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Month: August 2019

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Aug 31, 2019 Saturday Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL to Port of Debuque – Mile 579, Debuque, IA   33.8 nautical miles.

42°29’43.2″N 90°39’37.0″W
42.495335, -90.660289
Elevation: 594 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 13 feet
                                             Lock 12 – mile 557, Bellevue, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 251

Along the Way

Today was a much prettier run on the Mississippi River than all of the other days. Yesterday, somewhere between Camanche, IA and Lock 13 we entered the Driftless Area. It just keeps getting prettier and prettier.

Belleview, IA

Dubuque, IA

Rook on a chess board. Julien Dubuque Monument
Entrance to Port of Dubuque – Flood Gates
Dock Names. Ice Cream, Slip Rental and Restrooms. We are on Beer & Ice.
The Fenelon Place Elevator (aka 4th Street Elevator) is the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. It’s the best the best way to avoid riding your bike up the bluffs. The predecessor to the Fourth Street Elevator was built in 1882 for the private use of local banker and former state senator J.K. Graves. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, associated with the Smithsonian Institute, is in Debuque. Mary went to that while Dale searched for engine oil at a local auto parts supply store. Great museum and Mississippi River aquarium.

Paddlefish use a filter, or net, in their mouths to pull water through. The net collects the plankton and the water passes through. They use their paddle noses to “sniff” for the plankton and larvae.

The rope on one our our good ball fenders broke as we were coming into the Port of Debuque Harbor. We didn’t notice it until we tided off at the fuel pump. They are about $100. Ugh.
It was a long shot, we looked for it when we left the harbor. And found it! The fender had blow up along the shore right outside the flood gate. We went back into the harbor and tied off. Dale walked over to collect it.

What the heck …. as long as we were here we spent the night in the marina. We are about 1.5 miles south of the Wisconsin – Illinois state border.


The Mississippi River either borders or passes through 10 states : Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It is one of the world’s major river systems in size, biological activity, and habitat diversity. It houses 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals within its banks. (You need to go see the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium!)

Nauti Words

Long shot
Meaning: a venture or guess that has only the slightest chance of succeeding or being accurate
Origin: In old warships, the muzzle-loading cannon were charged with black powder of uncertain potency that would propel the iron shot an equally uncertain distance with doubtful accuracy. A 24-pounder long gun, for instance, was considered to have a maximum effective range of 1200 yards, even though, under the right conditions, a ball might travel some 3000 yards. Similarly, a short, stubby 32-pounder carronade’s lethality faded fast beyond 400 yards. Thus, the odds were against a hit when one fired a long shot.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why is a fish easy to weigh?
     Because it has its own scales

If two people invest in a boat, it’s a partner-ship

If two people invest in a boat, it’s a partner-ship

Aug 30, 2019 Friday Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL to Mississippi Mile 545, Sabula, Iowa 57 nautical miles.

42°08’42.0″N 90°12’33.5″W
42.145006, -90.209302
Elevation: 581 ft Locks: 3  Ascent: 31 feet
                                             Lock 15, Rock Island, IL and Davenport, IA
                                             Lock 14, LeClaire, IA
                                             Lock 13, above Fulton, IL and Clinton, IA

Remaining Statue Miles: 285

Zebulon Pike camped at the mouth of the Rock River (our anchorage) in 1805 before heading west to discover Pike’s Peak.

Along the Way

Davenport IA. The childhood home of Red Gallagher

Lock and Dam 15, between Davenport and Rock Island, was the first Lock and Dam built on the Mississippi River. It is the longest roller dam in existence at 1,203 feet.
This is it.
You ever wonder how barges get moved out or a lock when the tow doesn’t ride with them? There is trolley that runs along the lock wall. The barge get tied to it and it’s pulled out.
Isle Casino, Bettendorf, IA has free day use docks. A little gambling and a little lunch.

It has been a couple of days since the partner-ship has had showers. We were off to look for the marina showers the minute yes dear’s lines were secured. The women’s shower was well into preparing for Halloween. There were so many cobwebs and spiders. I quit counting after 12 spiders. The worst part was encouraging a huge spider to leave the chain bolt lock so I could use it.
The marina is on the derelict side. The only part the seem OK is where the water taxi stops.

Cashing out our $20 investment.
Casinos are nothing but bamboozlers! They sucker you into keep playing with little 15 cent and 40 cent wins, while sucking you dry of the whole amount.

How do you know what where it is coming out?

River life

Camanche, IA ~ mile 515. Dang, I missed a photo opp here! Quarterback, Terry Bradshaw grew up briefly in Camanche.

Low bridge coming into Clinton, IA

Lock 13

Salt and Pepper

Ready for Labor Day Weekend
Heading straight west into the sun. This one hurt the eyes. The reflection was as harsh as looking at the sun.

Quote from the Loop

Waiting for a hurricane to hit is a lot like a bug being stalked by a turtle.


The Quad Cities was the site of the western-most battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in 1780.

The Quad Cities is a misnomer. There are actually five cities: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois.

Nauti Words

Meaning: intentionally deceive someone
Origin: From the 17th century, it described the Spanish custom of hoisting false flags to deceive (bamboozle) enemies.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why did the admiral decide against buying a new hat?
     He was worried about cap sizing

Life on the edge

Life on the edge

Aug 29, 2019 Thursday Bluff Harbor Marina, mile 404, Burlington, IA  to Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL    75 nautical miles.

41°28’51.0″N 90°36’39.9″W
41.480835, -90.611074
Elevation: 550 ft               Locks: 3  Ascent: 31 feet
                                             Lock 18, Gladstone,  IL / Burlington, IA
                                             Lock 17, New Boston, IL
                                             Lock 16, Muscatine, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 351

Along the Way

Life on the edge. Heading north of the tension line.

Life on the edge. Sounded like 20 miles south of here on the Mississippi River was not the place to be. The Coast Guard broadcast warnings for about 6 hours that the Fort Madison Lift Bridge – mile 384 was closed to navigation due to high winds and severe weather.

I’m not taking any more pictures today unless they are SUNNY.

We had been advised the guys at Lock 17 had a bit of an attitude. They did. They must have thought they were bigwigs or something. Power play. They let us into the lock and raised right away. Things looked good. It changed once we were at the upper water level.  We had to hang on the lock wall watching two lock attendants chat for about 30 minutes before we could carry on upstream. Finally one of them sloooooowwwly walked over and pushed the button to open the lock gates. OK, I fudged the wait time… It was really 25 minutes.
We still thanked them politely when we left.

