Muscle Shoals revisited

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FoilDodo
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Muscle Shoals revisited

It's been a while since I've windsurfed the TN river and even longer since I've been on the section by Florence/Muscle Shoals - maybe 23 yrs? Made it back this past Saturday meeting up with a now retired windsurfer, Dave Gassaway. Things have changed - for one thing, the place everyone launched from, The Point, on the south side of the river has been sold off and is now no longer available as a launch. It's now pricey homes.

Dave met me at what was Lock Six before the that part of the river was dammed in 1924. Still known as that, there's a small public park. Dave gave me some gear to pass along to newbie windsurfers and I took the opportunity to check things out. A mild southerly was blowing. Not quite whitecaps but I was by the water, I had my small foil board and 5.4 in the van so figured I'd need to try it or I'd worry I'd have missed a good opportunity. Since Dave had been off the water for about 15 years owing to bad shoulders, I wanted to show him how cool foiling was.

The river is wide there, at least a mile or more almost a mile and a half; and very straight and open in both directions. The breeze was onshore. The bottom is very gravely almost rocky so I made sure to walk out a bit further than usual since grounding the foil would be dire. The smallish launch area collects logs on the shore and it didn't help that a big catfish decided to die and float up there as well.

But I did get out and got some flights. Considering there was hardly a whitecap and I was on a 5.4, it was much more than I could have hoped for.

When I got home, I decided to check out the depth charts to get an idea of where I had sailed. I was shocked that I had sailed probably just inches off the bottom about 150 yds out! Despite the water being so wide, open and deep in the middle, I had just skirted disaster.

Lock Six Day Use Area Chart

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