Dee Light - da Trip South - 2000
Note ……. This Log was written by Capt. Ron ..typed by Ann ..
and a few modifications by Marv …..
19, 2000 – Thursday – Mississippi Parkside Marina – Wabasha,
MN – mile 760.5 -
Marv and Ann drove from Eau Claire to Wabasha .. the two
went shopping for food and other supplies for the trip
..after dropping Ann and the groceries off at Dee Marv went
to the Eagles Nest Coffee Shop in Wabasha to say good bys
and to pick up a stock of fresh ground coffee .. Jimmy
joined the crew in the mid afternoon .. Marv gave his car to
Mike and Carol .. Mike’s son Ben will be driving Marv’s car
South to join the Crew for the second week of the trip ..
Marv said final good bys to Mike and Carol ..also to the
staff at the Mississippi Parkside Marina ….. the Crew was
joined by Dar and Marjorie at Slippery’s for dinner .. after
dinner and final good bys to the staff at Slippery’s Marv
loaded six containers of soup and four racks of ribs into
Dar’s car to bring back to Dee for the trip …. Marv returned
to Slippery’s and joined Jimmy and others at the bar .. Marv
told the staff that he would return for Thanksgiving .. and
that Dee should be in Destin or Panama City at that time …….
20, 2000 – Friday – Mississippi Parkside Marina – Wabasha,
MN – mile 760.5 -
- Marv .. Jimmy .. Ann ….
05:30 am Marv and Jimmy were up and getting Dee ready to
take off .... winds at 18-20 mph SW to NW .. beautiful
weather .. record high were recorded in both Eau Claire on
October 10th and 18th .. on October the forecast
was 81 in Eau Claire and 83 in Wabasha .. Marv called lock
#4 @ 07:00 .. the Lock Master said that he knew of a Tow
Boat heading South located North of Redwing .., he did not
have anything heading North from below Lock #4 ….. breakfast
of fruit .. toast and cereal ….. the screen in front of TV
on the Aft Deck was nonfunctional … so Jimmy and Marv fixed
it very fast and thoroughly by pulling the screen off ….
Marv decided to order tinted glass doors to replace the
Cheryl and Bud arrived ... Cheryl departed Dee and
left Bud in our hands ……… Jon .. Sarah .. Joel ( from
Slippery’s ) and Cheryl waved goodbye as we took off at
07:45 am …..
– Marv .. Jimmy .. Bud .. Ann
09:00 – the first Ferris Wheels were called the vertical
merry go round .. while giving rides at Winnie County Fair a
man by the name of Ferris saw it and purchased the rights to
it and built a Ferris Wheel for the Chicago World’s Fair …..
Jimmy informed us that there was a bar on the
Minnesota bank .. Bass Camp area .. called Buckeye’s with a
big fish on the wall ….. a topic of discussion at the bar
was always .. how big is the fish ….
11:00 – we where in the lock and out by 11:15 … dropped 9
feet ... this is the longest MN-WI lock on Upper Mississippi
River …... the Lock is in the Village of Bass Camp area ..
we spotted a large ‘river rat’ while going through the Lock
….. the Markers in water are “Red Nuns” and “Green cans” …
we had a cup of delicious Vanilla Bean Coffee from Eagles
Nest in Wabasha ... which Marv picked up before we left
in the Lock and out by 11:45 a.m. … drop of 6 feet ..
passed the Town of Fountain City .. Tow Boat just below the
… we stopped in Winona at the ‘wall’ for refueling …
we saw historical riverboats …. the Pearson … a paddle wheel
steam boat ... built in 1895 .. it was used to move sand and
gravel barges on the Upper Mississippi River down around the
Quad Cities … ( Rock Is .. Moline .. Bettendorf .. Davenport
) ... in 1959 the company sold the Pearson to the historical
society of Winona and turned it into a steamboat museum ..
it burned in 1980 ... then it was rebuilt as the Julius C.
Wilkie .. the steam engines were salvaged and used in the
rebuilt boat ... it is now a museum in Winona ... we picked
up Capt. Ron at 12 noon … Capt. Ron had been a river Tow
Boat Captain since 1956 and is the author of a book called
.. “The Upper Mississippi River” .. Ann walked Autumn to
in Winona at Severson Oil Co.
- 0.0 gals … Mid - 260 gals … FWD - 282.0 gals
– 542.0 gals
- 0923.3 hours … Starboard - 0929.8 hours
- 0.0 gals
- 00.00 hours
Crew met Reggie McLeod .. Riverwise, Inc. .. a publishing
company located in Winona .. they publish Big River Magazine
and others ... Marv provides pictures of Tow Boats to Reggie
.. prior to this meeting .. Marv and Reggie only knew each
other via the internet ... other visitors included Mary
Feathergill .. Joshua Wolff .. Trisha Ferguson .. Jimmy’s
cousin .. and Trudy ...
– Marv .. Jimmy .. Bud .. Ann .. Capt. Ron
12:35 – Dee Light left Winona …..
13:15 – we floated through the Lock .. in and out by 13:25
.. went Passed Mt Trempealeau just before entering Lock 6 ..
the only mountain on the river ... then Town of Trempealeau,
WI ... everyone is still sober ... and Ann took a nap on the
14:00 – encountered a Tow Boat locking down …. At the Lock
area is the community of Dresbach, MN.. beautiful homes
along the river … this is the widest point on the Upper
Mississippi River .. waited 30 minutes for the South bound
Tow Boat …….
we entered Lock 7 and were back out by 14:45 ...
since we were the only boat we “floated “ into chamber ..
boat dropped nine feet .. on the way to lock 8 we
encountered a “swing bridge” of the La Crosse Railroad
Bridge .. it is the Canadian Pacific Railroad Bridge …
passed Pettibone Park across from the city of La Crosse ...
saw two Paddle Wheel boats .. Julia Belle Swain .. powered
by steam and the La Crosse Queen powered by diesel ... both
are excursion boats ... Julia Belle Swain was one of the 6
paddle wheel steam boats operating on the Mississippi and
according to Capt. Ron .. the most beautiful …
in the La Crosse area .. a Tow Boat with barges was
being helped by harbor tug .. James Brennan ... below La
Crosse at Broken Arrow Fleet ... the Hamilton tow was a
special Tow Boat .. in that the Pilot House could be raised
up and down ... there are only 100 out of 6000 tow boats
which have this type of Pilot House ... each barge carries
about 1,500 tons .. so 15 barges carry about 22,500
tons-awesome .. saw another Bald Eagle ….
16:40 - arrived at the Lock .. but waited 45 minutes for
barges to come through .. Genoa, Wisconsin ….world’s first
nuclear generator for electricity at Genoa power plant ..
proved that nuclear power could be used to produce
electricity .. but wasn’t large enough to be efficient .. so
bigger ones had to be built .. served as the prototype for
the bigger nuclear generators ... in Lock 8 at 16:40 and out
by 16:55 .. drop of 9 feet …..
17:05 - passed Minnesota-Iowa border..
in lock and out by 18:25 … we
received a “verbal shot” or reprimand from Army Corps of
Engineers because we were creating wakes disturbing the 39
small barges which had dredge pipe on them ... Marv sweet
talked them on the radio and they called off the “river
cops” … started getting chilly .. beautiful scenery and Fall
colors and sunset …. quaint river towns ... the river Bluffs
are elegant …… we saw a minister who is canoeing from the
beginning of the Mississippi .. ( Itasca ) to the Gulf ..
something he had always wanted to do … he was cited along
the shores .. campfire and campsite .. his website is …
www.passingpaddles.com …. it is
getting dark … Jim at the helm .. Bud navigating .. Marv
over seeing .. Capt. Ron observing radar .. Autumn sleeping
and Ann praying a lot … docked safely at Marquette Isles
.. now called .. Island of Capri Casino Boat ... no power
or water on the dock .. the Dee Light was “parked” with
great expertise by Marv …. Bud and Jimmy tied up Dee ... we
all left the boat in great shape .. hungry .. and thinking
of casino winnings ... we all had dinner at the Capris Isles
.. just a short walk from Dee .... a buffet .. food was
plentiful and fairly tasty .. Bud and Jimmy stayed on and
visited the Casino ... Marv .. Capt. Ron and Ann walked
back to Dee .. each taking care of some chores on board .. a
good first day ……
Mile Marker was 635.7 … total mileage for the day was 125
boats/barges encountered Number of Locks
Extern with 15 barges 7 locks
Tow, 3 petroleum barges
21, 2000 – Saturday - Island of Capri Casino
Marina ( formerly the Miss Marquette Marina ) –
Marquette, IA – mile 635.7 -
- .. da Crew headed south in the dark ….
