Beautiful and relatively uneventful trip up the Tennessee (since the Tennessee flows north, that means we’re generally headed south).  Getting closer and closer to the big Looper Rendevous at Joe Wheeler State Park in Alabama.

Took dinner over to the Copes boat anchored at Cuba Landing (strange name for a remote fishing camp in Tennessee) to spend more time with these delightful people and so John could play cards with Nathaniel.

Then on to the postcard-perfect tiny southern town of Clifton, where all the Loopers gathered for a wonderful gumbo dinner cooked by the marina manager Sonja.  We  were  watching boats come in the tiny channel at Clifton, when a skinny, unfamiliar sailboat came putting in.  “John, I could swear the hailing port on that boat is Hamburg, Germany.”

It was indeed and on board was journalist Hinnerk Weiler, who has been one group behind us and is very well known to this year’s Loopers.  Memsahib went all the way from Connecticut to New York to start the Loop.  Hinnerk started from Germany, sailed North Atlantic to Nova Scotia, then south to the Bahamas to start his Loop in Florida.  In two hours with Hinnerk eating gumbo, I’m sure John learned more than he ever will in a class at Miami University of Ohio.

Then with weather threatening and the current treating us kindly, we came into Pickwick Lake and caught up with Copesetic and had Nathaniel over for cards in yet another calm, tree-lined anchorage.

While researching the last day’s run, I found this reference to a place we passed near Shiloh Battefield, which does a good job of contrasting our run up the river in yachts to a run up the river 150 years ago by the Union gunboat Lexington.  (From the New York Times, March 7, 1862):

“Eight miles above Savannah we came to a little town called Pittsburgh, a miserable looking little hamlet, as they nearly all are in this region. There is an island here in the river, called Diamond Island, and just as we came out of the channel at its head, bang! went a rebel cannon, and a 24-pound shot came plunging toward us from the rebel battery situated less than half a mile in our advance. It was followed by two other shots from smaller guns, before our big guns responded. We steamed right on toward them, and opened at about six hundred yards, with shell. Their battery consisted of one 24-pounder rifled gun, and three 12-pounder howitzers. The 24-pounder fired only six shots, when it was silenced, either by our fire or from some other cause. The three smaller guns blazed away for about twenty minutes, when they also ceased firing, not a single one of their shots from the beginning having touched either of our boats. Our gunboats kept up their fire for half an hour longer, shelling the woods in all directions.

When the firing commenced, a small body of rebel infantry was also discovered, who undertook to put in practice the plan which some Memphis newpaper editors proposed, viz.: To conceal themselves on the bank and pick off the pilots of our gunboats. They soon found they might as well attempt to swallow an oyster without opening the shell. A few discharges of grape sent them helter skelter over the brow of the hill.”

No one took a shot at the pilots of the Memsahib, but we watched the woods a bit carefully in this spot.

Memsahib steaming up the Tennessee

Limestone formations add interest to the view.

Medieval Italian palazzo is certainly the architectural style I would choose for a Tennessee River vacation house

Clifton, Tn

Hamburg to Clifton, TN is a long way to come for gumbo in a 31-footer.

Gumbo-fest in Clifton. John’s presence lowers the average age by a decade.

Where the Yanks and Rebs shot it out at Diamond Island

Copesetic at White Sulpher Creek

Fall is here –the difference is it was 83 degrees today!