We woke up to light ground (water) fog and temperatures still in the low 50s. Something looked different when we looked out however. The river had fallen about three feet! Wow! How’d they do that? Glad we had 17’ of depth under us when we anchored.
We hauled anchor and were off and running by 0730. At first we were making better time as the current was down but the current soon increased to what it had been yesterday.
At Clifton Marina we had seen an interesting craft that came in for fuel. This was a small barge on which a pickup camper had been installed as the cabin. It was pushed by a relatively small outboard motor. Yesterday we had passed this craft along the way. As we were making only about 6 mph over the ground I suspect they were making about 4. After getting anchored behind Wolf Island yesterday afternoon we had seen them go by that anchorage and then saw them stop below the island with out view through the channel. I thought they were anchored just off the point of the island.
As we approached the upstream end of the island it became obvious that they had not anchored but had nosed into the shore and tied off there. Now, with the level of the river having dropped about three feet, they were high and dry on the riverbank. It was clear they were not going anywhere until the river level is raised. We felt sorry for them but there was nothing to be done so we continued on wondering how long they would have to be there.
Upon approaching Pickwick Lock we called ahead to find out the status. Boats were going up and then one was coming down so we would have to wait through the rest of the cycle. We were able to tie off to the large lock wall. We were there only about 10 minutes when the lockmaster called on vhf 14 to say that they would be down and emptied in about 10 minutes so we could get prepared.
This is another large lock and we were in it alone with Namaste. The lift was about 55 feet and was calm and slow so it took us quite awhile. I think no one was waiting on either end so the lockmaster decided to give us a slow ride. Once out of the lock we were in Pickwick Lake where we crossed the Tennessee/Alabama/Mississippi border a few times heading south to our marina, Aqua Yacht Harbor
We took on diesel fuel and were pleased to find that we were burning about 1.6 gallons per hour and making almost four miles to the gallon even though we had been bucking a current all the way from Green Turtle Bay, our last fuel stop. We were only down about a quarter of our fuel capacity as we took on 54 gallons out of an overall capacity of 240 gal.
We got settled on the transient dock and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon before heading up to the marina restaurant for dinner. Thus ended another enjoyable day.