Dredges. The dredge in the back goes all the way across the river. It was sucking stuff out and piping it to shore. The dredge had to move so we could get around it and carry on up river. There are two other actively working dredges on the right. Quite large scale operation!!


Commodity Movement Comparison

Method Weight
How many are needed to carry 1500 tons How many are needed to carry the 22,500 tons Lengths of the methods for moving 22,500 tons
Barge 1500 tons 1 1 standard
(3×5 15 barges)
¼ mile
(3 foot ball fields or more)
Railcar 112 tons 15 200 railcars 2¼ miles long
26 tons 60 870 tractor trailers 7¼ miles long

A towboat may be 150 feet long, four stories high, and 6000 horsepower. (12 times the horsepower of yes dear)

A standard barge is 200 feet long, 35 feet wide, and when loaded to its 1500-ton capacity needs a nine-foot depth of water to float.

Nauti Words

Meaning: the most important person in a group or undertaking and is often used in a derogatory manner.
Origin: Senior officers in the English Navy were known as “bigwigs” because they wore huge wigs. Bigwig officers aboard ships were often disliked.

Carry on
Meaning: Continue onward or go on with a given task
Origin: In the days of sail, the officer of the deck kept a weather eye constantly on the slightest change in the wind so that the sails could be reefed or added as necessary to ensure the fastest headway. Whenever a good breeze came along, the order to “carry on” would be given. It meant to hoist every bit of canvas the yards* could carry.
* A yard is a spar on a mast from which sails are set. Typically describes the horizontal spars used on square rigged sails.

Meaning: present or deal with something in a vague, noncommittal, or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead
Origin: Expression is believed to come from a Captain Fudge, also known as “Lying Fudge” who was a notorious liar in the 17th Century.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where does a fish keep his money?
     In the river bank

Ponder this

Why is it when you transport something by car its called shipment, but when you transport something by ship it’s called cargo?

It’s lonely out here

It’s lonely out here

Aug 28, 2019 Wednesday Mile 368, Sandusky, IA  to  Bluff Harbor Marina, mile 404, Burlington, IA    33.2 nautical miles.

40°49’09.1″N 91°05’54.8″W
40.819181, -91.098557
Elevation: 519 ft               Locks: 0  Ascent: 0 feet
Remaining Statue Miles: 426

It’s lonely out here on the Mississippi River. We’re kinda missing the other Looper boats and other pleasure boats (aka rec vessels). There are barges and tows around here but only a few of them are moving around. Quiet.

Along the Way

The Machinosaurus. When our kids were young we had a children’s book called ‘The Machinosaurus’. This conveyor reminded me of a machinosaurs. (book spoiler alert – Betty’s Pies saved the day)

Burlington, IA. We’re going to need a mark twain twain lift to clear the railroad bridge.

Bluff Harbor Marina. We pulled into Bluff Harbor Marina about 1:00 PM for fuel stayed for the night. Bluff Harbor Marina didn’t have fuel at the dock but the did have a truck that came in and serviced fuel for boats.

The marina manager Jon and guys at the dock convinced us to stay the night. They didn’t have to work to hard. It’s been lonely out here on the Mississippi River. Our plan to make two locks today just went by the board.

The marina had a pair of rental electric bikes. We pedaled them all over town. Dale rode in Turbo speed and Mary in Eco speed. One of us got more exercise than the other. It would be Mary.

Snake Alley Circa 1894.
In the 1940s, writer Robert L. Ripley saw the street in person, and decided to add it to his Ripley’s Believe It, Or Not! column, calling it “The Crookedest Street in the World”. The turns on Snake Alley are sharper than San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street, giving it a total of 1100° of turning from end to end, where Lombard Street’s straighter curves total only 1000°. Snake Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves over a distance of 275 feet (83.8 m), rising 58.3 ft (17.8 m), a 21% grade, from Washington Street to Columbia. The alley originally provided a shortcut from Heritage Hill to the business district. Bricks were laid at an angle to allow horses better footing as they descended.
In 2017, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! recognized the street as “Unbelievably Crooked” and the #1 Odd Spot in their Odd Spots Across America Campaign.


The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States and flows 2,340 miles from beginning to end. (The Missouri River is the longest river.) From its source, Lake Itasca, to its end, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River drops 1,475 feet. It possesses such an overwhelming length that it takes 90 days for a single drop of water to travel all the way down it.

Nauti Words

Go by the board
Meaning: abandoned, rejected, or ignored
Origin: fall overboard. Generally usage is of a mast falling past the board (i.e. the side of the ship)

Drolleries and Yuks

What fish can perform operations?
     The sturgeon

Barging right in

Barging right in

Aug 27, 2019 Tuesday Goose Island – Mile 318, Marblehead, Illinois  to   Mile 368, Sandusky, IA   50 nautical miles.

40°27’18.6″N 91°23’03.2″W
40.455178, -91.384213
Elevation: 519 ft               Locks: 3  Ascent: 50 feet
Lock 21, Quincy, IL
Lock 20, Canton, MI
Lock 19, Keokuk, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 462

We’re fishtailing and slithering all the way up Mississippi at the whim of its treacherous, gnarly, untamed current. We have a lot or respect for this river.

Along the Way

We are truly impressed with the Army Core of Engineers maintaining the waterways, locks and dams. It’s a relentless and often dangerous job.

Canton Lock and Dam 20 – the center pillars kinda look like the castle towers on the Army Corp of Engineers flag.

The only really quirky thing about yes dear… is the forward head pump. Dale replaced it today while we waited 2.5 hours for Lock 20 to open. Lock 20 was down for repair. As far as we are concerned if they need to shut a lock down mid-day for 5 hours, go for it. We will patiently wait.
The lock master was kind enough to let us barge to the front of the line and go first once the lock was reopened. Thank you Lock 20!

Lock 19 was also closed today for repair, 7AM to 7PM. When we arrived there where six tows queued waiting to go through. Each tows takes about 1.5 hours to go through. It looked like an 8 hour wait 🙁
Once again the lock master let us barge in at the front of line and go first when it reopened 🙂 Our wait was a little over an hour at this lock. Thank you Lock 1p!


