We squeeze in one final day of summer on the Kentucky Lake, find a hidden water bed on board our boat and then get rudely pushed into fall.

Start: Sugar Bay, Kentucky Lake, mm 35, 0800
End: Paris Landing State Park Marina/Resort, 1308
Total Distance: 27.4 nm
Time: 5:08
Average Speed: 5.5 kts
Number of locks: 0

Start: Paris Landing State Park Marina/Resort, 0800
End: Pebble Isle Marina, mm94, 1308
Total Distance: 27.6 nm
Time: 5:01
Average Speed: 5.5 kts
Number of locks: 0

In 24 hours we went from hanging out in our boat in our swimsuits to long pants, sweatshirts and hats. Summer, all two days of it, was awesome. But it is done. Summer is dead, long live fall.

The forecast for yesterday was for thunderstorms all day, but after a cloudy morning with a bit of rain, the clouds went away home and we had a fantastic afternoon. Consequently, our day on Sugar Bay was much similar to the day prior. School for AJ broken up by swimming, hiking and laying around the boat enjoying the 80 degree day. Lucky ran so hard we thought he was going to have a heart attack. Sid even got into the swing of things making a guest appearance on the deck before retreating to the darkness of the guest cabin.

The forecast for Wednesday was for clouds in morning, sunny in afternoon, high in low 70s. Reality? Clouds all damn day. Winds that started at 0120 and I know this because I heard it whipping around our boat, kicking up waves, and in general just being annoying enough to keep me awake. Only me. Jan snored on in bliss.

I was awake because for the first time in quite some time we had drama on the boat. We noticed, as we were washing the underside of the boat in the nice weather of summer just the day before, that we seemed to be sitting very low in the water on our starboard side. It seemed to be better when we lowered the dinghy (motor on the dinghy hangs on that side), but we decided we probably needed to check our bilge to make sure we didn’t have any water. Which we promptly forgot to do until it was 9pm. Lucky’s pillow is on top of the bilge on the starboard side and he appeared to be laying on a waterbed. I pulled up the board and found we had a small pool on the boat. Or a large hot tub. Either way, not good. The entire compartment was filled with water.

Lucky’s hot tub (after we emptied it)

We had water problems early in the trip and figured out that the air conditioner hose to the through hull has a small leak at the ’T’ where there is a winterization fitting. I even bought some plumbers tape back in Canada to address the leak. But I hadn’t done it because my father has given me a touch of ADD, because I procrastinate with the best of them, AND we hadn’t run the AC until Illinois. Where we ran it. A lot. And apparently a couple of drops here an there can lead, over time, to a very large amount of water.

Queue low level panic and flurry of activity. Manual bilge pump worked like a champ and 45 minutes later no more water. But that put the stress levels back up to something above normal. Thus the crappy night of sleep wondering if we were going to sink.

I finally got out of bed at 6 something and took Lucky to shore. There was nothing nice about the day. Low, gray, heavy clouds. Humidity so thick you could cut it. Cold. No sitting around while Lucky plays–onto shore and berate the dog until he goes to the bathroom, then back on the boat. We got through the tasks that need to be done to leave our anchorage and at 8am we are on our way.

We head down the lake 25ish miles to the Paris Landing State Park Marina and Resort. There isn’t a lot to say about the day. It is cold, it is windy and we have most of the trip to ourselves. We see a couple of fishing craft1 and one freighter, but that is it. It turns out to be a good day to move; if we were on the boat at anchorage, we would just be staring at each other; at least we were making progress down the river.

Our original plan was to anchor out at another bay and then get to Paris Landing but two things made us adjust the schedule. First was the cold weather. Second was a holiday party in November. Which seems ridiculously far off, but the party is the Donnelly Family Holiday Gathering (all caps) and it is in Minnesota. Stillwater. Grandpa Chuck’s place. And we want to make it. So we had to actually sit down and look at our schedule (which we didn’t really have until yesterday), look at where we could catch a flight (Mobile, AL) and then figure out the days between where we are now and where we need to be. And work in some fluff and weather days. We consulted our resident loop guru (Don), got the places they stayed on the way down, bounced it off where we were going and came up with a plan. Bottom line (at the end of a long paragraph) was that we would not anchor out and save a day AND it looks like we will be in Minnesota on Veteran’s Day weekend! Note to self–bring cold weather clothes.

So by 1330 we were pulling into the marina and we had a long dock all to ourselves. Jan and AJ nailed the landing–they lassoed the cleats both bow and stern first time! We were putting our things away when a jet ski came up behind us. The pilot was on a couple hundred mile trip; he had gone from Mobile, AL and was headed north to someplace along the Ohio river. And then back to someplace in Tennessee where he was from. He was camping on the banks of the lakes/rivers. That dude is crazy.

Rest of the day was spent doing school work, checking obsessively on the bilge (dry), walking around the park and catching up on ‘The Voice.’

Tomorrow the forecast is for more cold and clouds. Sounds like another good day for travel.

If sucky weather is a good travel day, then today was a GREAT travel day! Another cloudy, cold, windy day. We were originally going to anchor out, but we looked at where we were going, saw a small marina that was $1/foot (in my budget), called them up and they had space! We were in.

So out we left and just after lunch we were throwing our lines at Billy, the harbor master for Pebble Island Marina. Billy is a big. dude. And fantastic. He got us tied up, got us a free courtesy car so we could hit Sammy Wal Mart for some food. And he told us that there were free cinnamon rolls in the morning. Free and sugar product? We are in.

By the time we got done provisioning it was late afternoon. Lucky and I went for a run in the state park next to the marina which was an old civil war battlefield. The unique thing about this battlefield was there was a battle between cavalry (confederate) and naval ships (union) in which the ships were captured. Only time that happened. Lucky didn’t care–he was too busy chasing the rats with tails.

Back to the marina for dinner and family game night. Then Lucky and I head out for his nightly constitutional. And we see a no kidding Armadillo. Like in the wild. I spent years in Texas and Louisiana and am very familiar with the little armored tanks, but those were all on the road. Who knew that they actually lived in the wild?IMG_8309

1There were a bunch of fishing boats. Rain does nothing to those dudes. Hard core!