TX TO TN TO TX CRUISE
June 27- July 12, 1998
Knoxville, TN to Chattanooga, TN
In the Knoxville, TN Area,
Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28, 1998
Angela and I flew to Knoxville, TN on Saturday, June 27, to resume
our cruise aboard ILLUSIONS, the 1995 Carver 440 we purchased last year.
Angela’s worst fears were realized when we entered the boat and
smelled the bad meat in the freezer.
She spent the rest of the evening and several hours after that
cleaning the freezer and refrigerator to get rid of the smell.
one bad thing leads to another sometimes.
The forward a/c was on instead of the salon unit, and the boat was
hot. After we got the
generator going with all three a/c units and the boat began to cool down,
I noticed the salon a/c had stopped cooling.
After checking it out and finding nothing wrong, I turned it off
and back on, and that solved the problem.
Also, the refrigerator on the aft deck decided not to cool any
more, and the cola cans in it had warmed up (I had forgotten about the GFI
breaker on the electrical outlet at the end of the couch. It controlled
the aft-deck 110-volt appliances and the 110-volt salon lights, as well as
the units plugged into the outlet. ). The fluorescent
bulbs in the heads (bathrooms) used to come on sometimes; we found out
they did not come on when the battery was low. On Sunday morning we went to the Ft Loudoun Marina to (a) get rid of
the spoiled meat, (b) get water, for we were almost out, and (c) to get
arrived on Ft Loudoun Lake, we had run the engines 8 hours and the
generator 44 hours. We had
covered 48 miles going up and down the river twice (12 miles one way),
raising our total for Trip 1 to 1562.
It took 107.8 gals to fill up, changing our Trip 1 total to 2332
gals of fuel.
we had planned a get-together in downtown Knoxville.
My mother and her friend, Woody; my brother, Will, his wife, Tammy,
and their two little boys; and my
high school friend, Will Carter, and his
wife, Judy, all met us at Calhoun’s On The River, a restaurant with a
dock for the boat. We cruised
up and down the downtown section of the river, and Will Carter took some
photos and video for us from the Henley Street Bridge, high above the
upstream to the beginning of the Tennessee River and the upper limits of
navigation. This was interesting to me because of the junction of the two
rivers that form the Tennessee—the Holston River on our left and the
French Broad River on our right. The
Holston continues north to Jefferson City where it is dammed up to form
Cherokee Lake. That lake
extends up past Morristown, TN where I grew up and graduated from high
school. I learned to
water-ski on Cherokee Lake, and I remembered wanting to explore every cove
and see around each bend in the river even then.
Broad River, going upstream, is dammed into Douglas Lake, which I visited
only a few times in my youth there, and then it goes up to Newport, TN,
where my grandparents had lived, and then it goes into North Carolina,
near the famous Biltmore House, close to Asheville, NC.
I wondered about the origin of the name of the river.
We ate at
Calhoun’s and headed back downriver at 6pm.
It was a 3-hour run for us to get from our friend’s dock to
downtown (45 miles), so we returned to our dock at 9pm.
It was great to see everyone, and the cruise was very
interesting-so many rock bluffs and cliffs to admire!
Knoxville looked good from the water, as most cities do; but I
realized Knoxville was larger than I had previously thought-maybe
half-a-million or more in the area. It
had a nice skyline with some tall buildings, an expanded and revitalized
waterfront, and the second largest football stadium in the United States (seated
note, my issue of Heartland Boating came in on the Friday before we left,
and it had two articles in it on the Tennessee River.
One was about the river as a cruising area, and it also contained
comments about the Cumberland River and the Tenn-Tom Waterway as well.
The other article, mentioned on the cover, was about Knoxville's
Revitalized Waterfront. I
called the number in the article for the new marina and found it was
scheduled for completion in September.
with Dick and Sue for a few minutes over a bowl of triple chocolate ice
cream and retired for the night.
Lake, Monday-Wednesday, June 29-July 1, 1998
On Monday, Angela cleaned out the pantry and cleaned some more in
the refrigerator. We went
back to Ft Loudoun Marina for the same reasons as before.
This time we needed 140.8 gals of fuel, which was no surprise since
we had traveled 104 miles and our fuel usage was about 1.4 gals per mile.
under the Hwy 321 bridge through a short canal that connected Ft Loudoun
Lake and Tellico Lake. Tellico
Lake had it’s own dam, plus a few “saddle dams”, which were built to
fill out the terrain after flooding this area.
