Photos and Description of Events in 2009

 Old Hickory Lock-thru Boat Operator Course Fall Boat Cruise Nashville Boat Show Change of Watch Commander's Message Boat Tennessee Watts Bar Invitational Boat Tennessee

(Click on any thumbnail picture to see a larger image)

November 22nd, 2009
Locking Seminar and Demonstration at Old Hickory

On Sunday afternoon 22 November, eleven members and guests of Music City Power Squadron had a delicious Cajun lunch at Steamboat Bill's in Hendersonville. A number of our members are on track to get their Inland Waters Boat Operators Certification with a locking endorsement, which requires both classroom and on-water knowledge of locking. Others merely wanted the knowledge and experience. During lunch, Mike Majka led us in the workshop showing how locks operate, and the giving us the necessary safety and communications procedures for locking through a dam. 

Prior to lunch, Ray Alley and Mike Majka had launched their boats at the Rockland ramp and docked them at Creekwood Marina. After our seminar, we walked across the road to the dock and boarded Nothing to Fear and Reel Time II for a quick cruise to Old Hickory Lock and Dam. The air temperature was in the mid 50's, with overcast skies and very little wind. Fred Burr has had extensive experience using this lock, and he handled communication with the lockmaster over the VHF radio; we had to wait at the barge dolphins as the lock was filled. There was no commercial traffic to worry about, so we entered the 400' x 84' lock chamber from the upstream side and looped lines around the floating bollards in the lock wall. With engines off, we marveled at the silence of the experience, as over 15 million gallons of water were emptied to lower us the 60' from Old Hickory Lake to the level of the Cumberland River above Opryland. As we started engines, cast off lines and motored downstream, Fred radioed the lockmaster that we would be returning for a reverse trip in a half hour or so, and he told Fred in jest that we might have to compete for space with the two upbound tows he was expecting soon. 

Cruising down the narrow channel that is the Cumberland between the dam and downtown Nashville, we noted several fishermen along its banks and one camper perched on a ledge of the bluff. We proceeded to within sight of the Old Hickory Boulevard bridge, where we turned around and retraced our track to the lock. Seventeen minutes after the downstream gates were closed and the chamber began to be filled, the upstream doors opened and the lockmaster came out of his office to receive our thanks and wave us on a safe journey back upstream. 

We cruised back to the Rockland Ramp where the boats were pulled back up onto Mike's and Ray's trailers as a few drops of drizzle came down, and we shuttled everyone else back to Steamboat Bill's to retrieve their cars. All agreed it was a successful and enjoyable afternoon. Thanks to Mike and Ray for the use of their boats, and to Mike for leading the workshop.

Cdr Tom Hudson, AP

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November 10th, 2009

On Saturday 07 November, four members of Music City Power Squadron traveled to Chattanooga to complete the Basic Powerboat Handling onwater training as part of their path to become Advanced Certifiers for the Boat Operator's Certification Program of United States Power Squadrons. P/C Mike Majka, Lt/C Ray Alley and Lt/C Terry Fitzpatrick have now passed this milestone and are well on their way to becoming certified and rated as Advanced Certifiers so that they can in turn certify others within our Squadron. 

With the Boat Operator's Certification Program, USPS will certify USPS members at various levels of recreational boating proficiency. We expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has asked congress to authorize the Transportation Secretary to establish requirements for standards of proficiency for recreational boaters. We intend to have USPS certification accepted as the above proof and be accepted as the national certificate for the USA. 

Regarding international recognition, we plan to have certain USPS certifications meet or exceed the requirements of UN Resolution 40, International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft. Under this resolution, boaters holding national certificates will be able to obtain international certification, much like licensed drivers can obtain international drivers licenses. 

USPS currently plans three levels of Boat Operator Certification: 

  • Inland Navigator
  • Coastal Navigator
  • Offshore Navigator
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November 1st, 2009

Thirteen lucky members of Music City Power Squadron gathered at the Riverview Restaurant in Ashland City on Sunday afternoon 01 November for lunch and a cruise to view the fall foliage. We were lucky because after a very damp autumn, the day was perfect, 59 and sunny, with a light breeze out of the north. Liz and Ray Alley came by river from Nashville, pleased that their Trophy is running sweetly with its new engine; the rest of us drove, enjoying the scenery along the roadside. The Riverview ("The only thing we overlook is the river), well known for its catfish and fried chicken, provided us with a delightful lunch prior to boarding.

