After anchoring a few days on the 43,000 acre Pickwick Lake, we entered the final lock of our adventure at Pickwick Dam dropping over 50 feet to the beginning of Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River. When traveling up the waterway from Mobile to Pickwick Lake, we were against the current, but after locking through the Pickwick lock, we are traveling with the current. We only lost about 1 mph on the way up, but picked up about 2 mph after locking through as the Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake were about 3 feet above normal pool and Kentucky Dam was discharging water at a higher rate. The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers are two of only a few rivers in North America that flow North.
With a higher than normal river stage and current, and the possibility of thunderstorms, we decided to stop at two marinas on the way up to Kentucky Lake rather than anchoring out. We stopped at the Clifton Marina and the Pebble Isle Marina; both marinas are great stops with very friendly people and protected from the weather. Our first anchorage on Kentucky Lake was Sugar Bay, this is a well-protected anchorage from all directions and with a good chance of thunderstorms, we stayed here two nights. We had rain, and some wind but nothing severe.
While sitting on the fly bridge drinking my morning tea, I heard a heck of a racket at the nearby boat ramp. Three trucks pulled up, two of them with boats and one with a trailer….full of bathtubs. They unloaded the bathtubs into the boats and launched them. The only thing I could figure is they were building an artificial reef to attract fish somewhere on the lake.
We arrived at our home port at Green Turtle Bay, Grand Rivers Kentucky Saturday May 20th. We arrived 190 days after starting in November 2016 and traveling 3663 miles. We made a lot of new friends, some of them loopers, that we will meet again as they complete the river section of the loop this fall.