Travels From Little Rock
August 9th, Thursday (Day 87 from Houston)
Well today was the big day. We left Little Rock, family and friends to begin our travels once again. We made arrangements with my Dad to keep our Jeep at his house in hopes of soon selling it. Then we will be completely car-less. That will be a strange feeling.
Our friend John Sparks helped us cast off around 1030 and promised to meet us in Memphis Saturday night to see the sights of Bealle street. Just a mile from the Little Rock Yacht club we passed by fellow Little Rock Power Squadron friends, Don and Marcelle Castleberry. Don saw us go by and hailed us on the radio wishing us a safe voyage and inviting us to dinner when we return to Little Rock.
We got to the 1st lock on the Arkansas (lock 7) and had a 1 ½ hour wait. We were off like a herd of turtles.
We arrived at the Pine Bluff Marina around 5:30 and had a nice dinner there with a couple that were on the boat “My Thai”. We met them at the Little Rock Yacht club while their boat was out of the water a week for repairs.
August 10th, Friday (Day 88)
Awoke to Rain and Lightening. We waited til 11:30 trying to decide if we should go. It did slack so we headed out again. We made it down to Pendleton Park and very carefully tied to a dock there in about 7ft of water. But there are bathrooms and a nice little RV park so Gypsy loved it.
August 11th Saturday (Day 89)
Because of our slow start yesterday, we had to Call John Sparks in Little Rock and tell him that Beale Street was off for tonight cause we wouldn’t make Memphis. After getting through the other locks on the Arkansas, we finally made the mighty Mississippi and once again found why it’s called by that name. The current was unbelievable.
We managed to make it to Helena, AR and found anchorage there in a cove, not so quiet due to barge traffic and fishermen, but at least off the big M. No shore for doggy tonight
August 12th Sunday (Day 90)
Departed 0745 headed to Memphis. We were moving with the wind so it was VERY HOT and humid 98 degrees. We definitely had the fans going on the bridge. Later Thunderstorms hit about an hour out of Memphis and we were running very low on fuel. We were discovering that the Mississippi current sucks fuel and there are very few places to get any.
We finally made it to Mud Island in Memphis on fumes. We hold 400 gallons and we refueled 392 gallons. Gypsy was happy cause she and the Captain got to go for a walk.
August 13th, Monday (Day 91)
Much cooler day thank goodness. We departed 0900 after Gypsy and I explored all the exhibits and the beauty of Mud Island. If you’ve never been, you need to see it. There’s a very elaborate pictoral in stonework with water flowing over it of all the rivers in the US. Also history of the Mississippi river and civil war info.
This was to be another very long day. We anchored at Carrruthersville with no problems.
August 14th, Tuesday (Day 92)
Departed at 0845 made it to Hickman before we did run out of fuel. A dredge Captain from the “Magnolia State” was kind enough to allow us to purchase 100 gallons fuel from his tow. We were very grateful and anchored there for the night.
August 15th, Wednesday (Day 93)
The Captain woke gypsy and me way too early 0600. We headed out at 0715, but all hell broke loose. We got out on the Mississippi and the port engine quit and to make matters worse, the throttle cable on the starboard engine broke. We went back into the cove and Richard worked furiously and got things temporarily patched and changed the fuel filter on the port side. We started again, the port engine quit. It seems there was air or something in the fuel line and once we blew it out, we were ok. We called ahead to Green Turtle bay and asked them to order us a new cable. We finally made it out on the Mississippi around 0900. We thought according to the cruise guide and the “Magnolia State” Captain that we could get fuel at Wickliff from Economy Boat store and once again we were on fumes. They wouldn’t allow us to purchase fuel saying that they “didn’t have a license to sell to pleasure craft”. It was probably just an excuse because the same store in Baton Rouge does sell to pleasure craft. Thank goodness a Tow captain was fueling there and allowed us to purchase 200 gallons of fuel and even offered us lunch but we were in a rush to get off the Mississippi.
At Paducka,KY were were able to get fuel at Big E Marina and they even let us borrow the old 1972 chevy truck to go to the local Walmart Supercenter. At least we are fueled and re-stocked on supplies. But if you do buy lots of supplies keep in mind the ramp from the fuel dock to land is about 3 blocks long and very steep but everything’s an adventure.
The captain was happy that I did manage to get beer.
We finally arrived at Green Turtle bay around 7:30 and boy, were we glad. We were too tired to go to Patti’s for porkchops so just had a sandwich and went to bed. What a day!
August 16th, Thursday (Day 94)
Finally a day to get caught up on Laundry which was very close to the boat and we also took care of other chores that needed tending to. We met Larry and his wife on “Hiroler” They are from Tarpon Springs, FL and were just finishing the great loop. They were stuck there til Monday waiting on a part.
We had a nice dinner with some guys from Louisville who had their boat here.
The Green turtle bay dog’s name is “Runsaway”. She showed up about 4 years ago and is the official harbor dog now. She and Gypsy had a great time running and playing together.
August 17th, Friday (Day 95)
Departed at 0845 headed for Cuba Landing. Some very nice scenery along the Tennessee, but lots of fishing boats so we were constantly slowing. We made it around 4:30 and had a nice visit with people in the little store and Gypsy had a nice run. We stayed at the fuel dock and things went smoothly. We are just so thankful to be off the Mississippi and vow never to go up that river again.
The Mississippi River is not the place for pleasure craft moving up stream. At least on the lower Miss.
Even though it was down and placid compared to the downward trip in June, the current still runs between 4 and 5 knots. In order to make any progress you need to power up. The stops are a long way apart so to get to them before dark you need to make at least 9 knots. All this means that you burn a lot of fuel and as Kathy mentions the places for fuel are even further apart.