on the radio giving them the lay of the land in the anchorage but we were all tired and into bed early. The sun is setting early these days and the viewing of the sunsets is a daily thing now.
SUNSET

SMUDGE CHECKING THINGS OUT
DUDDON PILOT ARRIVING AFTER A 100 PLUS MILE DAY
The next day I awoke at my normal time only to see, well nothing. ‘We were fogged in and the only thing to do was to go back to bed. I have never been able to sleep in this type of delay but the rest was welcomed. Soon though the fog was lifting and we departed at 0845 after a hearty breakfast that Terri had prepared. The eggs were done just perfect and if you know me that is a must. This day while gorgeous turned out to be a very boring one. We arrived back at Green Turtle bay at 1440 and went right back to the slip we had vacated one week ago. The balance of the day was spent getting re-acquainted with other loopers and catching up on this blog. We weren’t sure how long we would stay here but we had to decide tomorrow.

SPIDERS OH YEA

WILL THIS LITTLE ISLAND BE HERE AFTER THE NEXT FLOOD?

TOWS AND BARGES, TOWS AND BARGES
Mark

Nashville City Dock in Nashville TN. 10/6 to 10/9/11

We have arrived at Nashville City Dock which is directly under the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge and will be calling this home for the next three days. There are other loopers here, Last Chance, Last Dance, Erika Lin, and Duddon Pilot. They have all been here for a few days and have scoped the area out for us. Their information was a great help and saved us a lot of time. Bob from Spirit Dancer had warned us about a homeless man who lives on the river bank right beside the dock. That was two years ago and I didn’t really expect that the poor soul would still be here. I was wrong for he is still here and he bothered no one and we didn’t bother him. We found Nashville to have more than its fair share of vagrants and homeless people. Terri, on her early morning Smudge walks would pass by them sleeping in the park and elsewhere. Again they didn’t bother us and we didn’t bother them. Upon waking up the first morning I talked to Peter from Duddon Pilot who was the boat docked right behind us. Sometime around 2:00 am they were aroused by someone up above us on the bridge throwing wooden blocks down at their boat. The police were called but of course the culprits were never found. Peter and Maureen from Duddon Pilot just moved their boat when space came available and got on with life. The next night was Saturday and there was a college football game that evening and the rowdies had returned with their wooden blocks which they rained down upon Erika Lin. They too ended up moving in the middle of the night which is never a fun thing to do. Terrmar, appeared to be out of the line of fire as we were directly under the bridge and out of the reach of the culprits. Never the less this and all of the homeless people on the weekend forced me to lock the boat at night and when we were absent. This was the first time on our trip we have done that.
TERRMAR AT NASHVILLE CITY DOCK UNDER THE BRIDGE

WOODEN BLOCKS THAT ARE LAUNCHED FROM THE BRIDGE OVERHEAD

Nashville is known for its Honky-tonks and they were all with in a two block area within walking distance of the boat. We had heard many good things about the music and this is why we choose this place to dock the boat. We were not disappointed! We quickly found ourselves at the Hard Rock Café for lunch on the first day as Terri had deemed the Honky-tonks a great place to visit for music and a beer but not up to her standards in the culinary department. I think she watches Chef Ramsey on TV too often. We spent the first day just going from store to store and Honky-tonk to Honky-tonk. We picked out what we figured were the best ones and planned to return the next day to spend a longer period of time in fewer establishments. The music generally was very good and the musicians all played for tips. The bar of course made its money slinging beer and everyone was happy. Most of the time in the afternoon the places were packed with people and a seat had to be waited for. No worries as the atmosphere more than made up for my aching bones. The talent from one group to the other or one musician to the other varied but Terri and I both agreed up on our two favorites. One was a 16 year old lead guitar player who was just filling in for a band, and the other was a fiddle player that touched Terri’s soul. Generally there is a tip jar in front of the band and most people stuffed it when they were leaving. But in this case Terri wanted to make sure that the fiddle player got the tip directly and bypassed the tip jar. Sisterhood smiled upon them both as the tip money passed from one hand to another.
TERRI LOVED THIS RESTAURANT

FIDDLE PLAYER ON THE LEFT TOUCHED TERRI'S HEART

16 YEAR OLD LEAD GUITAR PLAYER AMAZING!

The previous night Terri and I had tickets for the Grand Ole Opry. While I enjoyed it immensely, Terri found the Honky-tonks more to her liking. The artists were generally younger and the up close feeling made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. The Grand Ole Opry while an experience in itself was certainly less of a close up experience. Perhaps the nose bleed seats and the chatty group of ladies behind us tainted our view. We were sitting so far back and by no means were we at the very back that we spent the entire show watching the performances on one of the big screens. Charlie Pride, and most of the other performers that night while good were well past their prime and it showed. We had started the evening off with a dinner reservation at the Gaylord Resort American Café. This is one of the area’s most famous restaurants and it was situated in a huge building filled with waterfalls and tropical plants. The water falls while a nice thing to watch were also very distracting to the diners. So much so that our server admitted to us that she thinks it had adversely affected her hearing. Regardless, Terri enjoyed her Salmon with a blend of Citrus Asian Sauce and Shtick Mushroom Tea Sauce. My steak was fabulous once they had returned with a second attempt at getting the rare part rare.
ART ???

