Goodbye Chattanooga. The time has finally arrived for Idyll Time to start her migration South. The last couple of weeks have been busy getting ready to leave. After many trips to the grocery store, every nook and cranny is filled to the brim. IT looks great after a full wax job on her hull and superstructure. She sits low in the water as we added 440 gallons of diesel to the 485 already in the tanks. The water tanks are full with 400 gallons.
There is frost on the docks this morning as we load the last of our household items along with Nate and Sebastian aboard.It is a little sad not having Homer with us for the trip. Nate is still adjusting to life without his buddy. We give him lots of attention but he still seams sad and very quiet. Hopefully time will heal our loss. We are going to try bringing Nate up into the pilot house with us while we are cruising. In the past the two birds spent most of the day either on their stand in the saloon or napping in their cages in the guest stateroom while underway. I think Nate will enjoy the extra time and companionship with us. He is extremely jealous of Sebastian so we will see how this works out.
As we ease IT out of her slip, our depth sounder is screaming at us. The lake levels are very low. We have 5’6″ of depth just outside our slip. Drawing 5′, there is not much to spare. Luckily we make it out to the main channel and deeper water with no problems. It should take us about twelve travel days to reach the Gulf. Our route will take us down the TN River to the Tenn-Tom Waterway which will bring us to Mobile,Al. Having made this trip several times now, it should be relatively straightforward. We are familiar with most of the anchorages and marinas along the route. The challenging part will be navigating around the many barges. The shallow water, narrow and twisty waterway, many locks, as well as the constant barge traffic make the Tenn Tom one of my least favorite bodies of water, but we must take it in order to get South.