MS to Little Rock AR
June 5th Day 21
Jumped ship and we were able to get Mannie Lasiter from Little Rock to help me
take the boat the rest of the way to Little Rock.
got off to an interesting start, as we had to wait 3 ˝ hours for the Pickwick
lock. It was the first of 11 locks we will have to do between Iuka and Little
proved his worth as a line handler in the lock.
scenery was good from Pickwick to Green Turtle Bay with a lot of nice homes
along the water and Kentucky lake is very big with lots of cruising
possibilities. We had intended to get to Cuba Landing, but because of the delay
at the lock, we called Fisherdale Marina in Decaterville and the Mermaid Marina
answered the phone. The Fisherdale Restaurant burned down 2 months ago and the
phone was being answered by a former employee who now works for Mermaid.
is a friendly place with a Lincoln Town Car for a loaner and CJ waited for us to
help us in. We drove 10 miles to Tucker’s restaurant. It was the only one open
(says enough). Dry county, but CJ sells beer.
for the slip and had 50 amp power.
June 6th Day 22
weather was a little threatening as we left, headed for Green Turtle Bay. Just
caught up to us on Kentucky lake, our luck ran out. We were hit with a
tremendous thunderstorm that lasted about 30 minutes, but caused us to have to
slow down a lot. Thank goodness for radar, GPS and the chart plotter. We got
through it and pressed on.
Turtle Bay is a great marina and nice folks. We were given a covered slip and
they called the van to pick us up for Patti’s. In the marina, were David and
Angela Magill on Illusions and we met Fred and Laura Brown on Laura
Ann and we all went to
Patti’s for the famous pork chop. It is all that it is described as. DELICIOUS
and the desert, boat sinker, was OUTRAGEOUS.
and Laura had just bought their boat in Arkansas and had a lot of good things to
say about cruising down the Arkansas River. They had spent 10 days in Little
Rock so we got a chance to reminisce with them.
was also a lot of dock talk about the Mississippi River flooding and lots of
trash. We were not certain if we should go or wait until the next day.
June 7th Day 23
Mississippi River was reported to be cresting at 28 feet in a day or two so we
decided to wait until then. Mannie and I spent the morning cleaning the boat, so
we felt productive.
went for lunch to the Iron Kettle and had a good lunch. We were told about the
Unique Nautigue which sells a special cloth for cleaning up around the boat.
While waiting for the van to take us to the marina, we stopped in and I bought 3
of the cloths. They are fantastic for cleaning the dew off of the isinglass.
sat on the front porch and visited with Sherri Barnard, the shop owner. A very
interesting lady who has done many different things in the Grand Rivers area,
including a spell as dock master at Green Turtle and she remembered me from my
last visit there in 1997.
in the day, Jim and Sheeran came in in their sailboat Sheeran Ann
. They have been cruising for the past 2 years and were headed up the
Mississippi to Minnesota. They spent 2 days going 50 miles so turned around.
Everyone at the dock was worried about them and were glad when they came back
all boaters, Jim was very helpful and said the river was not that bad for trash
and because the crest was about 2 days away, we would be ahead of it going down
stream. The only concern was the current, but it would be helping us.
decided to leave the next day.
June 8th Day 24
checked the Corps of Engineers web page for the river stages and it looked
favorable. High water was about 2 days away.
lock was closed for repairs so all the traffic was using Barkley lock. However,
we were lucky that only one tow was going down as we approached so it was only a
˝ hour wait.
had decided to anchor in Angelo Towhead in Cairo, Illinois, which is where the
Ohio joins the Mississippi. The current was tremendous and what is normally a
quiet anchorage was a rapidly flowing river with lots of trash moving through.
We really had no choice, as there is no real alternative in that area.
June 9th Day 25
was a fitful night, with both Mannie and I getting up several times to make sure
we were OK. We were until about 5 AM when we felt a hard bump against the boat.
We both got up and found a 30 foot tree caught in the anchor rode and it had
dragged us several hundred yards down the anchorage, but we were stopped again.
