Days 46, 47 & 48 Tennessee River

So my plan was to anchor out in Panther Bay and get up the next morning and go hiking on some trails in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.  Then move father south on the Tennessee River and find another anchorage for the night.  But, as usual my plans don’t always work out.  When we woke up it was misty and cold and both boats were covered with sticky black spots.   So instead of hiking we spent the morning cleaning up bug Poop!  I am not sure of what kind of bugs they were, but they left all these little dollops of poop, (Or Eggs) behind. It was really hard to remove and when you scrubbed them they left a skid mark on the fiberglass.


So after the clean-up was done we headed upstream on the Tennessee River  (Or technically at this point Kentucky Lake). 

On the chart there was a railroad bridge that we need opened but, when we got there it looked like it was long abandoned.   Beside it was this cool looking place. 



I’m sure it was a busy transfer station between the Railroad and the Riverboats back in the day.
That night we anchored in a quiet little spot called Bird Song Creek.  The water levels were at winter pool, which means basically “low”.

We took a dinghy tour to explore the area.  Not too far upstream we came to some upscale homes that had a lot of damage from last Saturday’s storms.

This poor guy had his nice boat house flipped right over along with his next door neighbour’s boat house.  You can see the Pontoon boat still tied on the boat lift upside down as well as his bass boat.
It must have been an intense storm because for the next two days we witnessed damage from it.  Lots of siding and roof pieces missing and countless trees down for miles and miles.

And even some “Trailer Trash”…

Not sure this trailer got here during this storm, but I’m sure there is an interesting story about how it came to be here in the middle of nowhere on a river bank.
It was a pretty part of the country and it was interesting weaving our way through the hills of Tennessee.

One more night at anchor behind Swallow Bluff Island and then a final push upstream to Pickwick lock.  The closer we got to the lock and dam, the more the current grew.  The last few miles seemed to last forever.
There was considerable turbulence just below the dam and the wind and rain kicked up just as we were trying to enter the lock.  The lock master wanted us on the port side of the lock because of the wind which is not easy for us.  We prefer the starboard ties.  So that combined with the wind and rain made it a stressful experience.  We had a hard hit against the wall but, fortunately no damage.
As we exited the lock onto Pickwick Lake the rain really came down and visibility was only about a hundred yards.  It didn’t last long, we just went slow navigating with the Chart plotter and AIS.

This was after it let up a bit and we could see the Lock and Dam again.

Pickwick Lake was beautiful and reminded me of Lake Muskoka with rocky hills and upscale cottages.

It was a relief to be done with the upstream portion of the TenTom.  It’s all downhill from here to the Gulf of Mexico.


Don McCulloch
1 Comment
  • Barry white
    Posted at 21:57h, 20 December Reply

    I’ve had some “hard hits” with you so I can imagine just how hard that is.

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