Friday, May 2, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Day 8, 5/2/08

Today’s forecast was better, 15 to 25 MPH winds with gusts 30 to 40. The bad weather was not supposed to arrive at Memphis until about 4 PM, so we decided to take off, left our corn barge at 06:00 and arrived at Mud Island Marina adjacent to downtown Memphis 115 miles later at 2:30, mm 735 of the MS River. One helpful thing for the trip today was that the Coast Guard had gotten all of the buoys back in place marking the river channel since the flood occurred. Rhonda really appreciated this, even with GPS and electronic charts - seeing the buoys just makes it easier. One tow captain even commented how nice it was to see the buoys again. The trip was generally rough but not too bad except for about a 15-mile stretch 30 miles north of Memphis. Honest, we had 4 and 5 foot seas and our Roughwater trawler earned her name. She is truly a rough water boat. The bow of the boat actually went under water once when we were coming off the crest of one wave and plowed into the next. Sorry we don't have pictures but we were kind of busy staying afloat! This is not pleasant cruising for us but it happens sometimes. One positive note though - we had no idea we had some mud daubers hiding in parts of the canvas over the aft deck – they’re all dislodged now and laying on the floor of the deck.

Approaching Memphis in the rain.

We had one of our windshield wiper motors quit earlier in the day during a shower (we have three wipers, one for each window). So, I had replaced it with a spare while we were underway. I’m sure glad I did. During that rough stretch, the windshield was continuously covered with spray from the bow hitting the waves.

When we arrived at the marina, the bottom fell out of the storm which seemed to be approaching a little earlier than forecast. Everyone got soaked including the dock hands but we didn’t mind and they didn’t seem to either. We were just glad to be docked safe and secure again for the evening. We asked for a covered slip – they’re forecasting the possibility of golf ball size hail when the big stuff rolls through this evening and during the night. Unfortunately, they were all full so we’ll be at the mercy of the storm tonight.

You'll have to enlarge the photo to read the details.

Help Me Rhonda docked at Mud Island Marina with Memphis in the background

Time for laundry, housekeeping, catching up the blog, etc. Looks like we’ll have to head into town to find some WiFi somewhere, none here at the marina. We may stay and enjoy the town tomorrow; there’s a music festival this weekend along the riverfront. We’ll make our plans this evening after looking at the weather forecast the next few days.

We want to take this opportunity to thank "Tara" at Mud Island Marina. Rhonda ran into her at the laundromat and asked about the area, where to get supplies/WiFi/etc. (The marina itself has no WiFi). Tara is not an employee of the marina, just keeps her boat there and lives on it full-time. She's never met us before today, knows nothing about us, and just came over and gave us the key to her car (the marina has no courtesy car). This is one thing that attracts us to boating. The vast majority of boaters are wonderful folks always willing to help each other when possible. Thanks again Tara!

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