A short hot day…

Pulled out of Rock Harbor about 0800 CST. It was to be a short day of onlly 48 miles and one lock. We knew there was a chance of weather coming in after noon so we wanted to be tied up in Clarksville by early afternoon.

 
 
 
 
Steve had a tight sqeeze with a tow. You see how close he is to the trees and it is shallow over there.

 
 
We held back and it was still close.

The lock at Cheatham Dam was easy. It is a fairly short ride down and we were again on our way.Speed was averaging between 10-11 mph with the help of the downstream current. There was no need to stop for Trixie because the distance was shorter and she could hold it.

 
 
Trixie got a rare treat today. She rode upstairs for awhile.

Our pace allowed us to turn into Clarksville marina around 1300 where we took on 99 gallons of fuel at $2.51 per gallon. This was 30 cents per gallon better than we thought so we did not take a big financial hit.

Once tird up I began a few projects when a gentleman stopped by to chat. He was the captain of “Francesca”, another Bayliner 3988 that we met in Old Hickory Lock yesterday. His name is Chuck Stiles and he and wife Margaret are also Gold Loopers having completed it one year behind us. Now they cruise the rivers and are headed to Pittsburg on the Ohio.

Chuck wanted to talk about our boats and compare notes a bit. He had many questions about the various systems on board, most of which I was able to answer. And then as he was leaving I mentioned the one problem that I had no idea how to repair. It was the sliding door into the salon from the cockpit. That thing has plagued us since being on the Loop. It had gotten so bad on this trip that one had to use both hands to drag it open and we were spraying silicone lubricant constantly. Many owners on the Bayliner Forum had given up due to lack of knowledge or parts availability. I was one of them.

Chuck said he had actually disassembled the whole thing once and knew all about how the rollers were installed. He told me there was an adjustment hole at the bottom on the leading and following edges. But you needed a very long Allen wrench to reach the screw deep inside. I had looked into those holes before and determined they must be drainage holes. But I had a set of extra long metric allen wrenches in my toolbox. Within 30 minutes of Chuck leaving, I had disassembled the door, cleaned and tightened everthing up and adjusted the rollers to their full height.

It was a blooming miracle!!! The thing, which would harly open with two hands, now worked with one finger. Jan was thrilled, Steve was impressed and I was ecstatic! I called Chuck and insisted that they go as my guests to the Liberty Park Grill for dinner. The place is pricey but I would have paid $500 for that solution. Jan said it was worth the price of the trip. She obviously had more trouble with the door than me but I admit it was a royal pain.

Dinner was very pleasant. I had pineapple trriyaki steak. Jan and Margaret had the biggest chicken pot piie you ever saw and will never see because I left the camera on the boat. The weather was bad and I did not want to risk it. Chuck had a sirloin and Steve had ribeye. A hefty check I was happy to pay.

A weather alert sounded on my phone just as we finished and we hustled back to the boats to throw on extra lines and fenders. A serious storm was coming over the mountains and the sky was black as pitch. It hit easy at first and then lightening, thunder and rain set in. It is still going and getting worse. We are leaving the handheld VHF radios on channel 72 in case we lose power or have a problem. This way we can get help from each other.

Tomorrow is to be our long day but weather will determine if we leave or stay another day.

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