Bye Bye Barkley

Bye Bye Barkley

25-OCT-2020 Sunday – Green Turtle Bay, Grand Rivers KY (~Cumberland River/Lake Barkley mile 372) to Panther Bay, Dover TN (~TR mile 60.2)     35.3 nautical miles (40.6 statute miles)

36°31’38.6″N 88°00’26.1″W
36.527400, -88.007240
Elevation: 352 feet
Total Elevation Change: 0 feet

Locks (0)
States (2):  Kentucky, Tennessee


July 12, 2020 fire in the early hours of morning destroyed Dock 11 at Green Turtle Bay Marina. We had to check it out before we left. More than 10 boats were destroyed by the fire. Fire fighters from two counties and boat owners tried to save boats on the dock by untying them and pushing them out, away from the dock. The energy of the fire sucked some of the boats back into the fire. Wind blew other others towards and hitting boats on other docks.

Along the Way

Bye Bye to Lake Barley.

One of those kind of days

I had really hoped to go down the Lake Kentucky / Tennessee River in sunny weather so we could spend some time exploring the fingers and bays. It was cold and rainy on the last Loop. It’s too hard to stay around and wait when it’s so cold and won’t be sunny for about a week.

The Quarry (~TR mile 30.1)

Limestone from this quarry was used to construct the Kentucky Dam in the 1930’s. When the Kentucky Lake is at it’s summer pool levels of 359 feet, a part of the quarry is 120 feet deep.

Now days, the Quarry is party central. Thirty foot cliff jumping is all the rage.

The City of Atlantis (~TR mile 31)

Actually, it’s Birmingham, KY. The village of Birmingham was flooded when the Kentucky Dam was constructed. All that remains of the village are the foundations.

Not only are the submerged buildings and streets marked on the chart the submerged bridges, old creeks and the original Tennessee River bed are too. The channel pretty much follows the original Tennessee River bed through the Kentucky Lake.

The guy in the pontoon is fishing amongst the houses. Good place to fish. Fish like to hang out in and around stuff.

Fingers and Bays

We’ve missed good weather on both Loops ☹ This is such a beautiful area on the water. It’s full of color and there are wonderful little anchorages to explore.

This tow boat and barges looks out of place on the lake.

Cemetery Island (~TR mile 48)

Newburg Cemetery can be seen when the Kentucky Lake is very low or at it’s winter pool level which is 5 feet below the summer pool level. It’s a thin strip of land with one and a half grave markers visible. The upright gravestone belongs to John Y. Whaley, who lived from October 7, 1862 to June 10, 1907. All 23 of the 28 graves at Newburg Cemetery were relocated before Kentucky Lake was filled. Five remain.

Small islands in the distance at ~TR mile 55. The southern end of the lake, narrows and has lots of small islands.

Good Night

Tonight’s anchorage is barely inside the northern tip of Tennessee. We’d planned to drop the dingy and play around but rain settled in first.


In 1938, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction of Kentucky Dam in the Tennessee River.  On August 30, 1944, the dam officially opened.  The surface area of Kentucky Lake is 250.48 square miles with 2,064 miles of shoreline. It stretches 184 miles from Kentucky Dam at Gilbertsville, KY to Pickwick Dam in Tennessee.  Construction costs were $118 million, or more than $1.7 billion in today’s dollars.

Party On Kentucky!

The classic song “Happy Birthday to You” was created by two sisters from Louisville in 1893, Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill.

Mother’s Day can trace its origins to Henderson. Back in the 1880s, a teacher named Mary Wilson is credited for recognizing her mother on that day. Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1916.

Dumb Laws

Kentucky has a reputation of being a little off, a little redneck, and a little southern.

  • As a woman, you cannot be in a bathing suit on the highway unless you are either escorted by at least two police officers, armed with a club, or either lighter than 90s pounds or more than 200 pounds.
  • In Owensboro, you cannot receive anal sex. Receive only???
  • In Owensboro, A woman may not buy a hat without her husband’s permission. I guess it needs to look good on him too.
  • Ducklings cannot be dyed blue and legally sold unless that are six or more for sale at once.
  • If you display, handle, or use any kind of reptile in connections with any religious services or gatherings, you shall be fined not more than $50.00 nor more than $100.00.
  • Superintendent of sanitation “shall determine whether a person is small, medium, or large.”
  • In Franklin County, trading horses after dark is illegal. You have to wait until sunrise.

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