Sail Away
Watts Bar 2000
Watts Bar 2003
Labor Day 2002
Shackleton Series
Idiot Tubers!

Return to Watts Bar Lake, 2003 Dark skies beckon.

Oh, we were in for a spanking. I hadn't seen a more forboding sky since watching The Perfect Storm. Of course, I'd just been watching it the night before, so perhaps that isn't saying much.
TAB We'd set out from Sale Creek Marina shortly after Noon on Friday, May 1, four sailing vessels under power, bound for Watts Bar Dam some 35 miles upriver. Leading the way, as always, was the indominable Banana Split, followed by Watts Bar veteran Enchantress, then Capt. Anthony in Endurance, and trailing in the distance, the always wary Possible Mallard.
TAB Is there no limit to our skills of seamanship and navigation? When all was said, and little done, nary a drop of rain had fallen on the fleet.

The Gate Nukes Enchantress Crew
Room for waiting. The lock at Watts Bar Dam lifts vessels over 50 feet, transforming a winding river into a vast, deep lake.

Watts Bar Resort Dock Laura and Mommy
Immediately above the dam, back in a pleasant little cove, we found the docks of Watts Bar Resort. Dockage, complete with electricity and rustic outhouses, was a whopping nine bucks a boat. The trip upstream, including the lock, had taken us just over seven hours.

It's too cold for swimming! Enchanted
A week before I'd put on three layers of neophrene to get in the water and clean the bottom of the boat. Funny, the kids jumped right into that water. After a brief attempt to sail, we motored through the "cut" towards Euchee Marina. Possible Mallard continued on Blue Springs Marina, just to see it, while the other three vessels ghosted into Euchee.

Euchee Rest Steaming
Dinner that evening at Euchee was fantastic, with Perry Como (actually, it might have been his cousin) singing and taking requests from Capt. Anthony. "Truck Driving Man" never sounded better.

Endurance sails Sailing!
After dinner, the wind was finally up so we sailed from Euchee most of the way back to the dam. Darkness was upon us so we pulled into the "Hidden Harbor" anchorage, where we were lulled to sleep by a crescent moon, twinkling stars, and the gentle sounds of anchors dragging across the hard bottom.

Leaving the Anchorage
Banana Split and Endurance were up to early to catch the morning wind.

Bluffs Flower girl
Enchantress Napping
We raced downstream under power for a few hours and were back at Sale Creek by late afternoon. The next week the river rose 17 feet and TVA was releasing 220,000 cubic feet of water per second. Timing is everything when you're planning a trip to Watts Bar.

Copyright © 2003 by Rodger Ling.
All rights reserved.