What Is “Success?” (Day 62)


Today, we arrived at Green Turtle Bay (GTB) in Kentucky. It’s a “breathe” milestone among Loopers who start in the Great Lakes. It means you’re off the big rivers for awhile, having survived the big lakes plus about 600 miles of inland waterways, including many anchorages, river currents and eddies and sand bars, 11 big locks and countless passing barges…and, after all that, find yourself in the warm embrace of a protected marina, greeted by many shipmates who arrived earlier.

Loopers rave about GTB. In our first hours here, I see one reason why right away. It’s because you “survived” all that! It creates a kind of brother/sisterhood.

Some Loopers seem to barely survive it, though that’s putting it dramatically. I’ve collected several tales of mishaps that I’ll share in its own post later. Fortunately, we haven’t had any major mishaps. In our last port, we got a scrape by a passing boat. Today, we had our usual arguments — more like tiffs, I suppose — about the appropriate level of risk-taking. (At one point, we had just four feet of water under us, in the middle of the wide Ohio River and outside of the navigation channel. I thought that was avoidable, which it was. He thought it was a time-saver, which it also was.) Managing three electronic apps at once, along with two or three radios, got pretty intense at times. And it was another really hot day, making me a bit testy and sending me into the boat shower twice to cool off.

In spite of all that, it was a smooth 44-mile transit for us, in a leg that many Loopers dread because of the long haul against the current. In this leg, you go upstream against both the Ohio and the Cumberland. For some, this can take almost 12 hours. For us, it took just seven. (River levels rise and fall with rain or with dam releases, and the river level was low for us, meaning less water to push against … thus, a faster pace.)

So, we’re here! And “here” is pretty nice!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to catch parts of a 4-day on-line conference that is important to me. Tonight, I attended two hours of it. Last night, I tried to attend but failed.

It’s hard to interject “the dirt world” into “the water world” on a schedule. Even in port, distractions abound. But sometimes, I think, “failure” is acceptable. Sometimes, success is just completing the next step of one’s goal with as much grace and fortitude as you can muster at the time.

After all, the goal is not perfection. It’s learning. (Right? 😉 )

Photos and captions below.

Leaving the Ohio River to enter the Cumberland, our 5th river if you count the Missouri (which we barely touched.)
The Cumberland was small but busy. This was the first time a tow captain called us to plan the pass-by. This river was narrower than the Ohio, with a few tight turns, so we were grateful for that. I’m more confident on the radio, too.
The Cumberland brought us hills (sort of), the first we’ve seen since Michigan. We went up-stream on this river too, but the current was much less apparent than on the Ohio.
The industrial Kentucky waterfront.
Barkley Lock was our 11th. A fish weir at the lock trapped the invasive Asian Carp. They were jumping! And stinky! I was too busy to take pictures of this alarming phenomenon.

Green Turtle Bay Marina has 450 slips. We ended up at the sailboat dock because our reservation was lost. If you look closely, you can see Many Moons among the masts — the one with the red gas can on the swim platform.

2 thoughts on “What Is “Success?” (Day 62)

  1. Since you’re now in river country, any thoughts of a side trip East on the Cumberland to Nashville? Many loopers who are not rushing south find this a nice break.

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