06:00 - .. encountered a Tow Boat ... weather to be a high
70’s .. clear .. sunny .. little wind …….
called the Lock Master and then at 08:30 called again .. we
waited one hour for the Tow Boat Hamilton who was locking
thru Lock 10 … heading South ……
Lock and pulled out of the Lock at 10:45 .. we were able to
float through the Chamber all alone …. on the way to lock 11
we went past Abele’s Island which has a private airstrip
where people commute to Milwaukee for work ... we passed the
town of Guttenberg … home of Guttenberg Bible …. many
islands in this area of this Upper Mississippi … the islands
are a part of the Upper Mississippi River wildlife reserve
which extends from Wabasha .. 350 miles to the Quad Cities
... the islands are open to the public for recreational
purposes ... we passed Cassiville .. which had a ferry, and
passed two Tow Boats ……. above lock 10 there are many caves
.. which were formed from mining silica .. sand which was
shipped world wide .. big enough for large semi trucks to
drive in ... during the cold war they were used as bomb
shelters ... now are used for grain and corn storage …. Iowa
on the starboard side and Wisconsin on the port side going
South or down river .. very scenic .. Fall colors still
beautiful .. scenic railroad tracks along the river …….
in Lock and out at 11:20 … passed Eagle Point Park .. a Tug
Boat .. and Dubuque, IA after leaving the lock ….
….. crossed the Wisconsin-Iowa border .. went through a
swing bridge and now Illinois on port side .. a toll bridge
between Illinois and Iowa used as a toll bridge when Iowa
was “dry” …. a Casino Boat on port side in Iowa … many
Casinos on the way ... passed the “Passing Paddle” Canoe on
starboard with 2 people in it, they were on the way to the
Gulf .. passed Tow Boat Cooperative Mariner at 11:55 ….
to wait for an hour for 10 bass boats that were in a Bass
Fishing Tournament ... seven kayakers on a two week trip
from Chicago, Illinois area going to Savannah, Illinois …
Ann took a nap in the Cock Pit ……
- …. in the lock and out at 13:25 all kayakers were
in first and holding on to ropes .. lowered 8.5 feet …. one
lady was a novice … her first kayaking trip … passed an old
closed button factory which was closed during World War II.
Buttons were made from clam shells out of the Mississippi
River ... when plastic came in .. the factories closed … on
the way to Lock 13 we met a Tow Boat .. Issaquena .. bluffs
are thinning out .. more sand beaches .. small trees … also
passed US Army Depot testing grounds on starboard side …..
Tow Boat .. Dreama Klebee. Savannah IL .. home of Wayne
King .. first the bluffs .. now very flat .. another swing
bridge .. Sabula, Iowa ..
a lock delay … had to wait for the Decatur Lady ..
waited from 14:50 to 16:20 .. departed at 16:30 ... upon
departure passed the James W Bukey laying against the
Illinois bank with 15 empties waiting to lock up at lock 13
Arrived at Clinton Railroad Bridge .. a Show Boat ..
which was built as a steam paddle wheel Tow Boat .. called
the Omar …. then around 1950 the state of West Virginia took
the boat and fixed if for its centennial celebration and
renamed it the Rhododendron .. Clinton Iowa then purchased
it and transformed it into a Show Boat and now it is on the
Levy ... several light houses .. much activity ... including
the Mississippi Belle III Casino Boat .. Clinton, Iowa ....
big saw mill/lumbering town .. at one time more lumber
barons than any other in the world ….. on the port side we
had Albany, IL .. many stilt houses built right on the beach
.. Bunge Corporation .. large grain exporter to barges down
Mississippi to New Orleans and then shipped to Holland ..
neat river town ….. town of Camanche, Iowa .. thought to be
settled by a doctor from Chicago .. he had a horse name
Camanche and thus named the town after the horse ... also
saw the 3 M plant which produces cassette tapes ... they use
the rust from foundries in Gary, Indiana .. rust highly
magnetic properties .. big beach party on Princeton Beach
opposite Cordova, IL ….. Jimmy thought he saw some ladies on
the beach and you know what happened to him .. then Buddy
caught on and “Katy by the door.”
Boat Tigre .. multiple quaint river towns along both sides
of the Mississippi ...
17:45 - ….. arrived at the lock. waited until 18:45 when
we could enter the lock .. left the lock at 18:55 ...
19:05 - ….. sun had set thus used search light and radar
to find our way to Davenport ... caught up to a Tow Boat ..
passed him ... received help from Tow Boat’s lights that
guided us through the channel by showing us the buoy so we
would stay in the channel .. outside of the channel there is
solid rock ...
19:30 Marv called the Marina .. but did not get an answer
….. either the Marina is out of business or was closed for
the season ……. Marv then called the restaurant in Davenport
for directions to the Marina to tie up for the night .. we
ended up on a 700 foot wall that runs parallel to da River
.. the owner Mr. Sweet of the Marina and Restaurant was
there to help us dock Dee ... and take payment for the
evening dockage .. we cleaned up …. very short walk to
dinner which was delicious ... Mr. Sweet had told us about
the five star Chef over the phone ... we had appetizers of
Thai Chicken Wings and Portabella Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
.. had a great time .. Buddy and Jimmy made sure the town
was “locked up tight” …… Marv .. Capt. Ron and Ann went back
to make sure the boat was in good shape ……
for the day was 152 miles and 7 locks
Boats Encountered Number Locks
Tigre tow had 6 empty sand and gravel barges 7 locks
October 22, 2000 – Quad City Marina – Davenport, IA – mile
06:30 – …. da Crew up …. temperature was 55 and winds at
about 15 mph ... another great weather day ….
.. underway from Davenport/Rock Island …...
07:15 - …. locked down .. floated through .. lowered down
15 foot and departed Lock 15 at 07:30 …. before we left Marv
had to remove antennas to clear the bridge …. this was a
combination bridge …. with cars on top deck and trains on
lower deck ... the Bridge originally built 1800’s and
Steamboat Fulton rammed it and thus the bridge had to be
rebuilt …. three hundred oxen had to jump into the water and
everyone had to round up these critters it took some days to
get them all …
07:40 - …. we went through the Crescent Railroad Swing
Bridge … may not be operational anymore as we went through
without requesting …
07:50 - ….passed the Penny Eckstein Tow with 6 barges ...
at 08:00 we passed the Rock Island Dipper Dredge …. the crew
had Sunday off …. they were spudded down for the day ..
08:15 - ….met the Tow Boat Rusty Flowers …. then passed
the Tow Boat Rookey which had 9 coal barges …..
08:25 - ….. passed the Marc with 4 loaded barges …..
09:00 - …. arrived at the lock and floated through at
09:15 .. passed Muscatine, Iowa …. this city was renamed so
other towns would not have the same name … no other town in
the world with this name …..
- …. arrived at lock … Tow Boat Lexington locking up with
a double .. first cut on upper wall and second cut being
into the Lock by the Tow ...
11:00 - …. the Lexington departed and then the American
Queen enters the Lock …. this is an Excursion Boat on a
cruise from St Louis to St Paul ... this is a stern paddle
wheel steam boat… cost of 65 million to build .. christened
in June of 1995 … and has accommodations for 400 passengers
and a crew of 150 … it has double stacks which from the
water line up to the top of the stack is 109 feet … carries
international and national customers at a hefty price …. our
Capt. Ron chatted on the radio with Capt. Adrian who was the
Captain of the American Queen … they were old friends from
the Tow Boat days …..
11:30 - …. we entered the Lock and were back out at 11:40
with a drop of 6.5 feet …. we encountered three Tow Boats
waiting to enter the Locks heading North .. the Peter
Fanchey had no barges … that is called a “light boat” so he
could lock up with one of the other tows …. came past a town
called New Boston …. named because the early settlers
emigrating from Boston named their town .. “New Boston” ..
also passed the town of Keithsberg, Iowa .. this town was
surveyed out by Abraham Lincoln … also passed Oquawka, IL ….
and Indian term meaning yellow sand .. weather changing to
slight drizzle and fog on and off … passed Tow Boat Zeus ….
approached the Lock and had to tie off instead of being
able to float through and out at 12:05 ….
