So close but yet so far

So close but yet so far

16-OCT-2020 Friday – Kings Island (a.k.a. Tower Island), Hannibal, MO (~UMR mile 306) to Sterling Island, Elsberry MO  (~UMR mile 251)   50.7 nautical miles (~58.4 statute miles)

39°07’36.2″N 90°42’09.2″W
39.126717, -90.702550
Elevation: 433 feet
Total Elevation Change: 27 feet

Locks (2)
Lock 22 – mile 301, Saverton MO (no Lock 23)
Lock 24 – mile 273, Clarksville, MO

States (2)
Illinois, Missouri

Good Morning!

Hannibal, MO The Land of Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ Mark Twain

Along the Way

You always hear about someone going down the River in a pontoon….

Like minded individuals. They’ve got motorcycles. We’ve got scooters. We are both heading south.

Look who just showed up for Lock 22 as the doors were closing.

As we free floated through the lock we got to chat with them a little bit. Jeff and Calvin are from Colorado and left from Hudson, WI. They planned go all the way to New Orleans but are now thinking about stopping at Alton as they feel the Lower Mississippi River will be too much for their 1000 pounds of motorcycle and ?? pounds of lumber on their pontoon. It’s not even a tri-toon. 

Having fun. Sun is warm, engines purring as they should, we’ve even got a gentle tail wind.

Twin River Marina fuel stop. Yeah! We made it and still have just under half a tank. Thanks Clay Stark Logan for the recommendation to stop here. You were right. Great marina and really friendly people.

Threading the needle.  Helper tow on the left assisting the primary tow on the right through the swing bridge.

So close but so far away

We won’t make it to the Loop at Grafton today. ☹ A two hour wait for a tug to clear at Lock 24. There is lots of tow traffic especially now that the Illinois Waterway has reopened after being closed all summer. We can hear them calling the Locks jockeying for queue position. Great time to do the morning dishes and put air in a couple of fenders.

We set a short picnic scope (3:1) on the anchor while we waited it out. The below picture illustrates exactly why you need to be careful when you set a short anchor scope. We dragged about 140 feet due to the wind. (We could have reset it but were too lazy)

River Rats 103 – Locks and Dams

If your are going to travel on major rivers in a boat you need to know how to lock through a dam. Most locks have two chambers, the main chamber and a smaller auxiliary chamber. Their ends are always painted bright yellow, making it easy to see which side the river the lock is on from a distance.

If you don’t have a VHF radio to hail the lock, usually channel 14, you can pull the chain to let them know you need passage. Thank goodness for our hand held VHF radio.

There is a traffic light at the entrance to the lock. You need a green light for permission to enter the lock.

Locks with short lifts/drops use lines to secure vessels. Floating bollards are needed in locks with longer lifts/drops as they lift/drop with the water level.

Sometimes Lock Masters offer the option to free float and not tie off. Our preference is to tie off.

Leaving the lock. Lock door open to the up river side. The Lock Master will blow a horn for permission to exit the lock.

A helper tow is at the ready if a tow needs assistance getting in or out of the lock due to high winds or other issues.

As for the the dam part….

Dam maintenance

Up river view

The dam gates on the right and left are submersible Tainter gates which are used to control water flow. The ones in the center are non-submersible roller gates used to both control control the flow of water and manage erosion damage.

LOL Many of the locks on the Upper Mississippi River resemble the Corp of Engineers flag.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did the fish say when he ran into a wall?

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