We decided to stay put for the day to explore the anchorage and the surrounding area. The skies were cloudy and we were expecting more rain, so we spent the morning inside relaxing and doing a few chores. In the afternoon, we stepped out on the beach to go for a walk around the cove and to let Lucy run for a bit. Gale was interested in checking out a couple of places so after our walk, we left Lucy home and took the dinghy to the Visitors’ Center at Whitten Lock. As we were looking for the dock access, we spotted a catamaran anchored in the cove near the lock and a couple in a dinghy who seemed to be trying to determine where to tie up, too. We pulled up next to their dinghy and met Paul and Sue of Twice ‘S Nice, the 33-foot Prout catamaran we had just seen. They were from Ontario and had been traveling with another sailboat, Periwinkle; however, they had experienced some problems with their drive leg and separated from their traveling companions for the time being. In fact, it turned out they had been looking at our boat at the Grand Harbor marina, because our Gemini has the same drive leg as their Prout.
After a brief visit, we drove around to the front of the Visitors’ Center and found the dock. Paul and Sue had tied up at the back of the building and came in from that way. We spent about an hour in the center and obtained some interesting information about the Tenn-Tom Waterway. For example, we learned that Bay Springs Lake covers 6,700 acres of land and has 133 miles of shoreline. Compare that to Clear Lake, Iowa, which covers 3,600 acres of land and has about 15 or 20 miles of shoreline!
Before leaving the Visitors’ Center we made a plan to meet Paul and Sue tomorrow morning at the lock’s staging area just before 8 am. We knew there were several locks within a few miles of each other and it would be nice to travel with another boat for awhile. After parting ways with Paul and Sue for the day, we took the dinghy over to Bay Springs Marina. Talk about small and quiet! We walked up to the marina office to see what they had on offer and found that we had pretty much seen it all already. The people were friendly and the rates were inexpensive.
It was getting late, so we headed back to Blue Heron to have some supper and make our preparations for taking off in the morning.