12:15 - …. waited for the Amtrak to cross the Railroad
Bridge before it could open and let us through … at 12:35
the Bridge opened and we ‘sailed’ through ….
12:45 - …… we passed the Kathy Ellen Tow Boat by the mouth
of the Skunk River …
just above the Fort Madison Railroad Bridge (A lady bridge
tender) and she said she would wait and swing the Bridge ….
so the Kernan Tow Boat and we could pass through ….. the
only Railroad Bridge on Mississippi River which has double
tracks … meaning two trains can meet and pass on the Bridge
…. also has a deck for automobiles .. the light rain ceased
at this time … passed city of Fort Madison, Iowa .. the city
of 2 “pens”, Schaefer Pens and the Federal Prison .. ha ….
- …. arrived at Keokuk, Iowa at the Yacht Club to
refuel .. this is where Ann upset the “Viking” football fans
… Jimmy said part of his Union Contract was a 3 hour period
of time which starts at Noon on Sunday and then he was to be
off during that quite ‘sacred’ period of time he will be
watching the Viking game and does not want to be called upon
.. asked .. interfered with in any respect !!! … Jimmy found
a good spot on the Back Deck and took control of the TV-Sat
Controller .. all had a grand time until the vacuum cleaner
started ... only 40 seconds to half time .. the Vikings were
down by 4 and Vikings were within the five yard line … and
Jimmy became a tad upset with the vacuuming activities … Ann
started up the vacuum between the TV and Jimmy .. this was
the last vacuum activity for Ann for the Trip …. all spent
some time in the Yacht Club …. Capt. Ron sold two of his
great books on the Upper Mississippi .. pushed a few fluids
.. the weather remained overcast and drizzly … Ann took
Autumn out for her walk .. had dinner at the Hawk Eye
Restaurant .. delicious ... Bud had an extra extra thick
Steak .. wonderful piece of meat .. but poorly prepared ..
meaning it was warm in the middle with blood coagulated
instead of cold with the blood flowing freely .. Marv had
his favorite .. Baby Back Ribs .. Capt. Ron had Tenderloin
Tips … Ann a lovely Steak … Jimmy stayed behind and feasted
on Pizza .. and charmed the local ladies … took a cab and
the driver informed us about the “geo“ rocks found in
Keokuk, Iowa .. on the return trip back to the boat .. as
usual .. Ann the was again the first one to hit the deck ..
then Capt. Ron and heaven only knows what happened to the
other guys …. they enjoyed Iowa ..
was 117 and 4 Locks ..
October 23, 2000
- Keokuk Yacht Club – Keokuk, IA - mile 366.9
09:15 - .. late morning as we are all waiting for the fuel
truck .. weather was foggy and drizzly … the river is
beautiful with the sun coming up and thru the light fog ..
the fog and the sky hazy .. and the mist rising from the
river .. what an awesome sight !! …..
0945 - … fueling truck came at 09:45 .. Marv was in
contact with Matt Larson’s Mother-in Law .. Sue Kennedy from
Keokuk, Iowa .. Sue and her Mother Marie joined us and
brought some oranges and grapes ..
in Keokuk, Iowa -
- 344.0 gals … Mid – 241.5 gals … FWD - 184.6
– 769.1 gals
– 0949.6 hours … Starboard – 0955.8 hours
– 29.41 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
- ??? hours …
power failure occurred at Lock 19 so we had to wait until
10:30 ... a large Power Plant was next to the Lock ..
integral to the Lock .. and yet the Lock had no power ... in
the meantime Bud took advantage of having ground
transportation and got a “mouse” from the Radio Shack .. a
computer mouse that is ... however .. then the lock called
and said they were ready for us so we all got back on the
boat and got underway ... Capt Ron sold another of his
“Upper Mississippi” books ...
in lock and out at 10:50 .. tied off to a Floating
Bollard at mid-ship on starboard side and lowered 38’ … the
next Bollard was 200 feet away …. Dee went under the
railroad bridge and Marv had to lower the antennas again ..
from the water line to the top of the Radar Unit Dee needs
21 feet of clearance .. with the antennas up Dee needs 31
feet of clearance …..
11:00 – after much Marine Radio conversation with the US
Coast Guard .. we docked at the US Coast Guard Dock ... a
chief and 4 crew members plus a “drug” dog … sniffed us out
… Autumn sniffed back …. the chief insisted that Sue and
Marie put on life jackets when they disembarked Dee ... Marv
was quick to equip them and take photos …… underway again at
11:05 Southbound ...
passed the mouth of the Des Moines River which also
is the boundary between Iowa and Missouri .. now .. Illinois
still on the port side while Missouri on the starboard side
….. over on a pile of rock there were 6 turkey vultures and
on a sandbar 200 ft down a large flock of white pelicans
migrating south …
11:20 - met Tow Boat New Dawn with 12 barges Northbound …
Ann dosed off on the Bridge …….
12:05 - arrived at Lock 20 and were delayed so we sat
along with Kathy Allen Tow Boat ….
12:20 - …locked down .. departed Lock 20 at 12:25 and as we
came out they opened the lower gates and there parked in our
way was the Kevin Michael Tow Boat .. leaving us with 70
feet between the Bull Nose of the Short Wall and the Mooring
Cell …. for you landlubbers that means we had to maneuver in
only 70 feet .. so with some real finesse Marv manuevered
past the Kevin Michael Tow ... just below the Lock the
Canton Ferry was crossing the river so we had to slow down
and let him go before we continued ...
- .. arrived in Quincy Illinois Lock 21 .. met the
Trawler Ramputt and Marv had a conversation via Marine Radio
… Ramputt is on his way to Apalachicola, Florida .. he and
his lady friend/wife/whatever …..
- …. locked down at 15:40 and departed at 15:50 .. we
were going to have lock people mail our letters but we
floated so they couldn’t get our mail ... at 16:00 passed
the Tow Boat Kernan .. Southbound with 15 loads ( which
22,500 tons of grain .. just a reminder .. that’s a lot of
bread ) ...
16:15 - .. passed the Samuel B Richmond Tow heading North
with 16 empty barges which will be loaded ….
16:30 - ….went under the Hannibal Railroad Bridge .. above
Lock 22 the Gordon C Jones Tow tied off on the Missouri
shore waiting to lock down ..
passed Hannibal and Sawyer’s Creek which was Mark Twain’s
home and saw “lovers leap” so named by Mark Twain .. at the
time Mark was writing for the newspaper and this was thought
to add to the circulation of the newspaper … the excursion
boat Mark Twain docked here .. the autumn colors were
beautiful even though’ there was little sun .. this part of
the river was very beautiful also because of the bluffs and
homes scattered along the river and on the bluffs ... we
passed a cement mine … Atlas Cement Dock …. which provided
the cement to build the Panama Canal ... the Locks in the
Panama Canal were built like the Locks on the Mississippi
River ... dry cement loaded into barges all the way to New
Orleans and taken over to the Panama Canal construction
sites ….. da entire Crew marveled at Capt. Ron’s knowledge
of the River !!!! … a real treat for all ……
arrived at lock 22 …
floated through the lock and out at 18:30 ..
20:15 - .. in the dark we made it to the Two Rivers Marina
.. good power and water … we went to the Restaurant right at
the Marina and had a nice dinner ... filled our water jugs
with good water right at the Dock .. and Ann washed clothes
... in the meantime the Dolphins and the Jets were in a very
exciting Monday Night Football game .. the game lasted 4
hours .. Capt. Ron and Bud the only ones who stayed up to
watch the end of it … with the boat secured at 22:00 the
rest of us went to bed ….
82 miles and 4 Locks
October 24,2000 - Two Rivers Marina – Rockport, IL – mile
everyone up …. heavy fog and so we sat and waited
until the fog cleared enough .. we thought .. fog looks like
it is lifting .. as we could see part of the Bridge that
extends across the River ……
08:45 - .. we got underway .. visibility about 500 feet
or less ... went through the Louisiana, MO Railroad bridge (
a swing open Bridge ) and the fog started getting heavier,…
running ‘slow bell’ on radar ( slow bell is a term for a
method of alerting crew during the use of Paddle Wheel Steam
09:15 - .. Marv called Lock 24 .. they have the Jane
Huffman Tow Boat in the Lock .. was fogged in all night ..
Jimmy is piloting on slow bell with Bud helping .. the fog
is thick down to 50 to 100 feet visibility .. slow bell all
the way ... Marv talked with the Lock and they said we can
come down and tie off on the upper long wall …..
