Huntsville, Lake Guntersville and Chattanooga

Ditto Landing is a great marina at MM334. They have lots of walking and biking trails and great docks. The overnight dockage is free if you get 80 gallons of fuel or more. This is pretty much the only marina in Huntsville and is a great stop. It’s good for taking advantage of the free slip and the perfect place to stretch your legs. While we were staying here Adeline’s brother Matthew drove down from Nashville for the night and brought us dinner! We had a great time grilling out and catching up!


Ditto to goose landing anchorage MM377 was 43.5 beautiful miles with only one lock, Guntersville L&D. We started to see more hills on this stretch. Guntersville Lake is extremely beautiful, deep with relatively clear water. We loved seeing all the interesting homes on the lake. The only action on the lake was a bunch of bass fisherman. There was some neat wildlife including bald eagles hanging out on the floating logs. Our anchorage for the night was at MM377 through a narrow 6’ deep channel to a 13’ deep basin in front of The Docks Restaurant. We took the dinghy in for dinner and realized it was part of a big golf course that was pretty cool. There was a great musician playing that we enjoyed talking to who actually used to live in Pensacola! We even met a couple who remembered seeing our boat at Ditto Harbor from their home in Huntsville! We plan to stop and have dinner with them on our way back through Huntsville. It’s such a small world and people are so friendly when you’re out on an adventure.

Goose Landing to Chattanooga MM464 was 85 breath taking miles with one lock Nickajack L&D. Waking up at the Goose Landing anchorage was beautiful but we were totally socked in with fog until around 10am! Once we got going it was smooth cruising. We passed a handful of southbound loopers. Erwin marine is your best option for boat slips in Chattanooga. They run 5 dock sites all in the same one mile of riverfront. We chose the commercial dock that only has one transient slip and two tour boats that share the dock. We liked this because it was more private compared to the other docks. This was my first time in Chattanooga and I thoroughly had a great time! There is so much to do within walking distance. There are friendly people, an active riverfront and beautiful natural wonders to enjoy and explore. Ruby falls, Lookout Mountain, Rock City, Forest Ave Bridge and many more things to see. This will definitely be a place I would like to go again next fall and hopefully will be able to go even further on into Knoxville.


MM377 anchorage


American Queen ferry, we saw this boat from Florence to Chattanooga


looper boats



Florence Alabama, Muscle Shoals and Joe Wheeler state park

After enjoying Grand Harbor Marina, Adeline and I headed to Florence, AL. We stayed at Florence Harbor Marina, MM256. This is a great marina right before the Wilson Lock. They have a restaurant that is part of the floating docks, a three mile long bike path along the river which goes through a neat little RV park, and a courtesy vehicle. Florence is a quaint town with all types of local food and sites to see. Across the river on the southern side is Muscle Shoals. This is an area filled with music history with several famous music studios that we were lucky enough to tour and learn some history from. The music that came from this area is rich in soul and funk. You can’t tell if the singers were black or white because of the soul they put into every lyric and beat. We have been listening to the CDs we bought here and both agree it is perfect music for cruising the Tennessee River.

            The first lock after Florence Wilson L&D was closed during the day due to repairs so we left around 6 PM and headed through the first lock at sunset. We decided to keep going the 20 miles and make it through the second lock Wheeler L&D.   This was a new opportunity to be driving the rivers at night. I paid close attention to my navigation systems and radar and used my ARC spotlight when buoys were in sight. We made it smoothly through the two locks, luckily this night wasn’t as cold as the night before.  We anchored at Joe Wheeler State Park. This was a quiet anchorage and it was nice to be back with nature after staying at marinas. The anchorage was one from Active Captain called MM275.8 which was the first little cove past the Wilson lock. Depth was 18 feet 100’ from the bank ¾ of the way back with plenty of swing room. Today we are headed to Huntsville, AL. The weather is nice and cool yet beautiful. Enjoy the pictures and we will be standing by ch. 16


the Yamaha piano freebird was recorded on, plus many more
IMG_3236IMG_1396IMG_1397IMG_1420IMG_1421Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Fall cruise up the Tennessee

When hurricane Maria was bearing down on Florida in early September, Adeline and I decided to take Pura Vida up to Demopolis, Alabama. This kept us out of harms way during this active hurricane season. We rented a slip for a month and decided when we went back up to bring her home we would first cruise up to Pickwick Lake and then enter the Tennessee river to do some sight seeing. What a great way to see the leaves changing color. Today is our first day on the Tennessee. I must say it’s beautiful. The temp is 60 and it feels refreshing out. We stayed two nights at one of my favorite marinas, Grand Harbor on Pickwick Lake mm450. We met some cool people there and also enjoyed some good food. We stocked up on provisions and completed a service on my hard working engines and generator. Life is a blessing and I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be. Tonight we will be stopping at Florence Harbor Marina. We plan to check out the famous Muscle Shoals music studio! God bless you all and thanks for being a part of the journey.