Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Mon 16 Apr 2018 15:49
What an awesome week.
We left our Loop route to Chicago and motored the opposite way up the Tennessee River to the towns of Florence and Muscle Shoals, about 40 miles, arriving late Sunday afternoon on 8th April.
We spent the week sightseeing in Florence and Muscle Shoals. The main reason for this side trip was that we’d heard about the amazing music industry in Muscle Shoals with recording studios which saw all the greats of our era going to this little village and recording so many hits.
Fame Studios was the first started in 1950’s by Rick Hall. The resident band ‘The Swampers’ who played backup for the groups recording at Fame, broke away in 1969, and opened their own studio called Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
We toured both facilities
Muscle Shoals Studio is now a museum, previously owned by Beats, now by Apple and bequtifully restored.
Hidden bar room behind a panels door in the wall, as this used to be a ‘Dry State’
The Muscle Shoals Recording Studio building
Fame is still privately owned by Rick Hall’s family. Rick was hugely instrumental in sourcing talented musicians and getting them to come to Muscle Shoals. Fame is still an operational Recording Studio.
One of the Mixing studio through glass way, with an artist currently recording in the studio we were viewing.
Our Tour Group in the other Mixing Studio
For anyone really interested in music there is an excellent video to watch on all this history - called Muscle Shoals. It can be found on Netflix, Amazon Video etc.
We had a wonderful visitor to Meshugga. He came every day, morning and evening, making a huge racket announcing his arrival.
He would jump aboard and come to our doorway until we noticed him and come out to feed him. Much hissing and squawking as we shoo’d him to the back deck to feed him.
We also consistently had numerous (about 30) beautiful Swallows make Meshugga their perch all day long.
We then had a Huge weather system come through. It spanned from Mexico Yutcan peninsular up to Canada, and we were smack in the danger zone for Tornadoes. With the system being so big, there was no where to go, so we prepped Meshugga for ‘just incase’, putting out 35m of chain in 4 meters of water and everything got taken down and put inside, or strapped down.
Friday night saw a Tornado rip through the town of Little Rock SW of us, tearing up 160 homes. The cold front hit us at 6.30am on Saturday 14th, with big winds and tons of rain. Wave after wave of squalls come through and Meshugga held her anchor and we stood by, jackets and gloves at the ready incase of dragging. If a tornado came through we’d just hunker down and ride it out.
The weather system was moving SW to NE and would continue to bring huge winds, rain and for about 40 hours. My prayers were answered, and the wind veered west, and within a couple of hours the entire system had moved over us and we popped out the back of the system with skies clearing and only a smattering of rain. By 5pm Saturday afternoon we were in the clear.
By midday on Sunday we noted that the water height at our anchorage had risen 2-3 feet, and the current had increased to 2.2kn, obviously due to all the rain more water in the river and dams releasing water. As we were anchored between 2 bridges and the dam wall, we decided it best to up and leave before we get trapped, and not be able to pass under the Old Railway bridge. Just as well, we passed under the Old Railway Bridge with 2 feet above our AIS aerial and 3 feet above our awning.
We dropped our FlyBridge awning sides, as it is awfully cold with the wind from north from the Canadian and northern USA snow dump (from the same weather system), and motored with the swift current back to the head of the Tenn-Tom waterway, anchoring up a little cove, ready to get back onto our Loop Route.
What an awesome week.