But, most of the water and all of the boat traffic moves from Lake
Tellico to Ft Loudoun Lake before going through that lock and dam system. Lake Tellico was interesting to me for a number of reasons, and I
was looking forward to going as far upstream as we could. By 4:30pm we were at Mile 31 and anchored in the rocky bottom
of the Little Tennessee River, one of the two rivers that form this lake.
The other is the Tellico River.
Mountains were closer there, which Angela liked, because she liked the
mountains. The water was
greener and cooler, but not cool enough to solve my overheating problem.
It seems to be getting slowly worse, which made me think it’s
some kind of encrustation or restriction in the heat exchanger.
It needed cleaning to solve the problem, but I didn’t know that
then. We looked at it in
Houston before we left and in New Orleans, but the problem couldn’t be
seen from just looking at the open end of the heat exchanger.
trouble setting the anchor at that location, since the bottom was rocky.
There was no side cove to anchor in, so we anchored in the river,
just to one side of the center. I
was not too worried about traffic; we were above the limits of navigation.
I thought the current would keep us pointed upstream, but when we
woke on Tuesday morning we were turned around and pointed downstream. I checked the anchor rope, and we were still anchored; but
the upstream dam must have stopped discharging because there was no
current. The wind had turned
us around, and the anchor was doing very little.
I was a relieved in a way, since I had waked up at 5am dreaming
that our anchor rope had broken. In my dream I saw us drifting down the
river, careening off trees and rocky bluffs.
Finally we would wake up, get the keys, crank the engines, and
return the boat to mid-channel, under control again.
When I waked up I was already planning to get the second anchor and
set two for safety. Thank
goodness there was no problem.
have a problem with our electrical system, though.
At first it seemed battery number 1 would not take and hold a
charge. So we used battery
number 2. When the lights
started getting dim on this battery, I began to suspect the battery
charger. I had a 10-amp automotive-type battery charger on board, so I
hooked it up to battery 2. We
put the dinghy in the water and went upstream to the dam, a distance of
about 2.5 miles. We had
plenty of current by then, and the dam was discharging through its
turbines. Chilhowee Dam
looked to be about 70 feet tall. The
water at the base was only inches deep.
we were in a mountain stream, with the water bubbling over rocks and
spraying into the air. The
water was cold. The banks of
the river were very high on one side, 1400-2200 feet above sea level.
In the distance we could see the Smoky Mountains, with peaks above
6600 feet. We started
downstream from the dam and turned off the engine and drifted with the
current. Eventually we
started the engine again and returned to the boat, but it was a most
enjoyable experience- what I had hoped it would be.
lunch and decided to go ahead and move to the Tellico River for another
anchorage. We lifted the
dinghy back into its cradle and pulled up the anchor-no mud, consistent
with a rocky bottom. I had
cranked the engines and let them run for 30 minutes while we ate lunch and
handled some phone calls; then I turned them off.
By the time we were ready to leave, the engines would not crank, so
we waited while the battery charger charged battery 2.
We left there about 5pm and went downstream to the junction of the
two rivers, then upstream about 6 miles on the Tellico.
picked a cove to anchor in and had trouble getting the anchor to set.
Angela pointed out the frayed place in the anchor rope, about 10
feet from the chain, was in much worse shape than previously noted.
In fact, she said it was coming apart in her hands!
If we had stayed at the other anchorage, my dream (which now looked
like a premonition) might have come true!
We cut the
anchor rope off and brought it out of the anchor line compartment onto the
forward deck. We brought out
a new 200-foot rope and put it on the aft deck.
We picked a smaller cove with relatively little brush and
undergrowth and put the bow of the boat on the beach.
Angela went over the bow with an end of the anchor rope, went
around a tree with it, and brought it back to the boat.
Getting back on the bow was not easy, so we wanted to have to do
that only once. With a loop
cleated at both ends on the boat, we could loosen one end and pull the
rope back aboard when we got ready to leave.
I took the end of the 200-ft rope to the other bank with the dinghy
and tied the rope to a tree. We
had a dip in the water to cool off; it was about 8pm.