Many tries with the engines could not get us free, so the only way out was to
cut the anchor line. That hurt but it was necessary. There is a new CQR anchor
and 30’ of chain on the bottom of the river.
we were up and loose so we headed down river. The current was running 4-5 knots.
The trash was not as bad as we had heard. We were able to make between 15 and 17
miles an hour at our usual cruising speed of 10 miles an hour. We ran for 14
hours and covered 226 miles and made it to Memphis. Kathy was waiting on the
dock for us.
interesting sidelight are the tow boats and tows. They have progressively,
gotten bigger as we have traveled the waterways. Starting on the ICW where there
will be 2 or 3 barges in a tow, the Tenn-Tom where there will be 6 to 9, the
Tennessee where there will be 12 to 15 and finally the Mississippi where there
will be 30 to 35.
The record so far is 42. 6 across and 7 long. The towboat
was huge with 4 engines pushing it hard upstream. We felt the wake from that one
for at least a mile.
June 10th Day 26
spent the day in Memphis trying in vain to find a new anchor. We went to Beal
St. and walked around. Not a lot of activity.
had cocktails in the Peabody Hotel, but we were too late for the ducks.
Memphis Yacht Club/ Mud Island Marina is a laid back place. Not much in the way
of services and the most expensive so far at $1.00 a foot for the slip and $1.45
per gallon for diesel.
Island has a park and pavilion where the Memphis Belle is on display. A monorail
runs between downtown and the island.
June 11th Day 27
said he would be at his Marine store at 9:00 am. We met him there and were able
to get a new anchor, but no chain.
bid Kathy goodbye and set off down the Mississippi again. The current was every bit as strong and the river was up
another 1 – 2 feet. I swear that the whole state of Minnesota is moving to the
Gulf down the river. What they say about ole Miss is true. It is too thick to
drink and too thin to plow.
again made excellent time with the current and arrived in Helena AR early in the
evening. We were certain there must be something more than an anchorage in town,
so we passed the anchorage and went further down past the town. No other options
so we turned around and got a taste of what it would be like going upstream.
Speed dropped from 15 mph to 4. However, we got into a great anchorage in the
pool above the loading area. No current, no trash and no fish biting. We spent a
June 12th Day 28
were up early and again off down river. We planned to get to Pine Bluff for the
night. The entrance to the White River is what the guidebook describes and then
some. Huge line of trash across the mouth and boils and eddies making the turn
wild. I wouldn’t want to try it in a boat with a small motor.
inside the river, what a contrast! No trash and a current of 1-2 knots. The
river is tree lined and not very wide but also very quiet. We only saw 2
towboats from the White to Little Rock.
got to Island Harbor Marina in Pine Bluff at about 6:30 PM. Could raise anyone
so we tied to the fuel dock with the kind help of a couple living in the Marina.
laid back place, but quite friendly. We ate on the boat and the next morning,
Jim the owner, appeared on the dock and we settled up and were off early again.
per foot for the slip and 50 amp power.
June 13th Day 29
pleasant ride up the river and no problems with the 6 locks to Little Rock. The
locks used to be just numbers, now they have names, but the lockmasters prefer
to answer by number.
trip will be filled with firsts and there was one just above Pine Bluff. Just
beyond the lock is the Rob Roy rail lift bridge. The guide book didn’t
indicate anything unusual, but the lockmaster told us the drill:
the mike 4 times rapidly on channel 14. A tone sounds and the bridge operator
is pleasure craft Choices North bound wanting to pass through.”
indication is bridge is raising. Call when clear.”
clearing the bridge you repeat the process.
bridge is being operated from Omaha Nebraska…..amazing.
pulled into a dock in downtown, next to Mannie’s business and he and Kathy
traded places for the ride through town to the Little Rock Yacht club.
brought Gypsy, the boat dog to introduce me and the boat to her. It is good to
have Kathy back where she belongs and we enjoyed the ride up through town. Good
scenery and a lot of big homes
in the hills overlooking the river.
got to the Yacht club and tied to the fuel dock. We will be here until early
July. We are getting married on the boat on June 16th. More about