- … the
Lock Master helped us
off on the long wall ...
12:15 - .. fog lifted .. the Jane Huffman Tow called and
asked if we could send someone down to throw off the
Headline as the Lock Crew was between shifts .. Capt. Ron
walked down and did that …..
down in Lock 24 … in sunshine !! .. lowered to 12 feet ..
Town of Clarksville .. named after Col. Clark who was sent
to this area after the US Louisiana Purchase .. he fended
off the British and sent the Brits back to England .. so
they say .. passed the Indian Princess Tow at 13:05 and at
1310 passed Jane Huffman Tow ….
13:20 - .. met the R Clayton Tow Boat Northbound …. When
Marv called the Tow Boat on the Marine Radio .. Marv asked
if he wanted up to pass him on a ‘one’ or ‘two’ side and if
we should slow down .. he responded with a one .. and said
that we did not have to slow down .. said ‘just get it
over with’ … this became a quotation for the Trip …...
the bluffs at Mosier Landing are ablaze with color .. clear
blue skies ……
- ….. met the Tow Laurie Mece
13:55 - … met the Army Corps of Engineer’s Buoy Tender and
the name of the tender was Path Finder ……
.. Marv called on the Marine Radio ahead to find that
there was a Tow locking up .. so we had to wait ….. Marv did
an anchor drill and we waited to enter the lock …..
- … entered the Lock and departed at 15:55 ….. Ann fell
asleep in the Cock Pit area .. the scenery was beautiful ….
the best yet.. full color .. picturesque river towns … many
houses on stilts .. some very large houses .. several farms
on the Illinois side …. the Bluffs look like limestone and
have many natural caves ….
16:00 - … slowed down for the Golden Eagle Ferry to cross
in front of us ….
16:45 - …. cut back on power to let Golden Eagle Ferry
cross with 12 vehicles on board ...
18:05 - … landed at Alton Marina .. lovely riverfront town
a city of antiques and nice people ….. a very nice Marina
... City owned and operated ..good power .. water .. etc …..
also can hook up the PC in the office for the internet …..
- ….. got a cab which took us to eat at “Fast Freddie’s" ...
a fun atmosphere .. mostly younger people .. food quite good
.. Ann had shrimp and Pork Kabob .. Capt. Ron .. Marv .. and
Bud had Half Pound Eddy Hamburgers for 99 chemist each ..
Capt. Ron taught Ann how to play Liars Poker .. Jimmy met
“Janet” a very colorful ex nurse running her parents
business and playing the Casinos and whatever excitement was
around … Ann .. Capt. Ron and Marv went back to the boat via
cab at 22:00 … Bud stayed on until 24:00 and Jim came back
at ??????? …. alive and well after an evening with Janet ...
was 203 and 2 locks.
Wednesday, October 25,2000 – Alton Marina – Alton, IL – mile
08:00 everyone up … Ann took Autumn for her walk and daily
constitution leaving Capt Ron at the ship doing his
exercises and searching for a USA today … have not seen a
newspaper for days ... then Ann .. Bud and Jimmy made a
grocery run …. the Schlecker’s Grocery Store sent an Isuzu
to pick the shoppers up ... very quaint antique town of
34,000 … would be fun to spend a day in the town … went to
the store and picked up our staples which included “Oreos”
…. kind of like we had never been in a store before .. made
a stop at the Office Supply Store for a “mouse” .. computer
that is .. for Bud .. then to the bakery for bread .. Ann
allowed the “boys” to have an apple fritter .. which
disappeared in 2 bites .. back to the boat ...
- …. departed Alton Marina ..
Price Lock 26
newest Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River .. at 09:55.
Floated through and dropped us 19 feet ... departed the lock
at 10:10 …… met the Jane Huffman Tow on the way with 16
empty barges at 10:30 ….
10:35 - … we passed the dredge America .. dredging sand
from the bottom of the river .. a good photo opportunity ..
we attempted to alert Ann of this but she was napping …..
10:40 - .. we passed the mouth of the Missouri River ..
the Big Mo …..
10:45 -.. we entered the Chain of Rocks Canal to by-pass
the Sawyer Bend and the fast current of the river .. then we
met the Leslie Bee Tow with empty petroleum barges.
11:15 -.. passed Seminole Princess Barge ….
11:20 - .. entered the small chamber and floated down …
the upper gate of this Lock was different in that it went up
and down instead of swinging open ... Dee left the Lock at
11:30 and two instead of one whistle was blown because we
were in auxillary chamber of the lock instead of the main
note we changed captains and got and an experienced river
barge captain .. (ha) .. Marv asked Capt. Ron to take us on
down the River ... what a treat for the Captain and Crew ….
Fueled at Hoppe’s Marina –
Fern and Hoppe are friends of Marv ….
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 200.0 gals … FWD – 227.0
– 427.0 gals
– 0968.2 hours … Starboard – 0974.3 hours
– 23.02 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 hours …
interesting little town of Kimswick, Iowa .. a village of
about 4 blocks .. Anhauser Busch had a vacation mansion at
this spot … the elderly Busch lady had just died this year
.. a daughter of hers has the place and raises and rides
Palomino horses .. a lovely spot … the daughter of the
“Cola” families also had a place there and has been spending
money fixing up the village so it would be more economically
stable … would be an interesting village to spend time at …
the Hoppe’s .. Fern and Hoppe are very colorful people ..
probably in late 60’s early 70’s .. crusty .. down to earth
type of people with lots of river experience ..
back on the river
14:35 - .. we passed Elizabeth Ann cement Barge ... a big
volume air compressor is on the Barge to pump air into the
dry cement and fluff it up .. then pumped through a pipe up
to the storage tanks ... passed St Louis, MO …. saw the Arch
and so many Tow Boats …. Marv took many photos ….. the Busch
Brewery draws 9 million gallons of water from the river a
day to make beer ... do you really want to drink the beer ..
Michelob .. Busch .. Miller’s .. that’s what gives those
beers their delightful flavor .. or garbage in garbage out
.. same color in same color out ...
18:15 - …. arrived at Cape Girardeau ... this was the
busiest part of the river we have been on .. many .. many
barges .. much industry all along the shores .. the biggest
Tow we met was one with 36 Barges .. each Barge is 35 ft
wide so the total width of all barges is 210 feet and each
Barge is 200 feet so the total length of the load was 1200
feet .. the amount of horsepower ranges from 2000 to 10,000
horsepower ……. now the fun starts we decide to anchor out in
the river just below Cape Girardeau in the dark ... what a
time ... started out good .. found a nice anchorage just
below a two Barges that were tied off in a deep part on the
River .. so we settled in just below them about 200 feet ..
Marv thru together dinner consisting of Barbecue Ribs ..
from Slippery’s in Wabasha .. Garlic Toast .. Salad and the
like .. we were watching the World Series and all of a
sudden .. Marv spotted a Tow Boat heading up River right
towards us .. it had four empty Barges .. the entire Crew
scrambled and got the fenders on Dee .. we pushed off the
side of the Barges as they would have hit us .. we talked to
the Crew from the Tow Boat Davy Jones Locker .. they were
out n the front Barge to tie the Barges to the others that
were anchored ahead of us .. so once we saved our selves ..
Marv started up Dee .. we pulled our anchor and Marv
maneuvered Dee past the Tow Boat .. the hunt for a safe
anchoring location was on ... there were many areas marked
.. “Do not anchor, cable crossing” .. so off again to find a
place .. and then another .. a Tow Boat Captain told us that
there was a good spot on the other side of the river .. we
tried to anchor at a place called Gray’s Point .. a landmark
.. the bottom was too rocky we could not get the anchor to
take hold .. so off again for a place to stop .. then it was
suggested we go back across the river and go above the
barges and anchor .. above where we were before .. but the
crew decided it was not protected enough so off on an
extended search .. it was so dark and there were so many
Tows around .. Jimmy came up with the idea of following a
Tow Boat down River .. we asked one pilot if we could follow
him down the river until we could find a spot to anchor ..
he said yes and it was very dark .. met many boats .. Marv
found a ‘fork’ in the River that looked like a good spot to
spend the night .. wrong !! .. got real shallow !! … so we
went back and followed the Tow Boat again .. in the dark ….
just above Goose Island Light the Tow Boat Captain suggested
we go in below a ‘Red Buoy’ so we would be below a Dike and
then we anchored in 11 feet of water …..
