We are still in the same spot, comfortably docked on the Chattanooga waterfront. We've been here long enough that we now know most of the professional skippers who operate here; many of them work several jobs, and the same guy who drives the little pedal-powered tour boat across the dock from us also skippers the giant three-story riverboat that runs the dinner cruises. The head skipper of the high-speed cat has invited us to come on one of the cruises, which we look forward to when Louise is feeling a bit better.
One of many spectacular sunsets we've enjoyed in Chattanooga.
Speaking of which, we had a bit of a setback shortly after my last post. Early on, the therapist put some athletic tape across her shoulders, to aid in getting them into the correct alignment. She had that tape on for several days before it became uncomfortable and we removed it. It came off cleanly across her back, but the parts extending over the shoulders took several layers of epithelium with it, and she ended up with nasty abrasion-like wounds on both shoulders. She did not miss any therapy, but it made it even harder for her to sleep comfortably and she could not really leave the boat for anything else for nearly a week.
Fortunately that is behind us now and we've been able to at least get off the boat for dinner and a few other things. The therapy is moving along but is a very slow process, and we'll be right here where we are for the foreseeable future.
Another gorgeous sunset.
Last week was our twelfth "nomadiversary" -- we moved out of our last fixed dwelling in August of 2004. We celebrated by splurging on a nice dinner at Hennen's Steakhouse, just a block away from the dock. It occurred to me that a dozen years is very nearly a quarter of my life, and the cocktail-napkin math says that in another two and a half years I will, in fact, have spent more than a quarter of my life as a nomad. For Louise that will happen just a little more than a year from now.
As long as we're in town for a few weeks, I scheduled some doctor appointments of my own, getting my first "annual" physical in nearly four years, with a full blood workup (all normal). I also booked eye exams for both of us, and it was good to finally have a doctor unaffiliated with the group that did my surgery give me a clean bill of ocular health.
Things are also moving along on the project front. I've added a dye charge to the pilothouse air conditioner to find that pesky leak, and the UV flashlight arrives today. I just finished adding a much-needed vacuum gauge to the generator fuel supply line and replaced the primary filter. And I've been working on cleaning up and upgrading various computer systems around the boat.
Vacuum gauge on the generator. This gauge was previously on the main engine system, replaced long ago by a model with a drag needle.
Right now we are watching the track of Hurricane Hermine, which is taking dead aim at St. Marks, Florida. If you've been following along, you'll know we rode out Tropical Storm Colin there in June. That storm, small in comparison to Hermine, had many of the docks and half the town underwater; I'm guessing a few boats will break loose in this storm. We've already reached out to the friends we made there in town. While I am on the subject, it has been incredibly difficult for us to watch, without being able to respond ourselves, the multiple high-level disaster relief operations ongoing right now. Many of our Red Cross friends are in Louisiana responding to flooding, and some are responding to wildfires in California as well as local flooding in Indiana. Hermine will, thus, strain the resources to the limit. If we are here for several more weeks I might see about deploying myself, and we've already made a donation.
Otherwise, over the next week or two I expect to knock out a few more projects and work on revising our route planning for the additional stay here. I expect we'll be arriving in New Orleans now well after Thanksgiving, and the cascading effects of the delay mean different river levels and currents. It's almost certain at this point that we will head in a downstream direction exclusively once we reach the Ohio. I will update our plans here once we have some sense of when we might be able to leave.
One more, for good measure.