Sunday, August 21, 2016

Making too much mileage, too fast.

     We made it the rest of the way down the Illinois River and into the Mississippi River.We passed Grafton, IL on the 16th of August where we had a chance to meet up with some friends but didn't know about the meet because I couldn't check my internet so we missed them. We did stop at the infamous Hoppies on the 17th of August where we met some real nice folks on the loop as well. From Hoppies we anchored at Rockwood Island at mile 102.5. What a night, there was drift wood coming down the river by the ton. Huge trees and rafats of brush and branches. I thought for sure we would get out anchor rode snagged by some of those trees. From Rockwood Island we anchored at Little River Diversion Canal which would have been a nice anchorage except for the floating debris coming down little river. We weren't so lucky this time, we got a huge log around 13 or 14 inches in diameter snagged on our anchor rode. I tried to dislodge it with my boat hook but only succeeded in breaking my boat hook. I finally had to use the boat to push the log off my anchor rode. Then twice more that night we got fouled by logs. It's funny we didn't lose another anchor that night. We traveled 218 miles down the Mississippi and into the Ohio. Nothing but barges as far as the eye could see. I saw as many as 30 barges rafted together being pushed by a tug, quite a site! We turned up the Ohio on the 19 of August and had to weave our way through all the barges that lined both sides of the river and even a few anchored in the middle of the river. These tow boat drivers on the Ohio and Cumberland didn't want to give us little pleasure craft drivers the time of day. Most wouldn't even reply to a call. I guess they didn't like us very well. The only time I heard from one of them is when I was in the middle of a pretty sharp bend in the river on the Cumberland and the guy couldn't make the turn until I cleared the bend, then he called me and let me know about it. He had to back up to wait for me to clear the bend because he said he needed the whole river, bank to bank. I don't think he was very happy. He could see my AIS around the bend because I could see his, but he didn't bother to call me until it was too late and he had to back down. I didn't bother calling him because none of them would answer me anyway. He was down bound so he had the right of way and I told him to do what he had to do and I would stay out of his way. He said he needed the whole river so he had to back down and let me clear the bend. He was a little more cordial on the radio after that. We cleared the Barkley lock at around noon on the 21st of August and landed at the Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina. We are going to spend a couple weeks here because we need to kill some time before we hit the Mobile Bay. I can't go south of there until after the first of November because of my boat insurance. 

St. Louis Gate Way Arch

They really churn up the river!

Barges Everywhere!

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