Midway Marina to Bay Springs.

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 27 Jun 2011 22:40
34 25 901N
088 24 122W
Approach to Whitten Lock
84' Lock, note the 55' boat inside
The back "wall" is the miter sill. We are lifted to the top, then the gates open.
Adesso in the lock behind us.
Holiday VII,  across the lock from us.
Lock is to the far right, we anchor on the "top" of the chart.
Spanish Moss
Along side of our slip at Midway Marina
June 25, 2011
Up again early, we transited three more locks before stopping at Midway Marina.  Manager Pat was still there.  We'd not been on land in nearly a week, and it was time to go ashore for a walk.  We needed to top off the water tank, get rid of trash, do laundry, move around.  We'd stay overnight and try to get a few chores done on the boat, too.  We'd wash her, do some recaulking, maybe apply some wax to the bow.  There's always something needing doing  if we want her to look this good.  We worked the first day, washing the boat, cleaning and drying the windows., and scrubbing the "river mustache" off the bow.  Trees falling into the river brew a sort of "tea" that stains fiberglass, especially the bow where we cut through the water.  A mild acid solution, even lemon juice, removes the stain, then a light coat of wax prevents its recurrence.  But, we were not finished, so extended our stay another day.  Thunderstorms threatened anyway.  We turned the boat around to reach the port side, and began our work again.  Washing, scrubbing, waxing.  Where minor stains remained, we used wax to remove the stain.  We put away the cleaning supplies and took a good walk around the marina grounds. Who knows when we'd get another chance to walk?  Both of us were very hot and tired from the two days hard labor.  Finally we had to leave.  Another power boat passed the marina, and we had to move to catch up.  If the other boat got ahead of us and went through the Rankin Lock without us, we'd face delays at every lock that day.  It was already 90 degrees at noon, and the sun beat down on us.  We went through 3 locks together before stopping for the day.   Whitten Lock, the last of the locks we'd go through on the Tenn-Tom is a 84' lift.  The fourth highest in the USA, it feels like entering a big hole.   Besides getting us higher, it leads to Bay Springs.   Bay Springs is a miraculous place.  You can see in the photo of the chart, it is a maze of little fingers and coves.  We anchor abouyt half way up on the right side.  Spring fed, the water is clean and clear.  There is no development there except on marina and one RV park.  Otherwise, the lake is lined with thick forest.  We always plan to spend a day or two there, resting, working, and swimming.   Phil and Becky, from  60' Bayliner, Weekend Away  were anchored in their favorite spot on the lake.  We have never been here in the summertime that we did not find them here.  Their daughter Christie was with them.  We met them here 10 years ago, and they also cruise to  Ft. Loudon Marina, our homeport, every September.  After a visit and swim with them at their boat, we went to see Marla and David, aboard  Adesso.  Yes, they found us again, and we finally met after numerous locks together and even anchoring together.  Since neither had a dinghy down before, we could never shake hands.   Earlier in the day, Valt and I swam maybe 300 yards to their boat and back to say hi.  The water was so refreshing.  Marla was cooking burgers for us and we enjoyed a wonderful evening with them.  One of her specialties is homemade "lemoncello", a lemon cordial.  Very tasty.  They left the next morning, schedules called, but we decided to stay another day.  The water was the best we'd see for a while.  We were sad to see them go.  Adesso is a Chinese built boat.  Designed by a Taiwanese boat builder and an American designer, it was a beautiful boat.  The woodworking was especially nice with inlaid doors throughout, as well as fine cabinetry and floors.  She had many decorator features like mirrored ceilings, Japanese window treatments in the master suite, and granite countertops throughout.  Built in 2007, it was equipped with many electronic gismos.  After a nice dinghy ride of the area, we jumped into the lake for a dip.  Swimming around the boat we noticed the lower rub rail and water line needed some attention.  So we got a bottle of cleaner, brushes, and a suction cup hand hold and began working.  The beauty of this plan was that we were in the water, so it felt cool.  We were moving muscles, and Amber Isle was getting a little bath.  The work was interrupted when a squall came up, complete with thunder and lightening, high wind and rain.  We quickly removed the sunscreen from the windshield just in case we had to start the engines and move.  High winds can break loose the anchor set and let us drag.  Amber Isle got yet another free boat wash.  The rest of the day we napped, read, ate, and even watched a movie, "Bridge Over the River Kwai".  Yes, an oldie for sure, but still entertaining.  While at Midway Marina we exchanged some books, DVDs, even a couple VCRs.  (Yes we still have a machine that plays these dinosaurs.)  We lifted the dinghy, so tomorrow morning we'd be back on the river.