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Saturday down the Cumberland

Again I awoke fairly early in part due to a passing barge. Some of the wakes from passing boats are fairly strong, and instead of lulling you off to sleep they make their presence known. We had a breakfast of eggs and sausage, and started off down the river. One goal of mine was to try to get to a Lowes home improvement store that appeared to be close to the river, and of course I was also checking Google Earth to try to find any parks or other river accessible places to check out. Today however was a day pretty much spent on the boat. There were virtually no parks or other such places along the way, and Lowes sat on top of a high bluff.

Cool rail road turning type draw bridge.

Cool rail road turning type draw bridge.

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Friday, The First Full Day

Friday morning dawned and I was up pretty early. I tried fishing with crickets and caught a very small bass and a blue gill, but threw them both back in. When everyone was ready we pushed off and headed towards the lock. For navigation purposes, I had a Garmin etrex 30 GPS that I mainly used to track distance and speed. I had paper charts printed off the internet from the US Corps of Engineers, and then to really figure out what something looked like, I just whipped out Google Earth.

Our boat at dawn at the site of the launch and first night.

Our boat at dawn at the site of the launch and first night.

 

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The Big Trip: We set off

Like every boat trip, mods and loading take until the last minute and then some. Originally we planned to set off no later than 7, but I think it wasn’t until 830PM that we actually finally set off on the trip. We fueled up, taking on 11 gallons of gas, and filled up our water tanks for a total of 29 gallons of freshwater. I think Susan had enough food for 5 or 6 days at least! Most of the heavy stuff was in the van as I didn’t want to stress the trailer that much on the drive down with all the weight, but probably wouldn’t have made that big a deal. I think the water and gas only added up to around 300lbs.

Before bed, I install batteries in the marine radio, a fairly inexpensive unit from Cobra.

Before bed, I install batteries in the marine radio, a fairly inexpensive unit from Cobra.

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The Big Trip: Preparation

I suppose one could have just jumped in the boat with whatever food and water was required and done a 3 day cruise down a river without any problems, but I decided to improve and add on to the Macgregor.

The buyer of possibly the most loaded adventuring touring bike out there.

The buyer of possibly the most loaded adventuring touring bike out there.

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Big cruise planned!

Next weekend, I should have 3-4 days to do something that I’ve wanted to do for over a year, and that is cruise down the Cumberland River from Nashville to Clarksville. My route shows a distance of approximately 91 river miles. I’m pretty excited and probably have been thinking of little else now for the last week or two.  So as before every trip with my boats, I’ve been busy adding and modifying. This time I’ve assembled a 6 gallon external fuel tank so that I should be able to go for quite a while without refueling. Really a 3 gallon tank would have been plenty probably, but I felt that I’d like to use the boat on  the river in the future for some more long cruises, and initial estimates suggest that I’ll require between 8-11 gallons of fuel to make this trip. Currently I’ve got capacity for 5 gallons. So adding a 6 gallon tank seemed like a good idea.

Sailing with just the reefed main up with a work buddy. Later, we raised the jib, had the anchor chain run out, heeled the boat till the windows were in the water and generally had an adventure.

Sailing with just the reefed main up with a work buddy. Later, we raised the jib, had the anchor chain run out, heeled the boat till the windows were in the water and generally had an adventure.

This weekend, I’m going to take the boat out to the local area of the Cumberland to get a feel for how fast the boat will travel on the river. I currently don’t really know how fast the boat goes, even on the lake due to the rough conditions the last few times, and I don’t know the river speed. Also, in past trips on the lake, running out of fuel with the built in, 0.3 gal fuel tank would most likely happen between the bridge and the harbor, I go nice and slow to extend my range.  Now refueling will be at my convenience so I can turn up the throttle a bit.

And finally I have been busy installing a depth finder. The hardest part, running the wiring around the boat has been completed. Now I’ve just got to test the location of the transducer out. Hopefully it will work without too many problems.

I’d love to run all of the sail control lines to the cockpit, and install a roller furling jib, but I’m out of money right now so those other mods will just have to wait.

 

First overnight

Not sure if I can’t ever leave things alone, or if the Macgregor 26S we have actually needs all the mods and things I do to it, but every time we go out, we have new stuff. This time was no different.

Rigging Macgregor 26s

Rigging the boat.

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