Essential chores

E2B7FADF-7A58-47F0-AAED-008F05428CD3It was a dark and stormy day  – – – and we accomplished much. Mark undertook sea trials of our new dinghy and outboard, which was a resounding success.

Next we gave the new dinghy a spit and polish (as one does) and repositioned it on the davit.

This was followed by an excursion to the Johnsonville State Historic Park (located next door to the marina) and Welcome Centre, where we were regaled with the Battle of Johnsonville in the Civil War. In brief: Johnsonville provided Union forces with a stream of vital supplies. On 4 November 1864, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked Johnsonville from across the Tennessee River. He fired on anchored Union naval vessels and supplies piled alongside the riverfront. In short, the Confederates won, with most of Johnsonville being burnt to the ground. But as so often happens, too little too late. The Confederacy was already waning. A small remnant of the town of Johnsonville existed until 1944, when the Tennessee Valley Authority flooded the river to form Kentucky Lake. I just love history!

Onward into New Johnsonville and a wonderful grocery find. We have stocked the larder.

The Bushranger juggernaut rolls on.

Such is Life

A hard day’s sail

The weather gods have been kind to us. After an incredibly cold evening, we awoke to frost and a wee nip in the air. We stayed beautifully cozy with our heating and didn’t feel the temperature until we moseyed on out for a country breakfast, 20 paces from our boat.

Yesterday, I started out with beanie. Today, I started out with beanie, scarf and

gloves, only to discard each one as the day warmed up.  We passed through some remote and starkly beautiful scenery. It is not hard to imagine the first white settlers trying to make inroads on this land. Or ‘see’ Cherokee on the banks of the river. Or imagine the river trade which plied these parts.

We sailed on and on and on. Mark, overcome with exhaustion, needed to take time BAC6DD71-DE35-4648-A4F3-0591300E7227out. So now, we are in a most tranquil and lovely embayment, at the Pebble Isle Marina. We are surrounded by national parks and the scenery is stunning. The colours reflected by the setting sun on the water and foliage – makes you glad you are alive. We will stay here two days to explore the area: both its natural beauty and the history. Also, to evade the downpour of rain which is forecast.

Such is life.

We’re off and sailing

44D2478A-D104-49D1-9BEA-05FF29328894Bushranger set sail from Aqua Yacht Harbour at 8.25am this morning, bound for Clifton on the Tennessee River. We locked through Pickwick Dam, a mere 113 feet high and 7,715 feet long. What a ride! We sailed into Kentucky Lake, which is a stretch of the Tennessee River.  Yesterday we were in the 80s, today in the low 50s. A might chilly. It was coats and beanie wearing weather.

D3D2F0D8-B6C4-4329-97D7-D216EB632ED4This stretch of the river is loaded with Civil War history. We passed Shiloh on our left and General Ulysses S Grant’s headquarters in Savannah (TN) on our right. Tonight we are snug in a little harbour at Clifton which was the staging point of two raids by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. We are learning so much.

The elderly couple who run the Clifton Marina are delightful and loaned us their car to buy supplies. Our little tour of the town was interesting. Clifton is a little backwater of Tennessee – houses are beautiful wooden structures but look like they are on the set of a (horror) movie. A cross between “Stepford Wives” and “Psycho”. I feel a little “Deliverance” may be in the air.

Stay tuned.

Such is life😬

Mississippi Springing

Mark and I have taken a few car journeys in the Mississippi countryside. Spring has sprung in glorious colours. It is still early, but blossoms abound in a variety of colours: white, yellow,  pink and purple. The leaves on some trees are burnt red, others neon green. My absolute favorite foliage was the massive wisteria draped over two large trees, with magnificent mauve teardrops cascading to the ground. Stunning!

Spring is glorious – Such is life.

Bushranger awakes – the journey continues…

Bushranger is stirring. Her decks are washed. Her engine is finely tuned. She is stocked with food and looking oh so regal. Sea (river) trials begin tomorrow. Fitting the outboard motor to the new dinghy will take place on Monday. And then… we are off to entertain new adventures.

Preamble – we spent a very enjoyable evening with Gregg and Carol in Huntsville, Alabama, before heading south to Iuka in Mississippi. The  people at Aqua Yacht Harbour have taken very good care of our ‘girl’. She really does look amazing. It has been great fun looking inside her drawers (pardon me). Just like Christmas, discovering all her bits and bobs. Sleeping on board again, felt so natural, as if we hadn’t been away. Mark is in his element scrambling all over Bushranger and tinkering. It’s given him a new lease of life.

The people here and in the south are very friendly and go out of their way to be pleasant and accommodating. They have taken us under their wings and helped us enormously. Everywhere we go we seem to be a novelty: people keep asking us to speak so they can hear our accent.

One big adventure!

Such is life!