22:00 - .. anchored in at mile 34 … Upper Mississippi
River .. just above Goose Island Light on the Illinois side
.. Tow Boats went by all night but I think most of us slept
well .. Marv woke frequently to check on things .. Jimmy
crashed in the aft solon .. Bud slept in his nook Capt. Ron
went off to his bed and Ann of course went to sleep in
luxury in her own room ... Great night .. great people ..
thank God we were safe … in the midst of all of this
activity little Autumn was such a good dog … Ann was a bit
nervous as she is in charge of Autumn and Autumn has a
tendency to wonder out on the deck when others are there ..
kind of dangerous for a little doggie with “slippery” toe
nails and not anything to hang on to .. so through most of
this Autumn and Ann hung out together .. of course we had to
forsake our land and land potty so Marv took her out on deck
was 169 and 2 Locks …..
Thursday, October 26, 2000 – on da Hook - Mississippi River
– mile 34
- … da Crew
up .. good nights sleep .. good natured and ready to hit the
“river” again .. we had our coffee .. toast and fruit .. the
anchor held us firm all night .. did not drag ..
- … departed
the anchorage ...
09:39 - started into the Scudder’s Bend.. a double ‘S’
bend/curve .. cruised on every point on the compass …. at
the end of the Bend there was a Tow Boat with 42 barges ..
they were empty though .. this Tow was aground and not sure
why .. two other Tow Boats were helping him get off ground
.. a thirty foot Cruiser was grounded on shore .. laying on
its’ side and there was evidence that people were going
there to salvage what they could ... at mile 4 on Upper
Mississippi there were thousands of ducks in migration ..
too bad we didn’t have our shotguns .. thus we missed a
delicious supper ….
10:45 - .. as we entered the Ohio River .. Marv woke Ann
from a morning nap .. so she would not miss the change from
the last of the Mississippi River and the start of the Ohio
River ….. the difference between the Mississippi was
striking .. the Ohio was clean and the Mississippi muddy ..
now we were going up river putting the ‘red buoys’ on the
right side of the boat .. Marv has a red float on the dash
as a reminder of which side the Markers are on .. from
Cairo, Illinois up to Mound City, Illinois the Ohio river
was very congested with commercial boats and large fleets ….
11:00 - … we went by Cairo a type of “ghost town” very
sparsely populated .. Dickinson the author invested in
Cairo but it did not work … a Grocery Barge was delivering
groceries to the Tow Boats and they also stopped and picked
up some crew members who were going home ... the sun is
shining at 80 degrees .. slight breeze .. and another
beautiful day cruising up the river ... Saw a monument to
“Dolly Pardon” and Marv frantically grabbed his camera and
took his pictures ... these large round Dolly like
structures were grain storage facilities .. Dolly enlarged
.. the photo describes the view quite well …
12:10 - ….. then we had to wait for the Tow Boat Pretty
Paige to lock up .. the Tow Boat Pretty Paige was locking up
on the river main lock chamber ahead of us so we landed on
the long wall below the Lock ... the Jenny S Tow was locking
up on the river chamber just before us at 12:50 ..
12:50 - .. we entered Lock 53 in the auxiliary chamber ..
the landside Lock ..
were in the Lock we asked the Lock Master what the floating
yellow objects were in the River .. according to Marv they
were sunken Pilot Houses of a Tow Boat which had sunk and
just the Pilot House was out of the water .. however .. when
we consulted the “experts” at the Lock they told us the
yellow objects were supposed to be there as they were part
of an environmentalist study of the success of transplanting
river clams .. another Gore program .. oh well .. and some
people really believe him !!! ... departed Lock 53 at
13:05.. only about a 4 foot lift ...
13:30 - .. we caught up with the sailboat .. “White Star”
from Canada .. they were on their way to Mobile, Alabama and
then Belize, Central America for the winter .. Bud had
maneuvered Dee as far from the sailboat as we could ..
staying on the River Channel …. he called us on the Marine
Radio and asked us to slow down and to come close and then
speed up a bit and then the sailboat would follow in our
wash/wake .. a big sailboat .. about 45 feet .. as far as
we know there were 2 male crewmembers .. however .. Capt.
Ron surmises that there may have been a couple of ladies
taking a nap .. resting up from the night before and
preparing for the night ahead .. Ann is well versed on the
napping part ….. one fellow .. the Captain had a long beard
and another individual had no hair and Bud said .. “Oh look
.. the Captain has a bald headed wife” ….. ya …. Must be a
sign of many days on the water …..
- ….. had to tie off in the lock with 30 foot lines which
were fine at the bow but at the stern we had to do according
to Capt. Ron some .. “niggering’ .. with the lines so they
would be long enough ... left Lock 52 at 15:00…..
15:35 - …. As we approached the start of the Tennessee
River Marv made an error as to which route to take .. Jimmy
and Marv looked it over and quickly altered our course .. we
entered the Tennessee River ...
we arrived at the Kentucky Lock and that was the
beginning of a very long wait ... we were about 10-15
minutes too late as a tow with 12 Barges just “beat us” ..
at 17:00 we tried to anchor but was too rocky … the
anchor would not catch .. then we went to the Mooring Cell
and tried to attach a line but the currents would not allow
us to do that so we abandoned that idea .. so we went to a
new spot to anchor the boat .. and watched it get dark ..
very dark …….
20:35 - …. we finally entered the Lock and made our way to
a Bollard … the water stirred ferociously and we were lifted
up 50 feet .. and departed from the lock at 21:00 ….
now on our way to Kentucky Lake Marina .. in the dark ...
Marv has found the Marina in the dark in the past .. he is
in the maneuvers in the ‘dark’ most of the time .. arrived
at Kentucky Lake Marina at 21:45 … took Marv awhile to find
the Fuel Dock .. that we were told to tie off Dee for the
night … a friend of Marv’s from Prairie de Chien .. Jerry
Cook .. ( Jerry and Doreen are friends of Mike and Carol
Seiser ..that have their boat next to Marv at Wabasha ) ..
was at the Dock to help us tie up .. Jerry knew we were
heading South and heard us on the Marine Radio …. when the
crew went ashore they were greeted with a serenade from Coon
Dogs … Marv helped Ann fix dinner of sandwiches ..
sandwiches …. and sandwiches ….
about 103 miles .
encountered for the day
Smith Tow with 36 barges of coal
Pierre Cenex Tow with 2 empty oil barges
Conasdow Tow with 3 refrigerated anhydrous ammonia barges
Cooperative Enterprise Tow 24 barges
Franklin Tow 2 barges
May Tow 2 cement barges
Bar Tow 8 oil barges
Smith Tow 5 barges
Tow 8 barges
Tow 10 barges
E Patters Tow light/empty
Edwards Tow 2 barges
Ditmor Tow 35 barges
Jane Tow with construction barges
Brent Tow with 12 oil barges
Mack Tow with 10 barges
with 15 barges
Cumberland Hunter tow with 6 barges
Tow with 15 barges
October 27, 2000 -
Kentucky Dam Marina
- Gilbertsville KY - mile 23.0 -
Friday morning … a day in the Kentucky Dam Marina .. a day
in port .. a day for rest and a Crew change .. also many
duties to be performed on the boat .. inside and outside ..
moved the boat to take on Diessel Fuel .. when making the
short move the Bow Thruster failed .. it worked for a short
time then just died .. Marv was able to get Dee docked
without the Thruster …
at Kentucky Dam Marina –
- 021.0 gals … Mid – 256.0 gals … FWD – 237.2
– 514.2 gals
– 0985.0 hours … Starboard – 0991.2 hours
– 30.52 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 hours …
Marv was moving the boat the “Bow Thruster” broke .. Jimmy
.. the “on board” power expert .. along with Marv and Capt.
