Is This The Life…?

We wake early Friday morning (whether we want to or not…we have Presley aboard, and she demands it).  Clint walks the dogs, I make coffee, we rush around doing all the things one does before taking off on a trip.  I batten down the hatches and we’re ready to head out.

Barefootin’ slowly creeps out and around the docks and alongside the cabins where we make our turn into the river.  We hear yelling on shore and look over to see our friends, Jim and Sue, giving us a “send-off” from shore.

We are so blessed with the greatest friends!

The air, I’m sure you can all relate, is already HOT, we’re sweating.  As the boat picks up speed and planes, we are thrilled to have the breeze hitting us in the face.  As we cruise towards Chattanooga, we continue to be awed by the Tennessee River’s beauty, though we’ve traveled this part many times now.

Cormorants, one of my favorite birds

Tennessee green, as my mom always says : )

My travel companions

We only passed two pontoons and a few bass boats by the time we see Lookout Mountain  ahead of us.

Mackie, checking out the progress we've made this morning.

We slow as we pass through Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Aquarium

Chattanooga is a town of many bridges, each unique.

We are about to enter waters unknown (to us).  The excitement begins!

The Hunt Art Museum, first time ever to pass it by water. Pretty impressive setting, huh?!

Cruising past town, we begin to see lots of homes on the water, a golf course or two, The Fish House.

Do you remember my favorite part of cruising from our blog on our trip last March?  …you don’t need to strain your brain to figure this one out…come on now…

You guessed it. Locking through! And, here we go again. Chickamauga Dam is less than a mile from us. We're about to throw our rope over the bollard and rise 48' more feet above sea level. Shall I say "fun?"

Well, the locking through actually went fine…it always does now, it’s just the memory of that one “not so fun” locking through that continues to haunt me.

As we head on about 7 miles, we can see the tops of homes at Eagle Bluff, where we’ve played golf.  (talk about a hilly course!)  We take a starboard turn into Harrison Bay.  Soon we are at our destination, Island Cove Marina. Barefootin‘ will be tied up here for two nights.

Time to walk the dogs.  Clint and I both concur no need to leash them.  We’re the lone boat on this dock, what harm could be done.  It’s a pretty lengthy dock so we get into a rather deep conversation as we’re walking towards land, the dogs leading the way.  We are so engrossed in our subject that we stop about midway down the dock, facing each other as we continue our discussion.  (I know what you’re thinking, no, we weren’t arguing.)   ; )

Seconds later, a big splash comes from behind us, where the water is thickly covered with milfoil (an invasive water plant).  We quickly turn towards the splash, but see nothing…except that when we count, we are minus one dog!!  We rush to where the water is still settling and up pops a little black nose, then big brown eyeballs, it’s Mackie wrapped in milfoil.  Clint grabs her and untangles her feet and plops her back on the dock.

After the scare subsided, we both agreed she must have REALLY needed to “go” and just thought the milfoil was solid ground.  Lesson learned.

The dogs walked and safely back on the boat, we view a new friend from the Chattanooga Power Squadron heading towards us on the dock.  We are invited to join them and marina friends for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6p.

Is this the life or what?

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