Visions of leaving the rendezvous in a mass of over 60 boats? Luckily it didn’t happen that way.
Sixty boats gathered at the Rendezvous and are now ready to continue on the Great Loop Adventure. Sixty boats hitting the locks?? Thanks to a couple volunteers to organize the departures it went smoothly. For us it was an added bonus that we know both volunteers, but I’m sure that didn’t bring any preferential treatment. A shout out to Steve lasher and Wally Campbell- well done. (on Sanctuary and Summertime)
We signed up for the first group of 13 boats scheduled for the Wheeler Lock at 8am. It is not a competition and there is no advantage to being first; but there was a bit of pressure to NOT be the Last boat off the docks! (Might be a guy thing). Or it may have been the signs of fall that made us eager to start heading south!
Locking DOWN is much more pleasant than locking UP
and I mean DOWN.. 95 feet!
There are 5 bollards on each side of the lock to tie up to. If you are reading closely- you noted that 13 boats headed for the lock this morning.
This meant that a few would raft off to the boats that were tied up to the bollards on each wall. Of course this means more time to socialize on the ride up!
Once the water is level, the gates open and we just pull out into the traffic!
this is Moon Shadow taken by Sanctuary Crew! Always appreciate sharing photos of each others boats!
After the first lock, 5 boats turned in at Florence.
We had heard good things about this marina and the rich history of the area, but decided to continue toward Grand Harbor.
We had a procession passing a tow and barge!
One boat has a mascot on the bow pulpit:
Side Tours We Didn’t Take!
Boaters on the loop are an adventurous lot. There are so many sidetrips and interesting things to do, but we must pick and choose. The Looper motto is “no schedule”; and many take it literally and will wander off in all directions.
A couple things the folks at Florence spoke about, were the Walk of Tears and also Civil War era sights. http://www.natcheztracetravel.com/natchez-trace-alabama/florence-tennessee-river/456-wichahpi-stone-wall.html
The Walk of Tears refers to the relocation of native people from Tennessee to Oklahoma in the 1800s.
One couple rented a car and drove to Memphis for the weekend. They toured Graceland home of Elvis.
Several boats that wanted to avoid the crowd took a side trip further along the Tennessee River to visit Chattanooga TN.
When we received a text from Kurt and Patti that a bowl of chili was waiting for us at Indian Creek anchorage we knew where we were headed.