Thursday, October 11, 2018

Green Turtle Bay to Aqua Yacht Harbor

We had a slow cruise to Kentucky Lake in order to ensure we had no leaks in our starboard engine.
YAY!!  Spiritus ran well and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery in Kentucky Lake.

After we dropped our anchor in Duncan Bay, the Captain launched the dinghy to do some exploring.

The First Mate didn't waste any time jumping in the water and attempting some creative aqua yoga.

While at anchor, Sonny and Marena from Corkscrew dinghied over from their anchorage for a visit.

Marena was so happy to be on Spiritus and devoured a bowl of fresh water like it was beer!

Chef Eddy put steaks on the bar-b-que for dinner.

We ate our meal outside in the cockpit and watched the sun slowly melt into Kentucky Lake.

The next morning we had coffee and moved Spiritus nine miles to the next cove; Ginger Bay.

We enjoyed watching eagles in this peaceful, quiet anchorage.

And, of course, we NEVER tire of watching spectacular sunsets over the water!

After a couple days at anchor, we decided to pull into Pebble Isle Marina for 2 days.

When we're in a marina, we get our laundry done and we stock up on groceries . . . . 

. . . . and we gather with fellow Loopers at 5:00 for docktails and story telling.

The Johnsonville State Park was adjacent to our marina so we enjoyed an afternoon of hiking and history lessons.  This was the site of an important Civil War Battle led by Nathan Bedford Forrest.

We departed Pebble Isle at sunrise and cruised 8.5 hours to our next anchorage at Double Island.

After fighting a 3 mph current, we decided to pull into Clifton Marina.

This was our view from Spiritus' bow.  
Soon Texas Gold joined us for drinks, snacks, guitar music, and lots of laughter. 

We followed Texas Gold out of the marina the next morning.
The deck on the right provided the perfect place for our Looper gathering the night before.

It was a short run on a beautiful morning to our anchorage at Swallow Bluff Island.

We smiled when we saw this house for sale at the river's edge, reminding ourselves that it could be ours!

After we dropped our anchor, we had a fun surprise.  Scott and Karen on Last Call joined us!

After swimming to cool off, we opened wine and celebrated our Looper Lifestyle.

The four of us sat together on Last Call and watched the sun's glow on Spiritus .  .  .  .

. . . .  and the beautiful hues as it set on the Tennessee River.

The next morning we pulled up anchor and quietly departed, leaving Last Call peacefully at anchor.

We were underway at first light and enjoyed our stern view of the sun peeking over the horizon.

The Tennessee River is beautiful . . . . 

. . . . oh-so-beautiful!!!!

We arrived at the Barkley Lock and look who we saw . . . Antonia!
We helped Mark and Lezlie start their Loop in Florida nine months ago!

We went through Barkley Lock with Antonia as well as Last Call, who finally caught up to us.

When we arrived at Pickwick Lake anchorage, Charlie and Robin McVey picked us up and we enjoyed a great meal at Freddy T's!

After departing Pickwick Lake, Last Call and Lower Place followed us to mile marker 215 where we would cross our wake, signifying completion of our second Loop.

This is the EXACT place we crossed our wake five years ago on our first Great Loop.

Spiritus flew the white AGLCA burgee during our first Great Loop in 2012-13.  Upon completion, we proudly received our GOLD burgee on Oct 3, 2013.  Five years later, we are overjoyed to earn a PLATINUM burgee, which signifies completion of 2 or more Loops!

After celebrating on Spiritus, we took the party to Robin and Charlie McVey's lovely home. 
Captain Eddy is quite comfortable under the quilt Robin made upon the completion of their Loop in 2016.  Each quilt square is part of a tee shirt from a stop they made on America's Great Loop.

These current and gold Loopers made our "Platinum Celebration" so memorably awesome!

Another life changing year packed with "WOW" memories and unforgettable friends.
"Thank you" to EVERYONE who supported our passion and were part of our second adventure of a lifetime!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

St Louis to Green Turtle Bay, KY

We departed Hoppies Barge and convoyed with 4 other Looper boats down the Mississippi:
Bucket List, Jubilant, Change of Pace, and Texas Gold.

It was fun hearing Dad Pennington's brass bell occasionally ring when the tows passed Spiritus.

We enjoyed some interesting buildings and watching an occassional train run along the tracks as we cruised down the mighty Mississippi. 

After an 11 hour day, we pulled off the river and into Little Diversion Channel for the evening.
By sunset, there were 9 boats anchored in this protected, peaceful anchorage.

Our buddy boat took a picture of us sitting on our swim platform, dangling our feet in the water to cool off.

After cooling off, Chef Eddy put our dinner on the grill.  YUM!

At first light the following morning, Spiritus led the Looper fleet out of our anchorage.

A 5 mph current pushed us down the Mississippi River at over 13 mph!
Spiritus normally cruises at 8 mph.

But when we turned to go up the Ohio River, 
the current slowed Spiritus down significantly!

The Ohio River was swollen and filled with debris from the recent rainfall.
  The crew had to keep a sharp eye out to avoid all manner of flotsam!

The barge traffic was plentiful, requiring an extra dose of alertness by the crew!

We made it to Paducah City Dock right at sunset and in time for docktails with our buddy boats

The next morning we tossed the lines of 3 Looper boats who departed early.
Spiritus stayed behind with Change of Pace and Yes Dear.

We spent the morning exploring charming downtown Paducah . . . .

. . . . and the afternoon at the world famous National Quilt Museum!
During Eddy's commercial flying career, he flew hundreds of ladies in to Paducah for the annual quilt show and today he finally got to see what it was all about!

Captain Eddy is indeed impressed.  He realized how much math and measuring goes in to making these masterpieces!

The amazing "King Neptune" quilt captured Eddy's heart!

The quilt made from Iowa feed sacks captured Linda's heart!  She recognized feed sack fabrics used in her Grandma Otto and Grandma Pennington's dresses, apron, bonnets, and quilts.

After an afternoon at the National Quilt Museum, it's a tradition to have ice cream!
(Really! Ask Siri!)

Paducah's riverfront has a long floodwall to protect the city when the river rises.  

Much of the wall is painted with murals that depict the history of the area.

It was a rainy 8 hour run to the Barkley Lock.  After locking through, we were happy to stay in Green Turtle Bay for several days.
GTB is a favorite stop for Loopers because they are often able to reconnect with friends they haven't seen for a while!

This was a FIRST for Captain Eddy!
  Nancy, from Texas Gold, gave him a hair cut right on the dock!

Eddy's first-ever dock haircut was so iconic that the First Mate made a collage for the photo album!

It was Nancy's first time to cut hair on the dock and she got rave reviews!
Her finished product was so good that Eddy rewarded her with a brownie turtle sundae.

Later that evening, she chose a more adult reward . . . . Blue Hawaii!!

When Loopers gather, we excel at eating and drinking and daily docktails!

What a fun surprise to have Ron, Jan, and Duke stop for a visit.
They looped with us in 2013 and were part of the gang that waited a month in Kingston, NY for the Erie Canal to open.

It wasn't all fun and games at GTB.  Eddy tried hard to replace our leaking water pump.
Finally the GTB mechanic was able to align the new pump so we could get underway.

During the days of mechanical issues, Linda wisely chose to stay out of the engine room.
Instead, she escaped to the indoor pool where she and the mermaids did Zumba.

All mechanical issues resolved and farewells made, we departed this lovely resort, anticipating more fun ahead!