Chattanooga 2016 Hot Cruise
Raccoon Creek to Hales Bar Marina
Monday September 19
Talk about a great Monday morning. We got an early start. It was a bit cloudy and foggy in a way that is really pleasing. But then it cleared up and got hot. We radioed the CSX bridge. Given that Andrea Lynn is slightly slower than everyone else I took the opportunity to catch up to the head of the fleet before the word was given to proceed. Soon we passed the Shelby Rinehart aka Blue Arch aka Rainbow bridge. Cars stopped on the bridge and people got out to take pictures. One car even backed up on the bridge. Next we got to Nickajack Lock and Dam. At first we could not find the "traffic light". We milled about for a bit. I almost hit someone. Then Debbie saw that someone else almost collided so we felt slightly better about that. After about 10 minutes the traffic light was turned on and displayed red. After the gate opened it turned green. The lock was a bit turbulent during the rise. The gate oepened and the horn sounded. I started my motor and we all proceeded to Hales Bar Marina.
To approach Hales Bar Marina one must do one of two things. About one mile down river is a set of barges that appear to be more or less permanently moored. We left these on our port side and proceeded on a straight line to Hales Bar south docks. Alternatively we could have taken the main channel up to the remains of the dam. Then turn right and leave the powerhouse about 1 boat length to port and arrive immediately in front of the cabins. We tied up one side to on the outer parameter dock across from the floating cabins.
Since we arrived early I took this opportunity to take a close look at the power hall. Judging by the placement of the windows and other things the front of this was at a lower water level in the past. I took a close look and as expected there are just flooded rooms. Birds fly past the grates to roost there. Then I paddled around the remnents of the dam, being careful about the possibility of fishing boats coming past at high speed. I saw a large ketch. The power house appears to be slowly deteriorating.
Hales Bar is one of those places that people seem to love or hate. It is a bit rustic for some sensibilities but I'm ok with it. But the people who hosted us there were very friendly and down to earth. They have the best stocked of any ships store I have seen in the South. They opened the restaurant for us to have dinner and even provided live entertainment and Karaoke. I made sure to give a good tip for their service.
We rented a floating cabin to sleep in since it is so hot below on Andrea Lynn during the summer. Others chipped in as a group and rented a cabin for a hangout spot and showers.
0730 broke raftup
0747 passed 396.8
0859 passed 117 truss bridge
0901 upped the throttle since Mystic T was coming up from behind.
0902 wind on the nose
0941 passed Widows Creek steam plant
1027 passing secret test facility that Bill Evans was talking about. It looks like a good put-in.
1055 passed under CSX railroad bridge
1059 passed 414.9
1107 passed 415.5
1139 passed under Shelby Rinehart blue arch bridge
1329 finished Nickajack Lock
1349 passed 426.7
1415 passed under I-24 bridge
1459 docked at Hales Bar Marina
The moon at 0300
Heading out of Raccoon Creek
Note the nonexistent flow - courtesy of TVA's lake level app.
Andrea Lynn's temporary ornament
Ferry to Bridgeport Island
The Shelby Rinehart Bridge
Kokomo ready to lock through
This is the Interstate I-24 bridge. I like it under here better than on top.
Done with the day's Cruising
The old power hall. Now only the birds live here.
Tree of Light
The Endymion Ketch. This reminded me of my boat but on a larger scale.