Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

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curtgard
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Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:21 am

I decided to go to the Gathering this year by water instead of trailing the boat to Hales Bar. I launched the boat at Kentucky Dam Marina near Paducah Kentucky on Sept. 7th. Hales Bar was 408 miles and 5 locks upstream from the launch site so it would take me 7 days to get there. The first couple of days were cloudy and windy with rain showers but in the cabin I was comfy. The wind picked up on Kentucky Lake and for about two hours and spray came over the bow requiring the windshield wipers to be used. I was glad to get to Pebble Island Marina that night where I had a catfish supper at their restaurant. I really like to eat catfish and this catfish was river caught fish as it had a slight mud taste. The second night was spent at Clifton Tennessee where they were having some kind of celebration so there were fireworks after dark. I went through my first lock on the trip on the third day. There were barges waiting to lock through so the lockmaster put me in the auxiliary chamber. Later that day, I had to wait for a low railroad bridge to lift up as the clearance was only 10'. The bridge operator said he had a train coming so I had a 10 minute wait for the train to pass.
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Later that day passed by a cat food factory.
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The scenery got better further upriver. This rock bluff is downriver from Guntersville Alabama.
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:40 am

I had to wait for three hours to get through the Guntersville Lock so I just hung out below the dam waiting for the barges to lock through. The current below the dam was strong as they were releasing water through the gates in addition to water going through the powerhouse generating electricity.
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I was glad to exit the final lock, Nickajack Lock, as going up river against the current is slow and uses a lot of fuel. I had to already fill the fuel tank before getting to Hales Bar which cost me $460.
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exiting Nickajack Lock
The Gathering was hot so the A/C on the boat was on most of the time.
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Gathering
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:02 am

After spending three nights at the Gathering, it was time to head back down river to the van and trailer. Going down river, my speed was 2-3 mph faster than going upriver at the same engine rpm. This really helped on fuel usage as I was able to get back to the trailer without buying anymore expensive marina gas(3.99 a gallon). This farmer had his own ferry to get to his fields on the other side of the river.
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Notice the big piece of concrete that's attached to the buoy that holds the channel markers in place.
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Once again going downstream, I had to wait to lock through the Guntersville lock, but on the upstream side of the lock there is a dock for waiting.
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dock for waiting at Guntersville lock
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:19 am

Most of the locks had a 40'-50' lift except Wilson lock which was over 90' lift.
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Guntersville lock gates
The big lock on the Tennessee River is Wilson lock. This lock and dam was built to supply electricity for making ammo for WW1. At Florence Alabama, there is a visitor center near the Florence Harbor Marina that explains Wilson Dam and and the music that came from the area.
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inside Wilson Lock
After exiting Wilson Lock, these two boats were waiting to lock up.
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huge Wilson Lock
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:43 am

I stopped for two nights at Florence Harbor Marina just down river from Wilson lock. This marina has a nice attached restaurant with very nice staff. One of the local staff members was waiting at the dock to collect when I pulled in.
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local resident
The entrance to Florence harbor was easy to spot.
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I was parked behind a 58' Krogen yacht at this marina so I was careful when pulling into the transient slip as this boat was probably worth 2-3 million dollars.
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Curt's dream wants to grow up to be like this boat
While at Florence Harbor Marina, I used their courtesy van and went to a local catfish restaurant for lunch. Newbern's Restaurant only serves catfish,(no burgers)and this was the best catfish that I have ever ate and the hushpuppies were the best also. WOW, I was glad I checked out that place even though it was 97 degrees that day.
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by curtgard » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:55 am

I continued down river staying the last night at Cuba's Landing Marina. Along the river, there are lots of houses with some built in areas that flood when the river rises so those houses are built up on tall foundations or pilings to prevent flood damage.
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lots of houses along the river like these
The last day was spent boating in the rain all day getting back to the trailer and it was still raining at 5:30 when I got back to Kentucky Dam Marina where my van and trailer was waiting for me. I loaded the boat on the trailer in the rain and headed for home that evening after being on the water for 16 days and going 850 miles on the river. Everything on the boat worked perfectly. I think the boat and myself are ready to start on the Great Loop adventure in 2019.

Curt

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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by Hercdrvr » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:35 pm

Curt,
Thanks for sharing pictures from your 850 mile adventure, wow! Thank you for allowing Heather and me to climb all over your boat with a tape measure. We enjoyed listening to your stories of how your TrueGrit came to be.
Matt and Heather
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Ibrew2be
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Gathering 2018

Post by Ibrew2be » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks for posting, Curt. I always look forward to reading your accounts of travels on the rivers and lakes.

Barry
Barry Shantz

Imp built and launched. Thinking hard about Boat 2.0

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