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

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 4 & 5, 2011; Thursday and Friday

Thursday, Kenosha, WI to Hammond, IN:  After sitting for 5 days in Kenosha we finally left early this morning at 06:00.  Lake Michigan was pretty rough with 4 foot large rollers hitting us on our port side and we were prepared for a long day.  Luckily about 09:00 the lake calmed down to 2 to 3 foot rollers but  we were still glad to get to our marina.  That evening we went out to the casino for dinner and had a very good buffet.  We had a good day; good food, reasonable fuel price, and less than 1/2 the price of dockage of marina's in the Chicago area.

N41 41.783
W87 30.362

CO's comments:  If you have never been to Chicago and you would like to see it by all means stop there but you are going to pay the State of Illinois and Chicago's City taxes.  The taxes and the price of fuel and dockage are higher in Chicago than they were in New York City.  As we were going by Miegs Field; which use to be an excellent airport but Mayor Daley destroyed it in the middle of the night, a tear came to my eye.  I really liked to fly in and out of there.

Hammond, IN, marina on 8-4-2011
Hazy Chicago from the bay on 8-4-2011

Friday, Hammond, IN, to Joliet, IL:  We started our last phase of our journey today; Illinois Waterway.  It was a very hot and humid day; by 07:00 it was 84 degrees and by 09:00 it was up to 94 degrees all ready.  We had tons of bridges to go under today and early on there was a bridge every block.  We had a total of 52 bridges but only had to have 8 of them opened.  One bridge had a 18' clearance and we needed about 20' so the bridge tender only lifted it about 2 feet and told us to go through; that was weird, the first time that ever happened.  Later this afternoon we went through the area where the fish barrier was and we had to call the Coast Guard and answer a bunch of questions before we could go through.  We entered the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal there was a lot of barges on both sides of the channel and left a very narrow and interesting path for us to travel.  We also went through 2 locks today.  About mile 312 the water was very smooth and there was nothing in sight and we heard a loud thump and immediately stopped.  We don't know what we hit but whatever it was it was completely under water.  No vibrations so far; we are keeping our fingers crossed.

N41 51.429
W88 05.237

CO's comments: From Mile Markers 300 to 290 it is very slow going.  If you happen to meet a north bound barge/tow you either have to find a spot between parked barges to get out of his way or make 180 degree turn until you can find room to let him by.  There is no room for a north bound and a south bound boat to pass.  We were lucky and only met one north bound and found plenty of room between parked barges to get out of his way.  We are now in dirty water and our air conditioner strainers are plugging up while we are sitting here.  On the big lakes we had to deal with winds and 4 foot waves and now on the rivers we are dealing with crap in the water but no high waves.  We can't win.

One of the many man-made waterfalls
on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal
Many bridges and very close together
on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal
Tight squeeze; narrow passage
on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal
Fixed 19.1 bridge at Mile 300.5; you
call and they give you a formula to figure
actual clearance; today it was 20 feet
(we had about 3" to spare)

Warning Sign informing you
of the electrical fish barriers ahead
Danger Sign informing you of
the electrical fish barriers

Free tie up at Joliet, IL
Bicentennial Park on 8-5-2011
Bicentennial Park in Joliet, IL

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 1 and 2, 2011; Monday and Tuesday

Monday, Kenosha, WI, Southport Marina:  Everyone left this morning and we are by ourselves again.  We just spent the day cleaning, washing, and resting.  I also worked on the final leg of our journey; Chicago to Grafton, IL where the Illinois River meets the Mississippi River.  It is hard to believe we are almost done with our Loop with only about 450 miles to go.

CO's comments:  I watched another sail boater hit his neighbor 5 times as he was trying to leave his slip.  Makes me nervous to be next to a sail boater except when there is thunder and lightning like last night.  I like their high masts then as they attract the lightning.

Tuesday, Kenosha, WI:  We are still here and the weather does not look good until Thursday so we plan on getting up early and getting to the South Chicago area as soon as the lake allows.

Southport Marina, Kenosha, WI
Southport Marina, Kenosha, WI

Monday, August 1, 2011

July 30 and 31, 2011; Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, Port Washington, WI, to Kenosha, WI, Southport Marina:  We had about an 8 hour day and we got going by 07:30.  This was another beautiful day with Lake Michigan almost as smooth as glass.  We really could not have asked for a nicer day.  We traveled as far as Kenosha, WI, and by then the lake picked up a little but it was still nice.  Kenosha is where my sister, Sharon, will end her part of the journey with us.  It was great to have her traveling with us down Lake Michigan.  We will miss her.  My other sister, Ann and her husband Mark, met us at the marina along with my cousin Pete and his wife Daph and we all had a good time visiting and getting caught up on family matters.


CO's comments:  We had our first over board at Port Washington, WI.  Our guest was trying to be helpful, didn't listen to the XO and fell off the boat between the gas dock and the boat.  She was wearing a life jacket which inflated as advertised.  Luckily no one was hurt but it could have been a very bad situation.

Milwaukee skyline on 7-30-2011

Sunday, Kenosha, WI:  We went to my cousins house for a wonderful brunch this morning and we all ate too much.  Good food, good company, great day!  It has been very hot and humid these past few days but we managed to get outside and do a few things.  We went to "A Taste of Wisconsin"- a festival celebrating the best of Wisconsin's food and beverage and we also went the the Kenosha Public Museum and saw the "Annual National Transparent Watercolor" exhibit.

CO's comments:  The marina that we are at is the first one that we have seen in a long, long, time that is almost full of boats.  If anyone decides to stop at this marina; there are hundreds of slips and no one to help you in.  You are on your own; finding your slip and getting yourself in.

My sister Ann, my cousin Pete, Me, and my sister Sharon