The Mississippi River received its official title from the Anishinaabe, a group of indigenous peoples from Canada and the United States. The group, consisting of the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree, and Algonquin, named the river “Misi-ziibi,” meaning ‘Great River’ or ‘gathering of water.’

Keokuk (circa 1780–June 1848) was a chief of the Sauk or Sac tribe in central North America, and for decades was one of the most recognized Native American leaders and noted for his accommodation with the U.S. government. The town of Keokuk, IA is named after him.
LOL chief Keokuk had never visited the town of Keokuk before it was incorporated in 1834.

Kudzu vine can grow at the rate of one foot per day.


Terminology Change: Pleasure Crafts (PCs) are called Recreation Vessels (Rec Vessels) on the upper Mississippi River. I wondered why the lock master at the first Mississippi River lock laughed at us.

Nauti Words

Head / Go to the Head
Meaning: The lavatory aboard a ship is known as the “head.” / Go to the bathroom
Origin: The expression comes from the fact that on the sailing ships the toilet was located forward, close to the figurehead or the “head” of the vessel.

Meaning: a leader with no real power or function, much like the figurehead on the front of a ship
Origin: An ornamental figure placed on the front of a ship often under the bowsprit. Originally, the figure was often thought to be a religious and/or protective emblem.

Barge in
Meaning: suddenly and rudely interrupt or disturb (something or someone)
Origin: The word barge refers to the more common, flat-bottomed workboat which is hard to maneuver and difficult to control.  They would bump and bang into other boats thus the term . . . “barge in.”

Drolleries and Yuks

What do sailors use to blow their noses?

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Aug 26, 2019 Monday Rip Rap Landing State Fish and Waterfowl Management Area – Mile 265, Belleview, Illinois  to Goose Island – Mile 318, Marblehead, Illinois  53 nautical miles.

39°49’49.2″N 91°24’22.5″W
39.830322, -91.406239
Elevation: 469 ft               Locks: 2  Ascent: 33 feet
Lock 24, Clarksville, MO
Lock 22, Saverton MO (no Lock 23)
Remaining Statue Miles: 361

Along the Way


We zig zagged off and on up the Missouri / Illinois shoreline following the main channel. There is nothing straight about this river. When we told people were heading up the Mississippi River the response was always the same. OMG you are going to have current!  Yes, we do have current. It’s no worse that upriver current on the Hudson, the Potomac, the St Lawrence and intercoastal currents. The engines are set at 1500 rpms, their sweet spot, and we travel between 5.5 and 6.4 knots. In open water this we would be traveling a little over 8 knots.

Lock 24 at Clarksville, MO – We had a 1.5 hour wait for a tow for a 3×5 tow clear first.

Hello MidWest! Louisianna MO mile 282
Lock 22 navigation track. We had our choice to tie off or float. We chose float. The lock master open all the valves, turbulent water gushed in. We were popped like a cork on a champagne bottle to the upper water level faster than any elevators I’ve been in. It took quite a bit of skill not to collide with the lock walls with all the swirling water.

Hannibal, MO – the childhood home of Mark Twain

No sunshine again today. At least it didn’t rain, alot.



Samuel Clemens first signed his writing with the name Mark Twain in February 1863, as a newspaper reporter in Nevada. “Mark Twain” (meaning “Mark number two”) was a Mississippi River term: the second mark on the line that measured depth signified two fathoms, or twelve feet—safe depth for the steamboat.

The average depth of the Mississippi River between Saint Paul and Saint Louis is between 9 and 12 feet (mark twain) deep.

Nauti Words

Off and On
Meaning: At some times or occasionally.
Origin: Old naval expression meaning close to the shore by sailing off and on or away from and towards the shore in a zig zag pattern. Zig Zag is also a Nauti Word.

No room to swing a cat
Meaning: indicates a crowded or packed surroundings
Origin: During the whipping punishment using the “cat o’ nine tails,” all hands were called on deck to witness. With a full crew, the deck could be so crowded that the cat o’ nine tails was difficult to use without hitting other crew members. In other words, there was “no room to swing a cat.”

As long as I’m the topic of cats, here’s a couple more ….

Letting the Cat out of the bag
Meaning: Someone has said something that was not to be said or revealed a secret
Origin: This term comes from the old naval punishment of being whipped with a “cat o’ nine tails.” The whip was kept in a leather bag and when the sailors “let the Cat out of the bag” they had usually done something that would result in punishment.

Combing the cat
Meaning: Looking for trouble
Origin: When flogging a seaman, “combing the cat” meant to run fingers through the cat-o’-nine-tails after each stroke to separate the strands in preparation for the next stroke.

Drolleries and Yuks

A blind man walks into a bar, grabs his seeing eye dog by the tail and starts swinging him around.
The bartender yells “Hey! What are you doing?????”
Blind man replies “Just looking around”.

MN We are coming your way! (north on Mississippi)

MN We are coming your way! (north on Mississippi)

Aug 25, 2019 Sunday Grafton Harbour, Mile 0, Grafton, IL  to  Rip Rap Landing State Fish and Waterfowl Management Area – Mile 265, Belleview, IL
48.5 nautical miles.

39°19’02.5″N 90°47’50.9″W
39.317349, -90.797464
Elevation: 436 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 23 feet
Lock 25, Winfield, MO
Remaining Statue Miles: 565

Along the Way

Good thing it wasn’t sunny this morning or Dale wouldn’t have gotten Mary to head north. The cliffs were calling.

Around the dredger then heading north

We entered the Mississippi River at statute mile 218. Twin Cities Marina, our intended port, is at statute mile 830

Quick stop for fuel on the Missouri side before we headed north.
The blonde in front is a dog. For real.
Wing dams on the Mississippi.
A wing dam or wing dike is a man made barrier that, unlike a conventional dam, only extends partway into a river. These structures force water into a fast-moving center channel which reduces the rate of sediment accumulation, while slowing water flow near the riverbanks.
The Mississippi River in North America has literally thousands of wing dams. Many of them are not visible above the waterline.

Rain Rain go away! Come again some other day! We’ve had a lot of these lately.

Lock 25. Our first north bound lock on the Mississippi River.

Southbound American Duchess and northbound tow. The American Duchess is about as wide as a boat can be and still make it through the locks.

The American Duchess luxury paddleboat.


