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

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 22 through 24, 2011, Monday through Wednesday

Monday; Hoppies Marina, Kimmswick, MO, to Kaskaskia Lock tie up, Modoc, IL:  Our friends from "Time Out" left early and were planning a very long day (112 miles) but we slept in some and only went 41.4 miles to the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam and tied up to the out side wall for the night.  We got there by 12:00 and just took it easy the rest of the day.  Due to the great distance; 228 miles, without a marina we have to conserve on our fuel in order to make it to Kentucky Dam Marina.  We cooked on the grill out side and didn't run the generator at all today.

CO's comments:  This is one of the very few locks in the US that will let you tie up and spend the night.  Very helpful and friendly lock master.

N37 58.874
W89 56.616

Tuesday; Kaskaskia Lock to Little Diversion Channel, Cape Girardeau, MO:  We ran the generator just long enough to make coffee and we got going about 06:45; it was a hazy morning but the sun came out later and it was very hot and muggy again.  Only thing that saved us was the wind.  We got to our anchorage at 13:00 and settled in for a very long and hot afternoon and night.  It was 90+ degrees and muggy.

Co's comments:  Just pull in, facing upstream, and drop your hook.  This is an excellent anchorage.

N37 15.051
W89 31.011

This little tree came floating by our anchorage
in the Little River Diversion Channel

Wednesday; Little River Diversion Channel to Kentucky Dam Marina, Gilbertsville, TN on the Tennessee River:  We both had a miserable night and decided to get going early and try to make it all the way to Kentucky Dam Marina.  We were up by 04:50 and on our way by 06:15.  We were ready by 05:30 but it was too dark so we had to wait.  We had 3 large tows go by our anchorage before we even left.  We have noticed that there is a lot more tow traffic this year than last year at this time.  Monday we saw 9 tows in 41 miles, Tuesday we saw 14 in 69 miles, and today we saw 23 tows; unbelievable the amount of traffic.  We only had about 49 miles left on the Mississippi and it went fast; we were running at 1200 rpm's and we got 11 knots out of it.  We started up the Ohio River at 10:30 at Cairo, IL; it was just as busy as last year.  Our first lock (Lock 53) the wickets were down because of the high water so we drove right over the dam again.  We were not so lucky with Lock 52.  We had to wait about an hour before entering.  This lock was very busy, by the time we went through there were 9 tows waiting to lock through; 4 tows locking up and 5 tows locking down.  The Tennessee River is just about 5 miles away from Lock 53 and intersects the Ohio River at Paducah, KY.  Paducah reminded us a lot like Cairo; a very busy barge area.  We got to Paducah by 17:00 and were feeling pretty good so we decided to go all the way to our marina.  Neither one of us wanted to spend another night without air!  All was going good until we reached the Kentucky Dam at Mile 22.4 on the Tennessee at 19:00.  We had to wait 3 hours before we could lock through.  We put our anchor out just out side the green buoys and waited our turn.  We were 3rd in line out of 7.  By 22:00 we were entering the lock.  It is a lot different locking through in the dark but we did OK.  Actually that was the easy part, finding the marina that we had never been to before in the dark, no buoys, no lights at the marina, and nothing marking the channel into the marina, was a huge challenge.  I called our friends from "Time Out" who got to the marina the day before and they told us how they got in, which was very helpful.  Keith put a way point in at the entrance to the marina and once we got inside the harbor, Layla and Warren met us at our slip with spot lights.  What a night, by this time it was midnight!  We did it; 122 miles.

N36 59.446
W88 17.120

CO's comments:  We got a call from the Lock Master to start heading in.  He stated a tow would be coming out and we could pass him either port or starboard.  I was maneuvering under 2 bridges and the tow coming out said he was heading for a tied up tow.  He seemed anxious so I stated to him that I would meet him on the 2 whistle and he then calmed down and realized he wasn't dealing with an amateur.  Upon taking a heading toward the marina, at idle speed, we came upon a wall.  We stopped and maneuvered around to see where we were since this was a non traditional entrance.  After getting our bearings, we very slowly made our way into the marina.  After talking with the marina later, they said there used to be lights and markers at the entrance but since the flood last spring they haven't been replaced.

Locking through the Kentucky Dam at night on 8-24-2011
8-25-2011 Kentucky Dam Marina

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011; Sunday

Port Charles Marina, St. Charles, MO, to Hoppies Marina, Kimmswick, MO:  After 10 days in St. Charles we were on our way again this morning.  The boat looks great; we had it pulled and the bottom checked, we had the hull cleaned and a 3 stage buffing and wax, we had the small stripes removed from the bottom and had bottom paint put on up to the water line, and we had our props fixed and re- calibrated, again (this is the 3rd time),   Boat is as good as new.  It was good to be back on the water.   We traveled with Layla and Warren from "Time Out" and went 64.4 miles to Hoppies Marina.  Fern remembered us from last year (at least she said she did).  We eat at the Blue Owl again and had a good evening.  The Mississippi River current is still going fast; we were going 1700 RPM's and getting 13 knots!

N38 21.527
W90 21.621

CO's comments:  Aren't those props good looking.    We raised our bottom line 12" above the pretty stripes that used to be on the boat.  All the stripes do are gather crap that will corrode the fiberglass on your boat.  We are heading south to the Tennessee River.  We will keep you posted.

Nice clean bottom
Props nice and shinny again

"Time Out" in Lock 26 by Alton, IL
St. Louis Arch (again)

St. Louis, MO
Warren, Layla, and Fern at Hoppies Marina