October 24, 2015 – Saturday – McNabb Anchorage (443) to Chattanooga City Dock – 21.1 statute miles traveled

One tow went by in the middle of the night but other than that it was peaceful and calm. We woke up to glassy water and a Vicki discovered a beautiful complete rainbow above the hills on our west side. Apparently there was sufficient mist up in the air at that altitude that when the sun rose above the horizon it hit the water droplets perfectly. She said “there’s a rainbow out here” and I said “no way, you are seeing something else”. She said “no, it really is a rainbow, get up”. I hauled out of the berth and sure enough she was right! I hate it when we disagree and then she is right!

Rainbow from the McNabb Anchorage on the Tennessee River

Rainbow from the McNabb Anchorage on the Tennessee River

Weeping Willow along the river bank at the McNabb Anchorage.  First one we had seen like this along the river and were wondering whether it was natural flora  for this part of the world.

Weeping Willow along the river bank at the McNabb Anchorage. First one we had seen like this along the river and were wondering whether it was natural flora for this part of the world.

The anchor was hauled and we were under way by 0909. Just as we pulled out we discovered another boat behind us heading up river too. He was traveling just a little faster than us so eventually was on our tail. I called on vhf to let him know I would maintain a heading on the side of the channel and slow so he could go by me on the inside of a turn. He thanked me and did so after we passed three kayaks heading down river. When he was about a half mile ahead he radioed back to let me know he had heard there was going to be a lot of kayaks and paddle boards on the river in the next few miles. It turns out there was a race called the Chattajack 31 and over 600 people were participating in a 31 mile race from Chattanooga to somewhere on Nickajack Lake.

Soon we were surrounded by them on all sides. We slowed to no wake speed and made our way through them for the next several miles. It was an interesting sight to see as they participants came in all flavors. Young, old, male, female, trim and athletic and then not so much. I was surprised to see that the paddle boarders were among the kayaks all the way as I would have thought the kayaks had an edge when it comes to speed. Apparently not.

Here comes the Chattajack 32 Kayak and Paddle Board Race!

Here comes the Chattajack 32 Kayak and Paddle Board Race!

A family affair.

A family affair.

Cruising right along.

Cruising right along.

Daddy/daughter day!

Daddy/daughter day!

There were over 600 participants and they kept coming around the bends in the river for an hour

There were over 600 participants and they kept coming around the bends in the river for an hour

As we approached Williams Island at Mile Marker 457 I called my friend Jill at Erwin Marine. I had been talking to Jill every other day since mid AGLCA Rendezvous to get moorage at Chattanooga. She had assured me of moorage for October 25 and 26 but had no room for the 24th when we hoped to arrive. We were on a waiting list. If she didn’t find room for tonight we would have to pull over and anchor behind Williams Island.

She said “yes” she had a space so on we went. She put us at the Aquarium dock that is the one closest to downtown and within easy walking distance of almost everything.

After getting settled we walked several blocks to the marina office to register and pay and then we walked into town and scouted it out. There are a gazillion restaurants. After doing the main streets and checking out the aquarium offerings (this is a must stop) we bought package tickets for the entire salt and fresh water sections of the aquarium plus the IMAX theater. We then went to Thai Smiles restaurant for some good Thai food as we hadn’t had any so far on the entire trip.

Chattanooga waterfront falls in commemoration of the Cherokee Nation.

Chattanooga waterfront falls in commemoration of the Cherokee Nation.

First Thai Restaurant we had found on the entire trip - and the food was good!

First Thai Restaurant we had found on the entire trip – and the food was good!

We walked town some more watching climbers on the High Point Climbing walls, stopping at a wine bar and then went to see the movie “The Martian” at the multiplex. By then it was way past our bed time so we walked back to the river and crashed.

These climbing walls were right downtown Chattanooga and attracted a lot of onlookers.

These climbing walls were right downtown Chattanooga and attracted a lot of onlookers.

This was a very entertaining movie.

This was a very entertaining movie.

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