Dead Soldier: An expression used for an empty bottle of wine, spirit or beer. Originally the expression was “dead Marine.” In the late 1700 Duke of Clarence ordered the steward to remove the “dead marines” to make room for new bottles. When asked why he call them “dead marines ” he replied with tact and characteristic grace, “I call them marines because they are good fellows who have done their duty and are ready to do it again.” 

The Duke of Clarence became William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover and ruled from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837.

The Duke of Clarence title became extinct when The Duke of Clarence became king, merging the title with the Crown.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call a psychic little person who has escaped from prison?
     A small medium at large.

Grafton, Key West of the MidWest

Grafton, Key West of the MidWest

Aug 24, 2019 Saturday Grafton Harbour, Mile 46 Grafton, IL  0 nautical miles.

38°58’05.3″N 90°26’18.4″W
38.968136, -90.438446
Elevation: 413 ft               Locks: 0  Descent: 0 feet

Along the Way

I could tell by the cut of the Hatteras’ jib as it settled on the dock that we were in for a heck of a night. Vinnie, the Pirate was in town with friends Keith and Dave. AND I forgot to take a picture of the boat!

Grafton is called the ‘Key West of the MidWest’ and we needed to discover why. The town was hopping as it’s a popular tourist destination for boats, cars, motorcycles and party buses.

First stop was the 3 Chute. Not sure why it was called the 3 Chute as it had four levels snaking up the hillside. It was filled with old boating, fishing, other chandlery items and a few mildly inappropriate mannequins.

The Bloody Bucket Saloon was pretty dismal when we entered it, just a couple of guys sitting a table.

I’m pretty certain it can be an extremely lively place. If you eat the worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle you get to right you write your name on the ceiling with are red star beside side it. What an excellent idea! Drunks on 10 foot ladders. You can see there is ceiling for expansion.
About 3 minutes into our adult beverages 33 women exited their bachelorette party bus and sashayed into the Bloody Bucket Saloon.
The couple of guys at the table sprung into action, strongly resembling sharks in a fishbowl. Shameless, shameless. LOL.
Next stop Abigal’s for the worlds best pretzel. They are flash fried the make the outside crispy. The chef let me watch him. I think I’m going to have a booth at the MN State Fair next year and sell these pretzels and beaver tails.

HA! What ever happens in Grafton stays in Grafton, the Key West of the MidWest.

Good Night

The Hatteras


Blood is thicker than water: A well known saying meaning that family relationships are more important than all other relationships. It was originally attributed to an U.S. Navy commodore Josiah Tattnail who used the expression when justifying his intervention in the British attack on the Peiho forts in June 1859 during the second China war.

Nauti Words

Cut of one’s jib

Meaning: general appearance or personality; style
Origin: The jib of a sailing ship is a triangular sail set between the fore-topmast head and the jib boom. In the 17th century the shape of the jib sail often identified a vessel’s nationality, and hence whether it was hostile or friendly.


Meaning: boat supply store
Origin: A maker and seller of candles was known as a chandler and the place where candles were made and sold was a chandlery. Boats at that time consumed large amounts of candles on a voyage. To replace those consumed, the captain would have to visit the local chandlery while in port. Chandlers would often stock other nautical goods, such as rope, leather and tar.

Tiding Over

Tiding Over

Aug 23, 2019 Friday Grafton Harbour, Mile 46 Grafton, IL  0 nautical miles.

38°58’05.3″N 90°26’18.4″W
38.968136, -90.438446
Elevation: 413 ft               Locks: 0  Descent: 0 feet

Along the Way

Grafton Marina is one busy marina. So is the Mississippi River. In this picture there is a ferry, a dredger, a river boat and a bunch of small boats.

There are 3 “must dos” in Grafton, shop at Harrisons Gift’s and Knotty By Nature and get a giant pretzel at Abigal’s. We hit the trifecta. The pretzel was soo good it was demolished before a picture could be taken.

Vinnie, the Pirate will be sailing in on the next tide. Since the marina didn’t cost an arm and a leg to stay at we booked another night.


Cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: extremely expensive
Origin: The story goes that this phrase originated from 18th-century paintings, as famous people like George Washington would have their portraits done without certain limbs showing. Having limbs showing is said to have cost more.

Drolleries and Yuks

Did you hear about the two people who stole a calendar?
They each got six months.

Illinois River Mile 0

Illinois River Mile 0

Aug 22, 2019 Thursday Buckhorn Island, Mile 46, Montezuma Township, IL to Grafton Harbour, Mile 0 Grafton, IL  46.0 nautical miles.

38°58’05.3″N 90°26’18.4″W
38.968136, -90.438446
Elevation: 413 ft               Locks: 0  Descent: 11 feet

Along the Way

Getting ready to pull anchor. This is the anchorage where Dale pulled a rib muscle last year. Two fingers on his left hand are still a bit numb.
Coming into Grafton. Our marina is on the left.
Down river is the Mississippi. The cliffs are calling…….
The section of the Illinois River we have been on for the past 3 days is hard running, no cutesy little towns, no marinas and no internet, just submerged logs/debris in the river. It’s nice to be at the rivers end – mile 0.

Mary got a dressing down from this little duck because she would feed it or give it any attention.

Nauti Words

Dressing down

Meaning: Scold or reprimand
Origin: When sails became old and sere and no longer windproof, they were dressed down: taken down and re-dressed with oil and wax, to make them hold the wind again. A sailor who was dressed down was thus treated in a way which would dramatically improve his effectiveness.

Drolleries and Yuks

Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock knock joke?
     He won the “no-bell” prize.

Learning to be a bird

Learning to be a bird

Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday Quiver Island mile 123, Havana Township, IL  to Buckhorn Island, Mile 46, Montezuma Township, IL 69.0 nautical miles.

39°30’04.9″N 90°35’21.0″W
39.501359, -90.589168
Elevation: 424 ft               Locks: 1  Descent: 5 feet

Along the Way

We went to bed at Looper midnight 9:00 PM and woke up at 11:45 PM, 1:45 AM, 2:24 AM, 3:35 AM, 4:45 AM 5:45 AM. After a miserable night’s sleep (hot and muggy) we arose at 6:15 AM for the fleet’s planned departure at 6:30 AM. Deep six that idea.

The fog was too thick to venture out. Our buddy boats were ghost ships.
At 7:30 AM we ventured out only to be deep sixed again at the first bend. The fog was too dense to continue. If you can hear the barges clanging around and can’t seem them it’s a reasonable idea to back track and get out of there.