Wednesday we took the dinghy up the Tellico River as far as we could go,
which wasn’t very far. At
Mile 8.5 the river channel, according to the chart, became so narrow we
didn’t want to go any further. Stumps
lined the left side of the channel, and trees appeared ahead, to the left
and in the middle of the channel. So
we backtracked and saw most of Ballplay Creek and Notchy Creek, both of
which were memorable. This area was almost deserted, with lots of trees, hills, and
occasional views of the Smokies. It
was very pretty.
battery problems continued. After
running from the Little Tennessee to the Tellico, the engine alternators
charged the batteries. We
left battery 1 on all night, and it lasted without charging until 11am. We charged it with the portable charger, but it would not
start the engine. So I used
the new battery for the dinghy winch and jumped the 8-D engine battery.
It wouldn’t start. Then I added the charger to the jumped batteries, and it
started! Then, of course, I
could start the other engine by switching the battery switch to “All”. I left the jumper cables in place so the engine alternator
could charge the winch battery.
the day at Ft Loudon Marina, where it felt good to have all the water and
electricity we wanted. We
shut the generator down after 56 continuous running hours.
We set up the portable battery charger to charge both batteries
during the night, and they should have been charged well during the run
back to the marina. We
carried out the trash and washed some clothes.
Loudoun Lake and Side Trip to North Carolina, Thursday-Saturday, July 2-4,
The following day, Thursday, July 2, we received the mechanics at
8:45am or so, and Jessie proceeded to diagnose our battery charger
problem. Angela and I worked on washing clothes, Angela cleaned the
boat, and I worked on arrangements for repairs and new anchor rope.
We had determined the bilge blower for the generator was dying, and
we thought it was the probable cause of the electrical drain on the
battery. (We thought we had
two problems. One was a bad
battery charger. The other
was excessive drain which caused battery No 1 to appear to not take and
hold a charge.) I asked my mom to bring another couple of bilge blowers
and anchor rope with her when she came out to see us.
She and a friend of hers, Ingrid, plus my uncle from FL, Jim Magill,
and his wife, Mabel, came for lunch and stayed through dinner.
In between they took Angela to Wal-Mart for some groceries and oil
for the diesels.
battery charger had a loose ground connection that caused it to burn out.
The manufacturer said they don’t make that model any more because
that frequently happened. Fortunately, Jessie was able to get into the case enough to
remove the burned lug and wire and replace it with a much longer wire, and
after that the charger worked. He
also installed the generator bilge blower and cleaned up some other wiring
he considered needed cleaning up. The anchor rope recommended by the
windlass manufacturer was braided, and no one knew how to splice a braided
rope, at least not enough to feel good about it.
After dinner at Calhoun’s, we went to Dick’s in a strong rain.
The wind took one tree down at Dick and Sue’s.
July 3, we borrowed Sue’s car and returned the anchor rope. We got 3-strand twisted nylon instead, but could not find a
swivel. Most people up there
don’t use chain; most don’t even use a windlass.
We bought a few other supplies (you know how a boat supply store
is), and we took the rope to Bob Reed at the marina. He didn’t have a swivel either, and we could not locate
one. So, we arranged to bring
the boat to him the following day to splice the rope onto the chain; and
Angela and I went to the mountains.
were anchored in the Little Tennessee River, we had noticed the road
beside the river. There was
just a short stretch of it beside us, and it was two-lane blacktop.
Traffic was light, but what traffic there was was fast and loud.
In particular, there were more motorcycles on it than usual.
We had looked at our charts to see what the road was, so we could
use it to drive to Chilhowie Dam and the other three dams on the Little
Tennessee River. It was US
found on US 129 was amazing. In
one 11-mile stretch of road there are 318 curves, and motorcyclists liked
to test their skills by driving that section as fast as they could. That was usually about 20 mph, as the road was almost nowhere
straight. It was full of
switchbacks, and driving it you go up and up and up and down and down and
down several times.
We met and
spoke to cyclists from Wisconsin who were driving “The Dragon”, as
they called it, from the appearance of the road from the air.
They were excited to be there because the road was so interesting
for them. They had been on
this road with lighter bikes two weeks earlier.
People came from all over the country to ride The Dragon.
At the end
of the 11-mile section, at Deal’s Gap, NC, there was a store that sells
T-shirts that said “I survived …The Dragon… Hwy US 129” etc. The name of the place was The Crossroads of Time Motel and
Motorcycle Campground, located at the junction of Hwys US129 and NC 28.
There were bikers and bikes all over the grounds, some staying in
the motel and some camping out. There
was a private club, or hall of fame, for some of the bikers there.
Calderwood Dam, Cheoah Dam, and Fontana
I had heard about Fontana for years but
had never seen it.
