Sunday, September 16, 2012

Calibrated Adjustment

Distance traveled: 13.3 miles

Travel time: 1 hr, 50 mins

Total trip odometer: 3,929 statute miles


We spent most of Saturday with other Loopers in and around Green Turtle Bay marina near Paducah, Kentucky. Bob made a trip to the marina’s chandlery to replenish our spares after the last oil change, we almost caught up on a backlog of emails, and we made further trip arrangements with friends and relatives for the coming month. We shared a marina courtesy van with friends on Time and Tide and Kathryn for a trip to Wal Mart located in the adjacent dry county.  We’ve almost forgotten our liberal “pc” qualms about Wal-Mart after 6 months on the Loop.


As Saturday wore on, more Loopers pulled off the river into Green Turtle Bay looking tired and bedraggled, as we remember feeling four days ago. At 5:30 more than a dozen Loopers gathered at the marina gazebo for cocktail hour, and everyone brought appetizers, which of course turned out to be dinner as well. We met a few new folks, but most of them were people we’d already met and have enjoyed.

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We know not all Loopers feel the way we do, though many do: we find after several days of constant errand-running and socializing with other Loopers, we’re ready for a few days at anchor by ourselves so we can relax, read our books, and catch up on the news (if we have internet, which we most always do with our Verizon mi-fi hotspot). So Sunday morning we planned to leave promptly to spend three nights at anchor on nearby Kentucky Lake, a dammed up portion of the Tennessee River.

Next To Me had a slightly different plan in mind. As Cathryn was washing breakfast dishes, our fresh water pump quit working. It had done this sporadically twice before, but had always responded to a calibrated adjustment with a knocko-meter administered by Bob. This time when Bob performed such a calibrated adjustment, the pump failed to respond. So he decided it was time for a pump replacement. We have an extensive set of spare parts on board, and a fresh water pump was already in supply.


Ten minutes later Bob asked Gary of Time in Tide, parked in the slip next door to us and a recent retiree from life as a professional mechanic, a question. Gary promptly dropped into our engine room (see photo above), answered Bob’s question, and offered to quickly change out the pump for the new one. Voila, twenty minutes later the job was done! Loopers are SO good to each other, and Gary is a wonderful and very competent man. Bob got online to order a new water pump for our spare parts collection, and it will be delivered here to Green Turtle Bay by the time we return later this week (more on that later).

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OK, now for the translation: A calibrated adjustment with a knockometer is the standard male trick of hitting an inoperable part with the heel of his hand, or with a wrench or hammer if needed.

So about 10 am we said goodbye to Looper friends, slipped our lines, and took off for remote places on Kentucky Lake.


It was raining when we left, but there was no wind or waves, so the trip south was uneventful. The scenery was nice too.


A couple hours later we pulled into Sugar Bay, a remote spot where only a few small fishing boats were in sight throughout the afternoon, but left before sunset.


We anchored easily and spent the rest of the afternoon taking a short nap, enjoying the scenery and wild life including turtles, lots of jumping fish, heron and storks.


Three deer appeared on the shoreline too.


There are zillions of birds here, and while we perused the Birds of North America book Lynn and David gave us three years ago, we’re not able to identify all of them. Good thing Lynn and David will join us soon in Chattanooga!


We’re alone in this beautiful spot and enjoying the night noises and stars.

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