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Month: September 2019

Our story’s been told

Our story’s been told

Sep 5, 2019 Thursday Treasure Island Casino, mile 798, Sturgeon Lake, Welch, MN  to Twin Cities Marina, mile 830, Inver Grove Heights, MN to 29.9 nautical miles.

44°51’28.4″N 93°00’51.3″W
44.857882, -93.014236
Elevation: 687 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 13 feet
                                            Lock 2 – mile 815, Hastings, MN
Remaining Statue Miles: 0

Our story’s been told.
It’s written in gold!

Yes Dear passed safely into the Twin Cities Marina harbor with flying colors, bringing us wandering swashbucklers home. Our dream is realized.

We will be living on the boat until it goes on the hard for the winter.  Stop by and spin a yarn with us! Twin Cities Marina, mile 830, Inver Grove Heights, MN


¸. ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·…¸><((((º>¸. 
.·´¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·…¸><((((º>

Along the Way

But of course it was another cloudy day today. The only thing is does is darken pictures, never spirits.


Prescott, WI
Hastings, MN
Lock 2 – mile 815, Hastings, MN The last lock

One more dock and no more locks!

Grey Cloud ~ mile 827. It’s a pretty solid chunk of rock here

Our new home

I think we are going to fit right in here.

Closing Comments: Pray for the Bahamas. We are truly blessed that we had the opportunity to visit them before they were hit by Hurricane Dorian.

Nauti Words

Meaning: a swaggering swordsman, soldier, explorer or adventurer; daredevil
Origin: The word originated in the 1500’s and was used to refer to below average swordsman.

Passed with flying colors
Meaning: overwhelming victory, triumph, or success
Origin: This expression comes from the custom of sailing ships that would fly their colors or put up their flags and pennants if they wanted to be identified when passing other ships at sea.

Spin a Yarn
Meaning: Tell a story, much of which may be out of fantasy
Origin: Sailors would tell stories while making spun-yarn, rope or doing other repetitious chores

Drolleries and Yuks

What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?
Every morning you’ll rise and shine!

Link to Final Stats

Blue and clueless

Blue and clueless

Sep 4, 2019 Wednesday Lake Pepin – mile 772 Lake City MN to Treasure Island Casino, mile 798, Sturgeon Lake, Welch, MN    23.6 nautical miles.

44°38’18.8″N 92°38’30.7″W
44.638558, -92.641854
Elevation: 674 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 8 feet
                                             Lock 3 – mile 797, Welch/Red Wing, MN
Remaining Statue Miles: 32

We’re feeling a little blue today as our adventure is nearing its end and we haven’t achieved our goal our of figuring out what we want to do when we get back to Minnesota. We’re excited to be with family and friends again, but we are still clueless on what we will do next.

(-; We will be at Twin Cities Marina in Inver Grove Heights tomorrow evening, Thursday, Sep 5. We are out of provisions. Bring beer and food. 😉

Along the Way

Our flag is tattered. ‘Yesterday’s and last night’s wind was hard on it. It blew around and looped through.
Lock 3 – mile 797, Welch-Red Wing, MN

Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant.

Treasure Island Resort and Casino‎

Dressed to the nines (i.e. with shoes on, not our standard flip flops) we headed to the casino to win enough money to go around the Loop a second time. Hoping to channel Dale’s Mom’s spirit, we played all of her favorite machines.

Anita must have been off somewhere with Mil as she certainly wasn’t around to help us out. Casino’s have a way of knocking someone down a peg or two and taking the wind out of sails.


Barn Bluff in Red Wing is considered sacred by the Dakota people because it is the site of many burial mounds.

Nauti Words

Feeling Blue
Meaning: being sad or depressed
Origin: ‘Feeling Blue’ comes from a custom that was practiced when a ship lost its captain during a voyage.  The ship would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her hull when she returned to port.

Hasn’t got a clue (clew)
Meaning: The word clue was originally a variant spelling of clew. If someone “hasn’t got a clue” then they do not understand or are not knowledgeable.
Origin: Clew refers to the corner of the sail where a brass ring is sewn into the fabric of the sail in order to properly hold the sail in place. If a clew should rip, the sail would loose shape and the vessel will not sail in a controlled manner. Until it is refastened, it “hasn’t got a clew,” or needs to “get clewed up” again.