Ron attempted to diagnose the problem .. just so happens the
Bow Thruster is located in the bow Guest Quarters .. one of
many spots where Ann sleeps .. these guys tore up the bed ..
looked like a cyclone hit the room .. oh well .. we didn’t
mind if we could fix the boat …. so once they decided it was
all fixed Ann made up her bed .. no small feat .. and then
.. lo’ and behold“ .. it still did not work .. so the bed
came apart once again .. in the meantime Bud and Marv went
shopping for some cleaning supplies .. then the Marv and
Jimmy called the Viking Company .. the company that
manufactured the Dee Light and spoke with an engineer .. he
advised them as to the nature of the problem but because of
a broken spring .. new Solenoid Cells had to be ordered.. so
Marv ordered them and asked them to be delivered to
Carrabelle, Florida so the Crew could repair the Bow
Thruster there .. in the meantime .. Bud is working
feverishly scrubbing down the outside of the boat from the
mast to the water line and from the bow to the stern .. Ann
cleaned the Galley .. the Salon .. and the quarters .. then
the boys borrowed a pick up and went grocery shopping and
came home with all the necessities including 6 packages of
double oreo cookies .. while we were in the Marina we met
Jerry and Doreen Cook .. who were Marv’s friends .. from
Waterloo, Iowa … the name of their boat was “At Ease” as he
was a retired active/reserve military person and they
thought the name would be unique until they docked at
Marinas where there were other military personnel and found
four other boats with the same name .. so goes creativity
for the military .. this was also the first day we had
contact with the outside world via a newspaper … the USA
Today .. needless to say not much new news from the time we
left Wabasha …… just before sunset the sailboat .. White
Star .. arrived at the Marina with Capt. Bob and his mate
(male) arrived .. the Dee Light deck crew helped them land
.. Capt. Bob was a Canadian … served in World War II ..
worked for the US doing secret engineering .. he was an
amazing 77 year old gentleman with the classic look of a
seafaring sailor with tanned skin .. white hair and beard
and sparkling blue eyes … Ann was really taken in with him
.. we were entertained by a melodious bagpipe concert given
by Capt. Bob and he played Christmas songs .. some military
and closed the concert with Amazing Grace .. fantastic !!
.. other boaters came to be entertained as well .. Marv had
made reservations at .. Patti's 1880 Settlement Restaurant
.. located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky for 08:15 .. they sent
a courtesy van to pick us up .. in the meantime Capt. Ben
caught up with us .. he drove down from Prairie du Chien, WI
.. and will be replacing Bud .. who leaves tomorrow .. he
had a grand time cruising down in Marv’s Lincoln LS to the
music of Lori Line ……. we had a delicious dinner of
luscious thick (2”) Kentucky flavored pork chops .. this is
what they are known for .. however.. Capt. Ron had a Stuffed
Chicken Breast .. and Capt. Ben had Prime Rib .. the dinner
was superb with one catch however .. we were in a “dry
county” .. some just had to wait to get back to Dee for
their beverages …. they made it …. Jim provided the crew
with ample entertainment as we learned how he manages to
find a “girl in every port” .. Jim’s “lady searching”
antennae were like radar as he zeroed in on the girls pretty
fast .. of course there is no time to waste when making a
one night stop .. his attempts to date the waitress were
valiant .. however .. she appeared to have other plans ..
but he did not give up .. as when we went home our driver
was a lovely young lass .. he moved with lighting ..
practically jumped over the hood of the car and into the
front seat as he spotted this lovely your lass by the name
of Meggan .. we arrived back at the boat at 9:30 .. we are
not too sure of Jim’s activities after we arrived back at
the boat but he was in pretty good shape the next a.m. ..
also was a bass fishing tournament during this time with
over 200 fisherman participating .. they were from Indiana
with Ranger boats …...
Saturday, October 28, 2000 -
Kentucky Dam Marina
- Gilbertsville KY - mile 23.0 –
the morning when the bass fisherman prepared to go out ..
the entire harbor lit up like a Christmas tree with the red
and green lights from the bass boats ..
Bud left us .. he will drive Marv’s car back to Eau
Claire, WI .. his duties are to be taken over by Capt. Ben …
we bid Bud a fond farewell .. we will miss his great sense
of humor .. just a note .. Bud decided to shave his “beard”
in preparation for his arrival in Eau Claire .. he had a
good start of beginning to look like a river boat captain ..
Capt. Ben is a captain on the Blue Chip Casino Boat out of
Michigan City, Indiana .. Ben attended the Merchant Marine
Academy in Kingspoint , New York City .. he graduated 4
years ago .. took his Captain’s examination and has been a
Captain for four years ….. Capt. Ben was thoroughly oriented
to piloting the Dee Light as he was at the helm all day …..
08:10 - … left the Kentucky Marina .. however .. just
before leaving Capt. Bob .. from the White Star .. sent a
note over via Marv .. to tell Capt. Ron he would like an
autographed copy of the book “The Upper Mississippi” a river
history written by Capt. Ron ….. Capt. Ben was at the helm
assisted by Jim the navigator …. the weather was beautiful
.. clear .. blue skies .. 70 plus degrees slight breeze and
wonderful color along the Tennessee River ..
08:25 - … we passed the entrance of the Barclay Canal that
connects the Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers ….
passed the cruiser Sea Quest ... he cut his power so
we didn’t have to fight his wake and we cut our power also
09:20 - .. passed under the Highway bridge 60/80 … called
the Hagner’s Ferry Bridge .. during this time Marv was
checking his e-mail and Jimmy received a message from his
new found girl friend .. Janet .. whom he met at Fast
Freddie’s in Alton .. she also told Jim to tell Capt. Ron
she wanted one of his books .. Ann took a nap on the Bridge
09:35 - … passed a large grainery .. the Hudson Grain Co
.. we then passed the border between Kentucky and Tennessee
and we are now in Tennessee .. the shoreline at this area
more settled .. colors remain brilliant and very beautiful
.. at this time we passed a navigation aid where the birds
had built a large nest on the solar panel which it used to
charge the batteries to operate the light .. we don’t know
if the light works or not ..
10:15 - .. at mile 67 the Big Sandy River enters the
Kentucky Lake .. after that we passed under the Scott
Fitzhugh Bridge .. Highway 79 Bridge ..
slight breeze disappeared and now the water is as smooth as
11:50 - … just below the Sea Board System Railroad Bridge
at Johnsonville we had to slow down as there was a large
number of fishermen on the river .. at this time we left the
head of the Kentucky Lakes and entered into the Tennessee
River again .. Marv fixed lunch for all …. the Kentucky
Lakes are about 78 miles in length ..
12:30 - … we go under the I 40 Highway Bridge …..
13:30 - .. at mile 105 we enter the narrowest stretch
between Paducah and Pickwick .. water is 70-80 feet deep …
then we met a 32 foot cruiser called “No Condo” for sale ..
piloted by two women .. as usual Jim was very interested in
knowing if the women went with the boat .. he was ready to
sell all and buy the boat .. women included .. but sad to
say the women were married .. unavailable and not too
friendly .. Marv talked with them and found out that they
know Mr. Joe and Linda .. so we went on ... at mile 155 we
passed a large quarry where they were loading crushed rock
on barges to rip rap (reinforce) the river bank ..
passed under Highway 60 Bridge at mile 163 .. at mile
169 in the backwater cut .. there was a sunken tow boat
laying against the shore with only the pilot house against
the water .. we went by the Saltillo ferry ...
- .. we passed Savannah, Tennessee .. a low point in the
water level under the highway 64 bridge .. we met a Tow Boat
.. the Ms Amy coming down river who called us on the radio
and said we did not have to slow down ….
we passed an anchor boat which was displaying a diver
who appeared to be a “river clammer” looking for clams …..
we entered Pickwick Lock and locked up with a
Catamaran sailboat .. South Wind .. from Port of Louis,
France .. manned by the owner and a hired captain .. Marv
talked with them over the Marine Radio .. they had sailed
across the Atlantic and were making the great circle .. the
captain of the boat wanted to go with us through the lock
system ahead .. but we didn’t as it would slow us down ..
they went into a near by Marina for the night .. as they cut
off the Main River Channel to the marked channel to the
Marina .. they missed the markers .. a local directed them
to the Marina Channel .. it gets really shallow if you miss
the markers ……
we entered Tom Bigbee Canal at mile 450 .. this canal
takes us into the Tenn-Tom Waterway .. which will be joined
by the Alabama River and will become the Mobile River taking
us down to Mobil, Alabama …. this is where we left the state
of Tennessee and entered the state of Mississippi ...
