In September of 2012 we came off the Ohio River, up the Cumberland to Green Turtle Bay where we stayed several days waiting on our friends to repair their boat. Then we took a cutover canal one mile to the Tennessee River and began our run toward home. Today we have reversed the process and are staging at GTB for our run up the Cumberland to Nashville which should take 4 more days.
We topped the tanks up with 104 gallons of fuel as we can trust it to be fresh and clean. Bad fuel is the curse of mariners and generally you try to avoid buying at little out of the way marinas that do not turn over their supply often. Water from groundwater seeping into tanks or condensation in half empty tanks can stop a diesel engine cold. We have what are called water seperators on the engines that trap the water but once they are full it passes right through and will not burn so the engine seizes.
Papa brings a stick to Mama
The trip to GTB was mostly uneventful. We passed too close to an Osprey nest on a marker post and disturbed father who was bringing a new stick to mother as a peace offering. Not too much different that our culture. These fisher hawks are all over the rivers and build out over the water to remain close to the food supply. They only eat fresh fish and can catch them several times their own weight. The birds are particularly protective of their nest and will attack a boat in a minute, screeching their piercing cry. Our friend Ziggy, the African Gray parrot, learned to immitate the Osprey’s cry exactly while we traveled the Loop. She then delighted in teasing them into thinking another bird was encroaching on their territory and they would chase her boat looking for the source.
Upon our arrival at GTB I went to the ship’s store to see if my generator starter had possibly arrived. It was there! Imagine, yesterday at 3pm i am on a boat in the middle of the Tennessee River. I call a guy named Eddie in Michigan and order a part. The next day that part is delivered to the marina before 8am in the morning. That just cannot be possible but it happened. I guess they flew it to Paducah, KY last night and someone drove it out first thing this morning. I was delighted.
With Steve’s assistance I began immediately to install the rebuilt Bosch starter. I had already removed the old one, which I will have this same company to rebuild for a spare, so the install should have been a piece of cake. but it seems two things were wrong. One, this init had an extra ground wire that mine did not. We decided that this was an extra used on some newer engines so I just ignored it. Two, my old starter had two bolt holes in the housing to use for attaching it to the engine. The bolts would thread into the block. But this new one had threaded holes for bolts to come from the block. If we tampered with it the warranty would be void but that did not stop real mechanics. We drilled out the threaded holes to 3/8″ which matched what I had. Bolted in in and fired the thing up. Voila!!! Success, and we were back in the generator business. I phoned Fast Eddie and and when he answered I held the phone over the generator and said, “Eddie, do you know what you are hearing?” He said, “Sounds like a Westerbeke generator to me.” Now I think he was as pleased as I was.
Beautiful gardens at Patti’s
In the evening we took the courtesy van into town where we ate at the world famous Patti’s where the specialty is a 2″ thick grilled pork chop that is to die for. We had enough leftovers for sandwiches tomorrow. The place is a maze of gardens, animals and water features.
What is left of the 2″ pork chop. That is just one steak fry behind it! We had pork sandwiches for lunch another day.
More sights at Patti’s
The Admiral finally gets a new hoodie at Patti’s.
For the benefit of Dr. Allyn Bell I have included a picture of the most picture perfect rooster I have ever seen and he knew it too.
Papa brings Mama a gift.
This is the rooster’s constant companion. Ever notice how the ugly duckling tries to hang around with the popular one.
This is a sly red fox we spotted on the way back to the marina.