It was a three-hour wait to get into the Barkley Lock, a fifty-seven foot lift between the Cumberland River and Lake Barkley, Kentucky, one of the many TVA Lakes.
The Barkley Lock and Dam named for Alben Barkley, Vice President of the United States in the Truman administration, created, along with hydro power, a one-hundred and thirty-four mile scenic lake with one-thousand miles of shore, a boater’s paradise.
Daylight was dwindling while twelve trawlers idled their engines waiting for a decree by the lockmaster to come on through. We are waiting for a tug with its huge barges filled with coal, sand and rocks to go through the lock.
Our marina and docktails are just a few feet on the other side of this lock. It seems like an eternity away. There was a suggestion of Locktails but denied by the law-abiding captains.
The bright day faded into darkness as we finally came through the lock and inched our way into the marina looking for our assigned slips. The marina is closed for the night and we have to find our own way.
Shine that flashlight I can’t see anything! It doesn’t light! It just needs a shake! Its not working! Bang it a little! Jiggle it! Here take this flashlight! The strobe like effect of the second flashlight shows we are on the wrong dock.
Out of the blackness comes a voice, over here, I am waving a light! Do you see me! In complete darkness and with the help of the owner of the marina, Denny, using the braille method, felt his way into the narrow covered slip.
Another crisis averted!