Day 30 - Demopolis

The past few days haven’t been too crazy. I've been cutting my way through Alabama on my way to Daphne, where we're going to have a bourbon tasting a marina there (more on that soon). I've been dodging some more storms here and there. No doubt, there have been plenty as I've moved further south.

I made a pit stop in Sumter Landing, which is about 30 nautical miles past Pirate's Cove. Now I'm in Demopolis, Alabama, waiting on a few packages of supplies for the last few legs down the river. Hard to believe that I've been doing this for a month already

 So. Many. Locks. Down. South.

So. Many. Locks. Down. South.

Day 27 – Pirates’ Cove

With most of the traffic gone from the 4th, it was time to get a move on again. I headed out from Hairston in search of the thing we need most—gas. With over 100 nautical miles to the next gas stop, I needed to make sure that he boat was all filled up. Always be prepared!

My quest for gas led me to Pirate's Cove Marina, where I actually ended up staying for a few days again, because of some seriously choppy water. The fish fry we had completely made up for the storms. Can't go wrong with some deep fried green tomatoes!

While staying in Pirate's Cove, I also brushed up on my nautical history by visiting the Tom Bevel Lock and Dam Museum. We saw The Montgomery, an old steam paddle boat that was used for dredging and cleaning debris from the river. It's an awesome piece of the river's history.

 The Montgomery

The Montgomery

 Found @ Pirate's Cove!

Found @ Pirate's Cove!

Day 26 - Hairston Bend

After leaving Columbus, I didnt have too far to go to my next stop, an anchorage at Hairston Bend. There was so much river traffic, though, from the 4th of July that it took a good little while to weave through it all. Plenty of fireworks have been rocking the bourbon, while people have been celebrating our Independence Day. Perhaps this bourbon will have some nice smoky notes to it!

Outside of Hairston Bend, there's a little island that people like to go play horse shoes at and grill out. It was a great place to celebrate, while waiting out another big storm. Luckily, this time it was at night, and I didn’t have to drive through it.

Day 23 - Columbus

After leaving Bay Springs, my journey led me to Columbus, where I spent a couple of days getting supplies and waiting out some storms. My supply list when it comes to food is pretty basic: water, Starkist salmon and tuna, mustard, and blackberry jam. You know, the usual stuff.

Columbus was especially cool though, because I participated in a “Found Friday” with Tile. Tile makes these tiny, little, key-chain-sized trackers that wirelessly keep track of just about anything. They're super helpful both on the boat, and in real life. Anyway, here's the link to the Found Friday segment where we talk about the Journey, and much, much more.

Columbus was a blast, I got to catch up with one of my 6th grade teachers, there were great fireworks for the 4th, and I even got to go check out Tennessee Williams’ birthplace.


Day 21 - Bay Springs

I was sad to leave Pickwick early in the morning, but I knew some storms were coming. I was hoping I could beat them, but,sadly, I wasn’t that lucky. You win some, you lose some. The bourbon surely benefited from the weather, though. The barrels got a bit of rocking in, and the rain cooled them down nicely.

Fortunately, I found Bay Springs Marina, where I fueled up, and meta few of the locals. They showed me all around their place, and we took some pictures of the boat around the marina. I also had some of the best red beans and rice I’ve ever had. Thanks, Bay Springs!

Day 19/20 - Pickwick

The past couple of days have been a little bit of a grind on the Tennessee River. It can't always be exciting, but when I got to Pickwick, I saw that the boredom was about to get balanced out. When I arrived, I met one of Trey's old fraternity brothers, and was immediately welcomed into the family. He had a bunch of friends come in from out of town to see the barrelsThey basically threw a party for the barrels (and the captain!). It is awesome to meet brand new people and immediately feel like you've been welcomed into something bigger than yourself. I couldn't have had a better night. Gotta love Pickwick!

Day 16 - Clifton Marina

It wasn't as hot as the 100 degree day, but the heat has still been brutal. Luckily, I completed most of today’s passage before it got too hot. This meant that I had extra time to hang out with all of the great people in the marina. Several people were excited to see the barrels coming through town. It's really neat to see the bourbon and boating cultures coming together. Clifton was a nice little place, and the locals, especially Gene, were gems! Amazing place, amazing people, amazing journey.

Day 13/14 - Kentucky Lake/Eagles Nest Marina

It was really windy while boating across Kentucky Lake, so I only made it about halfway through, before anchoring down for the evening.  The next day, I finally got to a fantastic place called Eagles Nest Marina.To the surprise of no one, I ate and had a great time with some awesome people. I think I’m beginning to sense a trend!

 Anchored down at Eagles Nest.

Anchored down at Eagles Nest.

Day 11 - Lake Bartley/Green Turtle Bay

It wasn’t too far until reached Green Turtle Bay—“GTB”—where we held a tasting of Jefferson's bourbons. So many great people came out. The event was a joy, but I think everyone is much more excited to be able to taste the bourbon in the barrels from the boat when they eventually get bottled. It’s amazing to think people will have a chance to taste a part of history, and part of this amazing journey, once this liquid goes from barrel to bottle.

I was going to leave the next day, when I found out that my navigation lights went out. While they may not have had any navigation lights 150 years ago, I think I might need them for this trip. In any event, the delay to get those fixed served as a fine excuse for some family to come visit.My mom and sister came down, and it’s always a pleasure to see them. I think they may even be proud of what I'm doing, finally!

 New GTB flag!

New GTB flag!

Day 9/10 - Golconda

After leaving Toon Town (a shame, a damn shame), I set out for Golconda. The water was easy that day, but it was incredibly hot, probably the hottest day so far. It hit a miserable 100 degrees. The bourbon will always remember today!

