Here we go again…Guntersville to Nashville

Readers note: Due to a totally new blog system put into place since my last entry I was unable to post several of these as they were actually created. Therefore you will likely receive a number of entries at first. Each will be dated the actual date of creation. Once I have caught up with my postings you should then begin receiving one per day as in the old days.

Now to my disclaimer. If you receive this and are thinking that we are about to start the Great Loop again then just put that out of your mind. What we are going to do is attempt some sporadic blogging of trips you might find entertaining. For instance this little journey from the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club in Alabama to Nashville, TN, country music capital of the world!

To begin, a nice car trip between the two would take maybe 3 hours and a half tank of gas. But a boat trip is another adventure altogether. It is around 500 miles by boat down the Tennessee River almost to the end and then up the Cumberland River. There will be many dams and locks, at least 7 marinas for overnight and countless gallons of diesel fuel to burn. Why? Because the Admiral wanted to go and our friend Steve Cullen wants to tag along. I am not saying this is the most expensive trip ever made to Nashville but it ranks right up there somewhere. And then we have to get back. Should take approximately 3 weeks give or take.

 
 
Steve’s new boat Little Funhouse II, a Cutwater 28

We have a new dog. Well not brand new but this is her first blog appearance.

 
 
Trixie

After we lost Daisy, just before leaving on the Loop, I was sure we were out of the pet business Because Jan said so. Then after about 18 months she said I should find a dog. The Internet can provide most anything. What I found was a picture of a dog at the Atlanta Humane Society that looked so much like Daisy that Jan thought I was playing a trick.

 
 
Daisy

Trixie was about 6 years old. She has one flop ear from birth I suspect. An elderly lady in Tennessee had a stroke and had to be put in a nursing home. She left 3 dogs, Blackie, Trixie and Hyper. A neighbor took them all to a local shelter. Blackie was adopted out in Tennessee. Hyper had a disability and had to go to foster care as he was not adoptable. And Trixie was shipped to Roswell, GA by the Humane Society. When I went to see her she started doing tricks to impress me. She really wanted a home. I told her that I would bring Jan the next day and we would adopt her.

But Jan had meanwhile found a rescue Chihuahua way out in Bogart, GA. So we went to see Trixie first. She did all her tricks and then Jan said right in front of her that we had to go and look at another dog! I swear this is true. Trixie tucked her head down against the volunteer worker and and cried. She never looked up at Jan again. So we went to see the other dog. It was wildly energetic but had no interest in us. We donated $50 to the rescue unit and left to go get Trixie. I called enroute only to discover that someone else was there to adopt her! They had brought their other dog from home just to be sure they would get along. Well that dog hated Trixie and by the time we got there she was available again. Now that is fate my friends.

Today Jan and Trixie are joined at the hip. She took over the house and it was sort of like Daisy was reincarnated. We have many times called her the wrong name. In fact when a friend came over Trixie jumped in his lap and he said, “I thought this dog had died!” I told him she did but we paid $15,000 to have her cloned and that they got everything but the ear right and refunded $2,000 if we would take her as is.

Enough on Trixie for now. How did we decide on Nashville? I am not really sure. Every May we host an Antique and Classic Boat Show at the Yacht Club. Jan and I are heavily involve and Steve is the Chairman. Somehow we all agreed to leave the week after the show for Nashville.

This is not quite as big a production as the Loop but even a 3 week trip requires some planning. For instance, who will cut the grass while we are gone and who will take care of Steve’s cat, Aubie, who weighs 16 lbs and hates riding in cars or boats. Thomas, our neighbor needed money for summercamp and Aubie was boarded. The cost of this trip keeps mounting. 

 
 
The journey begins

On Friday, May 20, 2016, we set out in a howling wind with 100% chance of rain. Not a fun way to start but we have reservations in downtown Nashville for Memorial Day Weekend and they are hard to obtain. 

Entering Guntersville Lock after 10 miles was dicey. Luckily there was no lightening because they close the locks when there is. We managed to get through with nary a scratch, after all we are pros. Steve is single handing his new Cutwater 28 and it has front and rear thrusters, plus he is the most experienced captain in the club in my opinion.

The first day was a long one. We went 84 miles to Joe Wheeler State Park Resort and Marina. Remember, this is where we officially began our Loop in 2011. On the way we pulled in at Riverwalk Marina in Decatur, AL so Trixie could go ashore. All this for a 9lb dog. We did not even try to train her to go on the boat. Too much trouble. It is easier to pull over.

Oh, did I tell you the dang generator would not start when we left our home dock? I had no idea what was wrong but I would soon find out. While in route Jan did most of the driving and I out on earplugs and began troubleshooting the Westerbeke 8kw generator. I finally determined it was the starter motor or solenoid. On this engine they are one joined unit. I removed it while we were moving. which was no easy feat but I am no slacker as a mechanic. Plus I was kneeling on one of the rudder posts and it keep turning under me.

Westerbeke wanted $759 plus shipping, handling and taxes to send one ahead on our route. I told them I did not want a gold plated one! I have since shopped the internet and believe I have found one for $214 with free shipping but it will be Monday before I can order it. Meanwhile we have no electrical power underway other than 12 volt but it is not a real problem yet. The days have been cool and Trixie is fine in the salon. She cannot be trusted to ride up on the flybridge. A passing Osprey might inspire her to jump off the boat chasing it! At day’s end we are plugged in to power at the marina and all is well.

 
 
Joe Wheeler Resort

 
 
We are docked side by side

 
 
Little Funhouse and Cbay with Jan in between

 
 
Buffet at the Lodge

 
 
Too cool for a swim

 
 
Captain Steve Cullen

We were bushed and went to bed right after dinner.

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