Fontana Dam was the tallest of the TVA dams at 480 feet, and the
highest concrete dam east of the Rockies in the USA.
The lake was 29 miles long, with a shoreline of 240 miles. It was a
large, beautiful lake; I’m glad to have seen it.
The Appalachian Trail crosses over the dam, and TVA provided free
showers in addition to camping space for the hikers.
The southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
ran along US Hwy 129 and Hwy 28, so the scenery was great.
lakes formed by the dams on the Little Tennessee River were
clean, cold, and green—very pretty.
I went back to our dock and enjoyed another fine evening with Dick and Sue
at their home. The next day,
Saturday, July 4, we had breakfast with them.
Dick fixed his special syrup, waffles, and bacon.
I proceeded to get hot, and I stayed hot the rest of the day—too hot, in
fact. I changed the oil and
filters in the generator and the two engines and met Bob Reed at the
marina to get our new rope spliced onto the chain.
Angela and I dropped anchor in the Tennessee River to let out all
the rope and put it into the chain and rope locker.
She still needed to assist the rope, but the Maxwell windlass guy
had promised a few new parts which would solve that problem.
After docking the boat, I launched the dinghy and rode around the
several coves nearby; but there was a lot of wave action from passing
boats and it was slow going. So,
I put the dinghy back onto its cradle.
Even that was tricky on the afterdeck hardtop with all the wave
action going on.
for the afternoon had been to swim and picnic and go see fireworks about
9pm. Dick, Clay, and Denise
all worked until 5:30pm, so the swim part didn’t happen.
It rained on and off, but the picnic happened in their house.
Some of the group went up Lake Tellico to see fireworks, but Angela
and I stayed at the boat.
Hill Lake, Sunday-Monday, July 5-6, 1998
On Sunday, July 5, we left the dock at Dick and Sue’s about 10am
after saying our good-byes and thank-yous.
(Dick and Sue were more than kind to us; they were real friends who
helped us have a memorable trip. We
appreciate the many thoughtful things they said and did to help us enjoy
the experience.) We went to
Ft Loudoun Marina for the last time for fuel and water, then down
the Ft Loudoun Lock. (At 72
ft lift, it was the second-highest lock on the Tennessee River.)
(Note: The town and county are spelled Loudon; the lock, marina,
lake, and fort are spelled the more formal, British way, Loudoun.)
11:30am out of the lock, we motored downstream 2 hours to the intersection
of the Clinch River and the Tennessee River.
We turned upstream in the Clinch, and 2 hours later we were at the
Melton Hill L&D waiting for the lockmaster (who had to come over from
Ft Loudoun Lock. We arranged
the time with them when we went through the Ft Loudoun Lock.)
Hill Lake was beautiful, as most of these lakes were; but Melton Hill was
especially clean and pretty. We anchored just off the channel about 5pm and ate at 7pm.
A game warden came by about 8pm and gave us a couple of maps and
some information, after checking our documentation, of course.
Our location was near Mile 38.
river was mountainous with only a few houses and docks. The lake was wide, but still a winding river.
Above the dam the US government, Department of Energy, for some
distance below the Oak Ridge facilities, owned the northern bank of the
river. The lack of buildings
in this area made for a very pleasant anchorage.
July 6, we slept late and then ran up the river to the upper end of the
dredged channel—the end of the navigable waterway, approximately Mile
62. I had planned to run the
dinghy up to Norris Dam,
as we had done at Chilhowee Dam at the upper end
of the Little Tennessee River. It
was exciting to come around the bend and see the dam rising up ahead of
you, and it looked good on the video, too.
Angela and I had driven to see Norris Dam in 1996 when we were
in that area, and it was impressive—276 feet high, if my memory serves
me. The Clinch River
originates in Virginia, which we could conceivably reach if we could get
above that dam. Neither of those dams had locks, though.
way, we saw 4 different rowing boats on the river west of Clinton.
The game warden had told us training for Olympic rowing occurred
near here. We slowed way down, and one rower shouted her thanks as we
lunch we launched the dinghy and set out.
Our anchorage was in the middle of the river in 11 feet of water.
After 2 miles we came to a boat ramp shown on the warden’s map at
Mile 64. After 2 more miles
we came across a couple of young fishermen who were drifting down the
river. We spoke to them and
learned that it was impossible to get to the dam, at least that day,
because the water was too low. With
one generator operating, we might have made it with our shallow draft, but
no generators were working that day.