18:10 - .. we tied off at the gas dock at the Pickwick
Tenn-Tom Marina and stayed overnight in the Marina .. a
beautiful Marina with brilliant colors .. many .. many boats
.. the owner said they were building 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom
townhouses that will be overlooking the Marina ...
at Pickwick’s Tenn-Tom Marina –
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 251.0 gals … FWD – 213.0
– 464.0 gals
– 0995.0 hours … Starboard – 1001.1 hours
– 46.63 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 hours …
dock was a long distance from shore ... Ann went to walk
Autumn and we could only find concrete until one of the
owners came along in a golf cart and offered to take us up
to the “grassy” areas for Autumn to take care of her
basic needs … the co-owner said that he knew Marv had been
here before and would provide anything we needed to make our
stay comfortable .. while fueling .. Jim made
arrangements for a golf cart to take us to the shore and a
van to pick us up to go to dinner .. he also found
information on different places to eat .. Marv had been here
before and knew of some places as well .. we elected to go
to a place called Freddie’s .. we managed to get all 5 of us
in the golf cart and go up on shore but did not have enough
power to get up the hill in the parking lot .. so Capt. Ben
provided additional power pushing us up the hill. Marv ..
not being a golfer .. did not make the most proficient
driver but under the tutelage of Jim .. he got us to the top
.. then we had a van waiting for us and we all got in with
plenty of room .. Marv became our chauffeur and we set out
to find a place to eat .. drink and be merry .. excuse me ..
Jimmy set out to make merry as he promptly excused himself
before dinner and proceeded to the .. “sound of music and
laughter” .. in just a few minutes he came back with “merry”
a tall willowy .. Southern brunette (bottle brunette that
is) dressed in a leopard design slimming .. body shaping
sheathing .. she wore a big red smile .. we were all set for
a “bloody Mary” but again we were foiled .. a dry county
except for beer and wine coolers .. however .. one could
bring your own bottle and put it in a “mail box” in the
restaurant .. of course we didn’t have a bottle so couldn’t
use the mailbox and thus no drink .. once again .. milk ..
coffee and diet coke-ugh .. the men’s rest room was
somewhat of an attraction .. we got the owner to show Ann
the unique aspect of the restroom .. in we went and what did
we find but a large water trough filled with “ice” .. I was
told by the owner that it was to catch the cigarette butts
and I said “ya right” and that I had a better suggestion for
its use .. we had a lovely dinner and then decided we
better check out Jimmy .. of course in the meantime ..
young Ben is having second thoughts .. should he dine or
make merry .. he decided to do both .. he had dinner with us
and then joined Jimmy .. well .. we all decided to join
Jimmy in the bar for a little while … he really had us all
intrigued as to how he managed to capture all these women ..
Capt. Ron and Jimmy did their best to procure us a bottle
of vodka and or whiskey but no luck …. after a bit Marv ..
Capt. Ron and Ann left Jim and Ben to sew their wild oats
.. when Capt Ron .. Marv and Ann returned to the marina they
found that someone had “borrowed” our golf cart .. so we
walked down to the boat .. good exercise ….. when we got to
the boat we decided to go shopping at the marina shop ..
Marv talked the night watchman .. William .. opened up the
shop .. Marv found a life jacket … bright yellow for Autumn
.. Ann found her First Mate’s .. cap with scrambled eggs and
now am an official first mate to Capt. Ron .. and Capt. Ron
proceeded to propagandize his book and quite successfully I
might add .. so we all went home with our purchases .. in
the meantime Jimmy and Ben were out enjoying the night life
…. Capt. Ben and Jimmy did return to Dee at a later time
with some others that they met at Freddie’s .. the Capt.
Soon retired .. Jimmy enjoyed the evening lights ….. etc ……
Sunday, October 29,
2000 - Pickwick’s Tenn-Tom Marina - Pickwick Dam TN - Mile
Before we left the marina Jimmy briefed Marv about the
availability of women who would make an appropriate wife for
Marv … he found one he was absolutely sold on ..about 42
years old .. 5’-7” .. 120 pounds with long black hair—really
something according to Jimmy …. Marv became a bit intrigued
and wanted to know if she was healthy .. Jimmy assured him
she was physically fit .. Jimmy made sure that Marv had her
e-mail address and she had Marv’s address .. so let us see
if a budding romance will begin on the river in Tennessee ……
- .. left the Pickwick Tenn-Tom Marina .. a little
excitement when we got underway … the deck crew partied too
much the night before and now they forgot to let the bow
line go when we took off so as Marv backed down the boat
would not move .. then they forgot to pull up one of the
fenders .. this was not discovered immediately but a few
minutes just after we passed the catamaran sailboat .. South
Wind .. Capt. Ben was standing on the stern and saw a fender
floating in the water .. so we killed our headway we were
routed to and went back up and retrieved the fender .. so
passed the South Wind the second in one morning …
07:20 - .. entered the dredged out canal with “rip rap”
which is a bank reinforcement preventing soil erosion .. the
canal is about 600 feet across …
08:06 - .. we passed the cruiser “At Ease” which had been
at the Kentucky Lake Marina with us …… Ann took a nap on
the Bridge ……..
08:30 - …we crossed the Continental Divide
09:15 - … we entered the Jamie Whitten Lock … mile 411.9
... locked down by ourselves and we dropped 84 feet in 15
minutes .. at this point we all were required to wear life
jackets when going through this and all future locks ..
departed the lock at 09:30 ….. this was a very large lock ..
awesome .. as we went down there were inspection doors which
were recessed so caution had to be exercised so fenders
would not get caught in these doors .. Marv took many photos
.. after our exit from the lock we had to “slow bell” (slow
down-this term originated years ago when the river captains
had to use a slow bell toll to the engineer to tell them to
slow down) because we were passing a dock where they were
grinding logs for paper mills and multiple uses ….
approached the G V ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Lock .. before
entering the Lock we were delayed by the Tow Boat Hazel ..
attempted to call the Lock on the Marine Radio on channels
16 .. 13 and 14 but no answer … finally we called the Tow
Boat Hazel and they told us to use channel 12 as the Lock
worked on that channel … the next series of Locks will
coordinate their daily locking .. the group of boats that
you start the day with will be the same group of boats that
you will lock with all day .. despite the different speeds
that you are capable of .. we were all by our self ……
entered the Lock at mile 406.7 .. dropped 30 feet and
departed from the lock at 10:30 ..
10:45 - … entered the John Rankin Lock .. mile 398.4 ..
locked down all by ourselves .. dropped 30 feet .. departed
the lock at 11:10 ..
11:45 - .. entered the Fulton Lock .. mile 391.0 .. locked
down by ourselves .. dropped 25 feet .. departed the Lock at
13:45 - .. entered the Glover Wilkins Lock .. mile 376.3
.. locked down by ourselves .. dropped 25 feet .. departed
the lock at 14:00 ...
14:20 - .. Amory Lock .. mile 371.1 .. locked down with
the Bar Hopper sailboat .. from Polk City, Iowa .. who was
going to Aberdeen , Mississippi that day .. dropped 30 feet
and departed the Lock at 14:45 …..
entered the Aberdeen Lock at mile 357.5 .. locked
down all by ourselves .. dropped 27 feet and departed the
Lock at 14:45 ..
entered the John C Stennis Lock at mile 334.7 ..
locked down all by ourselves .. dropped 27 feet and departed
the Lock at 15:35 .. at mile 318 we had uninvited company
from the sky .. a small private plane buzzed us and almost
took our antennas ..
16:25 - .. we passed the Nashville Ferry Landing …..
16:40 - .. at mile 313 entered the state of Alabama ..
17:15 - .. we arrived at Marina Cove .. landed at Fuel
at Marina Cove –
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 173.0 gals … FWD – 140.0
– 313.0 gals
– ??.0 hours … Starboard – ???.0 hours
– ??.?? gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 hours …
we moved to an overnight spot .. lovely but rustic marina
with campgrounds .. out in backwoods country .. suspect
might be also Redneck country ….. a courtesy car was
available .. a pick up truck without doors .. Marv called a
crew meeting to determine what our dinner plans were ..
Jimmy and Ben were already showered and ready to go ashore
and check out the local “skirts” … Ron .. Ann and Marv
decided to stay onboard let the youngsters have the pick up
truck .. we had a dinner .. by Marv .. of wine .. garlic
toast .. salad and lasagna .. did a load of laundry .. lo
and behold at 21:00 Capt. Ben and Jim returned with a full
stomach but empty hearts .. no “lasses” could be found ..
food was great .. prices super .. and as usual .. no liquor
available .. the boat was secured by 21:30 and all went to
bed .. most were pretty tired .. long hard day .. Capt. Ron
takes the award for the hardest worker of the day as he
docked us through 8 locks and cruised 142 miles .. his
cheeks were red and his eyes were heavy .. but he managed to
watch Sunday Night Football .. was it the wine .. the hard
work .. the wind or the sun .. I guess a combination of all
Number of locks
Taylor with 4
Elizabeth with 8 barges
with 4 barges of logs
Sun with 2 oil barges
McNiel with 2 barges of benzene
with 5 barges
October 30,2000 -
Marina Cove -
Carrollton AL - Mile 307.4 -
07:30 - .. preparing for departure .. however .. the
generator quit before we started .. after several attempts
to get it started it was discovered that air had entered
into the fuel line so we had to drain the moisture and then
everything was fine ..
