Miles Covered: lm 869.8- to lm 795 (75 river miles) Ashport, Tn
Closest towns or landmark (chart): Steward Towhead island to Gold Dust Bar
Original Post date: June 14
Again woke to the usual Coffee, its been a nice consistent ‘perk’ to each day. On this morning Carl finally decided to become “one with the river’ and take a bath in it (thank goodness) – we are spoiled with the quality of water in WNC and this was a BIG step for Carl – I think that he was at the point of using ‘Off’ (insect repellent) for defunker…. The ‘One with the river’ Carl was better for the air – plus, now he was earning the ‘River-Rat’ status….
Great day of weather once again, no complaints – we have seen shorelines of black mud (Upper Miss) that took effort to wash off, shores that you thought were sand but a person would sink on – to now the shorelines of the Lower Mississippi, beautiful sandbars so far.
Phone service and internet has become limited, to the point we don’t even try – I guess thats part of being here anyway – just to ‘unplug‘ from it all for a couple short months…
The deck of the pontoon is wet, always wet (wet feet) – another part of it all. The waves and wash from the tows reach over the bow and onto the floor – the slash guard and the register help (thanks Bill) – getting your deck ‘washed’ is something to expect, often.
The Frank R. Alter along with The Phyllis
The pilots of the tows have shown the utmost regard – but they can only do so much. The waves of their vessels are just a product of the motion of water. As for encountering their wakes – expect the worse of wakes for two or three miles after the tow, waves that seem to radiate (or reverberate) from the banks back into the channel. We just maintain our idle-speed and take them one at a time to ride them out, all very neat in its own way – the bonus of a wet floor is that it cools things off a bit – dries quickly, just in time for another set of wakes.
Of course in reading up and preparing for this trip I expected most all of what we are encountering, its really not made me that anxious with what is going on – I clearly understand the ‘moped-on-the-interstate‘ theory and hold great respect for our surroundings.
Carl at times is anxious, and on one such pass near a tow this anxiety and sixteen days with me came to the surface (I took the inside-line when passing a tow on a bend) – he swore he would take my Gerber tool at retirement (actually before). I casually responded that I was headed down the river – with or without my Gerber tool.. He pouted (below). It was funny and it passed – another simple part of it. Two different folks, just getting along. There are few people that would agree to take on such an adventure with so few personal luxuries; Carl is certainly one of those few.
Overall a ‘mellow’ sort of day, we covered 70 miles on 6 gallons of fuel....
and with Carl providing the ‘mark,’ found yet another island without tows to shake us and/or trains to wake us…. zzzzzzzzzzz
Noted ‘towboats’ for the day; (towboatgallery)
The Cooperative Spirit
The WW Dyer
The B John Yeager
The Mark Alan
The Frank Rader
The Dennis Hendrix
The Harry M Mack