3 different Rivers in 5 days- do we know where we are?

I’ve been off work for one week, and without the internet for 6 of those days. We found the boat just where Andy had left it a month earlier, and was he every happy to be back on it.Captain

at Polestar

After visiting with friends on Sunday, we shoved off from Polestar Marina,  St. Charles MO  early Monday morning.Polestar  This day included two locks, the first was Mel Price locate near Alton Illinois—here I learned what a floating bollard was, and found out what the captain expected of his crew.    Before arriving in St. Louis we also had the 10 mile chain of rocks canal and Lock. Chain of rocksWe made it to downtown St. Louis around 13:00, lots of bridges to go under and lots of river  traffic.St LouisWe arrived at Hoppies in Kimmswick at 14:30, and tied up to their dock along the river (several old barges tied together and anchored to the shore)—a 60 mile day.  Since it was Monday, all the stores were closed in town.  We had checked out many of them when we were scouting the Loop route in 2012—so knew what they had to offer.  There were lots of disturbances through the night  caused by either trains going by about a  ½ mile away  or barges going down the Mississippi and creating a wake that rocked the boat.  Tuesday morning we got up and it was socked in with heavy fog. We walked into town in hopes of having breakfast at the Blue Owl café, but unfortunately they didn’t open until 10:00, and we wanted to be on the river by then.    There are no other marina’s on the Mississippi ( if you can  call Hoppies a marina) so our destination for anchorage Tuesday night was the lock wall on the  Kaskaskia  River- Mile 118,  the river was being dredged, so  we had to wait for the dredge to move in order to make it to the wall.  We only travelled about 40 miles this day, the captain wanted me rested for what was coming next. One of the many tows  we passed that day was remarkable  as the tug, had my name on it.  Well almost my name—I took it as a sign that we were doing the right thing by taking this trip now.  We had a great sleep that night.

Twyla LuhrThe next morning- Wednesday we set off early as it was going to be a long day to get to our next anchorage, which was at Mile 22 – a 96 mile run.     We  anchored at Brown’s Bar Chute, which turned out not to be the greatest choice, because it was just before a very narrow bend in the river, we found out that this was a common spot for  north bound tows  to wait  as south bound tows took the  bend in the river.  Several times during the night we heard the sound of diesel engines idling as the waited for their meet.  This night we used the windlass to set the first anchor, but also dropped the auxiliary anchor at the back of the boat as there was a bit of a current.Brown BarWe left at 6:45 Thursday as we wanted to get off the Mississippi and onto the Ohio, where we would have two locks to go through.  The Olmstead Lock is being built to replace Locks 52 and 53 on the Ohio, but it is  still under construction.Olmstead construction Olmstead our escortWe had a tug escort through the Olmstead building site and over the dam at Lock 53, we got through without too much of a wait, but as we proceeded up the Ohio to Lock 52, at mile 939, we weren’t as lucky.  We waited more than 3 hours- each tow seemed to take at least an hour and one northbound tow, somehow got stuck on  the shore and made the wait even longer.  Luckily another pleasure boat showed up at about 16:00 and the lockmaster put us both through in the second lock chamber. Needless to say, we were starting to panic, as with the recent time change it’s dark by 17:00 and we didn’t want to be looking for an anchorage too late. It was dark when we arrived in Paducah Tennessee, which is located at the junction of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers.    There was a city dock in town, but we couldn’t find it—as there was lots of barge traffic along both banks of the Tennessee River.   We ended up anchoring on the South side of Cuba Island about 1.7 miles up the Tennessee River. paducah anchorageI once again got to practice using the windlass and second anchor.  The anchorage was secure, but the wind came up during the night and we had a rain and thunder storm around midnight, that kept us both awake listening for any indication that the boat was moving.anchorage in morningHere’s the view as we left Paducah at 6:30 and proceeded up the Tennessee.  We called the lockmaster at the Kentucky Dam lock and were told that there was an 18 hour wait for barges to get through the lock.  He told us to proceed up regardless as there is a regulation that pleasure craft on stand-by should be allowed through after 3 barges.  We arrived at the lock by 8:45 and were told to anchor out; after the 2nd northbound tow came through it became our turn to lock through.  Once again we had floating bollards, but I now had experience with them- so knew what to do. However was a little bored as  we had to go up 58 feet very slowly.holding a bollard in lockAs we came through the Barkley channel the wind picked up and we had some rain.  We arrived at Green Turtle Bay Marina and Resort just before noon was great to get off the boat- first time in 3 days.  We gassed up and pumped out.  Andy was astonished that we had gone 300 miles on 115 gallons of diesel.  Couldn’t have done that with our Carver!!

We’re in Kentucky— we went shopping at Grand Rivers by golf cart and then went out for supper tonight at the yacht club restaurant, but couldn’t have a drink as we didn’t bring our own booze.   We learned that each member has their own locker for storing their own liquor in this “dry” county- Andy counted 425 numbered cupboards in the facility.  Interesting concept!!

We plan to stay here for a day or two before we go farther south on Kentucky Lake.

6 thoughts on “3 different Rivers in 5 days- do we know where we are?

  1. Robert & Debora Kelly

    It was great being able to see you last week at Polestar Marina. We hope you have a great trip and look forward to seeing you again in May.


  2. Diane Coulter

    Hi, I kept on looking for a post from you, figured you had no internet. Very interesting so far, pictures are great. We are having hot weather down here, been swimming everyday. Keep in touch and stay safe.



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