Day 5


We woke up to a bright day in Green Turtle Bay, one of the most well known stops on the Great Loop. You might notice the 2 large things tied off Whisky Business. These are big round fenders used for going through locks. We put T-shirts over them as the lock walls are really nasty and this protects them.

While I am waiting for the rest of my crew to stir this morning I will share a few tidbits of info with you. If you are wondering what the “mv” means in the title of this blog, it is Motor Vessel as opposed to “sv” which denotes Sailing Vessel. I have had a few people ask me about the peculiar spelling of “Whisky” in the boats name, referring to the lack of an “e” as in whiskey. Couple of hundred years ago when the Irish immigrants came to these shores they included the e in the second syllable. The Scots however, eschewed the e hence all bottles of Scotch have no e in their spelling. There are 2 bourbons that are at the top of Debbie’s and my hit parade and they do not have the e, Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky and Old Forester Bourbon Whisky. Exception to that rule is Rip Van Winkle 12 year, but you know how hard that is to get. When I make one of my fabulous manhattans with any of the aforementioned bottles of “dirty water” Deb thinks I look just like George Clooney.


The above photos are of the wet bar on the aft deck and the saloon (pronounced “salon”) table on Whisky Business. The unusual finish is explained in the bottom photo. Probably the coolest feature of the boat.


Another cool feature is the artistic rendering of the Motor Vessel Whisky Business on a large bottle of Woodford Reserve. Dave Shaw who actually designed many of the Jefferson’s drew this for me. Probably displayed in the Louvre someday.


The largest expense Debbie and I faced was the replacement of all of the navigation equipment on board. One of the nav features we added was AIS or Automatic Identification System. We installed a new state of the art radar from Garmin but radar cannot “see” around bends in the river. That is of particular concern on a small, winding river like the Cumberland. Since AIS works off the VHF radio waves it does see around the bends in the river. Not only that it also identifies the name of the vessel and what type of vessel it is. Important to know that the bogey that appears on the chartplotter screen is 30 feet long or 120 feet long and 60 feet wide. Yesterday, we were approaching a bend in the Cumberland when we got a call from a large tow warning us that we would meet in the bend. After completing that turn there were 2 barges ahead passing one another. This rather expensive piece of equipment paid for itself!

DUE TO THE LACK OF WIFI ALONG THE RIVER/S and my particular computer skillset following are Days 3 and 4

Day 3

Today began with taking on 125 gallons of water and 90 gallons of diesel fuel. We topped off the tanks with 170 gallons of diesel just prior to our departure from Louisville. Thirsty bastards those Cummins engines!  It is now 11:15am and we pulled away from the dock at 9:30. Started the day with a light drizzle, stopped raining after a few minutes so we cleared the water off the isinglass and rolled up the windows. No sooner had we got the water off the windows that it began to rain again. All part of boating.

The following information might read like a Tom Clancy novel as it is a little technical. Whisky Business has 2 HUGE batteries that start the engines and a bank of 5 Group 31 batteries used by the inverter. These batteries are about 50% larger than your auto battery. The inverter batteries power the lights, electronics and all other manner of small electrical draws as we cruise since we don’t run the generator unless we want to run the air conditioning. Kentuckiana’s Keith Sheffel installed a couple of really neat devices called ACR’s when we replaced all of the navigation equipment. These gizmos channel electricity from the alternators to the inverter bank of batteries after they charge the start batteries. This gives us a fully loaded battery bank when we shut down at the end of the day in case we anchor for the night. While we are running during the day we are generating more electricity than we use. So today we performed a grand experiment that, unfortunately failed. My friend Dave Shaw had a portable 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner that he wasn’t using so he donated it to the “cause”.  With all of this electrical power being produced by the engine alternators the thought was we could run this portable AC unit on the flybridge on hot days while underway. Shout out to Dave Hobbs who made a plate that fit in a window which vented the hot air produced by the AC unit out of the flybridge. Worked fabulously, thanks Dave! Darn thing pulled 95 amps and was too much for the alternators to keep up with. However, it will work splendidly when we are on shore power or running the genset.

Got to send out another shout out to one of my mentors, RJ at Kentuckiana Yacht Services. We pulled the screen off the windshield today and noticed the trim was coming off. After re-installing the windows on that big ass Sea Ray in KYS’ shop RJ taught me how to replace the trim on the windows. Mine now look great, thanks RJ!

Found this great anchorage on Active Captain behind Hurricane Island near Cave In Rock, Illinois. Got the grill out and Dave and I prepared some beautiful filet’s and a gorgeous New York Strip. Been saving a 2008 Premiere Napa Valley Ardente Cab for such an occasion. Beautiful evening to sleep with the windows open tonight. Preparations for fabulous Manhattans to begin immediately. See ya tomorrow.

OK, so we are now anchored out, had a splendid dinner with a great bottle of wine. Now injesting Manhattans as big as our heads.

Day 4

Headed downriver with a stop in Owensboro for a lunch of Bar B Q at the Old Hickory Inn. Sort of a pain in the butt to stop and tie this 40,000 lb beast up but this place was worth the effort. Proceeded downriver and spent the night at the fuel dock at Inland Marina in Evansville, Indiana. No real services here but fuel and water.