8:30 AM we were underway again we were careening down the river like a banana boat, picking up .3 to .8 kts of current.

Young eagles down out of the trees with parents teaching them to fly and fish.

This section of the river would give Wabasha MN a run for their money. SEA GLASS said they counted 97 eagles today.

There were several families of young herons. Five young herons in this family. Mom was trying to get them to move down river, swooping back and encouraging them to fly. Herding chickens might have been easier for her.

There were also several families of young turkey vultures – not picture worthy.

Rear view look at our last lock on the Illinois! Mile 80.2, La Grange Lock & Dam This lock too is in significant need of repair. It only has one valve working out of ?? and the walls are crumbling.



Nauti Words

Deep Six

Meaning: getting rid of something
Origin: A fathom, the unit of measurement for the depth of the sea, is 6 feet. Sailors used the term to refer to throwing something overboard (“deep sixing”).

On a banana boat

Meaning: Mary’s preferred meaning is a go fast boat. (There are a lot of derogatory meanings out there too 🙁
Origin: Banana boat was a term, a descriptive nickname, given to fast ships also called banana carriers engaged in the banana trade designed to transport easily spoiled bananas rapidly from tropical growing areas to northern markets that often carried passengers as well as fruit. ~Prior to the early 20th century when refrigerated boats came into existence.

Drolleries and Yuks

How does a rabbi make his coffee?
     Hebrews it.

Seas the Day

Seas the Day

Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday Peoria Municipal Dock, Peoria, IL    to Quiver Island mile 123, Havana Township, IL  43.0 nautical miles.

40°18’48.2″N 90°03’56.6″W
40.313388, -90.065731
Elevation: 429 ft               Locks: 1  Descent: 10 feet

Seize the day. A storm (actually 2), a lift bridge, a lock, a barge, a mid-run fuel filter change, a swimming raccoon, a flying carp, an overnight anchorage, a beer on the back deck, a biting fly.

Along the Way

With an eye on the weather we adjusted the dock lines and fender positions to ride out the storm.

We successfully avoided Davy Jones locker for another day!

Leveraging the quantity of 4 (MISS ADVENTURE, SEA GLASS, HOOT OWL and YES DEAR). Once the storm was over we headed to Peoria Lock. When we got there the lock master initially said it would be 4-5 hours and even then he couldn’t guarantee he could get us through. Two of us dropped anchor above the Peoria dam adjacent to the lock and two of us dropped anchor a bit further back among the anchored barges to wait it out. Fifteen minutes later we were invited into the lock after the upstream barge pulled out. I’m guessing the lock master wasn’t happy where we anchored, even if we were out of the channel. We were just more clutter for the barges to be concerned about.

Past floods levels at Peoria Lock


We anchored in the channel to an abandoned coal shipping facility. Real dark, real calm and real quiet (except for the dang cicadas, toads and frogs).

Nauti Words

Keep an eye out (on the weather)

Meaning: watch out for trouble
Origin: This expression comes from the importance of a sailing crew staying alert and looking for potential trouble such as approaching bad weather.ot

Weather the storm/Ride the storm out

Meaning: reach the end of a very difficult situation without too much harm or damage
Origin: references to vessels and their ability handle strong winds and storm.

Davy Jones Locker

Meaning: evil spirit of the sea
Origin: Seamen’s slang for the bottom of the sea. This expression is believed to be from the story that Davy Jones was the owner of a sixteenth-century London pub where unwary sailors were drugged and put in lockers and then awoke aboard ship to find they had been ‘recruited’ into working on a ship.


carpe diem – seize the day

Drolleries and Yuks

Why can’t dinosaurs talk?
     Because they’re dead.

Going down river

Going down river

Aug 19, 2019 Monday South Shore Boat Club, Peru, IL to Peoria Municipal Dock, Peoria, IL    52.9 nautical miles.

40°41’18.8″N 89°35’13.7″W
40.688555, -89.587137
Elevation: 439 ft               Locks: 0  Descent: 10 feet

Along the Way

This section of the river is about 5-6 feet below normal pool levels.

Heavy barge staging for Starved Rock Lock continued south for about ~20 miles. There were significantly more waterway markers than on the charts. I suspect it has to do with the water being lower than normal, the channel is narrower. A narrower channel definition also enables more barge storage along the sides.

Eagles hanging along the shoreline (four young brown ones and a baldie)
A gargantuan squadrons of pelican. Harbingers of Fall.
A group of pelicans has many collective nouns, including a “brief”, “pod”, “pouch”, “scoop”, and “squadron” of pelicans.

Spirit of Peoria on a 3 day overnight run to Starved Rock. Spirit of Peoria is the only paddlewheel in the USA that still offers overnight excursions

Less fortunate vessels.

Peoria Municipal Dock
Every Chicagoan knows that Peoria is 165 miles out of Chicago and every Peorian knows St. Louis is 168 miles away from St. Louis.

There’s nothing happening in this area of Peoria later afternoon/early evening. It’s really quiet except for all the screaming cicadas.

In search of supper we stopped at ‘Martinis’, nearest establishment. That’s it. Martinis and mixed drinks, wine and beer. NO FOOD. Mary did manage to win enough on the slot machines to pay for our drinks.

Rather than going back and scrapping the bottom of the barrel on the boat for supper we wandered on for about 5 blocks.

God Bless America (and Mary) by Seward Johnson at the River Front Museum
Seward Johnson is the same artist that created the ‘Unconditional Surrender’ (WWII Soldier Kissing Nurse) statue we saw in Sarasota, Florida December 8, 2018 !
Saved! We found an OPEN, cute little Irish pub.


We all know the origin story of penicillin—it was found on a moldy orange. Well, guess where that orange was purchased from? That’s right, a grocery store in Peoria. Talk about humble beginnings!

Nauti Words

Scraping the bottom of the barrel

Meaning: to use the worst people or things because that is all that is available
Origin: When food supplies ran low, only what was on the very bottom of the barrel remained. The ship’s cook literally scraped the bottom of the food barrel. The meal resulted in a little desired serving.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long?
     Because then it’d be a foot.

Pushing Barges and Dancing in the Dark

Pushing Barges and Dancing in the Dark

Aug 18, 2019 Sunday Mariners Marina, Seneca, IL  to South Shore Boat Club, Peru, IL   26.7 nautical miles.

