A most marvelous day

As sailors know, there are debits and credits with the weather gods. Today was a well deserved credit.

We cast off at 6.40am to a glorious sunrise.

We sailed out through the narrow channel bordered by a limestone rock wall.

A2703F62-DA7A-47A4-B653-F4B59FD93AE0We sailed past tow moorings, standing as sentinels beside sunken islands.




We sailed under bridges

We sailed beside bald eagles and nesting ospreys

We sailed past beautiful foliage

And as the Tennessee Valley Authority had let out water from higher up, we sailed in a river 10 feet higher than we sailed two weeks ago. This impacted on the banks and homes lining the shores. For some, a little too much impact!

And as we sailed, the temperature warmed up to shorts weather; a respectable 25C. Yahoody!

Such is life!

Out of my comfort zone

Ok – I know one must take the good with the bad; the sweet with the sour; the rough with the smooth.

But last night was not nice! Even though we were tightly secured in our slip by four stout lines, Bushranger corkscrewed all night. We had howling winds gusting up to 21 knots and torrential rain which penetrated our boat in three places. The maelstrom did not let up until morning. Not being a roller coaster thrill seeker, I was distinctly ill at ease. Sleep evaded me until 2.00am.

8ACB13B1-250B-4FEE-BB6D-052857F641D0Still ill at ease, we sailed away from our safe harbour in light rain. The day’s sail went smoothly, if not a little wet.

It was a good day to try my hand a bread baking again. Not perfected yet, but the skipper is happy with the result.

30E7D489-9645-44F0-AEE5-C1C5F13ABC3ENow we are safely bedded down at Paris Landing, a beautiful marina in a national recreation park, surrounded by thick foliage and sweetly singing birds. We decided not to anchor out in a secluded cove, in case the wind came up. And besides, I need a good night’s sleep!

Such is Life!


R&R in Kentucky

So! What does one get up to in Green Turtle Bay? With friends, Gregg and Carol, in tow: a new haircut and facial, checking out Grand Rivers downtown, viewing American quilts at a quilt show, tinkering on the boat – – – and that’s all on the first day.

With a glorious Saturday of sunshine and warmth, we set sail through Barkley Canal which joins the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, to Moss Creek cove – a divine 89A4D99C-3A78-4396-99AF-DB48CA52A4DFlittle setting, resplendent with an abundance of turtles lazing on logs and woodpeckers drumming in the background. We entertained Gregg and Carol on the flybridge with alfresco dining, before taking a tootle in our dinghy, exploring the cove. A most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday.

Although it constantly rained on Sunday, it did not dampen our enthusiasm for exploring the nearby Land Between the Lakes –  a national recreation park. Gregg drove us to the Elk and Bison Prairie, where we saw bison up close and personal. Such a thrill to see them.

And the dogwoods have been glorious, both in town and along the Woodlands Trace in the Land Between the Lakes.41E579D0-1E16-4623-8918-E5B7BCA54397






Each day we have dined with Gregg and Carol, tasting Southern cuisine. We have tried hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, catfish and key lime pie.

What can I say? Enjoying our R&R in Kentucky with good friends has been an absolute joy.

Such is Life!

Ride ‘em broncos

We survived the night.

We set sail in this.
And we enjoyed scenes such as this.







But then the weather changed…

For the worse…

We pounded into the waves, like bucking broncos … until we reached Green Turtle Bay.

We are here for a few days of R&R with good friends, Gregg and Carol.

Life is sweet – Such is Life!






A Change of Plans

Our plan for today was to sail to Dover Island and anchor in its lee. We were looking forward to spending a night at anchor, enjoying the stillness and the beauty of nature.

The wind god had other ideas. As we sailed down river (towards the meeting of the Tennessee River), the current had us ‘surfing’ at 10 knots. However, the wind picked up, hitting us head-on. A bumpy ride ensued.

We played dodge ‘ems with tows and logs in the water. Hitting a log would spoil our day! Vigilance was needed at all times.

We sailed to Dover Island and decided the anchor and chain would not hold. Our only course of action was to make a detour to Bumpis Mills Marina, in the backwaters of the Cumberland River. It is truly Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone country. We are safely tied up to the one and only transient berth, but are being heavily buffetted by wind.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Such is Life!

Guess what we did today?

The weather over here is CRAZY. Yesterday we sailed in snow flurries. Last night was a cold and eerie night with mist rising from the water. 359D1D69-1A31-4225-8E9C-37E22C46C4CAWe awoke to Bushranger with a layer of frost. We started the day at 2C. By 12.00pm it was 21C.  By 3pm it was 28C. Off came the layers of clothes.

And off we went to play.

44FFD4B7-1AFD-4884-ADD6-0605171BA2D1We unpacked the bikes, dusted the pollen and spiders off, and checked the brakes. Next to the marina is Liberty Park – a park Mecca with trails, ponds, fitness areas, and loads of room to become reacquainted with bike riding. (Had to have a grandma nap after all the exertion!)

We also did lots of boat maintenance and tinkering. Perfect weather for it. Then we set off for a walk into town. Clarksville is not pedestrian-friendly. We had to dash over busy highways and walk on sections that did not have pathways (sidewalks), but the effort was worth it. We had a lovely dinner at the Blackhorse Pub, in the historic old centre.

