Friday, July 13, 2007

A RAINY DAY ON THE LAKE

It is an overcast morning on Tellico Lake with a very gentle rain constantly falling. The grey sky holds promise of heavier rain later on in the morning. I decided to install the new cabin enclosure on the boat this morning. I accomplished this task while still in the parking lot at the boat ramp area. It took awhile to figure it all out again, but I achieved a perfect assembly. The enclosure is not a thing to trifle with in a "foul weather" emergency. It is best to attach all the sides and roll them up and fasten them to the top so they are ready for action in case of storm conditions. When needed, the fastex buckles can be depressed and each side will be free to fall down to its bottom snap and strap attachment.
Douglas is accompanying me today again. It is like old times at TWRA to just have him with me. I don't have to watch him as close as I do when four dogs are along. Douglas is silent. And he's maturing. He does not bark, but moves quietly in all things he does. He has been in the water under the boat launch pier, fishing, ever since we arrived an hour ago. He walks into one to three feet of water up near the bank and lunges at the Bluegills and Sunfish that habitually swim in that shallow water. He will never catch one I'm sure. But he is happy trying. His head is cocked back and his muzzle is pointed down against his chest as his keen eyes search the sub surface for moving shadows to lunge at. He never grows tired of this exercise. He is relentless and humerus.
I have always wanted to live on a house boat. It has been a dream of mine since moving to Tennessee. The dream is within my grasp but there is only one thing stopping me. Douglas. I can not figure out a way to have him live on a house boat and leave him for two to three days at a time. The situation now is that he has an enormous fenced in yard area for his exercise and protection. The warehouse room where I exist has a dog door built into the main "walk in" door for him to enter and exit at his leisure. It is cool in the room on hot days and I free feed him and provide water for him inside. In short; he comes and goes as he wishes unimpeded. I can actually take up to three day motorcycle trips and he is perfectly safe and comfortable until my return. A house boat provides no way for him to touch dry land without human intervention. That means I must return to the house boat immediately after work every single day to take him out. Motorcycle trips would be out of the question without having someone drop in to help him. I even thought of designing a barge with sand in the bottom that would attach to the rear of the house boat for him. I think that would be frowned upon by the marina owners. If I can not think of an answer to this puzzle, there will not be a house boat in my future. Douglas is like my own child and his best interest is Paramount. I love him and will sacrifice everything for him. It's amazing how a bond that tight can occur. He and I have weathered many storms together in the few years since I have migrated here. He is my friend.
I notice that he has developed a fishing system of sorts. He swims out to deeper water now and moves horizontally to the shore and gradually moves in close to the boat ramp. It is indeed hard to believe, but he is herding the fish to the most shallow part of the boat ramp where he can actually stand. Then he lunges at them, plunging his head entirely under water in an attempt to grab a bluegill. Maybe I should explain parallax to him. Well, maybe not. It has been an hour and a half since he started his fishing routine and not a single catch has been made. He's having a lot of fun and that is all I care about. Maybe he should stay with chasing ducks across the lake. Maybe not. He fares no better with ducks. Three fishermen in a little green boat just drifted by, pointing and laughing, at the furry, golden fisherman under the pier catching Bluegills; or rather trying to catch them.
I had expected some heavy rain so I left the top up. I have wanted to try it out ever since I got it made and it works fine.
This is sort of my office on the lake. I have been tied off here at the boat launch for over an hour and am just enjoying the sound of rain on the canvas roof and writing thoughts down on a legal pad. Douglas, of course, is swimming and chasing fish.
He is such a sweet, sweet guy! I adore him so much! He stayed here and fished for over an hour and a half.
I wonder if he is formulating a plan or just looking for a opportunity to strike?
All he can see is their shadows and quick movements. But he doesn't miss a thing. I am very surprised he learned to fish. He would be a danger to the fish in a narrow creek, but here in this lake he is harmless.
It's called the ol sneak up on em trick
The rain is gentle for a change and feels good. The new enclosure is great on this boat. I have the right side rolled up and out of the way here. Just a great thing! Can't wait for a big storm to really try it out. We are coming up on Tellico Blockhouse now.
Mimosa trees line the shore down by the old fort properties.
Tellico Blockhouse sits on a little peninsula of land that juts out into the lake. The TVA folks provided a nice boat dock for lake travellers to tie off to and enjoy the scenery at the blockhouse site.
This is the Tellico Blockhouse and Factory located directly across a small bay from Fort Loudoun State Park and fort.
Count the stars