41°19’13.0″N 89°08’01.6″W
41.320275, -89.133784
Elevation: 449 ft               Locks: 2  Descent: 36 feet

There might be one or two people feeling groggy or under the weather this morning from the ‘Rock the Dock’ party. What a great party it was! Dale and Mary behaved knowing they were heading downstream today.

Dale called the lock at 3:00 AM to see if we could lock through at 5:00 AM. They said our best chance of getting through was between 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM as they are pushing the huge back log of barges through as quickly as they can.
Back to bed.

Along the Way

Pushing barges through the under-repair Marseilles and Starved Rock Locks. The most efficient way to run high volumes of tow traffic through these locks is to first run tows in one direction for ~6 hours then run then run the tow traffic in the other direct for the next ~6 hours. With this approach it prevents obstructive build up in front to the lock doors allowing the traffic to move more efficiently, in a planed manner. The lock can also turn the water around quicker for the next passage.

Pleasure boats have the lowest priority. Lock masters have been letting pleasure boats through the locks twice a day, at most and sometimes only once. Occasionally, they might slip a pleasure boat through with a three-barge tow only if it is not a chemical tow. One of our Looper friends waited 10 hours at the lock before they were locked through. Shake of the dice.

Guess it’s time for us to go…. Weekend is over and everyone is going home.

3:00 PM Dale called the lockmaster again and we headed out. Kerry C blessed us as we left ‘May the Lock Gods be with you!’

And they were. We locked through Marseilles around 5:00 PM as projected and Starved Rock around 7:30 PM. All I can say is timing is that everything!

Leaving the marina. We just barged right in with them.
It’s incredible how many barges and tows are anchored along the river edge, occupying all the viable spaces.

Leaving Starved Rock Lock around 8:00 PM. Dancing in the dark… it just kept getting darker.

Thank goodness for radar. Barges anchored along the shore line.

Dale piloted and Mary ran shotgun with the 1000-lumens spotlight. You know how you hate bugs at night when they splat against your windshield? It’s worse on a boat because there is no windshield. Bug splat in the nose, ears and eyes.

Whew. We finally made it to the South Shore Boat Club about 9:15 PM. Asian carp were jumping all around the boat in the moonlight as we backed into the slip. Members from the club came down to help us dock. We went up to the bar to settle our $30 marina fees (and stayed for a beer and great conversation). The South Shore Boat Club was a great little stop.

Nauti Words

Feeling Groggy

Meaning:   feeling drunk, tipsy, weak or dazed
Origin: In 1740, British Admiral Vernon (whose nickname was “Old Grogram” for the cloak of grogram which he wore) ordered that the sailors’ daily ration of rum be diluted with water. The drink was common aboard ships due to the fact that the drinking water aboard ships often got pretty slimy and disgusting. Thus, a little rum was mixed in to kill the putrid flavour (and hopefully the alcohol would kill some of the bacteria). The men called the mixture “grog”. A sailor who drank too much grog was “groggy”.

Under the weather

Meaning: Feel unwell
Origin:  Keeping watch onboard sailing ships was a boring and tedious job, but the worst watch station was on the “weather” (windward) side of the bow. The sailor who was assigned to this station was subject to the constant pitching and rolling of the ship. By the end of his watch, he would be soaked from the waves crashing over the bow. A sailor who was assigned to this unpleasant duty was said to be “under the weather.”

Sometimes, these men fell ill and died as a result of the assignment, which is why today “under the weather” is used to refer to someone suffering from an illness. A related theory claims that ill sailors were sent below deck (or “under the weather”) if they were feeling sick.

Drolleries and Yuks

What’s the most terrifying word in nuclear physics?

A whale of time

A whale of time

Aug 16, 2019 Saturday Mariners Marina, Seneca, IL    0 nautical miles.

41°18’01.9″N 88°37’07.5″W
41.300516, -88.618754
Elevation: 485 feet              Locks: 0  Descent: 0 feet

Along the Way

Vince went the whole nine yards on the ‘Rock the Dock’ party starting with a foam pool party, DJ/Karaoke, pig roast to the Righteous Hillbillies live band rocking down night.

Moonshine Ice luge. Vinnie testing it out. (condensation on my camera lens 🙁
One last picture, John, Jill (Ray N’s daughter) and Dale

Nauti Words

A whale of a good time

Meaning: enjoying themselves very much
Origin: The blue whale being the biggest creature on earth, a “whale of” anything is “a large amount of” it. As well as “whale of a time” people used to say “a whale of a lot” and “a whale of a job”. It’s US slang from around late 1800’s

Whole nine yards

Meaning:  everything or all encompassing.
Origin: The expression comes from the old square-rigged sailing vessels that had three masts with three yards of sails on each.  The whole nine yards meant all sails were up.

Drolleries and Yuks

How do you throw a space party?
     You planet.

Bluer water on the other dock

Bluer water on the other dock

Aug 15, 2019 Thursday Springbrook Marina, Seneca, IL to Mariners Marina, Seneca, IL     0.6 nautical miles.

41°18’01.9″N 88°37’07.5″W
41.300516, -88.618754
Elevation: 485 feet              Locks: 0  Descent: 0 feet

Along the Way

We had yes dear all sewn up by 1:00 PM. Clean inside and out stem to stern. She really needed it. We are now ready for guests.

“The only way to get a good crew is to marry one.”
~ Eric Hiscock

Bluer water on the other side. About 2:00 pm we crossed the Illinois Waterway and slipped into Mariners Marina (.06 nautical miles). Tomorrow’s ‘Rock the Dock Party’ pre-party began shortly after we arrived.

Nauti Words

All sewn up

Meaning: to complete one’s dealings with or discussion of someone or something
Origin: Dead sailors were “all sewn up” in a bit of canvas with a weight attached to make sure that the corpse sank deep in the water. (I think this idiom origin is a stretch. There are some better explanations but they aren’t nautical.)

From stem to stern

Meaning: along the entire length of something; throughout
Origin: Stem and the stern are opposite ends of a ship. The stem is the most forward part of a boat or ship’s bow (the curved edge stretching from the keel below, up to the gunwale) and is an extension of the keel itself.  The stern is the back or aft-most part of a ship or boat. From stem to stern means over the full length of a ship or boat, from the front end of the vessel to the back end.

