Back to Clifton

Quick readers note: I received two comments recently that I need to address. First, my former Court Reporter, Lizabeth, inquired as to why she saw no photos of me and only those of Jan and Steve. Simple answer is no-one was taking pictures but me. As I look back there were zero photos of me in 21 days. Not that I am any great shakes to look at but that does not seem quite fair. Dr. Bell said he appreciated no pictures of me! You know, if I had not been the one actually shooting the pictures, I would be quite suspicious of Jan and Steve walking together all the time. Second, my college roomate and dear friend Mike said he had only just learned we were on a trip and felt left out. It was not intentional. Since 2013, when last I blogged, a number of readers have changed email addresses and other were somehow dropped by the website. I am so sorry. To catch up go to and read the blogs starting on 5/20/16. DO NOT search the name but actually enter it as a website or you may never get there. Then to receive them via email as written click register and sign in. Absolutely NO-ONE has access to those email addresses but me and I give them to no-one. So you will not receive a bunch of ads for pharmacuticals. Finally, Mike if you will email me directly at with your phone number and email address. Yours was lost when a glitch hit my phone and I am slowly reconstructing. Thanks.

Now to today’s blog.

Way before we woke up this morning I felt the throb of big engines starting and knew that our Alaska friends were casting off. They are early risers and will be ahead of us by many miles. But we are all going to Clifton Marina so we will see them later.

The river was full of vacationers whether camping or in summer homes.

Our perch allows us to see it all from the best seats.

We, on the other hand, left at a respectable hour and began another day of sights and sounds on the Tennessee. Again we are monitoring Trixie’s temperature closely but so far her space stays cooler than ours. It is amazing how much we miss that little fan blowing up here. One interesting encounter was with two big yachts. One big one and one huge one. They were traveling together and moving some water. When our AIS first picked then up I thought they were commercial boats but further examination revealed private vessels. Through the binoculars I could see that the huge one in front named Mimi was throwing a bow and stern wake that would hit us hard. I got on the radio to Steve on our private channel and mentioned that they coulld do us some damage and I hoped they slowed down. This is a channel we use but it is actually open to anyone and a really big boat with top flight electronics would be scanning and pick it up. Sometimes this works and they will get the hint without having to call them direct. It worked in this case and they backed off. That is great because Mimi was 125 feet long and we were in a very narrow channel. The unknown boat, which was at least 100 feet did the same. Disaster averted.

These boats had likely come up from Florida via Mobile and the Tenn-Tom. They would have entered the Tennessee early this morning and were likely headed up north to the Great Lakes Region for the summer. These are piloted by professional captains and the owners are rarely aboard. The boats go north for summer and south for winter. We spoke to one such captain at Green turtle Bay and he said his boat costs $30,000 for each move. That includes fuel, crew etc. He moves it twice a year between Detroit and Ft. Lauderdale. The owner himself may only spend a few days aboard in Lauderdale but invitees are coming and going. Now the boat he was driving was only about 70 feet so you try and figure what it cost to move Mimi. And this is going on all up and down the East Coast and up and down the Mississippi. It is an annual migration of the rich. But do not get on your high horse. By doing so they are providing jobs to crew, marinas, restaurants, fuel suppliers and dozens of other services. No poor person ever gave another poor person a job. Reagan was right. As the wealthy spend, it does trickle down. Now maybe all of it does not get to the bottom but enough does that without it our economy would implode. Plus, as long as you see conspicuous wealth like that you know we cannot be in a depression, because even the rich pull back in such times. You notice I said rich, not super rich.

Clifton Marina is an old acquaitance. We stayed there on the Loop with “Native Son” and we stopped here on the way down the Tennessee for Trixie to pee and have a bite of lunch. Super nice people and a cozy marina. Not just comfy cozy but tight cozy. We knew “Easy Water” would be taking up most of the space but they had made arrangements for our arrival. The entrance is quite tight and the harbor small. We were told to bow in on a short interior slip next to “Easy Water”. The dock was on one side and the trees from the shore touched us on the other side. Steve was put on the back side of the fuel dock. Steve and I grabbed the courtesy car and drove to town to see what was there. Not much but quaint. We would definately eat aboard tonight. A drive to the new Dollar General netted a few items.

Tonight we had spicy red beans and rice with Andouille sausage and a nice salad. Then we sat around the dock store and chatted with the owner and manager until fairly late. I wanted to know why the spud poles here were so tall. 55 feet to be exact. A spud pole is what anchors a floating dock system to the bottom and allows it to slide up as the water rises. Most are 10-12 feet above water at most. These were taller than apartment buildings. Turns out this area of the river is very flood prone due to it being a narrow gorge. Even with the dam system in place floods still occur. Believe it or not there have been floods that took all of that 55 feet and put the boats up even with the town at the top of the hill. I would not wish to be here then.

A pleasant evening for sure.