He said with two generators working he could make it to the dam
with his 28 hp outboard engine, but on that day he doubted if he could get
much above the bridge visible just upstream (Hwy 61).
Plus, and the game warden had told us this, too, there was a weir
dam to go over about 1-2 miles below the dam.
I told him we had a map of a 13-mile “floatway” from just below
the dam to Mile 67 or 64. He
said he doubted you could float down the river that day.
him and went on up the river, at full speed, of course—that’s the only
way to travel in that dinghy. We
passed the boat ramp at Mile 67 and went under the bridge. Angela said, “STOP, I see the bottom”. Sure enough, we were in about 2-3 feet of the coldest water
we’d put a toe in so far, or at least it seemed like it. Up ahead the river was littered with rocks and boulders, and
we were still about 15 miles from the dam!
back and returned to the boat, stowing the dinghy in its cradle.
I was getting better at this each time, with less moments of
feeling like I might fall off the hardtop or the wind might move the boom
over and push me off. The
balance of the afternoon was spent like Angela thought a vacation should
be spent, relaxing, reading, and napping.
(I kept telling her, "This is not a vacation; it's an
anchorage was just upstream of Clinton, TN, which is east of Oak Ridge.
The last miles before the anchorage were well developed with
houses, boat docks, and piers. The river was also more narrow, so we had to go slow to avoid
wake problems. Pontoon boats
were popular here, as well as small fishing boats, jet skis, and ski
and Emory Rivers to Watts Bar Lake, Tuesday, July 7, 1998
On Tuesday, July 7, we woke to fog so thick we couldn’t see the
banks of the river outside the portholes.
By 8:30am or so it was low enough that we could see above it to
make our way down river. The
fog made some interesting scenes for our video and still pictures.
The water in the river was deeper than when we first
indicating an increased discharge from Norris Dam.
But the surface of the water was perfectly smooth, giving those
mirror images you see in puzzles and photos sometimes.
Ft Loudoun Lock at 8:30am to arrange for a lock at Melton Hill.
They asked us to call back in 30 minutes to verify they could get
someone out to lock us through. We estimated we would be there between 11:00 and 11:15am, and
we really arrived 5 minutes early. Their
man arrived at 11am for a 2-hour commitment before he would have gone
home. We locked through at
11:15-11:30am. The dam was at
Mile 23.1. We had anchored at
below the dam was mainly Oak Ridge on the north bank. There were three industrial water intake structures for the
Oak Ridge complex. Large
portions of both banks were undeveloped, with mountainous hills and trees
down to the water.
4.5 we turned upstream into the Emory River, which runs through Harriman.
I remember my family talking about relatives living in Harriman,
but I don’t recall ever being there.
So, we went to see Harriman. Of
course, the riverbank was grown over with trees and the industry located
right on the river was all we could see, so we didn’t see much of
interesting to look at the map and see where the river originates—in
that ridge, the Cumberland Mountains, I supposed, that runs NE to SW
parallel to and west of the Tennessee River (we had driven up this ridge
on the way from Knoxville to Nashville).
Anyway, you can find the Emory River, and it’s small.
Then, the Obed River, which is larger than the Emory, flows into
it; and the river thus formed is called the Emory.
Anyway, the Obed River is called a ‘wild and scenic river’
further upstream. I
understand it has whitewater rafting on it.
I wanted to take ILLUSIONS there, but Angela said ‘no’.
We saw 12
miles of the Emory, and then we saw the same 12 coming downstream.
We rejoined the Clinch River and 4.5 miles further, the Tennessee
River. That was Watts Bar
Lake, at Mile 567.5. Twenty
miles later we turned into Blue Springs Marina and tied up at a slip for
the evening. Their fuel was
$1.299 per gallon, so we didn’t fill up but bought enough to get us to
Chattanooga. We paid 50 cents
per foot for the slip, which seemed the usual charge in that area, but
they also charged $3 for electricity (110v, 30a).
the marina based on Fred Myers’ cruising guide, which was excellent.
The guide also said they had 50-amp power and a laundromat.
Well, they do have 50-amp power, but it was all in use at that
time. They were nice and offered a splitter to convert two 30-amp
plugs into one 50. It
didn’t fit our 50-amp connections.
So, we used two 30-amp outlets with our adapters from 50 to 30
amps. Also, there was no
laundromat. They did have a
courtesy car (truck) that we used to go to the store for a few groceries.