LP FIELD HOME OF THE TENNESSEE TITANS



VINYL RECORDS MAKING A COMEBACK

OLD AND NEW

PREVIOUS SIGHT OF THE GRAND OLE OPRY

TERRI TRYING TO UPGRADE OUR TICKETS

Today is Sunday morning and we will be leaving but before we do we have one last visit to make. At Robert’s Honky-tonk there is a Gospel Hour at 10:30 am every Sunday. Terri and I both had looked forward to this. We were not disappointed as the band leader was a real preacher who sprinkled his sermon between the band’s gospel tunes. The coffee, tea and snacks were free and supplied by Robert’s. The hat was passed with all of the money going to help rescued horses to be re-introduced back to health and eventually a new owner. The CD sold for $10 and we now have it in our collection.
TOOTSIES HONKEY-TONK

ROBERTS OUR FAVOURITE HONKEY-TONK

WHAT A PLAN

TOOK THIS PIC FOR AL

ANOTHER PURINA DEALERSHIP GONE

A LITTLE CANADIAN INFLUENCE

DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE


MEMORABILIA COVERED THE WALLS

THIS REMINDED US OF TERRI'S AUNT MABEL

COWBOY BOOTS FOR SALE EVERYWHERE

BUT NO TERRI WANTED THIS ONE

A sad note to end this blog excerpt: Peter and Maureen from Duddon Pilot have had to put their ailing 12 year old dog down. Of course this is crushing to both of them as it came as a complete surprise! As Maureen said later “he is the one in the family that never caused any grief.” We received the news from Peter by cell phone the following day as they had stayed an extra day in Nashville to deal with this. Terri, our girls and I know the feeling only too well. Steve and Maureen will be in our prayers and we can only hope that time will perform its magic.
Mark

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10/4/11 to 10/6/11 Green Turtle Bay, to Barkley State Park Marina, to Clarkesville Town Dock Kentucky, to Nashville Town Dock Tennessee.

Onward up the Cumberland River to Nashville we go!
LEAVING OUR SLIP AT GREEN TURTLE BAY

TERRI AT THE HELM ON THE FLY BRIDGE ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY

KENTUCKY STATE PRISON

LOOKING DOWN FROM ABOVE WHILE WE ARE UNDERWAY

WINDING CHANNEL ON LAKE BARKLEY

Barkley State Park Marina turned out to be more of an endurance test to passing boaters than anything. As it was only 30 miles from Green Turtle Bay, it was a natural stop on this trip to Nashville for those who departed late. That would be us as it was after noon when we finally departed. We had to wait around for the overnight courier to arrive with our much needed parts. Don’t ask!  We arrived at the marina in good time too three dock hands and a very empty marina. The dock hands helped us dock and were very friendly. Go on into the office and register we were told and don’t forget your proof of insurance. We had to have at least $30,000 in liability insurance in order to be privileged enough to dock here. We carry $2,000,000 but who is counting.  After we had dispensed with the niceties the two ladies behind the counter passed the bill to me and I pulled out my well-worn Visa Card. Oh no we don’t accept credit cards at all. Just cash and for your convenience we happen to have an ATM machine right over here. I looked at Terri thinking to my self is this a scam or a joke. Seeing no cameras and Terri shrugging her shoulders I pulled out the cash and paid the bill taking an extra careful look at the receipt. It looked legitimate so we are good to go. We received our slip assignment that appeared to be the furthest possible slip that we could have been assigned to. Third building back, turn right and you are in dock two. Are the docks numbered I asked? Oh yea, the number is right on the dock, for sure, can’t miss it. Great will there be someone there to help us. Help you what? Too dock I said. Oh you want help, you want us to walk all of the way around there? Remember there is a total of 5 staff members that we have met and we are the only customer. I start to here Banjo’s in my mind and say ah don’t worry about it eh! What, the clerk said in her southern drawl? We will manage Terri offered. So we are politely helped off of the gas dock by the three dock hands and we set off to find our assigned slip. Banjo music, getting louder now. We followed directions but could see no dock numbers. Banjo music gets louder still. Since we are alone with no one to help us, we reason that dock number two must be the second dock from the end. There are about ten empty slips all around us and it shouldn’t be a big deal even if we are wrong. There was no wind or current to speak of so docking was not a big deal. Banjos fade. We quickly get the boat tied up and next came the shore power cord. After I fought my way through a family of spiders and their associated cob webs I found the appropriate receptacle that appeared to be hanging by its wires. Oh and under all of the cob webs on the electrical dock fixture I see a big number three. Banjos are really loud now. I did manage to get hooked up to the electricity and no one has asked us to move. We did enjoy the rest of the evening and we were glad to be gone first thing in the morning.
ISLAND WILL BE GONE WITH THE NEXT MAJOR FLOOD

