The ride home…

Today we finish up an amazing journey. Because of modesty I will not reveal what this trip cost but it was on a par with what we spent each month on the Great Loop. Just goes to prove that running a boat this size, staying in marinas and eating out has a fairly fixed cost. And we had a ball with our friend Steve.

On the way home we ran into friends. Approaching Guntersville Lock we heard “Arkangel” on the radio with the lockmaster seeking a ride down from Lake Guntersville to Lake Wheeler. I had already scanned upriver and knew there was no tow trouble today. But the lock can still hold you up if it is filling when you get there. Then you must wait for it to fill, allow time for upriver bboats to enter and tie up, and then they have to ride down. This can be an hour sometimes. Meanwhile you are cooling your heels on a hot flybridge and trying to maintain position while the lock is emptying millions of gallons of water to add to the current.

For those who wanted to know how old I have gotten, this was made on June 20th back at LGYC. More on that in the next entry.

But in this case Arkangel was already there and loading before we were close. So we could slow down and ease up to the arrival point as they rode down. Then the chamber is down, the door is open and we wave to our friends and go on in.

Now we are trully on the home stretch so it is time to spool up Cbay’s big engines, wind up those turbochargers and run up on plane to see if that is causing the oil leak. We do not often push Cbay up on plane because it is 2 gallons per mile and it can be perilous for small boats when we throw up a four foot wave that can flip a flat bottomed fishing boat. And you are responsible for your wake’s damage.

So we carefully picked a long straight stetch of wide river to perform our experiment. I run her up to 2300rpm and adjust the trim tabs.Then I insert earplugs and head down to the engine room with Jan at the wheel. I climb between the hot, roaring engines and shine a flashlight under the starboard engine. I did find a slight leak but is was not oil. A gasket on a raw water pump was leaking a steady drip but that is no real problem. I will repair it later. I hate leaks.

So what have we proven? Either my tightening of the oil pan bolts way back on day two solve the problem or you have to run on plane longer to build up sufficient oil pressure and temperature to force oil out of a seal somewhere. Who know? It’s a damn boat and designed to drive you crazy. At least for now the good news is that I will not have to call Diesel Don to fix it. Wait and see will be the watchword.

“Slo Motion” in slow motion.

Finally, as we neared LGYC we had a radio call from Past Commodore George Shanks who was coming under the Hwy. 431 Bridge aboard Slo Motion. He was headed down to Ditto Landing for a BBQ Cookoff. Upon our arrival home there was no brass band so we pulled into the fuel dock and topped up for the last time and pumped out the waste tank too. 

As we close out this trip there are many photos that I never used and that seems another type of waste. So here is a gallery of leftovers that may entertain. Oh, I may write one more blog as a followup but it may take a few more days. See you next trip.

Steve at Joe Wheeler.

Fenders ready for a lock.

Not sure what this is. Near Wilson Lock I think.

Inside a lock.

Steve at Freddy T’s. He is about to attack two boys bouncing a basketball next to our table.

A bridal batchelorette party at the next table. 

An old grain dock before the new dam flooded the area. Now a graffiti pallet.

Little Funhouse coming on strong.

Fishing in the Cutover Canal.

Trixie or Daisy? this is a test.

Trixie and Steve share a moment.

Kayakers in Nashville.

AT&T Tower in Nashville. I said in a block I would tell you about it and then forgot. It was used in Batman movie. Not sure which one but maybe Batman vs Superman.

Not sure why I took this one!

Jan shows compassion for homeless.

Cbay at rest. Rock Harbor Marina.

Prizer Point fuel dock. Last time we will ever see it.

They like to jump our wake.

If your cat named Tiger Lilly ever asks where her food is made, here is the answer.