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Sale Creek Sail

Posted by [email protected] on March 4, 2019 at 11:35 PM

(We took this overnighter September 7-8, 2017.)

Forecast was right near perfect for an overnight trip: Thurs. afternoon northerly winds 5-7; Fri. all day northerly 9-10; temps mid-uppper 70's; clear skies. So I decided to do something a little different and my wife went along with it. I figured we could sail half the length of Chickamauga Lake if we shuttled the trailer.

I got the boat ready Thursday morning and went in to work for a few minutes around lunch time and ran a couple errands. Returned home and we headed around 2:30. Dropped the car off at the marina that is right beside the ramp at the Chickamauga dam. I called them and they said it would be fine to leave my boat there for the hour or so it would take to go back up the next day to get the tow vehicle and trailer. After dropping the car we headed up the lake to the Sale Creek Recreation area to rig and launch. The afternoon was gorgeous! No problems. Got underway around 4:20. But... there was no wind to speak of. It was supposed to fill in right around 4:00 so I figured maybe it would pick up in a few minutes. I didn't take a lot of gas with me since the forecast was so good. Well by the time I had I motored down the creek about a mile still no wind. There just before getting to the main channel we spotted a marina. Better get some gas. So we paid the extra steep price but it was worth the peace of mind. Turns out the afternoon wind never materialized. If anything it was blowing slightly out of the south. Wound up motoring all the way to the anchorage I had picked out on the Soddy Creek for overnighting. It was peaceful and we had a fairly decent night's rest.

Here's a selfie we took.

We awoke to a setting moon and mist covered cove.

The next morning the breeze started building early just as predicted. We sailed off anchor. The wind varied from light to 10-12 fairly steady with a few gusts to maybe 15.

Here's the early morning first mate with a smile on her face. That's always good.


The wind was just about straight down the lake. It turned out being easier to sail on a broad reach most of the day. I did practice sailing wing and wing and found that sailing a little "by the lee" helped to keep the genoa filled. Had some really good sailing. It was the first time I got to use the genoa for any real sailing. Always used the jib up until today. Off the wind it was perfect.

sailed by the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant.

Here's a link to a short video we took during a decent little puff:

https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipM30bIe3Td4SETUiCTZFRKgca9juq_z0VpT-nP2i_nb3XH100Rxa4vhBbYzKV19wg/photo/AF1QipMyiCghScMdclusrM_F5aGe96NQdq5wmMwOEDn1?key=RC1FQk13VHAwWlZNLVJiSEs0bXJldENYVGpDYmlR

We arrived at the marina around 3:30, left the boat there, went and retrieved the tow vehicle and trailer, and returned an hour later. I let my wife go home to get supper ready (it's not delivery - it's DiGiorno) while I retrieved the boat.

All in all we motored or sailed about 30 miles as the crow flies, but I'm guessing you could add 3 or more miles for tacking. In 8 hours of travel that averages out to about 4 mph.

A nice two days!

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