We bought one of their souvenir T-shirts and shorts (love that
shopping! Soon all my clothes and coffee cups would have the name of
some marina or river city printed on them.)
Angela washed the topsides of the boat to get rid of the bugs we
had collected in 2 days at anchor. It
looked like our water hose would burst due to the pressure at the marina.
grocery stores around there were small affairs that also sold gasoline or
boats. The mailing address of
that marina was Ten Mile, TN; and it was out in the country.
It was pretty country, with clean, neat-looking houses, many of
which had signs in the front yards saying “Sewing and Alterations”, or
“Piano Lessons” or “Salon”. The
Watts Bar Lake was probably my favorite, due to the width of the lake and
the islands and places to anchor. There
were at least three places where small boats could go around an island and
obtain a ‘short-cut’ to the main channel.
Blue Springs Marina was in a cove with a narrow entrance that led
to a wide area with homes, ramps, the marina, other smaller coves, etc.
There were more sailboats at this marina due to the width of this
lake compared to the lakes above and below it.
Also, Watts Bar is deep, 30-40 feet in the river, and 20+ feet deep
all over the Blue Springs cove.
restaurant was only open on the weekend, so Angela cooked and we retired
early. She said she was
tired, and I concluded she was ready to go home.
Bar Lake to Hiwassee River, Wednesday, July 8, 1998
Wednesday, July 8, we rose to an overcast day with rain in the
forecast. In fact, it did
rain before we got out of the cove, but it was a light rain that went away
after a while. We made two of
those short-cuts, the second of which I had not used on the trip upstream.
It was marked for small boats only, and the markers were
non-standard, if you know what I mean.
Just to be sure, I radioed Blue Springs Marina and asked the young
man on duty at that time about the cut.
He looked at it on the map and said ‘sure, there was plenty of
water in there’. So, we
went, and it was always 7 feet deep, usually 8, and curvy.
However, the channel markers were separated by a width of about 20
feet, so when a flat-bottom fishing boat came through there full-speed, we
both got a surprise. He
stopped and eased aside so we could pass, which was the right thing for
him to do, since his was the smaller vessel.
The channel was just adequate, and it was fun going through it.
the Watts Bar Lock at Mile 532.5, and it must have been full because he
said it would be ready for us when we arrived.
The lock was at Mile 529.9 and had a vertical lift of 59 feet.
It was a smooth locking, and we were on our way on the Chickamauga
Lake at 11am.
By 1pm or
so we entered the Hiwassee River at Mile 501.5.
With a little current, particularly just downstream of the dams, we
were enjoying higher speeds, and with the overcast conditions and
presumably cold water, our overheating problem was not as bad.
Our destination was the head of navigation on the river, about Mile
28.2, according to Fred’s book.
river seemed to have been flooded a little too much.
The width of the flooded area was extreme, but the depth outside
the channel was minimal, as indicated by the trees, etc. which had come
aground there. Both sides of
the channel are part of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge, which makes good
use of the conditions there. Also,
the channel took some sharp turns, so a continuous lookout was necessary. We passed under some power lines and bridges and came to
Charleston, TN. Four miles of
the banks were lined with industry, such as Olin (chemicals), Bowater
(paper), some bulk handling of salt, perhaps, etc.
Beyond that, the river really began to be pretty.
I liked the exposed rock; and the taller the bluff with exposed
rock, the better I liked it. We
went up to where we thought Mile 28.2 was, and a little further, and
anchored. I would have liked
to go further, but our depth indicator was reading 10,12,14,9, etc, and
the cruise guide said stop there, so we did.
the Hiwassee River went into North Carolina and Georgia and was dammed
into at least two lakes, one of which is called Lake Hiwassee, in North
Carolina. Above that lake
were two streams and at least two dams.
One of those was called Chatuge Lake, which was in both NC and GA,
and there was a town in Georgia at the upper end of that lake called
Hiwassee. (I thought you’d
like to know that, in case you are ever asked.)
Also, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Ocoee River, where the
whitewater rafting for the Atlanta Olympics were done.
That river joins the Hiwassee just upstream of where we were
anchored. Above that junction
there was a lake called Lake Ocoee, and the Ocoee River Recreation Area
was above that. That was
where the whitewater rafting was done.
Above that, the Ocoee River goes on up into the hills of Georgia.
We had a
peaceful afternoon at anchor, and I asked Angela if she was ready to go
home. She smiled and said
‘yes’. We’d seen some
pretty rivers, and our goals had been accomplished.
