Leaving the harbor at 0900 we found that the river current had increased overnight and we were bucking it at two mile per hour. The river is very beautiful along this stretch and at the speed over ground of around six miles per hour we had plenty of time to enjoy it.
It took two hours and forty five minutes to cover the 16 miles to Guntersville Lock and Dam. During that time we did not see another pleasure craft other than a few fishing boats. We did pass two oncoming small tows. The river twists and turns with very few long straight stretches.
When we were about a half hour out I called the Guntersville Lock to find the lock status and surprisingly the lock master informed me that I couldn’t get the lock status until I was in front of the lock. Not sure why. When I was right in front of the lock I called again to let him know I was staring at the lock doors and then he let me know he was bringing the lock down with three pleasure boats in it and the we could lock up. While we were waiting another looper pleasure craft came around the bend. The three boats coming out were all looper boats we had seen somewhere along the way.
We pulled up to the forward floating bollard mindful of our last locking experience and this time we wrapped the mid spring line a full turn around the bollard and tied if off on the back cleat. The line was laid on the cleat properly so it could be quickly untied if necessary. Vicki stood at the bow and I stood at the stern with boat hooks in order to shove off on the wall if need be to keep the boat parallel to the wall. This time all went well and we had a very easy locking.
Not so for the boat that had entered behind us. They tied up on the back starboard bollard, the same position as we but on the opposite end of the lock. Between us in mid lock there was very strong turbulence from the water being let into the lock. This kicked their bow out away from the wall and pinned their starboard stern against the wall dragging it up the concrete. There was much yelling as they felt their boat was being damaged and they couldn’t bring the bow in. The lockmaster reacted by slowing the rate at which the water entered the lock. By then the operator of the boat was able to get to his bow thruster and this helped get alignment. The wife was on the radio telling the lock master that her husband was powerless to fend the boat off of the wall. We understood how the felt being helpless to oppose the turbulence.
Once through the locks it was a short four mile run to our intended anchorage behind Goat Island. We explored a couple of possible anchorages and then picked the one we liked best. After taking 4.25 hours to travel only 20.6 miles we spent a very enjoyable afternoon at quiet anchorage being the only boat in the bay. Reading and napping were the order of the day.
With evening came normal activities plus watching a movie dvd on the laptop.