Clifton Marina to Zippy Branch Anchorage

October 12, 2016

Start: 6:45 AM

Finish: 6:43 PM

Hours: 11:58:00 (cat search and rescue added to the time)

Statute Miles: 58.00

Average Speed: 4.84 mph

Locks: 1

Pickwick Lake Dam: +55 feet

October 12th, 2016

We had a nice dinner at the marina restaurant the previous evening. Mostly local crowd but a few loopers. The marina is compact compared to what we are used to at Green Turtle Bay. Very quiet as we get ready to start the next leg of our journey south.

Just creeping out of the Clifton Marina looking downriver just before dawn.

We got off on an early start in what we were hoping would be a shorter run up the river. We hadn’t seen Delilah since we were eating breakfast and I went down below to find her hiding spot of the day. After 20 minutes of searching I had not found her and Moyia called a halt to our travels and turned to go back to the marina. Dennis and Wanda on Vela Narcosis followed us back and waited on the river. After walking the marina and levee several times, engaging other boaters to be on the watch, we finally decided that we should move on. It was a tough choice but the marina staff had promised to let us know when Delilah showed up.


We got back on the boat and began heading upstream once again. A few hours into the journey Moyia mentioned hearing scratching noises during breakfast near the VHF radio. I went down below and removed the wooden panel for the radar and found a cat. She had been able to get through a 4” hole from where I had removed the speaker for the old television. I had placed our network router over the whole temporarily while I decided how to more permanently cover the hole.

We continued to cruise on and slowly catching up to the other boats. We would be going into our first lock going into Pickwick Lake with a 55’ rise to get to lake level from the Tennessee. The landscape around the river was definitely starting to flatten out the further south we went with more homes and a few cows along the way.

Still on stilts.

Our bovine friends.

A few homes found some high ground.

Looked like it was purposely placed there. Fishing?

A bald eagle flew overhead.

As we approached Savannah, TN the homes got larger.

And more unique.

As we got into the city limits a levee had been built to keep the floodwaters out. Dewatering pumps placed high above the ground peeked over the levees.

We finally came to the Cherry Mansion where General Grant had spent time before the Battle of Shiloh.

Here’s the Wikipedia link for more information on Cherry Mansion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Mansion

In about an another hour we passed the Shiloh National Park. This is the drive in front of the cemetery.

We could see a few of the gravestones as well.

Didn't see the Looper burgee so these boats that passed us are probably just heading south for the winter.

We finally arrived in front of our first lock and almost caught up with the rest of our flotilla though they had gotten through just a bit earlier. Commercial traffic always has the priority over pleasure craft going through the locks. We basically just idled against the current with the prop turning a bit to keep us steady.

Finally we started pulling into the lock as the tug and his barges came out.

Pulling into Pickwick Lock going upstream.

Coming into the lock and finding a parking spot.

Once inside the lock we tied off to a floating bollard to keep the boat in one place while they let the water in from Pickwick Lake. We did find out that we should tie up on the starboard side as we have the potential to tap the dinghy outboard’s prop on the wall if not vigilant.

After dumping in the water to raise up 55’ feet, the gates begin to open. Can’t run out of the lock until the lockmaster toots his horn to give the all clear.

We exited the lock and entered Pickwick Lake. The time was getting late and we boogied across the lake as quickly as sailboats can boogie. The land around the lake was hilly with many expensive homes.

We soon came to where we turned off the main lake and were, technically speaking, on the Tenn-Tom waterway. We cruised by Grand Harbor marina during the sunset on the way to our anchorage in a cove called Zippy Branch. The rest of the flotilla stayed at the marina.


We shared Zippy Branch with one other boat anchored a few hundred feet away. Never heard a peep from them. The Time and Tide showing us on the chart plotter.

Moonrise over the trees in Zippy Branch Anchorage.