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We headed out early this morning from Clifton enroute to Grand Harbor Marina in Counce TN. We knew the weather was going to be gray and rainy, but wanted to get to our next destination. As we pulled out of the marina, we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise on back of the boat and ominous clouds ahead of us.
We weren't long on the river this morning when we came upon more loopers getting an early start. We ended up following Baytripper (also from MN) and Parrot Bay to the Pickwick lock. We were in luck at the lock. There was no barge traffic around and we got right in. The lock doors closed and then we heard another southbound looper on the VHF radio, a few miles out requesting a passage. The lock master decided to wait for them and opened the lock doors up again and within about 20 minutes they appeared and locked thru with us. They appreciated our waiting. It would have taken at least a half an hour to fill the lock chamber again for them so our waiting saved them about an hour.
The Pickwick Lock is HUGE! We rose 55 ft. and when we got near the top of the lock, the wind came up and all four boats were teetering back and forth on the wall. I was happy to get out when they blew the lock horn!
More photos above of the trip down the Tennessee.....actually it's up the Tennessee. Even though you are traveling south, the Tennessee runs north, so they say you are traveling upbound on the Tennessee against current and all. Beautiful homes, stilt homes and more gorgeous rock formations line the Tennessee.
After the Pickwick Lock, it was a short 4 mile ride to Grand Harbor Marina. We tied up. Met our new neighbor, a 30 yr. old guy from Michigan, doing the loop on a sailboat with his dog. It was still wet and rainy so we stayed in for the night and planned our stay at Grand Harbor. We are hoping to rent a car and check out the tri-state area: Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama for the next few days.
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.