Say “Hello” to The New “Barefootin'”

Last year, as a chill filled the air and the last leaves were falling from the trees, Clint signed the papers finalizing the sale of our beloved Barefootin’. With our boating friends dispersed and far away, we found our boating enthusiasm waning in 2013. A sad affair. Clint continued to dream of that bigger boat with more great adventures, but even he wasn’t drawn to the water much last year. Me, I spent last year mourning the dispersement of our boat friends and dodging anything “boat-y.”

The one optimistic boating event did not come about until late fall, after our boat sold. Clint decided to attend a boat show in Chattanooga. With winter approaching, he wasn’t planning on a purchase, he was just keeping his dream alive. For me, the boat show meant sushi at Clint’s favorite spot in Chattanooga and a chance to be supportive of Clint’s undeterred boating dreams. So, off we went. The result, hallelujah, we found the first boat, on this “second-boat-go-round,” that we both truly liked…

Clint is not one to jump into much without long contemplation (he and I are so alike in that way…I hear you all snickering!). So we took notes about “the boat” and asked lots of questions. Then we were off to eat our sushi.

So, enough on the senseless details, when spring arrived, Clint bought that boat.

Below – Our new Barefootin‘ as she happily awaits our first trip together on April 9th.image

This coming Tuesday we board our new Barefootin‘, spending the night on board. We are thrilled that our boating friends, Jim and Sue, will be joining us. Wednesday morning, together, we will pull in our lines and head down the Tennessee River on a 95 mile trip to Goose Pond Colony Marina, Barefootin’s new home.  Jim has volunteered to be, as he calls it, the deck ape. Sue and I will be working out travel safety for our dogs, who always boat with us. There will be new dog dangers to find and remove or resolve on this trip, guaranteeing that Clint and I can relax on future trips, knowing the dogs are traveling safely too. Onboard for her first ever boat trip is our newest addition, Scarlett.

imageAbove – Last week, all three of the girls (Presley, Scarlett and Mackie, hidden in the back bed) relaxed aboard while we cleaned, unpacked, and organized the new Barefootin‘. The matching boat beds, with blankets and toys included, were just one of our purchases as we settle in to our new boat.

Below – Despite the seemingly silliness of it, Clint and I had no doubts when deciding on our new “home port.” After all, home is where the heart is, right?  Smiling.

Trip photos and news will soon follow.Meet the new Barefootin'

 

 

 

Here’s My Story And I’m Sticking To It

Well, somebody needs to pat me on the back, we’re at Goose Pond Colony Marina, I’m up before 6, coffee in hand, and struggling for over 20 minutes trying to get a connection, down below, then on deck, then back down below, moving the dogs with me (Lord knows they have to be glued to my side this morning) just so I can blog.  NOT that I’m complaining.

Okay, thing is, I gave up on connecting and just getting this down on paper this morning and will throw it online when I can…so here we go.

First, it just hit me this morning as I was pouring that first cup of coffee, that I had not explained something of great significance about our send-off last year by the Kuemmels and all that has followed since.  So, here’s the tale, we’ll begin with a short preface…

March 2010 Boat Trip to Mississippi

Last year in March Clint and I set off for our first Barefootin’ journey downstream. We traveled 452 land miles total, traveling down the Tennessee River, our last stop being Grand Harbor Marina on the TennTom, then back to homeport. We easily became addicted to this type of travel and I decided to begin my first blog (this one) all about our Barefootin’ travels.  I was actually faithful to write each day on this first trip (miracles do happen). After our journey had ended, we still went down to the boat for a few days each week. On one of these visits to Hales Bar to our boat is where this tale begins.

…We had packed up food, the dogs, and swimsuits and were back at the marina, to spend a few restful days on Barefootin’. Clint went to find a cart while I walked and pottied the dogs on arrival, our usual routine. The girls quickly took care of business and I headed down the pier towards Barefootin’. I saw a couple, around our age, pulling debris out of the water along the pier’s edge (a very worthy and notable cause at our marina).  I said “Hi” to the man as I passed. When I reached the woman I did the same and she turned around and looked at me. I had walked on past when the lady called out to me and asked if I was the one who wrote the blog and was our boat named Barefootin’? Amazed that some stranger knew this, I turned to answer “Yes.”

She and her husband had found our blog on the AGLA (American Great Loop Association) site that both us and they belonged to.  Now the fact that my blog site had even been put on the web site was new to me, though I was thrilled.  And, even more thrilled to find that this couple, Jim and Sue, had followed our travels day to day down the river.  Jim and Sue, on the other hand, seemed glad to meet the people they had been reading about.  : )

I tell you this little story for two reasons; one, to remind you and me that it truly is a small world, and, secondly, that these two were our “send-off” couple on our next trip in 2010 and have been our travel partners with us, aboard their trawler Fruition, for our two trips this year.

Jim and Sue giving us a send-off in 2010

Jim and Sue, and other great friends we’ve met through boating (Betsy, Ken, Laura, Roger) all up in Lynchburg for a weekender last fall.

Fruition with Sue at the helm, as we left Nickajack Dam yesterday after we locked through together.

So, there’s our story and I’m sticking to it!

On The Road Again…

This Thursday, the 28th, we’ll be packing up for another “road trip,” exceptin’ we’ll be on the river not a road.  We will once again be traveling alongside Fruition, and will be heading down river, making stops at Goose Pond Colony, Ditto Landing and Joe Wheeler State Park.

