09-18-09 Green Turtle Bay Marina, KY

[Rick] You would think that after a long 110 mile day on Wednesday and a 92 mile day on Thursday, that the 50 mile run on the beautiful Cumberland would be a breeze. NOT. Let me explain.

We left the anchorage on the downstream side of Ohio Lock 52 at 0630 to lock through upon the locking of a tow. We waited about 45 minutes to get into the lock. The lock is old, poorly maintained, and very slow. We had to have 50 foot lines as we had to pass a line up to the lock person, loop around a bollard and then be raised about 13 feet. Did I mention that the lock is slow. So, for the 9 boats in our flotilla, we finally got out of the lock about 0900. We proceed up the Ohio River about 4 miles to Paducah, Ky.

Paducah has a huge welcoming sign on the levee wall. However, there is only one 50 ft dock to tie, has a 15 minute time limit, and absolutely no services. It is a great old river town, but now does not cater to boaters at all.

We proceeded up the Ohio to the mouth of the Cumberland River, about 15 miles. Upon entering the Cumberland, we encountered some strong current and turbulence. The current was 4-6 MPH against us. It stayed this was for the entire 32 miles up to Barkley Dam. Keep in mind that we are on one engine, since the throttle on one motor is not working. We could not use the autopilot to steer. We were trying to conserve gas, as we knew it would be close for us to make the marina. All in all, one of the hardest days we have traveled and one of the most tiring from fighting the current. We were not expecting the current to be so strong, and have been told that it is not normally this way.

We arrived at the Barkley Lock and Dam, were raised 60 feet and exited onto Lake Barkley and motored the mile distance to Green Turtle Bay Marina. This is a nice marina, charges only .75 per foot, yet we get all the amenities. They have free wifi, pool, cable TV, and decent restrooms and showers. They are a big sponsor of the AGLCA and we always try to patronize the looper sponsors. There are about 15 looper boats here, and for one couple, the end of the Great Loop. They are back home. We made arrangements for a technician to look at the throttle on Monday morning. We were glad to be tied up to a dock for the first time in 3 days, glad for a hot shower, and glad to be off the lower Cumberland River.
Rick works the lines in the lock...

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