Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Cumberland Tow Head, Smithland, KY To Green Turtle Bay Marina, Grand Rivers, KY — October 6, 2013

We awoke early at 6:00.  I needed to check the engine room and the oil levels in each of the engines and generator (normal daily practice). Everything was fine so I started the generator so I could brew coffee.

It was raining most of the time after I got up so I waited with Candy’s breakfast. We had planned on leaving at around 9:00 because we only had 33 miles and 1 lock. At about 7:30 the rain stopped and I fed Candy and went out to bail the dinghy.  The gas tank was floating in the dinghy and when I stepped in the water was almost mid calf on my leg.  I figured we had about 4″ to 5″ of rain last night. After I bailed the water Candy and I went into shore. On the way into shore the Asian carp started jumping all around the boat and one jumped into the boat.  Candy seemed unconcerned but the carp was flopping all over the place and I finally wacked it a couple of times and then threw it back into the water. The Asian carp had pretty well slimed up the boat and left a lot of blood.

As I am on shore I look down the river and I can see the rain coming up the river.  I tried to hustle Candy back to the dinghy as she had already done here job.  Well she was not in the mood to move too fast, until the rain started, and then there was no problem and she came right over and jumped in the dingy.  I had a raincoat on but Candy did not.

I pulled the dinghy up on the lift in the rain but the rain started to lighten and then finally stopped.  We got everything in order and got ready to pull the anchor.  We noted that there was a lot of debris in the water floating by in the current.  We pulled the anchor and started to move out of the anchorage while the other boats pulled their anchors.

The carp started jumping all around us and they were hitting the sides of the boat and were on the lower swim platform.  It was quite a site and the other boats were the spectators.

We got onto the Ohio River and we had only 1/2 mile to the mouth of the Cumberland River. The debris was everywhere.  The debris ranged for small tree branches to large logs that were maybe 20′ long and 10″ in diameter. Some of it was by it self and other were in larger piles that had been swept off the shore.  Once Upon A Time said that the river was 12″ higher today than last night from the rain.  Dodging the debris was quite a chore and it was a good thing that the Cumberland is relatively deep bank to bank. Several times there was no clear path thru and I put the engines in neutral and coasted thru the thinnest group.

The Cumberland is about 32 miles form the Ohio to the Barkley Lock and the debris lasted for about 20 miles.  There were lots of places along the banks where there were water falls with the rain runoff flowing into the river.

We were about 4 miles form the lock and called the lock to get a status report.  They told us the wait would be 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  They were going to lock a tow up.  We pulled the throttles back to idle and move up the river at 4 mph.  We sat in front of the lock until it was ready for us and the wait was 3 hours.  The tow was in the entrance way when we got there but did not enter the lock for awhile.

It was good that the lock was 57′ lift and they filled the lock in just 8 minutes and we were on our way. Green Turtle Bay is only about 1 1/2 miles past the lock so it did not take long.

We were going to have Docktails but we decided to go to dinner at a restaurant in Grand Rivers KY called Pattie’s 1880’s Settlement.  They are famous for their 2″ pork chops.  We had been there last year and they had that noted on the reservation slip.  The pork chops are as good as everybody says. the meal was great.

We are going to stay here 6 or 7 days.  I will need to look at the next part of the trip and do a little planning.