3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Friday, August 27, 2010

Keokut, IA to Hannibal, MO

Slip at Hannibal
Tow with high explosives

Keith checking out tow

Friday: We woke up this morning to our boat covered with thousands of little bugs that look like May Flies but they were less than half the size and they are light yellow in color. Above middle is a Tow with high explosives. If the Tow like this blows within 1/2 mile of you, it may take you with it.

We went straight through the first lock of the day which had a floating bollard and I used our homemade Bollard loop for the first time. It worked great. We went down 28'; the water was high as they usually go down 38'. We waited an hour and 15 minutes for the second lock, Keith checking on the Tow as we wait (above, right).
CO's comments: We stayed at Hannibal Boat Harbor, Hannibal, MO, tonight (pictured above, left). Don't believe all of what Quimby's says; look at the chart and if it says small boat harbor and you have a 36' or larger, by pass the marina. Most city and state marinas can not handle bigger boats. For 20' boats we rated it a 5 but anything bigger it is a 2. I have learned more about handling our boat in the last few weeks than I ever could have at our home port. I learned to slide it sideways and back into a dock in very small spaces. It's just like landing an airplane in a crosswind; crab into the wind 2' above the runway, straighten it out, lower the wing, and touchdown. The more I do this, the more fun it becomes.
Degrees Minutes Seconds
Lat. N39 42 62825
Long. W91 21 1396

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Burlington, IA to Keokut, IA; Yacht Club

Slip at Yacht Club
Thursday: Another beautiful day. We started with a walk along the river. We got going by 08:30 and the river was smooth and quiet. We did not have any locks today but we had 2 bridges so the day went fast. The Fort Madison bridge is a combination RR and Hwy bridge. The bridge tender held up a train and about 30 cars in each direction to let us go through. We didn't know they would do that; it was kinda cool.

We got to Keokuk, IA, before 13:00 so I got to take care of a few things. The bartender, Michael, at the yacht club let me use his car to go to Walmart to stock up on groceries. My first trip to Walmart since I left Red Wing. I also did 3 loads of wash. All in all it was a pretty quiet day.
CO's comments: As of today, I will be giving you our ending coordinates for the day so you can go on Google Earth to see where we are located. Today's coordinates are:
Degrees Minutes Seconds
N 40 25 2842
W 91 23 0512

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Muscatine, IA to Burlington, IA; Big Muddy's Restaurant

Wednesday: Got going pretty early and everything went right, went straight through all the locks, no bridges to open, and it was a beautiful day-75 degrees.

We are staying at the "Big Muddy Bar and Grill" dock for the night. If you eat at their restaurant you can spend the night free. We had an excellent dinner; what more can you ask for.

When we were pulling up to the dock we saw 2 men dressed in white taking pictures of our boat. At first we thought they were the cooks from the restaurant but then there were more-20 in all. They were from India and were foreign exchange students attending the University of Iowa and they spoke very little English. Their sponsor said that they never saw a boat like ours and they all wanted their pictures taken with us and the boat. We obliged. They all were dressed in white except for 1-he had a western shirt and a cowboy hat on!

We had time for a walk after dinner. It is fun seeing all these little river towns. A lot of old houses. We also got some pictures of some river houses on stilts; some were big and beautiful and some were mobile homes.

CO comments: It's all coming together; high winds, strong currents, locks and the like, the XO and I are working together smoothly. Our big round bumpers are working very well but look terrible. After a day of going through several locks any boat is going to be dirty. The best thing to do is to have a drink, a good meal, go to bed, and get up in the morning and do it all over again. Wait for a 3 day rest and then you can clean your boat. Bobbie still gets at least 12 TV stations at each stop.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Davenport, IA to Muscatine Municipal Boat Harbor, IA

Monday: Jen and Scott; sorry to hear about "Little Duke". We know how you feel.

We are starting our 2nd week on the river. Most of the weeds and junk in the river are behind us and it is much more relaxing to drive the boat. It was 72 and breezy this morning and 85, windy, hot and humid this afternoon. We went through Lock 15A with another boat that stayed at the same marina as we did. There was also a Tow in Lock 15 at the same time. When leaving the lock it was extremely difficult to control the boat because of the river current and the Tow current. The boat in front of us almost hit the lock wall. We waited 1 hour for Lock 16 and when we finally got inside we only went down 6 inches!

Today was a short day and we got to our marina by 12:45 but it took us about an hour to get tied up and settled in. When I called for reservation they asked me what size boat we had and I told her 38' with a dingy on the back and she said no problem. When we got here there were only 30' slips. So with the winds and the short dock it took a while to get settled; sure am glad I have my "landing loop".

Tuesday: We took today off. There is very high water in the Grafton and Alton, IL areas and we were told it should be down quit a bit by the weekend so we are taking our time.

We are staying the Muscatine Municipal Marina, Muscatine, IA. The dock is fairly new and was build using Federal Aid in Sport Fishing Restoration funds. That means that only transient boats and fishing vessels can use the facility. The poor locals have to use the old broken down slips.

We rated the marina a 4 due to the short dock and there is nothing here. No bathrooms or showers, and no grocery store or restaurant within walking distance.

CO's comments: Last year with a smaller boat we never had to worry about bridges. This year we have at least one or two bridge every day that need to be opened. That's one advantage of an Express; you don't have to worry about bridges.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Island City Harbor Marina, Sabula, to Davenport, IA

Lindsay Park Yacht Club, Davenport, IA
Beach at Prinston, IA-reminds us of Red Wing
Our slip at Davenport, IA

Sunday: It was foggy this morning so we didn't get going til 10:00. It was very hot and humid. When we got to the first lock they said it would be a 2 hour wait so we decided to use the little anchor to hold us so we could turn engines off and save fuel. We went to throw the anchor out and we realized we were too close to a green buoy; Keith was the thrower and I drove the boat. To make a long story short we lost the anchor but we did not hit the green buoy! No need for details but all is good.

There were a lot of boaters out today (85 degrees and humid) and the beaches were full with boats all over the place. What a difference from yesterday when it was just us and the Tows. This beach by Prinston, IA, reminded us of the Red Wing area. Lock 14 by Davenport, IA, has an Auxiliary Lock used on weekends. We had to take a side channel off the main one . It was full of boats anchored out, tubers, a boat selling beer, burgers, etc. We couldn't believe it, we had to drive around them to get to the lock; at first we thought we were in the wrong place. Oh well, another new experience. Note to self; never travel the river on hot, sunny, weekends.

We stayed at Lindsay Park Yacht Club tonight (pictures above). When we got to the gas dock we were greeted by a fellow "Looper" who is leaving later this week. He said a friend had called him from Sabula and said they had met someone doing the Loop in a Sea Ray and are headed his way. There were several other boaters here that saw our "Burgee" and wanted to talk about the loop.

The Lindsay Park Yacht Club is just across the river from Rock Island, IL, and the Rock Island Arsenal and they played Taps at 22:00 every night. It is a beautiful night and could be heard throughout the valley.

CO's comments: We rated LPYC a 9. Good restaurant and right at the dock. Nice, helpful employees; they even plugged in our electrical cords for us. You can also walk to the downtown area. To enter the marina you must go downstream and then come back upstream and enter harbor at a 45 degree angle.