Now weary and worn-out, an early night beckons.

Such is Life

On the move again

This morning we cast off, in flurries of snow, leaving Nashville behind us. We spent a lovely week with Claire and Brad, Nash, Ben and Finnley. After a finely tuned arrival, we surprised Nash at his school concert. 1E5BF7C2-5537-4CFC-9F9C-60A1A4561129The look on his face as he saw us while singing his first song – priceless and forever etched in our memories.

Each day we spent with Claire and kids (who were not at school); each night, eating with the whole family. We went sightseeing in Franklin (historic town), Belle Meade (historic plantation), Fort Granger (Civil War battle site); shopped in Franklin (successfully); dined in the many restaurants, sampling all types of cuisines. Ohhh yeah! Franklin is NICE. A foodies’ delight!

But the best thing about Franklin, was being with Claire and Brad and the grandkids. While Claire and Brad had time out to celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary, we made pikelets, danced to AC/DC, played Monopoly, created with Playdough, read stories and watched movies together. All producing great memories.

Now? Oh my achy breaky heart. 😥

But …

Such is life!

Dodging the tows

F14835C9-FA74-47CA-9097-219D1F03940EWe watched the sun rise from our sleepy hollow and had a lazy start – – – until we realized tows, with 24 barges attached, were headed from both directions for our stretch of the water. With sharp orders from the captain, we raced to prepare Bushranger for a quick departure, to outrun one tow which was bearing down on us. Mission accomplished, we settled down to a day’s sail.

C13FF467-BF87-44ED-BD14-9537774011E2The weather gods were smiling today. We had the most magical weather, even managed to shed beanie, gloves and jackets. The sky was blue; the river was a road of sparkling jewels; the air held the promise of spring. The Cumberland River is truly a gorgeous river. It is narrow compared to the Tennessee. The low lying sides are thickly covered with all varieties of foliage. It is very sparsely populated.



We came to one stretch of the river where a tornado had been through just months before. It had snapped the trees in half.



BUT – – – it is a working river. Just outside Clarksville we passed a quarry with many 7FCFCECD-7894-4B32-A73C-227CE166F466.jpegtows emptying or filling, manoeurvering across channels, rounding bends, or stopping dead in the water. Mark had his wits about him. With much radio calling, y’aallls, one whistle and two and “Roger Roger”, he made himself understood. Me? I waved at the tow drivers and made a cup of coffee. Nothing else really to do – Mark had it all under control.

Such is Life!



Cumberland River cruisin’

This morning we left Green Tutle Bay in Kentucky and commenced our cruising on the Cumberland River.  The river started out wide, meandering every which way. The western side of the river is known as the Land between the Lakes and is a wildlife refuge – untamed and teeming with birdlife.

EA958804-8024-4E8A-A7E6-06855E7B5E97Further up the river is the KSP – Kentucky State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison built in 1886.

Tried my hand at baking bread while Mark piloted. Not bad for a first attempt, but I intend to master our steam oven. And it is definitely a new experience, baking whilst watching the world go by.4AC4AB07-C6F3-4D5B-90DE-78FB137B4E9E

We re-crossed the Tennessee state line at about the same time the river narrows. Apart from a few homes perched languidly on the banks, the river is lined by trees and foliage dipping branches into the water. A multitude of low lying islands are dotted throughout the river system.

E2965B60-5C52-4D4A-8E41-1B7D35F39936Tonight we are anchored behind Dover Island, out of the main channel. This is an oasis all to ourselves.

The candles are lit. The dark chocolate is in hand. An enjoyable evening awaits.

Such is life.

Yeehaw – What a ride!

We saw it all today.

We set sail before breakfast to cowering skies and roiling seas. The temperature hovered at 7C in the cabin. We donned foul weather gear and still the chill was all pervading. Mark lasted on the flybridge only for as long as to exit the embayment. I lasted outside only as long as to slip the lines and bring the fenders on board. By golly it was cold.

But wait! It got even colder. As we headed northward, negotiating the wind and B60F7389-EDC6-4150-A491-CE8C060B1584waves on the Tennessee River, visibility decreased with rain. An hour or so later, it decreased even further with wispy tendrils of fog. By now we were navigating by radar and GPS. Fortunately there were no other voyagers on the river.

3D824278-A59E-4C91-BE59-11C4276C7590Just as we thought it could not get rougher or colder, the windscreen started to ice up. The windscreen wiper was frozen. Dish detergent needed to be applied to the windows so we would not fog up on the inside.

But wait! Finally sailing through the other side of the river fog, we encountered – – – snow flurries.

The further north we sailed, the calmer the waters became and the sun shone in Kentucky. We sailed through the Barkley Canal into the Cumberland River, and tootled in to Green Turtle Bay.898C7AA8-25C8-4790-99BB-CA1228CB3C3B.jpeg

What a ride! Felt like we were riding in a horse race. All the while, Bushranger kept calmly cruising along, steady as she goes. Her rhythm was steady, her bulk comforting. We stayed warm and dry throughout. At journey’s end, Mark patted her rump with a well done.6ad5f918-7ee7-453a-a27b-66d17325b13f-e1523190398241.jpeg