Captain Jim Steele was our host aboard Blue Heron, his 40' pontoon excursion vessel. Steele is a USCG licensed captain and native of the Nashville area, who once aspired to sail blue waters but now prefers our rivers and lakes to the coast and salt water. Soon after we cast off from the dock at the Riverview, Jim played a narrated history of the area over his stereo; when Lili asked if the narrator with the lovely voice was someone he knew, he casually replied, "Not really, I've been married to her for nine years.

We cruised downstream under the Highway 49 bridge, past Harpeth Shoals Marina, the Bluff Creek inlet, Harpeth Island, the mouth of Sycamore Creek, and turned into the Harpeth River. Several miles upstream past Dozier's Catfish Restaurant and a well-tended farm with an onshore boathouse , having passed three canoes going the other direction, we came to high limestone bluffs eroded into incredible sculpted shapes over the eons. Atop the highest bluff was a tree where a number of turkey vultures roosted, while several others wheeled in the sky above. Those of us who were wearing caps told those without to keep a sharp lookout for falling soft objects. In addition to these reminders of Halloween the night before, we saw numerous herons and other waterfowl, and one well-fed groundhog scurrying along the riverbank.

All too soon, it was time to head back to the Riverview dock, with Captain Steele all the while dodging the drift from recent rains. After the obligatory group photo shoot and goodbyes, we left in out separate cars, and the Alleys in their boat, headed home. As a full moon rose in the east, we listened on our radios to the Titans playing their best game of the season so far, victors over the Jaguars.

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July 3rd, 2009

Boat Tennessee has been in full swing since February 21st. Photos are of Mike Majka's Boat Tennessee class at Cedar Creek Yacht Club on June 20th, 2009.

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July 1, 2009

The Watts Bar Invitational, traditionally an event hosted by Knoxville Power Squadron and also attended by the Chattanooga Squadron, this year was opened up as an inter-Squadron event, with all District 17 Squadrons invited for the last weekend in June. Gone this year was the traditional water gun battle, to be replaced by the Atlanta Challenge Cardboard Boat Race; Atlanta decided to move their event to the Tennessee River because of doubts that Lake Lanier would have enough water this year.

The Terrace View Marina Resort near Spring City was the site; with its sixteen units of one to four bedrooms, it was large enough to accommodate those who did not come by water. About fifty souls had arrived by late afternoon Friday. District Commander Mike Scher hosted a BYOB cocktail party aboard his Sea-Duction; dinner that evening was a seafood buffet across the lake at Euchee Marina's restaurant; transportation for all was provided by Mike aboard Sea-Duction, after a count of life preservers.

Saturday morning the D17 Bridge served breakfast on the dock alongside Sea-Duction. Liz and Ray Alley arrived from Nashville in time for waffles, pancakes, eggs, cheese grits, biscuits, bacon and country ham; they brought with them our entry for the cardboard boat race. Later Saturday morning were the rubber dinghy races, with the power sources blindfolded and the navigator giving verbal directions. Lots of futile arm-waving directions ("No, that way!) led to many laughs.

Saturday lunch was aboard members' boats. When we checked in, those of us who came by land were assigned a "buddy boat; this was to be our lunch assignment. Lili and I joined Cheryl and Cdr. Hank Davis of the Knoxville Squadron. What a great way to really get to know a couple from another Squadron better!

Saturday mid-afternoon was the heralded Atlanta Challenge Cardboard Boat Race(s): Norm Oien representing the Chattanooga Squadron aboard Go for Baroque, a Hickman reverse vee hull; his false start necessitated a second race. Knoxville's In the Drink designed by Chuck Smith, was a short deep-vee canoe with foil-shaped outriggers; Fiji was built by Jim Jordan for the Atlanta squadron, a sturdy pointy-ended boat about the size of a large coffin, which was paddled by Cdr Carol Jordan in Race 1 and by our own Ray Alley in Race 2; and Box Top II, also known as The Flying Purple Paper Eater, paddled by Ray Alley and McLean Hudson in Race 1 and by McLean and Tom Hudson in Race 2 to a comfortable first-place finish. Immediately following the Challenge, the Atlanta Squadron hosted margaritas on the hillside overlooking the dock.

