Page # 3
The 82-mile ride to the Ohio River at Carrollton, KY was wonderfully uneventful as I only passed three other pleasure craft making their way up stream. I didn’t have the river completely to myself but certainly it was close.
The Ohio River was a different story. It was mid afternoon and the river was alive with jet skis, sport boats and barges. Just as I entered the mainstream a group of six go fast boats with through the transom exhaust hammered the throttles in unison and created noise surpassed only by a space shuttle launch. I have never figured out the logic of going out into a serene natural setting and then finding pleasure in creating pointless racket. They may love the sound of the V8s screaming but others with in three miles may not share their enthusiasm. If I decided to drive may pickup up and down the streets in my hometown with open exhaust, rattling the windows of homes and business I would be quickly arrested for Disturbing the Peace. But somehow it is different on the water. Any idea why? One author in a boating magazine commented that the guys (and it is ALWAYS guys) that operate these boats do so as a desperate cry for attention. Can’t say I disagree. (OUCH! I just hurt myself when I fell off the soapbox. End of rant – back to the Kentucky River)
Carrollton has a public dock and ramp available at their riverside city park but there was a Blue Grass Festival going on. (Photos are not of Carrollton - just misc Ky River shots) That combined with the Saturday boat activity sent me upstream a little farther looking for a suitable place to anchor and go ashore. Rock and other debris littered the shoreline so I used my Anchor Buddy (bungee cord for anchors) to allow me to get to shore but then have it pull Therapy back away and float in deeper water. I walked up to the business district to scout out local restaurants and then explored a little more of the town of 3800 people.
As I strolled around town the high humidity and full sun caused me to work up a sweat so I decided to return to Therapy and take a swim to cool down. The water in the Ohio was about 76 degrees and actually a little clearer than the Kentucky so I decided to breakout the soap and shampoo. On the Kentucky there are only a few marinas and none with shower facilities. In these situations using the river as a bathtub is the only alternative to offending everyone that comes within 10’ of me.
While in the 5’ water I walk around Therapy and run my hand over her bottom. I am amazed after all the hits the surface has taken over four years I can feel no cuts, scrapes or damage. The rivers certainly have tried to abuse her but she obviously has the right stuff.
With the personal hygiene activities complete I find I still have an hour or so before I want to have an evening meal. I drag out my lawn chair and a good book and relax while reading and watching the river activities. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Fortunately, it is Saturday or I might have felt really guilty about kicking back like this while my wife was at work at our office. But alas, I knew today without me she would be enjoying herself by hitting all the area malls. How about that - it’s a win/win situation.
About 5:30 I decide to walk up to the Riverside Restaurant that offers a view of the river. As I start to go ashore I noticed the sky to the west darkening a little so expecting another shower I grab my umbrella. In the restaurant I take a seat that affords a view of Therapy bouncing happily in the wake of passing boats. A few minutes pass and I am busy checking the menu and placing my order. When I look up I realize the wind has really began to blow and the trees are whipping back and forth. I immediately look at Therapy and get a knot in my stomach. The bungeed anchor off the stern had not held in the wind and Therapy had been blown next to shore and was banging up and down on a large rock.
I jumped from my seat and on the way out the door told the waitress I would be right back. I ran down to Therapy and bailed right into the river and pusher her off the rock. I then quickly jumped in and fired up the Honda 50 and backed away until I pulled the bow line (attached to an anchor wedged firmly in rocks on shore) tight. Now what?
I tried twice to set the anchor off the stern but both times it failed to catch and I drifted towards the rock that lay there ominously peaking out as each wave passed. In the back of my mind I was think about the waitress and wondered if she thought I skipped out. After about 10 minutes of messing around the wind receded a little and on the third try the anchor finally stuck.
I waded back ashore and sloshed back up to the restaurant. My sandwich was waiting and I nervously ate it as I continued to monitor Therapy’s posistion. I hadn’t taken time to inspect the damage. Right then I just didn’t want to know.
I finished my meal and decided to start back up the Kentucky River. I had to wait for a few minutes at Lock #1 for a boat coming downstream (my only wait at all the locks) and made it through Lock #3 before dark. The current was low and I decided to moor to a dead tree near the shore. An anchor off the stern kept me off the bank and I enjoyed an extremely quite night floating on the calm water.
The next morning I cleared Lock #4 with no problem and found myself back at the ramp where I have started the morning before. As I loaded Therapy on the trailer and pulled into the parking lot I noticed a man and wife team cleaning up their 24’ Tom Cat. When they saw Therapy the mistook her for a C-Dory which made me smile a little to myself since that was the look I was trying to capture when I built her (C-Dory and the Tom Cat are made by the same company). I explained the same to them and we chatted for a while about our boats and different boating areas. They were from The Lexington, KY area and cruised the Kentucky often. I ask about the upper Kentucky and they told me at least to be sure to see pools #6 and #7. They said they were well worth the drive.