We had been to the heads of navigation of the Tennessee River, the
Little Tennessee River, the Tellico River, the Clinch River, the Emory
River, and the Hiwassee River. We’d
visited family and friends and had a good time in East Tennessee.
It was then time to go home.
tickets to fly home were for Sunday, July 12.
The cell phones didn’t work up on the Hiwassee River, but when we
could, we called Northwest to see about a change to go home 1-2 days
early. They wanted a price
increase that would more than double our ticket price, so we decided to
stick with what we had.
Lake to Chattanooga, TN, Thursday, July 9, 1998
The trip to the Chickamauga Marina only took a few hours on
Thursday, July 9. We had to
come down the Hiwassee, about 30 miles; and then go down the Tennessee
River for about 30 more miles, with the current.
We arrived about 12:30pm, fueled up, and watched a short and strong
thunderstorm blow through. Then
we moved to our slip.
10:50am the dreaded, unexpected “bang” noise occurred, indicating we
had hit something in the water. As
I was pulling back the throttles, I thought there was no vibration, as
from a bent prop, shaft, or rudder. Angela
went to the back to see what we had hit, although it didn’t sound like a
hit. It sounded like a balloon had burst. I wondered if a blown head gasket would sound like that.
So, we checked the gauges-all normal- and went to the engine room,
where everything appeared to be normal.
got underway again and eventually got to full power, but what had caused
that noise? We concluded we
hit something that we never saw which struck the hull a glancing blow,
injuring nothing that we know of. (Richard,
at the marina, said he had 4 jobs that week from boats running over logs,
some of which are never seen. They’re
just below the surface—waiting for us!)
fueling up we had trip totals for Trip 2.
We used 736 gallons of diesel costing an average of $1.17 per
gallon. We ran the engines 45
hours and covered 523 miles. We
ran the generator 173 hours, reflecting the number of nights at anchor and
the use of the generator at the dock at Dick and Sue’s.
Until we got to the Chickamauga Marina, we had only paid for a slip
on two nights, for $15 and $25 each, but this marina stay would cost $170,
about $10 per night.
TN Area, Friday-Saturday, July 10-11, 1998
Friday, July 10 was spent getting the boat ready to leave for two
weeks, including cleaning, which Angela does so well, and including
arranging for repairs-my department.
Also, I went to the airport and got a rental car and went to the
local CAT store for some filters, etc.
We got the GE repairman out to repair a leak in the
refrigerator’s icemaker. We
did some research into some of our technical manuals to know how to adjust
and operate some other gear on the boat. We made some phone calls and tried to stay out of the heat
(we were surprised at how hot and humid it was in that area).
We did some sightseeing on
Saturday. We (Angela) slept
late, but she deserved it, after working so hard.
We went out for lunch and went up to Lookout Mountain.
We got out at Ruby Falls and checked out the line to buy
tickets-too long. We went up
the mountain to the Cravens' House, paid the $4 and took the tour.
Then we went up to the top at Point Park, paid the $4 fee, and
walked around the park. It is
that area that is usually shown in photos that show the bend in the TN
River called ‘Moccasin Bend’ in the foreground and the City of
Chattanooga in the background. We
came up that river, and it was neat to see it from hundreds of feet above
We bought a few souvenirs and
went on to Rock City, but it had begun to rain.
The rain got worse, so we ran into the gift shop and bought a
videotape of the place and went on to Plan B.
That was to go to the Ocoee River and try to see the area where the
1996 Olympic whitewater rafting took place.
We were pleasantly surprised to
actually find the Olympic area, complete with a very nice Visitors Center.
We found a 1:10 model of that race area just downstream of Ocoee
Dam No 1, where
the design of the Olympic area was tested and proven out.
We also found a couple of dams not shown on our map and a very
complex system for using the water in the river for power generation, as
well as whitewater rafting. There
were a lot of people on the river, more than we had expected; and I would
not have believed the number of companies offering the services of
outfitting and rafting. There
were probably 30 of them. The
scenery was great, and the whitewater was impressive—not
It looked like fun, and Angela and I left there planning to add
whitewater rafting to our outdoor adventures.
TN to Houston, TX, Sunday, July 12, 1998
Our return to the boat included picking up a little food to go with
some left-overs, which we ate about 9:30pm.
We packed for the return flight, which was Sunday, July 12, at
12:10pm. That was the end of