I probably should have titled this blog “Water, Mud and Trees” cuz that is about all you see. Throw in a tow array (barges) every now and then and you have a pretty good picture of this journey so far.

Today we left the big and muddy Ohio River and entered the Cumberland River. With the current at our back we had been running around 12 miles an hour. When we entered the Cumberland we started running upstream against the current.


Felt like we hit the brakes! Running at the same engine speed and our headway was almost cut in half. At 12 mph things are a little slow, at 7 mph, zzzzzzzzzzz.

Just installed Captain Dave at the helm so I can update this. At this speed your mind wanders a bit. I was just thinking of this buddy of mine in Burnt Store Marina where Debbie and I have a home. Fella’s name is Tim Dam and he is one funny guy.


Tim and his bride Karen live in San Francisco and winter in Burnt Store Marina down the street from us. Prior to his retirement he was a partner in a sausage producing company. Among the many pork products they produced they made a small sausage they referred to as “Bobbitts”. The large 3 pound sausage they referred (in-house only) as the “Home Wrecker”. Can’t help thinking of this story every time I think of this guy. Damn near soil myself every time. If the term Bobbitts doesn’t ring a bell, google Lorena Bobbitt.

Finally getting the hang of inserting photo’s. Notice the bouys or “cans” are of differing shapes and sizes. These things mark the channel of deepest water in a waterway. It can be an issue making out the color at a distance but you will notice the green has a flat top where the red can has a pointed top. Rarely does one appear directly across the channel from the other. When traveling up river (against the current) the red cans should be on your starboard (right) side and the greens will be on your Port (left) side. There is a rule that all mariners follow, “Red Right Return”. When returning from the sea (traveling upriver) the reds should always be on your right. When traveling downriver the reds will be on your left. Got it?

Take a look at the above photos. The photo on the left (Port!) is a shot of the chartplotter. On the bottom of the screen you see the little boat icon that is Whisky Business. A really cool feature on board is the wind indicator. The circle around the boat is a compass rose and the tan and blue arrows indicate the wind direction. The tan arrow is the winds True direction. Since the boat is moving the blue arrow indicates the apparent direction of the wind.

Remember the electronic gizmo AIS I mentioned earlier? Here is the really cool info it gives us. In the middle of the chartplotter there is a red triangle with the name HB Stewart. That is the name of the boat in front of us. The radar can’t see him because there are 2 bends in the river blocking each others view. When I “touch” that red icon the information in the right photo comes up on my chartplotter. The big red Dangerous tends to catch your eye. It tells us she is 150 feet long and 30 feet wide. It is moving at “0” mph. He was waiting to go through a lock. Although he wasn’t moving, I was, which meant we were closing on one another. If I were stationary and he was moving away, he would have appeared as a green icon.

Day 6


We finally arrived in Nashville at Rock Harbor Marina where WB will sit for 2 weeks while we return to Louisville. Got in around 7 pm. This is a photo of WB taken from the restaurant on the other side of the marina. Owners pride, she sure is pretty!

Day 7

Rented a car today (actually a crew cab truck, such a deal) to return to Louisville and headed to downtown Nashville. Middle of the day and that town was rocking!

My sister Pat and her husband Steve came by the marina to see WB and get a tour. My niece Kaelin along with her husband Matt and their 2 daughters Tate and Ainsley came also. The young ladies were absolutely delightful and were quite interested in the boat.  They were a joy to have on board. Their parents and grandparents, not so much…

August 26, 2018

There are a lot of boxes to check when provisioning for a trip such as this. Many times we are at anchor which is like camping in the middle of nowhere. There are many spares on board heaviest of which are the spare propellers.

We had all 4 props reconditioned before we left and they came back from the prop shop shiny and beautiful. Heck, I didn’t want to put ’em in the damn river! They are 2 feet across and weigh about a brazillion  pounds each. We store them under the chairs on the aft deck.

Debbie and Sue did a splendid job provisioning for meals and beverages but Deb told me I was in charge of procuring enough Champagne for the journey. Taittinger is our mostest, favoritest, tastiest producer of Bubbles.


Also brought along some stunning bottles of bourbon. Prior to the historic resurgence of bourbon, Maker’s Mark was aged between 7 and 8 years. The bottle in this image was bottled in 1996. There are a lot of these bottles in the aftermarket place and you can get them for around $50 for a liter size bottle. The extinct bottles that bracket the Maker’s are barrel picks from Party Mart’s Bourbon Board of Directors. Carla Carlton, Mike Veach and Susan Reigler went to distilleries and selected the tastiest bottles of “dirty water” I have ever poured down my neck. Old Forester Single Barrel and Woodford Reserve Double Oak Single Barrel were 2 of my favorite picks. These published bourbon book authors were responsible for selecting all of the single barrel picks when Debbie and I were stilled involved in Party Mart. All of the bottles from barrels they selected had their names on them. Debbie and I were that proud of their sensory abilities. If you should ever find one of their picks on the secondary market, BUY IT!!!

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