Well it took a while, but summer has finally arrived! It hit at 1400 CDT at Sugar bay on the Kentucky Lake. 80+ degree day. Clear fresh water. We went hiking, swimming, paddle boarding. Heaven.

Start:Green Turtle Bay Marina, Grand Rivers, KY, 0900  1030
End: Sugar Bay, Kentucky Lake, mm 35, 12:51
Total Distance: 11.9 nm
Time: 2:18
Average Speed: 5.2 kts
Number of locks: None!!

Yes. I know that summer was in fact a couple of months ago. But in June/July it didn’t SEEM like summer. There was rain. There was cold weather. There was cold water!

And when we woke this morning it didn’t seem all summery either. We were at Green Turtle Bay on the sailboat dock, T Head. When I awoke, it was cloudy and fog was starting to roll in. I grabbed Lucky and we took off on a run. And Lucky almost died.

Not because I killed him, but because he about, inadvertently, committed suicide. Or rather a squirrel (a very smart, evil squirrel) tried to lead Lucky to his death. We had made a habit of getting to a big field and I’d let Lucky off leash to terrorize the rats with fuzzy tails. One, I assume, was trying to get even. After I put him back on leash we headed up a long hill to a bridge over some rail road tracks. As we started across the bridge, a squirrel popped up on top of the stone railing, flicked his tail and dove off the bridge. Lucky, not realizing it was a FREAKING 20+ FOOT DROP, jumped on the wall and tried to bound after the squirrel. Who was now on a branch of a tree, 5 feet below the wall laughing his squirrel laugh and baiting Lucky to jump after him. Holy jeezus. I am pulling with all my might to keep lucky on the good side of the wall and he is pulling to GET THE SQUIRREL! IT IS RIGHT THERE! I’M GOING TO GET THE SQUIRREL!!!!!

The scene of the almost crime

Lucky, fortunately, comes down on the road side (hard), takes another jump on the wall to give me yet another heart attack and finally we are on our way into town.

Run done, shower and the fog is slowly lifting. We prep the boat for departure and during the checks, I notice a very strong smell from the port side engine compartment. It smells like bad gas after someone has eaten Aunt Connie’s potato salad at the Memorial Day picnic that was left in the sun just an hour too long. Sulfur. The starting battery is under there and I put my hand on the battery and it is smoking hot. Something ain’t right. We aren’t going anywhere.

Of course, the only battery I didn’t change on the boat was the starting battery. Naturally. I pulled off the wires and the negative were hot. So I cleaned the connections and headed to the ship’s store to see if they had any batteries in stock. They did! So I grabbed one and Lucky and I walked back to the boat. Until a very large, hairy man riding in a golf cart offered us a ride. Initially I demurred, saying I had a dog. “Hell…he is the reason I’m offering you the ride. I like dogs!” So in we go.

Back to the boat, drop in the battery, cross fingers it isn’t a bigger problem and we are off. An hour later than planned.

We putter out into Barkley lake, take a right, go a mile through a channel, take a left and we are on Kentucky Lake. A reservoir made from the dam placed in the Tennessee river. It is gorgeous. Sun is burning through, we have a wide expanse of lake in front of us.

Our destination is Sugar Bay. Only 12 miles down the lake. There are any number of anchorages on the east side of the lake all of which are in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area; this was recommended by some of the sailors on the dock at Green Turtle Bay. Two fast moving loopers beat us to the bay and anchored in the main part; we went into a smaller bay and had it all to ourselves. We took the dog to shore, found a hiking trail and headed through the woods on a hike. Back to the boat for some swimming in the clean water. And paddle boarding. And cleaning the underside of the boat on which a half inch of green fuzz has grown. It was a spectacular summers day and about time!! Took us until October in Kentucky to get a piece of summer that we could actually enjoy! The heat on the Illinois/Mississippi didn’t count–we couldn’t jump in the water without catching some sort of disease!

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And this is where we are spending the next two days. Forecast for Tuesday is for rain/thunderstorms all day, so we will sit out the bad weather on the boat. We have a great view of all sorts of wildlife, including a coyote who sauntered along the shore. Lucky about turned himself inside out wanting to go play with his new friend. And Jan and I both wondered if Sid wanted to go make a new friend on shore. But only briefly.

While I didn’t make a separate entry for Green Turtle Bay marina, where we spent two days, it is worth mentioning both the marina and the town of Grand Rivers, KY. The marina is the first step for gas after Hoppies (at least until Paducah works through their fuel issues), and it is a nice place to stay–the people are all friendly and bend over backwards to make you feel welcome and help with whatever it is you need (like a battery, for instance). They have a golf cart shuttle which will run you into town and Norman, the shuttle driver, will provide you with a running tour of the community.

Grand Rivers, KY is a tiny town (population 382) situated between the two dams that form Barkley and Kentucky Lakes. Someone named Patti apparently owns everything in town, her name is everywhere. We went to eat at Patti’s restaurant; it is famous for its 2 inch thick pork chops. Having spend 50+ years chowing on parts of the pig, this was one of the best places EVER! And the desserts were huge!

And we have progressed from the land of the wave to the land of wave and ‘honey.’ Everyone waves. And we were referred to as ‘honey’ no less than 50 times.