Drolleries and Yuks

There are three types of people in the world:
     Those who can count and those who can’t.

yes dear … has a twin! Thanks Pierre and Renee for the photo
Feels like home

Feels like home

Aug 15, 2019 Thursday Springbrook Marina, Seneca, IL    0 nautical miles.

41°17’58.7″N 88°37’49.8″W
41.299637, -88.630505
Elevation: 485 feet              Locks: 0  Descent: 0 feet

Along the Way

There was no swinging the lead this morning. Dale changed the oil and Mary cleaned the refrigerator. Then, both of them thought about attacking the outside of yes dear for a good cleaning. That didn’t happen. Maybe tomorrow,

Mary took a quick inventory of supplies to see if we needed to pick anything up as long as we have access to a courtesy car.

Star*tron Fuel Additive. Great stuff. One gallon treats 4096 gallons of diesel fuel. The gallon jug is empty but we still have 12 ounces left in the transfer/pouring bottle, enough for another 120 gallons. Adding those gallons to the 3859 we’ve bought so far is 3979 gallons. That a 0.028% usage margin of error. The ship’s mechanic is doing one thing right!
LOL. We have two more gallons of Star*tron Fuel Additive, pre-trip purchased, in the hold.
Speaking of pre-trip purchased items in the hold…..  We also have one full gallon Non-Skid Deck Cleaner and one full gallon Black Streak Remover.
(We probably should have cleaned a bit more often.)
Short of a long story and an irrational fear of running out, Mary bought 4 cases of toilet paper before we started the trip. That’s 4 cases of 12 4-roll packages or simply 192 rolls. This roughly equates to a planned usage of 3.6 rolls of toilet paper per week for a year.  We have 32 packages of 4 left (128 rolls), having used only a total of 64 rolls (1.2 rolls per week). This is a 66.666% usage margin of error.  Is the 666 significant or coincidental?

Guess who is in charge of monitoring and purchasing supplies? Hint: Not Dale

We took the marina car down river to Snug Harbor Bar to get a lay of the land before we bringing the boat this way to the Marseilles Lock. It was great move on Dale’s behalf. Turns out Snug Harbor Bar will let us tie off on their wall overnight for $30, greatly shortening our planned early Monday morning passage through Marseilles Lock at 5:00 AM.

Later in the day we connect with some of our Springbrook Marina friends. It felt like a homecoming. We were here about a year go when Vinnie brought his newly purchased vintage Chris Craft into Springbrook Marina. He has been refinishing/refurbishing it for the past year. It looks great.

Vinnie is the closest thing you will ever find to a modern pirate, right down to the clevis earring in his left ear. At one time in his younger years he actually repossessed boats on the water. He also runs boats from here to Key West and back, anywhere for that matter.
Back to Vinnie’s boat the Garden of Eden… New canvas, update interior with vintage trimmings and accessories. The two long wooden poles, one on each side of the bow deck parallel with the deck rail, are original docking/boat hooks that came with the boat. WOW.

After a round of docktails we went out for supper at Mi Casa.

Heather the GF, Tam the Tour Guide, Mary, Dale and Vinnie the Pirate
Mi Casa is a unique little restaurant. It was a house in a residential neighborhood that had been converted into a restaurant. All of the upstairs rooms had been converted into dining area. The food is prepared in the basement and sent up using a dumbwaiter.

Not ready to quit yet, Vinnie took us over to look at a Hatteras he will be running to Key West later this fall. Although Vinnie had a key and assured us it was OK, we felt like trespassing teenagers sneaking in to look at the boat. (We hope to run this boat with him this fall if timing works out.)

The Hatteras had a FULL SIZED residential refrigerator! Hook and eye clasps had been added to the top of it to prevent if from accidentally opening in rough water.
The engine room. Actually there were two engine rooms, one on each side of the hallway. You could walk around the massive engines. Then engines had twin turbos.

Back to Springbrook Marina for a chocolate martini docktail night cap, then back to yes dear.

Nauti Words

Sound out / Swinging the lead

Meaning: ‘Sound out’ is to seek the opinion of a person/persons/organization. ‘Swinging the lead’ is shirking duty and working lazily.
Origin: ‘Sound Out’ is to “measure the depth of water by lowering a sounding line or lead and calling out the changes in depth.”
Before the days of sonar, ships would determine the depth of the water by posting a sailor at the front of the ship with a lead weight attached to a long rope. The rope would have a knot in every fathom (6 feet). The sailor’s job was to swing the weight forward into the water and, when the ship passed directly over the weight, determine the depth of the water.
Retrieving the lead weight was hard work. A lazy sailor would swing the lead as if he were about to release it. He would keep swinging it until such time as he thought he was being watched and only then release it into the water. Therefore, a sailor who was ‘swinging the lead’ was being lazy.

Lay of the land

Meaning: know the current state of affairs, how something is organized
Origin: Nautically to “know the lay of the land” was important for navigation as well as an indicator of what the seafloor may be like. If the land is flat and sandy, the seabed is likely to be shallow and sandy. (circa 1700)

Drolleries and Yuks

Why should the number 288 never be mentioned?
     It’s two gross.

We’re back

We’re back

Aug 14, 2019 Wednesday Kankakee River, Willmington, IL     to Springbrook Marina, Seneca, IL    19.9 nautical miles.

41°17’58.7″N 88°37’49.8″W
41.299637, -88.630505
Elevation: 485 feet              Locks: 1  Descent: 19 feet

Along the Way

Water lilies

Last night’s neighbor. Wonder if they have anything to do with size, voraciousness and density of the water lilies…
Dresden Lock martin house. It’s in the shape of a tow boat.
Wonder what it looks like around here when the water gets to 20 feet ….

Hundreds of barges with tow boats were staged along this section of the waterway, but not much day time barge traffic. The next two locks, Marseilles and Starved Rock, are under much needed renovation and closed from 0600 till 1800 to all passage. At 1800 the tow traffic starts heading to the lock to be locked down. It pretty much takes all night long to get the back log down the river. At 0500 the lock takes one flight of pleasure crafts, that’s it. (Unless we can figure out another option, this means we will have to leave this marina at 0345 to make the 0500 lock down. Stay tuned.)

Mariners Marina where we spent an enjoyable couple of days with Ray N’s grandchildren and their friends last year. (Looking forward to seeing them again)
Getting fuel at Springbrook Marina fuel dock. The only have gas as the fuel dock. The diesel is in a portable fuel tank. We should have docked into our slip and had them come fuel us. 🙁

Whoever said Dale is still un-trainable after one year is wrong. Dale, thanks for getting the per gallon price, number of gallons and total price (including tax). I’ll get it in the ships log book.

