Fw: The Journey Begins

Ambler Isle
V and S
Sun 10 Oct 2010 19:32

35 17 681N
084 46 237W
Oct. 10, 2010
We left Ft. Loudon Marina on 10/10/10.  It was a good omen boding a great trip.  Watts Bar Lock had scheduled routine lock maintenance on 11/12/10 so we wanted to be through it ahead of the closure. The weather was much warmer than our prior trips in January.  The locks were not busy and we had no delays at any of them.  We meandered down the Tennessee River, stopping to visit friends in Chattanooga, and Guntersville.  We even took a few days to go for some last minute appointments.  Boat traffic was light and our favorite anchorages available.  Water magnolias rose at dusk, littering the waterway. While underway, Valt installed a new VHS radio.  This radio is equipped with AIS, a collision avoidance system that alerts us when commercial traffic is within 15 miles.  Each ship shows up on the radio with a detailed report of its position, the closest meeting point and the time til we meet. No more surprises around tight turns in the river.   We often arose before dawn, and stopped at dark.  Although the weather was pleasant, there is an urgency to move on down the river. After 7 locks and nearly 400 miles on the Tennessee River, we turned south onto the Tombigbee Waterway.