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

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 10 and 11, 2011; Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday, Tall Timbers Marina, Havana, IL to Riverdock Restaurant, Hardin, IL:  We got an early  start and traveled with "Married With Her"-Jim and Cathy.  We were up at 05:00 and left by 05:45.  There was a little chill in the air compared to recent days and I had 2 sweatshirts on but it felt good for a change.  We saw thousands of pelicans flying in formation early this morning; at first I thought they were geese but Keith said they were pelicans.  It was just a beautiful morning and the river was smooth as glass.  We had our last lock of our Loop experience today; LaGrange Lock, LDB, with a drop of 10 feet.  We didn't have to wait and we were through in about 20 minutes.  This afternoon it clouded up and there were storms all around us but they all missed us.  All along the Illinois Waterway we have seen at least 8 abandon/derelict old tour boats just sitting along side the rivers edge.  I had our itinerary all planned for today and before the day was over we changed it 3 times finally ended up tied up at the Riverdock Restaurant in Hardin, IL.  It was a free tie up as long as we ate dinner there.  It was a long day with a total of 96.6 miles and we will both sleep good tonight.


CO's comments:  Now that we are done we decided no more long days; it is just too hard on us.

Following "Married With Her"
down the Illinois River
Old abandon/derelict tour boat

Kim Jo III at Riverdock tie up
on 8-10-2011
Sign at Riverdock Restaurant

Thursday, Riverdock Restaurant to Port Charles Harbor, St. Charles, MO:  Jim and Cathy got up early again and headed for Grafton but Keith and I slept in until 07:00 and were on our way by 08:00.  We had a little fog again but by the time we left it was sunny and blue skies.  We saw 3 barges first thing this morning all within the first mile-we were glad we were done with locks.  It was a pleasant drive the last 20 miles to Grafton.  All year long it seems like the end of our journey was so far away and now here we are a few miles away.  We crossed our wake at 10:36 at Mile 0 on the Illinois River and Mile 217.9 on the Mississippi.  It was a good feeling. 

We traveled 361 days, 6,365.3 miles, went through 101 Locks, and did all 5 of the Great Lakes. We met countless Loopers, other boaters, AGLCA Sponsors, and just people on the street and want to thank them all for making this journey very memorable.  We would especially like to thank our family, friends, and all our boater friends in Red Wing, MN, for following us faithfully on our journey.  God bless you all.


CO's comments:  Now it is time to re-group and plan our next adventure.

Leaving the Riverdock Restaurant
The Illinois River on 8-11-2011

Chart Plotter crossing our wake
Meter reading on 8-11-2011

Time of crossing
Putting up the Gold Burgee

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 8 and 9,2011; Monday and Tuesday

Monday, Ottawa, IL, to Henry Harbor Marina, Henry, IL:  Another hot and humid day.  We had some fog early this morning.  We only had one lock to go through today and we planned it just right.  We called the Lock Master and he said he would get it ready for us to lock down.  About 5 minutes later a north bound tow called and the Lock Master had already started filling so he had to wait for us-that's a change.  Shortly after that, another tow called going south bound and we were already in the lock.  This doesn't happen that often either.  But when we got in the lock the lock had problems; 1st the lock door was stuck in the open position; 2nd when we got into the lock the floating bollards didn't work; and then when we were going out of the lock one of the door's wouldn't open completely.  I think it is time to call maintenance.  We got to our marina about 13:00 and we had to tie up on the "Old Lock Wall" as the slips were too shallow.   Then right after we got settled we had a huge rain, thunder and lightning storm and this continued the rest of the afternoon and evening, including tornado warnings.  Luckily none of the tornado's touched down by us.  While Keith was out putting extra lines on he saw "Asian Carp" jumping for the first time on the Illinois River.

N41 06.594
W89 21.046

How about this for a covered slip?
8-8-2011 Henry Harbor, IL

Tie up at Henry Harbor Marina
Old Lock Wall at Henry Harbor

Tuesday, Henry, IL, to Tall Timbers Marina, Havana, IL:  We had fog again this morning but it cleared within 1/2 hour and it was hot and muggy again as usual.  But today we had a nice breeze for most of the day.  We saw something on the river today that we had never seen before; bow and arrow fisherman.  They had a high platform built on the boat so they could be higher up and see the fish better; cool.  We also ran into a dredging operation at Mile 136 which took up almost the whole width of the river; passage in a narrow opening was done with caution.  We had a 9 hour day and got to our marina by 16:00.  There were 2 other Loopers (Married With Her and The Cats Meow) here and we all got together for docktails this evening.  It was fun and something we had not done in a while.

N40 18.364
W90 03.954

CO's comments:  If you look close at the RR bridge near Peoria, IL, you can see a coal train coming towards it.  We waited for 15 minutes for the train to come and then it got on the bridge and stopped.  At about that time I said a few words under my breath; that seemed to work because the train moved and then the bridge opened.  I hate doing circles in the middle of the river waiting on bridges, locks, etc.

RR Bridge near Peoria, IL-
One of the many RR bridges
we had to have opened
Tall Timbers Marina on 8-9-2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 6 and 7, 2011, Saturday and Sunday

Saturday; Joliet, IL, Bicentennial Park to Ottawa, IL, Hertiage Harbor Marina:  We slept in a little this morning and got going about 07:30 only to have a 30 minute wait at our first lock; Brandon Road Lock at Mile 286.0 where you use the port side and it had (floaters) floating bollards.  So far all the Lock Masters have been very helpful and friendly.  It is a very hot and muggy day again with the temperature by  09:00 already 94 degrees.  By the time we got to our 2nd lock; Dresden Island Lock, where we also used the port side and floating bollards.  This time we waited an hour to enter.  By 15:30 we had one lock to go; Marseilles Lock, and we were told it would be an hour and a half.  It got to 99 degrees this afternoon and by this time we were wishing we had started earlier and maybe we would not have had to wait so long on the locks.  Hind sight is the best sight of all.  We pulled out of the channel and set anchor while we waited and sure enough, exactly 1 1/2 hour later we were on our way into the lock.  Our marina was only a few miles from the lock and we were glad to get there.  The Hertiage Harbor Marina is very nice and fairly new.  The people are looper friendly and helpful and go out of their way to make you comfortable.  I would recommend it to anyone traveling this way.  We got here about 18:30 and had 4 attendants at the dock to help us into our slip.  By the time we got settled in and taken a much need shower it was past 20:00 so we went up to the restaurant on the premises for a burger.  Didn't do much the rest of the night.


Sunday; Hertiage Harbor Marina, Ottawa, IL:  We had a terrible thunder and lightning storm last night about 03:30.  Keith and I were both up on the bridge putting up our isinglass in the wind and the rain.  What a mess; water every where.  We finally got it up and went back to bed.  This morning we decided to stay a 2nd day for 3 reasons; one, the weather doesn't look good; two, we are both dead tired and three, there is a SuperWalmart in town and the marina has a courtesy car.

CO's comments: I must be getting old.  This 90+ degree heat and 8 to 10 hours on the water really beats me up.  Traveling on the weekend in these waters is a mess because you have hundreds of boaters on the water, dropping water skiiers in front of our boat not realizing that I can't stop on a dime.  We had a close call yesterday because of stupidity of weekend boaters.

Sun set at Hertiage Harbor Marina on 8-6-2011
You don't fly in and around these
clouds and you don't boat below them

Hertiage Harbor Marina
Restaurant at the marina