I had to stay as hydrated as possible, drinking water almost constantly. Finally, through the intense heat, I made it to Golconda. It’s crazy how hospitable all these marinas have been to me. We all grilled out, fried fish, the whole shebang. The marina had some beautiful boats to see, and I even got a tour of the town from the water.

Day 7/8 - Henderson/Toon Town

Serious storming made me pull over into Henderson, Indiana, for a bit. The boat was really rocking, and the flavors of the barrel were definitely imparted heavily on the bourbon. While waiting out the storm, I grabbed a bite to eat at the marina.

Finally, the storm let up, and I got back on my way. I made it to the Union Town locks, and saw a crowd of boats gathered.Passage that day was impossible. I started heading back up the river, looking for a place to stop, when I got waived down by some people on a nearby dock. Someone yelled out, “Are you the bourbon guy? You come over here! My friends took pics of you in Evansville!”

These fine folks were the Toon Town Crew, and it was a good thing they were so kind. I was delayed at the locks yet again the next day.Divers were working on the locks,and everyone was stuck in“river purgatory.” Luckily, I still had the fine folks at Toon Town to hang out with. I helped them out around the marina, cooked, ate, listened to music, and had a killer campfire.

Day 6 - New Plaza Marina

Sunday was a pretty easy day, for both the trip, and the barrels. Even though the bourbon is always moving, the water has been very calm. I made it to a place called New Plaza Marina, where I was able to treat the trip like a vacation for a little while. Relaxing, grilling out, what more could a captain want after all day on the water? Okay, well, we can’t forget hanging out with a ton of cool and interesting people, and of course taking pictures with the barrels. Thank you New Plaza!

Day 5 - Evansville

As hard as it was, I left Owensboro today, and made it all the way down the river to Evansville. The trip was about 40 nm, and I passed by an awesome warship. Shortly after arriving in Evansville, I found an awesome little spot called Inland Marina, which had a cool restaurant, and even cooler owners (thanks Katie and Scott!). I hung out with them in the evening, and also many of the other patrons. Thanks to everyone who helped show me why Inland Marina is so amazing!

Day 4 - Owensboro

I left Rocky Point Marina and headed out towards Owensboro. I was shooting to arrive at “Friday After Five,” the weekly riverside summer event hosted by the city. I arrived early, and found out that the Owensboro Enquirer had already run an awesome article on the journey. I already had a crowd of bourbon fans and instant friends—I could get used to this!

Thirty-to-forty boats were parked alongside of the Friday After Five Festivities on the beautiful “O-boro” riverfront. It's a great event, and I was honored to bring an extra element to it.

It’s always nice to see my family as well. My aunt and grandparents came out to wish me luck on the rest of the journey. They even brought me an extra Go-Pro battery, so I can livestream the trip more often.

What a great day, after traveling about 30 nautical miles. Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.

Pics by Becca Dossett

Day 3 - Rocky Point Marina

June 9

Today we covered 40 nautical miles at a speed of 4.9 kts. The water was once again like glass, and a calm wind gave the bourbon a nice break after a choppy first day. I traveled alongside a barge for a while during the day. Eventually, I heard over the radio, “Okay, we can't figure it out...what in the hell do you have on the back of that boat!?”. This led to some great banter with the captain of the barge, who happily proclaimed that he needed to give up this barge business. Not a bad idea, because bourbon boating is where it's at...

I pulled into Rocky Point Marina where some locals invited me out to an amazing dinner. I caught them up with all the stories from the journey. The food couldn’t have been better. Oysters, smoked chicken wings, mac and cheese, and great conversation. The hospitality of the people of Perry County, Indiana, was phenomenal, and I hope to return one day. Off to Owensboro, where I'll get to pull in to town right in time for Friday's After Five on Owensboro's beautiful riverfront!

Day 2

June 8

 The water was like glass all day, and the wind nearly non-existent. Simply put, it was gorgeous. The bees seem to know what’s going on now...they can smell the angel's share when the wind is calm, and so can I. No stings yet; these have been peaceful, bourbon loving bees. They just seem really curious as to what’s inside these giant oak barrels.

There's also been a gaggle of geese that paddled by, and some fawns drinking water on the Kentucky shore. The highlight though, was early in the morning. As the fog cleared, I noticed a majestic bird in the corner of my eye. As it got closer, it was a bald eagle! A dream come true! The gorgeous raptor flew right in front of the boat as it looked for its next meal in the river. I followed it as closely as possible, until it flew off to the tree line on the Kentucky shore. What a way to start the day. A presidential bird, for a presidential bourbon!

Day 1.5 - McAlpine Locks

June 7

We have liftoff! The barrels and I left port in Louisville and covered 35 nautical miles that day. The river was rough, no doubt imparting a lot of flavor into the bourbon as the boat rocked back and forth, just like 150 years ago. We had an average speed of 4.8 knots. It’s been interesting seeing all of the different types of bridges, old and new alike, spanning the Ohio, and I also saw my first riverboat casino. The highlight of the day, though, was going through the McAlpine locks. Traveling 50 or 60 feet downwards in a lock is both a site and feeling to behold. Not a bad first day!

Day 1 - Louisville

Today we launched Jefferson's Journey! We left Louisville, and I (Ted, your captain!) couldn't be more excited! It's such an honor to be a part of creating one of the rarest (and coolest) bourbon's in the world!

This trip will be jam packed with cool people, great locations, and abundant adventure. Stay tuned to this page to keep up with the journey! I can't wait, and I hope you feel the same.

Bon Voyage!