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Old 10-27-2019, 05:06 AM   #9
Miz Trom
Senior Member
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City: St. Petersburg, Florida
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Mariso
Vessel Model: 43-ft American Boatworks custom
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 289
Skipper’s Log

through 12-October-2019

Upon our return to Knoxville on the morning of September 20 (after driving our dogs and boat trailer back home to St. Petersburg), we had only two hours to clean up and de-spider Mariso before we needed to get underway to PJ’s Landing boatyard, 20 miles downstream from Louisville Landing Marina.

Louisville Landing Marina has particularly high lights mounted up in the rafters of their covered slip docks, so the spiders literally blanket the underside of the marina roof. All kinds of bugs are attracted to lights, and spiders are attracted to bugs.

As a result of this lighting, we had live spiders and spider poo all over our upper deck and bimini every morning. While living aboard at each marina I spent every morning cleaning off spiders and spider poo, but it was 50x worse in Louisville than in Hartwell because all the bug-attracting lights were placed up high.

My morning cleaning kit consisted of a flyswatter, several rags, Amazing Roll-Off, a soft brush on a pole, and water hose. It was daily war.

At Louisville we had covered the solar panels with cheap Walmart bedsheets, to protect them from spider-poo, and on our departure day we just threw the sheets away. No time or desire to clean them. After two hours of boat cleaning and spider-swatting, we were finally underway.

Underway (!) after a long summer, heading west-southwest down the Tennessee River, we were both immensely pleased to have Louisville Landing behind us, a 4-5 week cruise ahead, and very pleasant cruising weather predicted with the temperatures just beginning to turn cool.

I am absolutely fascinated by some of the boathouses on this river. Some of these boathouses look nicer than our dirt home – yikes! Photos:

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Our first planned stop was at PJ's Landing boatyard for a quick bottom paint refresher and installing our new props. Two days at most. Then back on the river and heading home.

Easy, deep channel into PJ’s Landing, which was a relief. I live up to my spirit name, “She Who Docks In Wind” and display nerves of steel as the depth moves up rapidly from 24 feet in the channel to 7 feet at the boatyard dock as I ease her into the slip. The boatyard owner, Brian, is a hoot.

Then, of course, The Dreaded Wrench is thrown into our Carefully-Laid Plans.

As the boatyard pulls Mariso out of the water, their hydraulic steering on their travelift begins to fail. They are able to lift Mariso to her spot in the yard (photos) before disassembling the travelift steering, but then the shaking of many heads commences. Uh oh.

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We spent the next 21 freakin’ days on the hard waiting for a hydraulic shop to repair the travelift’s steering. (Twenty-One Days!)

Apparently, there must be only one hydraulic repair shop in all of Tennessee.

We utilized this unexpected time on the hard to do a second coat of bottom paint, thoroughly go through our supplies, provisions and spare parts, and ship a box of unneeded stuff (weight) back to St. Petersburg. We also eat out too frequently, spend more time with my sister, and make the best we can of the delay.

After some research, I bought a spray from Home Depot called Home Defense, and taking advantage of the boat being out of the river, donned long sleeves, long pants, gloves, hat and mask and sprayed the exterior of Mariso. The last of the creepy spiders were finally annihilated.

Delightfully, my mom decided to come up to Knoxville. While staying with my sister, Mom requests to visit the boatyard. My elderly, somewhat frail Mom crawled all over the boat, asked numerous astute boat questions, and bestowed the official Mom Seal of Approval upon Mariso. Photo of Mom and hubby Dan with Mariso in the boatyard:

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Aaaaand… as the days roll by, the weather forecast starts looking ominously cold at night. For me, a Florida native, anything below 55 degrees is too darn cold. Nights are predicted to be in the 40’s. Now it looks like we will be chasing warmer weather - and more transient dockage than we had planned, solely for the use of dock power - as we wend our way west and south. There is not yet a genset aboard Mariso.

Finally, the travelift is repaired on October 10th.

Launch day, October 11th, our first actual travel day on the “planned” trip (methinks I should always use scare quotes around the word “plan” from now on) arrives. Mariso is picked up by the travelift and gently placed in the water. Photos:

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As hubby Dan walks down the dock to return the rental car to the airport, the very last chore before we embark, I jump up from the cockpit and call out to him, “Wait! We forgot to get our flu shots!”

So, we dash off to Walgreens for flu shots, which takes two hours, THEN to the airport to return the car, and then take a taxi back to the boatyard. Time, finally, to actually shove off, but it is now too late to make it to our charted (“planned”) anchorage before sunset. Plus, it is going to be cold for the next few nights.

Okay, quick change of "plan." We shove off, go through the Louden Lock, and cruise leisurely to Long Island Marina at MM (Mile Marker) 575, on the section of the Tennessee River known as Watts Bar Lake.

Hubby Dan is recording time-lapse videos of our trip. Here is the first one:

Narrow but well-marked channel into the marina. I am getting used to these private "cans" (ATON's) in use on the river. The Long Island Marina owner, Marla, is delightful, and her transient dock and bathrooms are exceptionally nice. This is one of the best parts of boating, the wonderful folks we meet everywhere on the waterways.

All tied up and hooked up to the power pedestal, we lower the screens around the cockpit to keep out the late season gnats, make dinner, watch a hockey game on our laptop, and go to bed. Oh, and our little ceramic heater keeps the cabin quite cozy all night.

We like this idea of transient dockage with the power. Hmm, with colder weather upon us, we might just have to rethink our anchorage “plans.”

And I must note, it is very odd to not have our dogs here with us. We miss them. We feel like hurrying home, instead of taking our time. It's a conundrum.

Next stop, Dayton, Tennessee, MM 505, to visit two old St. Petersburg friends with a new home in the mountains.

Mrs. Trombley

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