October 23, 2015 – Friday – Long Island Anchorage (417) to McNabb Anchorage (443) – 26.2 statute miles traveled

After a very quiet night (other than a few trains in the far distance) we woke up to glassy (Vicki) water and found the boat exactly where we left it. These river bottoms seem to be covered with enough mud that they are good holding ground. With the downstream current the boat stays put with no sailing around on the anchor.

Even though the sunrise is now around 0655 we had pulled anchor and were on our way by 0715. There was little wisps of fog here and there on the waters surface but other than that it was clear and calm. In about 2 miles we discovered the four non-looper boats anchored and rafted behind Burns Island. We stayed in the main channel and continued to mile 423 where we could see a solid fog bank about a mile ahead.

Sure enough, when we arrived at 424 we went into dense fog. I called the Nickajack Lockmaster at 424.6 to say we were upbound and would be looking at his doors if only we could see them. He informed us he was bringing two pleasure craft down at that time so it would be about 15 minutes. This was perfect as it allowed us to go dead slow and poke our way through the fog until we were within about 200 feet of the lock doors when we could finally see them. We milled around close to the doors until we could see them opening and then moved off to the side so the down bound boats could exit. They turned out to be two looper boats, one of which we had never seen before and one we had seen clear up at Parry Sound in Ontario.

We were the only ones in the lock so were able to go to the forward starboard bollard and tie off. Sure enough, behind us in the lock was a great deal of turbulence but where we were was fine and we had a nice ride. Upon reaching the top we found that the short lift had put us above the fog and it was a bright sunny day. Now we were in Nickajack Lake on the Tennessee River. We had a pleasant, scenic, bucolic and uneventful cruise up river to the spot we had picked out for the days anchorage.

More of the scenic Tennessee River bank heading to Chattanooga

More of the scenic Tennessee River bank heading to Chattanooga

Along this portion of the river there were no anchorages where we could pull into a bay and leave the main body of water. This anchorage was in good depth on the side of the river and well out of the main channel. It was exposed to boat wakes but we figured it would be no worse than Roche Harbor on San Juan Island and it was nestled in a winding part of the river below significant hills (I think they call these mountains in this part of the world) so has good wind protection. The current was light but just enough to keep our bow pointed upstream.

We were anchored by 1230 and had the rest of a beautiful day to relax, read and enjoy the peaceful scenery. There were some boat wakes but as they were in the main channel on the far side of the river they were not bad and were few and far between. Even on this little boat we find our own space and individual solitude. I go up on the bridge and relax there while Vicki spends her time in the main cabin or aft cockpit. Sometimes a couple of hours go by without seeing each other or talking.

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