Dressed to the nines
Meaning: “To the nine” is an English idiom meaning “to perfection” or “to the highest degree” or “buoyantly and high class”.
Origin: To celebrate victories, a returning ship would approach her home waters or port “dressed” in bunting and flags. As many of the crew as possible would line up on the nine primary yards (i.e. spar on a mast, cross-piece from which the sail hangs) as a salute to their monarch.

Take someone down a peg or two
Origin: deflate someone’s ego or lower someone’s status
Meaning: This expression comes from the fact that the flags of old sailing vessels were raised or lowered using pegs. To lower a flag meant to surrender.

Drolleries and Yuks

How do crazy people go through the forest?
They take the physco path.

One small step for mankind

One small step for mankind

Sep 3, 2019 Tuesday West Newton MN  to Lake City Marina, Lake Pepin – mile 772 Lake City MN 23.0 nautical miles.

44°27’01.7″N 92°15’48.2″W
44.450461, -92.263389
Elevation: 666 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 7 feet
                                             Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI
Remaining Statue Miles: 58

A couple of shakes and we were off. We pulled anchorage this morning for the last time on our voyage. 🙁

Along the Way

Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI. Another pictures river town (with a rail road track)
Coming into Wabasha. This is the largest dredge mountain we’ve seen. Over the tops of the trees and a mile long.

Wabasha is the best of the small towns along the river. The train is further in, not right along the bank.

The eagles weren’t in town today. Didn’t see a single one all morning.

Slippery’s. The Gold Looper buddy boats pulled in just before we did.

Slippery’s. One small step for mankind.
This is Dale’s first time on Minnesota land since Aug 5, 2018. 395 days. We celebrated by having a beer. First time we broke our drink and drive rule in 395 days (and longer).

Heading into Pepin.

On a walk about town scavenging for food.

Lake City Court House 2002 and 1899. Great job blending the addition into the old building.
Where ever we go we seem to meet really great people. We met Kevin and Summer at Railhouse Grill, where we had supper. They have 4 dash hounds. Several of them are rescues. One of them is a long haired dash hounds. Oscar W I’m thinking of you!


Lake Pepin averages 20–32 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 60 feet.

Water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat in Lake City. But of course you as a Minnesotan already knew that.

Nauti Words

Couple of shakes
Meaning: in a short time period.
Origin: Shakes refers to the shaking (luffing) of the head sails if the vessel points up too close to the wind. Sailors would measure short periods of time before watch changes with a “couple of shakes.”

Drolleries and Yuks

What side of a fish has the most scales?
     The outside

Chalk it up

Chalk it up

Sep 2, 2019 Monday Mile 674, Reno, MN to West Newton Chute – mile 747, West Newton MN  66.3 nautical miles.

44°15’58.2″N 91°54’03.0″W
44.266154, -91.900828
Elevation: 659 ft     Locks: 5  Ascent: 39 feet
                                   Lock 8 – mile 679, Genoa, WI
                                   Lock 7 – mile 703, La Crescent, MN and Onalaska, WI
                                   Lock 6 – mile 714, Trempealeau, WI
                                   Lock 5A – mile 728, Fountain City, WI and Goodview, MN
                                   Lock 5 – mile 738, Minnesota City, MN
Remaining Statue Miles: 83

Today was Dale’s first full day in Minnesota since Aug 5, 2018. Barely sneaking in a couple hundred feet last night to anchor doesn’t count. He was bummed there was no ‘Welcome to Minnesota’ sign along the river go greet him.

Along the Way

Lock 8 – mile 679, Genoa, WI.  We had to wait (and wait and wait) at Lock 8 for a tow to clear.

It wasn’t a bad wait because as there was stuff going on to keep us entertained. For starters there was convocation of eagles whistling to each other. One of the young eagles seemed particularly needy. If I was its mother I might have popped a gobstopper in its mouth.

Fishing must be really good on the west side of this lock. A system has been set-up where a townside fisherman raises a flag and the fish taxi comes to get them to take them to the other side the lock. The fisherman lowers the flag before he gets on the boat.

Eventually the tow we were waiting on exited the lock. We still had to wait (and wait and wait). I suspect the lock staff was either taking time out to celebrate Labor Day with coffee and donuts or maybe having trouble with the lock doors.

Coming into La Crescent, WI

Lock 7 – mile 703, La Crescent, MN and Onalaska, WI

Above the lock

Lock 6 – mile 714, Trempealeau, WI – This area is the prettiest on the Mississippi River. Perrot State Park is on the right, just north of the lock.

