Thursday, October 3, 2019

Paducah to Green Turtle Bay

There are two way to get between these two locations; the Kentucky River and the Cumberland River. The Kentucky River is more more direct (see photo), however it is more traveled with barge traffic. The Cumberland is much longer, but less traffic. Both have locks at the ends before you get to "the lakes." 

Typically loopers take the Cumberland after days of big rivers. In a continuing theme of "locks are messing up the loop" the Barkley lock is closed for repairs from 6 am to 6 pm daily. They will lock you through during the night. Which does not sound like fun, pulling into a marina I don't know in the dark. But the Kentucky River lock is crazy busy, and many loopers have waited 3 to 4 hours to get through.

So we chose Cumberland. We left around 9 am, knowing we were probably going to have to tie up to a cell in the river for several hours before pulling into Green Turtle Bay. As You Wish joined us, and the two of us traveled alone. 

No one uses these cells anymore.
The most difficult part of the travel was the heat. At times our thermometer read 98. We drank lots of water, opened all the windows, and turned on a big fan to keep air moving.  But it was hard to stay cool.

The river also had more current than the Ohio, so our pace was slow. Not a real issue, since there was no rush, but at times we traveled 4 knots. Quite a difference from the 12 knot speed of the Mississippi.

Eventually we got to the cells, which are big round cistern-looking things we could tie up to and wait. Russ called the lock to get permission to tie up and let them know we wanted to lock through. Turns out the repair crew had already finished today. He was locking that boat up now and would turn the lock for us immediately -- just tie up to the wall. We couldn't believe our luck!

The Cumberland River
The doors closed behind us at 4:08, then we rocketed up 57 feet in one of the fasted fills we'd experienced. By 4:18 the front doors opened and we were on our way.

That might be my favorite lock yet.

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