BALD EAGLE

MORE VANISHING LAND

Clarksville turned out to be a very nice city dock. It was made of concrete and floated parallel to the river current which made docking and un-docking routine. When we arrived and got settle we noticed there was something a little peculiar with the shore power here. It seemed to be supplying one of the two main circuits on the boat. This meant we had to do without air-conditioning or start the generator or move the boat about 80 feet to the next power source. Move we did and all was well. We broke out the chairs and had our own little dock party. Terri was worried about us having cocktails on the dock as this was a dry town (we think). After a wine spritzer she worried no more. We were just starting to feel relaxed when I spotted two big burly men walking down the dock towards us. There was no mistaking they wanted to talk to us. The first man, a big man introduced himself as Gene Killinger a former Sea Ray Boat dealer from Florida. Gene and his friend Mike Engel were travelling this portion of the Cumberland in a Pontoon Boat, stopping nightly at different hotels along the river. He was so intrigued with our vessel that he just had to come and see it for himself. He asked for a tour and of course I obliged and he wanted to show his gratitude in some way. So as he still owned a marina in Florida he offered us free dockage for the boat when we returned home in Dec. Quite an offer and Terri and I will have to decide after looking at the charts and doing the geography. They left after hearty handshakes and promises to meet up the river someday.

FLOOD DAMAGE TO A COAL UNLOADING DEPOT

GENE KILLINGER AND MIKE ENGEL

TERRI AND SMUDGE AND OUR OWN LITTLE DOCK PARTY

TERRMAR AT REST IN CLARKESVILLE TN.

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
After our pork chop dinner we were just settling in for an episode of the Walton’s before retiring. I was doing the dishes when I saw a bright shining face looking through the window at me and waving from the dock. It was a young girl about 18 years of age and I went out to talk to her. “Please” she said my girlfriend is an aspiring model and we are putting together a portfolio for her. “Can we please take a few pictures of her in front of your boat” No problem what harm can it do. She jumps up and down, gyrating and screaming and waving her arms like young girls are want to do. The next thing I knew there were 6 locals 3 boys and 3 girls, all around 20 years old and all very polite and easy to talk to. They took a few dozen pictures and then the original girl and now spokesman for the group pointed up to the fly-bridge. “What’s up there” she smiled. One of the young men trying to appear nautical answered “They drive the boat from up there”. I knew what was coming next and relented before the words were completely out of their mouths. So, Miss Future Superstar and Mr. Photographer both clambered up the side of the boat and commenced taking their photos. “Pose with the Canadian Flag” I suggested. Of course they did while the cheering section left on the ground with me continued their squeals of delight as this would be a definite plus for superstar’s portfolio as no one else knew there was such a thing as Canada much less a Canadian flag. They had their fun and reviewed some of the photos before they proclaimed themselves done or cool or something like that. They all shook my hand and politely offered their thanks and were gone as quickly as they had descended. What a day! I am looking forward to the Walton’s and then some much needed rest.
THIS ISN'T EVEN THE SUPERSTAR


NICE GUY BUT NO SUPERSTAR

SUPERSTAR AND A CANADIAN FLAG

SUPERSTAR POSING ON THE FLYBRIDGE

SUPERSTAR DESCENDING THE STEPS



SUPERSTAR AND ENTOURAGE 
 
A NEW MARINA ALMOST COMPLETE IN CLARKESVILLE

MORE CLIFFS

HOUSE ON A CLIFF

NEW GAS BARGE READY FOR LAUNCH


 Half way through the episode and after dark had descended upon us there is a knock on the hull. There is 5 people 3 adults and 2 children standing there looking at me. It seems that Raoul the youngest of the bunch at about 4 years of age had made a great fuss to his parents about the boat. He just had to get on one or even in one if he could they said. Here hand him to me I said and in a flash he was in my arms squirming to get down on his own two feet. I let him down and he looked at Smudges Pee-Pad and then at me as if to say “what is that”. His eyes then fell upon the aft door as he wanted to go in. “No no not tonight” I said and scooped him up holding him and answering all of his questions. Everything I said was interpreted into Spanish for the one person present that did not speak English. They left telling me that there was no boat like that in Puerto Rico and how they wished that there was. Soon enough they were gone and young Raoul seemed content as he rested upon his father’s shoulder as they quietly slipped away. I am getting goose bumps writing this and I am not sure if it is the story, or the fact that there is a fresh breeze cooling me down.

Well that’s all folks,
Sleep tight!
Mark