Eagle Bluff
Entering Winona

Lock 5A – mile 728, Fountain City, WI and Goodview, MN

All these little town look really quaint and inviting. Looks like a great place to buy a retirement home. Bzzzzzzt! No! The day you moved in you would put your house for sale. Trains run along the river through the little towns on both the Wisconsin side and the Minnesota side EVERY 15 minutes to a half hour. 7×24. NO KIDDING. They are loud enough to be slightly annoying even when anchoring out.

Lock 5 – mile 738, Minnesota City, MN  kids

Some of these pictures are probably in the wrong chronological order or mis-labled. I really don’t care enough to figure it out and fix. Deal with it. 🙂


The name, Winona, comes from a Dakota word – We-no-nah – meaning “first-born daughter.”

Winona’s iconic Sugar Loaf rock formation was created when the mining of the bluff for limestone ceased in the 1880s.

The Minnesota Maritime Museum has artwork from Picasso, Kandinsky, Renoir and Van Goph. We’ll stop another day.

The motorcycle Flood Run from St. Croix Beach ends in Winona.

Nauti Words

Meaning: large, round, hard candy, also know as a jawbreaker
Origin: The expression originates in the nautical practice of placing a grapeshot in the mouth (gob) of an over-talkative ship’s mate or youngster.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why don’t cats play poker in the jungle?
There are too many cheetahs.

The end of Endless Summer

The end of Endless Summer

Sep 1, 2019 Sunday Port of Debuque – Mile 579, Debuque, IA   to Mile 674, Reno, MN   85.2 nautical miles.

43°30’34.6″N 91°13’03.7″W
43.509620, -91.217696
Elevation: 620 ft         Locks: 3  Ascent: 26 feet
                                       Lock 11 – mile 583, Dubuque, IA
                                       Lock 10 – mile 615, Guttenberg, IA
                                       Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 251

Along the Way

Illinois Central Railroad Bridge, Debuque – Checking clearance above the bimini.

Two miles north of 2 miles north the Port of Debuque we were north of the Illinois state line.  On Wisconsin! We did a hole lot of living on the rivers in Illinois and along the Illinois state line; running the gauntlet with the barges, partying with pirates, damming up and damming down. Hugging Illinois since Aug 13, twenty days, one day shy of three weeks.

The map ends here. Oopsie.
When we had the Raymarine chart plotter chip made for the Loop we forgot to tell the guy we needed the Mississippi River too. We still have our backup ipad Navionics.

Labor Day is the end of Endless Summer. There were so many boats on the river it sometimes felt like we were in a washing machining machine, making me wonder how the little boats felt. This was the worst little boat traffic we’ve been in the entire trip. Worse than Florida. Most-likely it has to do with Labor Day Weekend. Surprisingly, there was also a lot of barge traffic today. The heaviest barge traffic since we headed north on the Mississippi River. If there wasn’t an equal amount of up river traffic I’d have thought the dam had broke.

The little boats and wave runners are crazy! They only have one speed. Full speed. I’ve never seen such fast pontoons as there are on this river. What happened to the put-putters? Then there are ‘The Tubers’, water skiers and wake boarders. They too are running full into the mix with the other boats and slaloming around the bouys. If someone falls or falls off ……

Slip and slide on man made dredged-sand hill.
Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA.
There are two Golder Looper boats in the the picture here, also waiting for the lift.
Migratory flock at campground


Dale’s first time in Minnesota in over a year!


The Driftless area is an area (as in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa) that is free from glacial drift. It was surrounded by glaciers during the Pleistocene, last glacial period and yet remained untouched by passing glaciers. The area has deep cut river valleys, such as the Kickapoo, and rugged rock bluffs near La Crosse indicating lack of glacial drift

The ‘Driftless area’ includes the incised Paleozoic Plateau of southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa. The region includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet at Blue Mound State Park and covers an area of 24,000 square miles.


The term ‘Nautical’ originates from the Greek word ‘nauti’ meaning sailor.

The word skipper is synonymous with boat Captain and originates from the Dutch word ‘schipper’ that means the master of a trading vessel.

A yacht is a vessels used mainly for pleasure. The word ‘yacht’ comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’ that means to hurry.  It has been Anglicized to yacht. The word yacht only applied to light fast vessels in its early usage

Nauti Words

Run the gauntlet
Meaning: go through an unpleasant experience
Origin: The term comes from a naval punishment where the punished crew member was forced to proceed between two lines of men who would beat and whip him. The word gauntlet was earlier spelled “gantlope” which originates from the Swedish “gata” meaning road, and “lopp” meaning course.