We have traveled a long way since my last post so I will attempt to get everyone up to date. We managed to complete our trip down Lake Michigan. We had some really rough seas a few times and the weather forecast never seemed to match what we actually encountered on the lake. We met up with my brother and his other halves kids at Muskegon, MI. We had a great time and took everyone out for a little trip around the lake on the boat. We headed south again and made it to Chicago on the 8th of August and stayed at the Hammond Marina before heading down the Calumet River.We decided to go down the Calumet River instead of the Sanitary Canal and into the Illinois river. We were a little concerned about going down the river through south Chicago. The stories abound about lines being cut, boats set adrift, and all sorts of things happening to boats along that stretch of the river but we made it without any problems at all. Going down the Illinois river has been quite uneventful so far except for the commercial barge traffic. I've never seen so much Tug and Barge traffic. Some of these bigger tow boats can push a raft of barges three wide and five or six long. They fit into the locks with inches to spare all the way around without the tow boat. We had to wait over three hours at the Marseilles Lock because of a double lock through of a tug and barge. The tow boat had so many barges that he had to lock through after the barges were lowered. That took over three hours and there was another double lock through waiting behind us but the lock master took us and another pleasure boat through before the next double. We've had some long waits at a few of the other locks as well. You just don't know how to plan your day because of the locks and commercial traffic. I try to make around fifty miles a day, but can only make thirty some days. The only problem with that is there isn't always a place to tie up or anchor so you really have to wing it. The river is pretty easy to navigate and the current is quite slow. We are making over eight mph though so there is a little current pushing us along. We are currently in a little town called Rome, IL at a marina called Hamm's Holiday Harbor Marina. Nothing fancy, but very accommodating and the price is right. We have about 178 miles to go to the Mississippi, and then up the Ohio to the Tennessee. It's been a challenging, Interesting, exciting, and sometimes a little nerve racking trip so far but it's been fun too.
Until next time,