Earlier this summer, we took a great trip up river with Sue and Jim aboard Fruition.  Here’s our story on that trip:

Okay, this isn't Fruition, this is their dinghy...

I should post a photo of Fruition, shouldn’t I or should I, or shouldn’t I, should I, or shouldn’t I…?  Okay, here it is:

Fruition – 47′ CHP Trawler

After leaving Hales Bar (both Barefootin’ and Fruition‘s homeport), we spent our first night tied up in Chattanooga.  We met Laura and Roger, boating friends who live in Chattanooga, for a sushi dinner and then walked back down to the boat for a nightcap and relaxation.

Laura and I enjoyed cooling off, danglin our feet in the water, and feeding a goose family loads of stale Wheat Thins.  They were very appreciative of the snack.

The next morning, Laura and Roger came back aboard Barefootin’ and we all headed upriver to Agency Creek, off the Hiwassee River, to our Chattanooga Sail and Power Squadron Fish Fry. 

Anyone who has been out on the water has to agree that it is a freeing, relaxing feeling that is not easily put into words.  Whenever we take Barefootin‘ up the river to Chattanooga, as we round the curve at Mocassin Bend and look over at the backed up traffic on I-24, we smile at the enjoyment and peacefulness of water travel.Mackie enjoys some loving from Laura as we head up to the Hiwassee.Our dogs definitely enjoy boat travel as much as we do  : )

When we arrive at Agency Creek, we tie up to the dock.

Barefootin' tied up at Agency Creek for the night

 Fruition has already anchored out, as they left a day earlier than us.  Clint and I had hosted, with Mary and Dave, a Southern Tennessee Ladies’ Society Hawaiian Luau Wine Tasting at our home the night before, so Fruition had left homeport a day before us.

Dave, Kent, Mary, Clint, me, Gail and Gary at our STLS Luau Wine Tasting event

The CSPS Fish Fry was loads of fun; great food, lots of fellow boaters, and an informative but short meeting.  By late afternoon, all the members had left except Jim, Sue, Clint and I.  We would be staying the night on our boats. Changed into our swimsuits, Jim came over in the dinghy and took us out to Fruition.  It was a quiet and hot afternoon and we all enjoyed a long swim in Agency Creek.

Fruition anchored in Agency Creek off the Hiwassee River

After our swim, we all climbed back aboard Fruition and had a picnic out on Fruition‘s bow with the leftovers from the fish fry and toasted one another, celebrating a wonderful day together out on the water.

Jim later took us back to Barefootin’ where we tucked the dogs and ourselves into bed and let “visions of sugar plums” dance in our heads.  In the morning we would untie and head upstream with Fruition for a new adventure.

1 Friend, 2 Friend, 3 Friend…

After too many months of day trips, 2-3 day adventures and nights spent sleeping at our marina on Barefootin’, we are off again on a longer expedition. This time we’re heading UP the Tennessee River to see what’s there.

As hard as it would be to believe, this morning has been my first chance to start my postings of the events of this trip.  Trust me, there’s nothing boring about boating.

Our adventure began with us arriving at Hales Bar on Thursday afternoon.  Once the air conditioning was going, we turned some music on for the dogs and headed back to Jasper to reprovision for our trip.  We decided we’d run over to South Pittsburgh and enjoy one of Steverino’s salads for our dinner.

We arrived back at the marina, provisioning and walked the dogs.  (isn’t this interesting, HA!)  By then the sun was dropping over the hills across the river and it was time to walk over and join our friends on Fruition for a nighcap.   I stepped up on the ladder and reached, tapping on the window to let them know we’d arrived,  then we climbed the ladder to be greeted by the owners, Sue and Jim.

Now I’m going to tell you a little side story that I think is special.  We went on our last big trip back in March.  As most of you know, I did a post for each day of our journey.  Weeks after our trip had ended, we headed down to Barefootin’ for a few days.  As I was walking down to our slip, there were two people (whom I’d never seen to my knowledge) pulling debris out of the water with nets (I was immediately impressed, seriously).  I was walking by them and they turned and said, “Is your boat that one over there, Barefootin‘?”  “Yes,” I responded curiously.  Then they proceeded to tell me that they had followed our blog which had been posted on the AGLA (Loopers) site.  Amazing, because I didn’t even know it was showing up on the Loopers site and amazing, that strangers had enjoyed my postings.  : )   Since this time, we have become great friends with Jim and Sue.  Their boat, Fruition, is a 48 ft. CHP trawler that is now their home.  …1 Friend, 2 Friend

Okay, on to our first evening before takeoff.   Clint and I settled on the the couch and Jim told us that Betsy would be joining us.  Clint and I have met and talked to her husband, Ken, but we’ve never gotten to meet Betsy.  They are a whole ‘nother wonderful boat story.  (Every boater owner has so, so many interesting stories of their own specific adventures, it’s great fun to hear them, if you like boat stories)  Ken and Betsy’s trawler, created from a lobster boat scheme, was made from scratch by a man in Canada.   He did the basics, Ken and Betsy are completing it still.  (They have the pictures to prove it.)  Point being, cool boat, and another fun story.  (I could go on, but maybe you’ll meet them one day and they can share their own story with you.)

 

Betsy, Sue and Jim

 

So, we have cocktails and snacks (I can’t remember how to spell the “fancy” word, forgive me) and met Betsy.  Later, we all walked over for a tour of Betsy and Ken’s boat.  So cool!

…3 Friend.