Friday, October 19, 2012

Heading to One Last Rendezvous

Days on cruise:  210

Distance traveled:  59.1 miles

Travel time:  6 hrs, 39 mins

Total trip odometer:  4,605 statute miles

This morning at Ditto Landing Marina in Huntsville, AL we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tanks and get a pump-out before heading down the Tennessee River. We’re headed to Rogersville, Alabama where we’ll stay five nights to attend our last Great Loop Rendezvous. We expect to see many old and newer friends there, and are looking forward to it.

The stretch of river between Huntsville and Rogersville is the least interesting, compared to further upriver. It’s pretty, but not in the least spectacular. Few cliffs, fewer trees, more industrial development, and power plants, few hills. We passed the “Pickwick Belle” (below) a river paddleboat and heard her on the VHF radio several times.


We had to wait about 30 minutes for the Decatur Railroad bridge (10-foot air clearance) to be raised for us, as a train was coming at the same time we called.


It was very windy today! It blew steadily 15-18 mph, but with frequent gusts of 20-25 mph. These are conditions that in many places, such as the Chesapeake Bay or Lake Michigan, would yield waves in the 3-6 foot range, causing us to stay in port. Here on the Tennessee River, with much shorter fetch, the waves were never higher than 2 feet, and mostly 1 foot or less. Nevertheless, the birds (below) didn’t want any of it, so gathered in various semi-sheltered places out of the wind.


There were frequent but small whitecaps, and the river was very wide at times, but overall it was a fine travel day.


The scene below is about the best it got all day, with small limestone cliffs, small hills, and some change of color on the leaves of the deciduous trees. The air was hazy; not fog, not smog, just haze. The temp was about 70 at the highest.


Late in the afternoon we pulled into Second Creek to anchor out for the night. A couple hours later 4 Looper boats emerged from the Wheeler Lock just downriver and rafted together about 1/2 mile from where we are. Presumably we’ll all head into Joe Wheeler State Park marina tomorrow for the Rendezvous.


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