Swing Set

Aug 18, 201201:53 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Heading Down the Tenn-Tom to Bay Springs Lake

After we got Swing Set back into the water last Tuesday, we headed back over to Zippy Cove to wait for our props to be repaired. I don't know where the week went, but before we knew it, Friday morning was upon us. This may have something to do with our friend Bill of RiverBills.com having declared last Thursday as National Rum day. We embraced the holiday and gave it the treatment any good holiday deserves.

I do know we got our sump box cleaned out and a fair amount of waxing was accomplished, too. Our weather had been very nice, with the exception of a decent thunderstorm that we woke up for on Thursday night. We stood watch for the duration of the worst of it to make sure the anchor held, but it didn't last long.

We had been tracking our package with the new Garmin GPS unit in it, and we were still a "go" for getting it by Friday end of day. I had called the prop shop on Thursday, and our props were finished, so we planned on picking them up on Friday afternoon, as well. By mid-day, we left Zippy and popped on over to Grand Harbor to fuel up and get a pump out. We also exchanged some books for three new ones. We both use Kindles but take advantage of real books when we can, and Grand Harbor has a book exchange. We took on 184 gallons, not bad since our last fueling was at Fort Loudon, about 200 miles upstream.

Next, we motored over to Aqua Yacht, and after finding an empty slip, we walked up to the service department and were handed the keys to a nearly new Ford F-150 to go fetch our props. We picked up the props, which only needed "an adjustment." This means that only one blade per prop was bent, so the cost was minimal. We got out of there for about $400 for both props.

Tony at Aqua Yacht gave us permission to run by Piggly Wiggly, too, where we picked up a few items. It had been a week since we last shopped, and there is always something we need. We keep a running list on the iPhone, so we have it whenever we find ourselves in a position to shop. One more quick stop to top off the Ford with gas and we returned to Aqua Yacht to thank the staff there for all of their help. We also were able to pick up our new chartplotter, as the UPS delivery had come while we were gone.

Cafe St. Clair is at Aqua Yacht, and we decided to go there for dinner. We had some time to kill, so we walked the dock we were on and checked out some boats and talked to some other boaters. Ronn Walker was washing his boat, and we got to talking because I noticed his boat was for sale. Ronn is an airline pilot and may be heading for the Philipines for a job and has to sell his boat. He learned about our trip and loaned us a guide to the Tenn-Tom waterway. When we get to Mobile Bay, we'll pop it in the mail and return it to him. If it fits, it ships.

We had a nice dinner at Cafe St. Clair, but we should have stopped with just a salad. We both hardly ate the pasta we ordered, but our leftovers are safe and sound in the fridge for dinner on a night coming up. We returned to the boat before it got dark and took Swing Set back over to Zippy Cove for one more night.

We took our time this morning over a fine breakfast and eventually shoved off at 9 a.m.

Pictured is where Yellow Creek narrows down and becomes "The Ditch." There wasn't much to see for the next three hours until we came to Bay Springs Lake. At mile 415, we found a nice cove and put the hook out. After over four hours at the helm, I just wanted to read a bit and get a nap. The work I wanted to do on the boat was going to be noisy, and there were two boats in the cove with us and I didn't want to disturb their fishing.

By mid-afternoon, the fishermen had given up, and I went to work fabricating a cover for the dashboard to mount our new GPS/chartplotter. I had some Lexan left over from when we made the towers for the wind generators, so I used that instead of buying some Starboard. A flush-mount kit is available, but the hole from our current chartplotter is still bigger than we need for the flush-mount kit and some type of trim ring was going to be necessary anyway. So, I decided to use the surface mount, but on the space where the other unit was. Work was delayed while some paint had to dry; pictures will come later.

We bought some chicken at the deli at Piggly Wiggly and had that for dinner. I've just about cured my need for fried chicken for the time being. Rosie and I played a game of Scrabble, and now here I am, writing this blog and fighting sleep and it's not yet even 9 p.m.

This lake is very pretty, but rustic. There are almost no homes, and the water is clear, but not as clear as Tellico Lake. We may hang out here tomorrow while I finish up the installation of the Garmin unit, but we'll decide that tomorrow. Why not?

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