Blow the Man Down

Blow the Man Down

14-OCT-2020 Wednesday – Rock River, Rock Island, IL (~UMR mile 479)  to just north of the Fort Madison Drawbridge, Fort Madison, IA (~UMR mile 386)      80.0 nautical miles (93.0 statute miles)

40°38’35.6″N 91°12’43.4″W
40.643209, -91.212046
Elevation: 519 feet
Total Elevation Change: -31 feet

Locks (3)
Mississippi River Lock 16 – mile 457, Muscatine, IA
Mississippi River Lock 17 – mile 347, New Boston, IL
Mississippi River 18 – mile 410, Gladstone,  IL and Burlington, IA

States (2)
Iowa, Illinois

Good Morning!

There’s a slight chance of snow in the Quad Cities cities for tomorrow. The anchor was pulled and we were putting water behind us before 7:00 am. Sunrise was 7:14am.

I-280 bridge

HUGE industrial section on the Iowa side just south of I-280. Trains, trucks and tows coming and going.

Tow and Barge Servicing

Poor planning. He should have moved his boat before the water dropped.

Coast Guard vessel checking on and replacing nun and can buoys.

Muscatine, IA – part of the Quad Cities

Unloading coal.
The scoop shovels drops it in the funnel looking then and the conveyor belt moves it up the hill.

Ugly town. Not your quaint little river town like in Minnesota. Check out the giant cement slabs on the bank. Wonder how he got them in there and where did he get them?

Duck blinds

Burlington, IA

Pretty significant Core of Engineers dredging at statute mile 389.

Here’s an odd one

Blow the man down

Wind predicted for today was 20 mph from the South with gusts to 40. We’d have stayed put any other day. It was so gusty almost knocked me down and nearly blew my glasses off my face a couple of times while we were locking.

There were 2-3 foot ways for most of the day with a couple of nearly 4s tossed in.

We would have continued further for another hour or so but the Coast Guard closed the Fort Madison Drawbridge to all river navigation due to high winds.  It’s a 13 foot bridge. We need it to swing.

Good Night

We are 140 nautical miles (168 statue miles) from the Illinois River Confluence where we will pick up America’s Great Loop at Grafton, IL. To date we’ve traveled 386.7 nautical miles (445 statue miles).

My FitBit step count is embarrassing. I’m used to getting around 10k steps a day.  It’s hard to get steps in when we are anchoring out and non-stop traveling. It’s too cold to swim. Dale’s using the free weights. I’m still thinking about using them. I’ll start tomorrow.

On the bright side both Dale and I are sleeping well from the invigorating fresh air.


The Mississippi River System is the 3rd largest river system on the world. It flows 2,348 miles from Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. It is divided into two sections: the Upper Mississippi River and the Lower Mississippi River. The navigable section of the Upper Mississippi River flows from Minneapolis, MN to the confluence of the Ohio River at Cairo, IL (statute mile ).

In the 1920s, the Corp of Engineers began building a series of locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River to better serve navigation over the 420 foot elevation drop between the first lock to the last lock. The Lower Mississippi River, starting at Ohio River at Cairo, IL free flows 954 feet to the Gulf of Mexico. There are no locks or dams on it.

Nauti Words

Blow the man down
Blow the Man Down is an English sea shanty. The lyric “Blow the man down” most likely refers to a common mishap at sea during the age of sail wherein a strong, sudden gale catches a ship with its topsails fully set – the force of the wind, depending upon the load and balance of the ship’s cargo, can actually “blow the man down”, or blow the man-o’-war down into the water, partially capsizing it.

A sea shanty is a work song closely connected to a form of work, either sung while conducting a task or a song linked to a task which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song.

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