Prior to Saturday's dinner, we had drinks and the presentation of awards aboard the upper deck of Sea-Duction; in the Atlanta Challenge, Norm Oien won the Titanic Award, Ray Alley won third place for Atlanta as well as the Persistence Award, Knoxville won second as well as the Best Overall Design, and The Flying Purple Paper Eater was named Champion and will have its name engraved on the paddle trophy for Nashville.

Saturday night we had dinner at the Terrace View's restaurant. There was dancing by the pool after dinner, of course with the requisite magnificent sunset. Early Sunday morning Lili and I went for a quiet canoe cruise prior to helping Ray load our cardboard boat in the bed of his truck, and driving home.

by Tom Hudson, AP

Photos by Harold and Elizabeth DeHart of the Huntsville Power Squadron.

Click on the slide show below for a larger, more full featured ...almost typed figured, version. When the new window appears, click on "Full screen" (upper left hand corner) for an automated slide shoe.


 
March 23rd, 2009

Boat Tennessee has been in full swing since February 21st Smyrna class, March 7th Academy Sporting Goods Rivergate, March 14th Academy Sporting Goods Cool Springs, March 21st Erwin Marine Sales Hendersonville... More to come!

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February 7, 2009
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District 17,
Administrative Officer, 
Jeff Wise presents
the Commander's flag
to Cmdr. Tom Hudson

Thank you, Bruce MacDonald, for your service as Commander of Music City Power Squadron over the last twelve months. Any trepidation I have in taking over from you is tempered by the knowledge that I'll have you around to consult. And thank you, Ken Holbert, our resident weather expert, for this lovely day today. You know when I joined this Squadron some five years ago, native Nashvillians were outnumbered by Canadians among its membership. I am only the second Nashville-born Commander, but I look forward to relying on you as my unofficial ambassadors to the many folks who have moved here and now live here by choice.

A warning on your new Commander “ your Nominating Committee first asked me to serve as Assistant Admin Officer four years ago, and I accepted that position. Since then I've served two years as the Squadron's Admin Officer, and one year as Executive Officer. The Nominating Committee has now nominated, and you as the membership of this Squadron have elected me, to be your Squadron Commander for the coming year.

Here's the warning “ I am an engineer by training and profession, and I tend to see most issues in life through that lens. Keep in mind that only two Presidents of the United States have had an engineering background, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter, and history hasn't treated either very kindly. I can also read a balance sheet about as well as I can a force vector diagram, but the human relations viewpoints are sometimes not the dominant voices in my head. So I will need to rely on you, all of you, to alert me to views that I have perhaps not heard, or if heard, I haven't realized their importance. Please don't hesitate to call me or send me an email “ sorry, but I'm not yet on Facebook, so that avenue of communication won't work.

In the coming year we face two sets of challenges, both internal to the organization and external in the national economy.

First the economy “ here in Nashville we are fortunate that the recession is not so bad as the picture painted by the national media. Perhaps because the local newspapers, radio and television stations are predominantly owned by non-local media giants, we don't get a true picture of our situation from them. The facts are that the housing market here, though down, is nowhere near as bad as that of the nation as a whole, and our unemployment rate here is lower than the rest of the country; 93.4% of Nashvillians still have jobs. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal showed only four other metropolitan areas whose economic health, as measured by unemployment rate and by housing sales prices and inventory, are better off than we are “ Dallas, Denver, Houston and Raleigh. Yet for all that, there are stresses in our local economy. While the proposed stimulus bill just passed by the Senate may cushion the fall of the economy, it is also likely to postpone its eventual recovery. There are silver linings among the dark clouds “ anyone buying a boat will find lower prices now, and fuel prices this summer will certainly be dramatically lower than last summer.

