So much for the all-nighter. We traveled all night from Nickajack Lake through Chattanooga all the way to Watts Bar Lock only to be told by the lock guy that it would be at least 3 hours before we could lock through. At least. Probably more like 5 hours.
I know I'm new to this locking business but I have to say as a citizen this is absolutely outrageous. I called the lock master on the phone to plead our case. He says he's locking through a ton of barges later this morning. I told him all he had to do was shoot us through before all this madness started. He's says regulations won't allow him to do that. Well, the frickin' regulations need to be changed. We have lost at least a day due to waiting on barges at locks. An hour here, three hours there, four hours there. And now we've traveled all night for absolutely nothing! We would've been much better off to stay at a marina overnight and leave this morning. There's no way we make Knoxville by nightfall so we'll have to stop again before we get there and stay overnight.
Oh, and it's been an hour and a half since we first talked to the lock guy and nothing has happened. Nothing has locked through. Here we sit with the nearest marina on our side 3 hours back the way we came. All we can do is anchor and wait. Our tax dollars at work.