We arrived at Anchor High Marina on Christmas Day in the late afternoon. We needed to prep some final details including putting away all our luggage and supplies that Scott picked up before he left to come home last week. The weather was a balmy 75 degrees F, 22 degrees C and sunny. We spent the evening just catching up and enjoying talking about our time at the marina. Setting a start up time for 7:00 at the lock we headed to sleep.
Waking to the sound of the alarm at 6:00 with the coffee on, we got ready to head to the first destination at Old Hickory Lock, a 65 foot drop to The Cumberland River heading west. A quick radio call to the lock master left us with a 3 hour wait before we could lock down. 2 tows were ahead of us and locking up. So we cleaned windows, set the course for the next few days and had another coffee.
The wind picked up to the point that there were white caps by the lock that we could see sitting at the marina. This was going to be fun trying to lock through in those winds. Then, of course, we get the call from the lockmaster that he will wait for us. We shove off leaving the beautiful Anchor High Marina ,our new friends and memories, behind. We had a great time at Old Hickory Lake this past summer. Anyone interested in stopping by Nashville on a side trip on the Great Loop really shouldn’t miss the comraderie of the friends you will definitely meet on Old Hickory Lake. Anchor High has transient dockage, all amenities as well as diesel and gas. The staff are always welcoming and accommodating.
Locking through the lock was windy but not too bad in those winds. Mainly because we did lock down which is much easier. Entering The Cumberland River we see a couple fisherman in boats, a lot calmer winds and beautiful scenery. We pass the Grand Ole Opry and the hotels. The majestic General Jackson paddleboat is docked at the Opry. This portion of the river winds and turns and really feels like you are not going very far. The scenery is not a nice as it is when the leaves are on the trees. We pass the City of Nashville with the batman building which announces the arrival of the city. A unique waterfront city that has so much history in the shipping industry which has now become more a blast from the past with its hotels, bars, and of course, music.
Next stop is a diesel top up at Rock Harbour Marina. They have a 24/7/365 gas/diesel availability with a swipe machine to use the pump at any time. Then we’re off to Cheatham Lock on The Cumberland. It drops approx 40 feet. The winds had died down by now so this lock was relaxed and uneventful. The river from here is much more serene and less commercial except for the tows and barges. Today we only passed 3 barges and 2 rec boats. Mostly the fishermen are out on a gorgeous day with temps in the 70’s. The river travels more west on this stretch towards Lake Barkley. We pass several bluffs, beautiful mansions, and several blue herons. Our end goal is Clarksville Marina at Mile 127. A new marina with the city within walking distance. Full service marina with laundry, restrooms, fuel, and those city amenities.
Today we traveled from Mile 216 on the Cumberland to Mile 127 at an average speed of 21 mph. The total trip took approx 5 hours including the 2 locks. As I sit here writing this blog the winds have picked up, a storm has arrived with tons of rain. Sitting here under the aluminum canopy that is everywhere for boating in Tennessee we are thankful we are not anchored.