Internally, within the United States Power Squadrons, membership is falling, and there is resistance to its bureaucracy from the grassroots. We are among the minority of Squadrons holding our own in membership level. There are a few dynamic, growing Squadrons that are doing things right. One of them is Atlanta within our own District 17. Our task as a Bridge this year is to learn from them and emulate their successes.

Despite problems at the National level, the mission of the Power Squadrons is still relevant in 2009. Recreational boaters still need to be educated, and nobody does it better than us. Yes we will be teaching a number of courses to the general public, both BoatSmart and Boat Tennessee, and the various short seminars as well. And we'll conduct vessel safety checks, and host our booth at the Boat Show next January, thereby getting the word out.

But we are a club, we are Nashville's Boating Club, and we can't let the boating safety part of our mission overshadow that fact. Many of us have taken the courses we sought when we first joined, and we're sticking around for the fun part. To that end, we've scheduled an ambitious set of events and on-water activities. [link to schedule here] I would like to see all of us pick an event, take ownership of it, and make it a success. And I ask if you have your boat at a raft-up, please invite another member along as crew. Note that we now are covered under the National's insurance policy for any Squadron-sanctioned event.

We will continue to have a number of interesting speakers for our monthly General Membership Meetings. Our next one is Monday 09 March, tentatively set for the Caney Fork Fish Camp restaurant across from Opryland Hotel. I will be reading from the command diary of a newly appointed commanding officer in the backwaters of the South Pacific during WW2. For April, Christy Martin, publisher of Life on the Water magazine will share her thoughts on boating our local waters. If any of you have an idea for a good program, please let one of us on the Bridge know. And we will have a number of informal get-togethers where we can shoot the breeze; we're calling it the X Dock. If you'd like to host a session, either at your home on at a local watering hole, please speak up.

So in closing, Thank you for your support, and let's have fun this year.

 

February 7, 2009
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The 2009 Bridge

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The 2008 education team.
Liz Stengacu-Nelson and
Robby Gilreath

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B.V. Lawson,
Ken Holbert
and Dorman Burtch

 

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Dorman Burtch,
Marshall & Edie Oathout,
Dorman Burtch
and B.V. Lawson

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Nancy paris, Charlotte Nesbitt,
Tom Hudson, Mike Majka,
Bill paris and Bruce MacDonald


 

 

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Ray & Liz Alley and
Jane MacDonald 



 

 

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Shelley McBurney,
Linda Burr and
Rebecca Majka

 

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Elizabeth Stengacu-Nelson
and past Commander
Bruce McDonald cut the
"official" squadron cake.

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District 17,
Administrative Officer, 
Jeff Wise speaks
on the district's role

 

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Cmdr. Tom Hudson
delivers the Commander's
message


 

January 7-11, 2009
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Elizabeth Stengacu-Nelson
hosts the
squadron's booth

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Robby Gilreath and 
Trudy Piskor of Ingram Barge

Nashville Boating

Upcoming Events and Educational Opportunities:

See Events Calendar for details for these events and more.

8 May - TWRA Presentation

20 May - Vessel Safety Inspection and Cook Out

3 June - Vessel Safety Inspection at Cedar Creek Yacht Club

10 June - Raft Up - Spencer Creek

21 August - Solar Eclipse Raft Up

 

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - No Dates at this time

 

SAFETY TIP ON ELECTRICAL SHOCK DROWNING (ESD) BY DIY AC SAFETY TEST FOR BOAT AND DOCK OWNERS.  All boat and dock owners must check your AC electrical system for stray current that could cause electrical shock and potential death to swimmers.  It could save a life.

 

2016 Bridge Leadership

Commander -

Cdr Ray Alley, AP-IN

Squadron Education Officer -

Lt/C John Miller, AP-IN

Administrative Officer -

Secretary -

Lt/C Barry Cleveland, AP

Treasurer -

Lt/C Bobby Naylor, AP

Assistant Secretary for I.T. -

Vacant

Flag Lieutentant -

 

Member-at-Large -

1/Lt Jane Malatak, P

P/C Bruce MacDonald, AP

1/Lt Jack Rubey, S

Rules Committee Chair -

P/C Ken Holbert, AP

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