The marina manager truly did remember us from last year. When he showed us our slip for this year, he pointed out the one we had last year. We must be memorable. LOL. Nice guy. We remembered him too.

1700 Tows on the move heading towards Marseilles Lock for the night shift


On this day in history, in 1756 frontiersman Daniel Boone (age 21) wed Rebecca Bryan (age 17) in Yadkin River, North Carolina.

Nauti Words

Log Book

Meaning: a systematic record of events, observations, or measurements
Origin: The term knot dates from the 17th century, when sailors measured the speed of their ship by using a device called a “common log.” This device was a coil of rope with uniformly spaced knots, attached to a piece of wood shaped like a slice of pie. The piece of wood was lowered from the back of the ship and allowed to float behind it. The line was allowed to pay out freely from the coil as the piece of wood fell behind the ship for a specific amount of time. When the specified time had passed, the line was pulled in and the number of knots on the rope between the ship and the wood were counted. The speed of the ship was said to be the number of knots counted. These measurements were recorded in a book, the “log book”.

We also get “knot”, the unit of speed at sea. One knot is 1.1508 statute miles.

Drolleris and Yuks

I washed my hands.

Why does it get so hot in a baseball stadium after the game?
     All of the fans left.

Been here. Done that.

Been here. Done that.

Aug 13, 2019 Wednesday Calumet River, Marine Services Corporation, Dolton, IL to Kankakee River, Willmington, IL     49.7 nautical miles.

41°22’46.0″N 88°15’41.3″W
41.379435, -88.261464
Elevation: 504  Ft        Locks: 2  Descend: 77 feet

We entered the marina after hours last night. We could have been gone by 8:00AM and no one would have known the difference. First task of the morning was to square away our bill.

Along the Way

Running the Cal-Sag Waterway. We expected it to be industrial. Really wasn’t. There sure were a lot of bridges.

Convergence of the Illinois Waterway (left) with the Cal-Sag Waterway (right)

Been here done that, from here to the Mississippi. We ran this section of the river starting September 7 of last year (2018).

At mile 303 to 298, right after the convergence, there is a large tow boat and barge fleeting area. It’s a close quarters passage. Barges are tied to the shore narrowly leaving just enough room for an oncoming tow to squeeze through.

Electronic fish barrier facility and back up generators. Look at the mufflers on the back-up generators !
Mary found these tow boats fascinating. The pilothouse sits on top of a hydraulic pillar and can be adjusted to whatever height is necessary.
Mile 286.0, Brandon Road Lock.
Dale lost his glasses and one of the marriage savers (headsets) IN THE LOCK last time we passed through. They slipped off him. LOL They weren’t in the lost and found. (He asked.)

We were able to go down this lock and the Mile 291.0, Lockport Lock with a tow boat and barges. If the lock master offers, the tow boat agrees and you feel comfortable with the offer, you can enter the lock with them rather than wait for a turn around lock.

Mary tying to the ballard.
Dale figured out why they are call ballards …. they cry/squeal all the way down.

We saw hundreds and hundreds of barges today, but not not much tow traffic. A total of 5, 3 upstream tows plus the 2 down stream tows we locked through with.


Why the heck do they call it a tow boat when it’s pushing something???!!?

The word “tow” normally means to pull something, such as towing a car. Originally barges were towed by draft horses on an adjacent towpath. Multiple barges lashed together was called a “tow”. When the draft horses were replaced by a pusher boat the boat pushing the “tow” was referred to as the “tow boat”.

Tow boats are characterized by a square bow, a shallow draft, and typically have knees, which are large plates mounted to the bow for pushing barges of various heights. Their hull design does not lend itself to pulling another vessel.

A tug boat has a pointed bow. It can either pull (haha “tow”) another vessel, push another vessel or guide another vessel while tied to the vessel’s side (“on the hip” as it’s known).

Nauti Words

Squared away
Meaning: arranged or dealt with in a satisfactory manner
Origin: On square-rigged vessels, the state of the sails when properly trimmed.

Close quarters
Meaning: being very or uncomfortably close to someone or something
Origin: In the 17th century, the barriers that sailors laid across a ship’s deck in order to provide a safe haven from the enemy were called close-fights. By the mid 18th century that confined defensive space became called ‘close quarters’, i.e. close dwellings. This eventually came to mean ‘near enough to be able to fight hand to hand’.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call a rooster staring at a pile of lettuce?
     A chicken sees a salad.

The doldrums

The doldrums

Aug 12, 2019 Monday Macatawa Bay, Holland, MI to Calumet River, Marine Services Corporation, Dolton, IL 97.6 nautical miles.

41°38’32.8″N 87°35’16.9″W
41.642443, -87.588036
Elevation: 581 Ft      Locks: 1  Descend: 3 feet

Today was the last of our big water runs. We were in the doldrums for most of the day. A bad day for a sailing vessel is a great day for a motor vessel.

Along the Way

7:00 AM EST

12:00 AM noon EST no change. looks the same

3:00 PM EST 11.6 miles out still no site of land. a bit of breeze picking up

3:00 PM CST Time zone change. 3.5 miles. The buildings are hazy in the horizon.

It wasn’t an exciting day until we hit the river.

We tied up to a barge wall briefly for a storm to move through. The storm never hit us so we continued on.

Thomas J O’Brien Lock
The lockmaster let us free float in the lock rather than tying us off in the rain. Rather than venting water out, the lock doors were cracked open for water to drain out. This was different. We dropped 3 feet.


We’ve never seen an all black boat before.
Do you think this is Hugh Hefner’s old boat? Bunny lounging furniture in front.


Calumet – a long-stemmed, highly ornamented tobacco pipe used by North American Indians on ceremonial occasions, especially in token of peace

Nauti Words

In the doldrums

Meaning: a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression; an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds.
Origin: While crossing the Equator, sailors in the 1700’s would often get their boats stuck due to lack of wind. They called this area the doldrums. A sailing ship caught in the Doldrums can be stranded due to lack of wind. The name was then used geographically to refer to the area itself rather than the state of the ships. The doldrums, or Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), are part of the general circulation system of the Earth.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why did the nurse need a red pen at work?
     In case she needed to draw blood.