The next day we kind of "buddied up" with Jade, and have stuck together since then. That day we stopped further down the lake at Ginger Bay, another superb spot, where we were treated to a dramatic sunset.
The next couple of nights were spent in a marina in Paris Landing State Park, and this was a pleasant marina with all the mod cons at a very reasonable rate of 70 cents a foot (of boat length) per night. The first day we were there, it clouded over and began to rain in the afternoon and in the evening a strong wind suddenly hit us for a short time. Both we and Jade had been out on our bikes in the afternoon and had left them on the dock in case we went out again the following day. At 10pm I decided to bring in our flag which was flapping against the windows and found when I got on the landing board, that both bikes were missing. The first thought was that they had been stolen, but then I remembered the wind. I grabbed our boat hook and reached as far into the water on the downwind side of the dock as I could and after a few minutes of "fishing", I felt something solid. This turned out to be Carolyn's bike, which I managed to get back up onto the dock. However, despite another 10 minutes of trying, I could not locate mine. I then noticed that Jade's bikes were also gone so I went to alert Jack, but found one of theirs aboard. When Jack came out, however, he told me he was sure the other one had gone into the water in front of his boat and he thought he could see it on his forward looking sonar. We decided to leave it and resume the search the next day with a grappling hook.
The following day I tried again for my bike but could not actually reach the lake bottom. I noticed that Carolyn's bike had mud only on the handlebars and seat and it had obviously sunk upside down with the wheels facing toward the surface (probably because of the large tyres) which is why I had been able to snare it so easily. I figured mine was probably lying on its side and my hook was not long enough to reach it. So I managed to borrow a longer boat hook from the Park guys and after a few minutes hit something solid on the bottom. At first it wouldn't move so we thought it might be one of the anchors holding the dock in place, so we tried elsewhere. After no success, we returned to the solid object and found it gradually lifted and when it reached the surface...it was the runaway bike, coated in the mud into which it had sunk! The same process in front of Jade resulted in Jack's bike, along with Beatrice's trailer, being returned to the dock. A thorough wash and a spray with WD40 left them no worse for wear (although a ride later produced rather a wet backside)....thank heavens they fell into fresh water.
Last night we stayed in another super spot, Little Crooked Creek, which used to flow into the Tennessee river but is now a sheltered bay just off the lake. Today we have arrived at Pebble Isle Marina, where we went shopping (Walmart, of course) and may stay a couple of days before continuing towards Pickwick Lake.
I said in an earlier post that we had bought an app that turned our iPad into a chart plotter. Once we had downloaded all the maps from Navionics, it has been our main navigational aid during the rest of the journey (yes - I have paper charts as well). The maps are very detailed and even have contour lines in the rivers that have turned out to be very accurate when tested against our depth sounder. A couple of times it has behaved weirdly with the boat location going off the map several times, but I put it down to the Navionics maps being incorrect and it was particularly noticeable in the Cumberland river. The details on the charts are very complete, even down to submerged towns, roadways, railways and bridges that are legacies of Kentucky Lake being flooded.
|There are roads railway lines and bridges 50ft UNDER this bridge.|
|This grain warehouse used to be on the banks of the Tennessee river|
Anyway..enough prattling. Here's where we are now