I’m Behind, Imagine That!

Okay, if you’ve been keeping up with our travels, you must be thinking that we are REALLY enjoying Ditto Landing.  From all appearance, blogwise, we four are still there after almost two weeks.  Like they say, “don’t believe everything you read.”  I can justifiably blame being behind, waaaay behind, on poor internet connections.  You know the old sales pitch, “American Express, don’t leave home without it.”  Well, I’ll never leave home again without my Verizon card after this trip!

Enough griping, and back to the trip at hand.  We wake, potty the girls and say a good morning to Jim and Sue.  The night before we had all agreed that Barefootin’ would pull out first.  We would head on to Decatur to see if the Hard Dock Cafe would be open for lunch.  If so, we would let Fruition know, then hang around there, take the dogs on a long, long walk, dwiddle our thumbs and maybe go on another long, long walk and wait for Fruition to arrive.  (smiling as I write this, Jim)  With that agreed upon, we set sail alone and move out into the river.

Barefootin’ arrives in Decatur as planned and pulls into River Walk  Marina at mm305.5.  We tie up.  Dang, the dock is hot when you’re barefoot!  (The four of us boaters will make this assessment over and over again throughout this trip.) Mackie and Presley leashed, we four head up to the restaurant to gather info, potty, and stretch our legs.

We are bummed to find out the Hard Dock Cafe is closed Mondays, hmmmm, thinking now that I remember that from our last trip down this way.  (Ah, the memory of age…not so effective as it once was.)  Heading back down to the boat, we call Fruition to give them the disappointing news, then time to loose the lines, haul up the fenders and shove off.

A fun little thing about going through Decatur, is that short period of feeling like we’re a big boat when we call the railroad bridge and ask for passage.  The guys that work the bridge are always jovial and informative.  The one working today asks how soon we can be at the bridge.  Clint proudly responds that we’re moving 27-28 knots and will be there quickly.  A train is on its way, so we hurry towards the bridge as it rises before our eyes.  We feel so important.  Snicker.

Then, it’s onward to Wheeler where we will all be docking for two days.

You may not believe this, but Barefootin’ arrives at Wheeler first.  Dogs walked and pottied, Clint and I head up to pay our bill and see if I have wi-fi available.  (I guess you know the answer.)

Waiting on Sue and Jim to arrive, we decide to try out the pool on this hundred degree day.  A decision easily decided.  The pool is a balmy 90 degrees we guess. Yuck.  I can only say it felt “sorta” cool as you get out soaking wet.  That last about 5 minutes, then, you’re hot again.  Warm pool and lovely weather.

Time to begin looking out for Fruition, we climb aboard Barefootin’ and give them a call.  They are close.  We get some ice cold water and wait.

Here they come, and as always, Sue makes an impressive “landing.”  Jim guides her in with a language and signals they both understand.  Fruition tied up, it’s not long before Jim and Sue are in bathing suits and ready to cool down, ha, in the balmy 90 degree pool.  (We all left “being picky” at home.)    : )

Our trip’s “this and thats” are shared poolside.  Sue and I do more girl talk, lingering in the pool.   The guys, wimps, lounge in the shade.  Sue updates me on Shadow, their beloved cat, who has traveled with them since they bought Fruition.  She has been struggling the last few days, not herself.  We discuss her symptoms and the “what to do’s.”

 We all head to our separate boats, they are parked side by side, nice.  We’ll clean up and meet for dinner at the park restaurant.

A knock on the boat, Clint goes on deck to check it out.  It’s Joe and Kathy Benson, friends who have their boat docked at Wheeler year-round.  They want to know if we’d like to join them for dinner in town.  We’re all in, we have a drink below in the air-conditioning and Sue and Jim get to know Joe and Kathy a bit. Then, we pile into Joe’s car and off we go into Rogersville for a steak dinner.

During dinner, it comes to light, that Joe and Clint know loads of the same people from the work world.  (I am a gluton for punishment when it comes to “it’s a small world” kinda stuff)  Lots of laughs and bellies full, we all head back to our boats to be lulled to sleep by the gentle roll of the water beneath our hulls.

Sweet Dreams!

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.