08:00 - .. left Marina Cove and we saw where there was
another lost fender but the area was too shallow and after
several attempts we gave it up and took off down the
Tenn-Tom Waterways ….
08:15 - …. entered the Tom Bevill Lock … mile 306 ..
dropped 27 feet .. we locked in with two other cruisers ..
the first time we had “company” in a lock .. departed the
lock at 08:45 ….. passed a herd of cows down on the river
bank who took off with their tails in the air as our wake
came roaring at them .. non intentional though .. about mile
260 we overtook a sailboat Rich Reward from South
Africa .. there were 3 people aboard .. a mother and father
and the daughter … as the story goes .. the daughter and her
former husband were building this boat in South Africa to
sail around the world .. the husband was stricken with
cancer and died .. all the people in the marina where they
were building the boat pitched in and helped the wife
finish building her boat … then she had an uncle and an aunt
who said they would like to go around the world with her but
they needed some time to make some money before they could
go … during this time another tragedy struck and the aunt
and uncle were killed in an automobile accident .. well ..
then the daughter/wife’s parents said they had always wanted
to take a trip around the world .. so the three of them set
off with 2 sailboats and when they arrived in New York they
left one sailboat and joined together to sail the Great
Circle Waterway so named by the American Boaters …. this
usually takes about one year to complete .. leaving in the
early spring if in Florida to Great Lakes during the summer
and then down into the Illinois River to the Mississippi to
the Ohio to the Tennessee to the Tenn Tom to Mobile Alabama
and Intercostals to Florida and back to where they started …
after the South Africans complete this Great Circle the
daughter intends to continue on to Australia … she will go
by herself unless she finds someone to crew for her ... we
think that when we met them they had already been on the
water for 3 years …..
10:35 - .. we entered the Heflin lock .. mile 266 .. the
sailboat .. Rich Reward from South Africa . locked down with
us dropped down 36 feet.. departed the lock at 11:00 ….
this lock was an experience as there were no “pins” for us
to tie off on except way up front near the exit gate so our
bow extended into the lower gate recess …. so the lock man
.. after he lowered the chamber had us back up so he could
open the gates and out we went .. and he forgot about the
sailboat and started closing the gates on them … after
departure at mile 240 we caught up with the three trawler
yachts .. the Wild Rice and Lady M J and Manana …… the
terrain changed considerably with high white cliffs with a
chalk like appearance … could be a white clay and there was
a quarry in this area which apparently mines the clay... at
mile 217 joined the Black Warrior River….
at mile 216 .. we arrived at the Demopolis Yacht
Basin ….. tied off at the end of the fuel dock with our bow
up to the stern of the Evening Star which was a party boat
owned by a steel exec out of Cleveland .. a hired Captain
and crew of two …
at Demopolis Yacht Basin –
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 118.0 gals … FWD – 110.0
– 228.0 gals
– 1010.5 hours … Starboard – 1016.7 hours
– 35.0 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 hours …
91 miles and went through 2 locks ….. we stayed at the fuel
dock but had to assist “WildRice” with a “pump out” so we
would not have to move … Marv with his usual diplomacy
arranged for us to stay put and obtained a Courtesy Van
which would carry us to the store for groceries and later to
dinner Capt. Ben and Ann and the crew from WildRice drove
into the town to re-supply our galley and to .. at last ..
buy a bottle of Vodka for Ann and Capt. Ron …. we have been
dry for the whole trip .. the liquor stores in Alabama are
state run but we did not care who owned them just so Ann
could find a little booze .. now we have the makings for
Screwdrivers and Vodka Martinis ….. we shared the courtesy
van in going to dinner with the other boaters we had met
earlier …. we had a delicious dinner at the Red Barn
Restaurant .. very interesting and “barn like” with the
floors .. beams .. and rustic atmosphere .. nothing
pretentious .. just southern hospitality .. Capt. Ben and
Jimmy stayed on for while at the restaurant and “tipped a
few” with our new found friends but the older folks in our
crew went back to the boat..
to be up early as Marv obtained a 6:30 lock-in time for us
…….. note .. at this Marina / Lock they try to get as
many pleasure craft to lock thru together at one time ..
working around the Tow Boats .. thus Marv signed us up for a
set time to lock thru ……… there also was a sailboat sitting
in the harbor which had caught fire and burned up while
enroute on a trip .. the boat was owned by Canadians .. no
injuries and the boat was then towed to the harbor where
they are awaiting the insurance adjusters …… there were some
interesting “stories” originating in this marina .. one
woman had a houseboat which she cruised up from Florida to
escape the hurricane season .. well .. she escaped the
hurricanes but lost one of her engines and had been there
for 8 months finding one problem after the next .. she
didn’t seem to be in any hurry as she was living in the
houseboat .. then there was a 70 foot sailboat for sail ..
it was a double mast schooner rig .. and the story is that
the husband became very sick with cancer so his son brought
the boat up to Demopolis to have the boat fixed up .. then
the son got killed in an automobile accident .. so the wife
of the owner now has the boat for sale “as is.” ……..
Demopolis was not “fancy” more like a “red neck”
organization .. however .. they were very cordial and
helpful .. they allowed us to send e-ma;ils .. another sign
of being in the deep south was the bible reading activity
one observed in the marina shop itself ….
Boats Encountered Number of locks
Eddy with 6 empty log
October 31,2000 -
Basin - Demopolis AL - Mile 216.2
06:00 …. crew up and underway from the Demopolis Yacht
Basin at mile 216.2 .. continuing to make the 06:30 am
lockage at Demopolis Lock at mile 213.0 .. we locked down
with four other boats .. good thing we had signed up the
night before for the 06:30 lockage .. this lock has a policy
that pleasure boats that have signed up have a priority over
commercial property .. the other boats included WildRice ..
Leisure Lizard .. Manana and Popeye .. these are all
cruisers ranging from 50-60 feet .. a Tow Boat had to wait
for us to go through .. because it is easier using the
middle cleats on the port side we chose the first mooring
pin inside the gate .. Capt. Ben got the boat to the pin
before the crew had the lines ready but we got the fenders
in and tied the boat to the pin and the lock man standing on
the lock wall above us checked our stern and he said we had
to move ahead at least another foot .. so Marv asked if
could use the stanchion on the railing to tie up with and
he approved .. in moving the boat forward one of the fenders
went into the mooring pin recess so we had to move again and
in doing so the fender fell into the lock and we had to
retrieve it with a boat hook .. it is a good thing we went
forward as after we lowered we found we were very close to
the gate and there was a leak on the gate which created a
waterfall eventually of 22 feet and we would have had a boat
full of water .. however .. a lovely but dangerous sight ..
we were dropped a total of 40 feet .. because of all of this
excitement Marv and Capt. Ron were on the deck without life
jackets .. but the lock man did not say anything .. this
could have incurred a fine ..
Lock at 06:50 .. the Leisure Lizard and the Dee Light took
the lead because the other three boats were running at hull
speed .. 8-9 mph .. and we were going at 23 mph ..
07:20 .. went under highway 80 bridge (Alabama) and passed
a wood chip fill being loaded onto a barge .. at mile 173
came to the Carribean Bigbee .. a lift bridge .. passed
under it ..
08:00 …. we became aware of a very strong sewage odor ..
Marv thought it was raw sewage .. a few political comments
which should be sent to the great environmentalist
presidential candidate none other than Al Gore …… Ann took a
nap on the Bridge …
09:40 ….. passed two sailboats.. one was the Amanda .. the
Amanda is a sailboat which knew Marv because they had
borrowed one of Marv’s crew members .. Sarah .. a year ago
to help take the sailboat through the locks as he was the
only crew .. Marv’s crew member which he so freely gave away
happened to be his future daughter in law.. she still is …..
….. passed the cruiser Fairview .. there were two people
sitting on shore fishing and our wake sent them running up
the bank .. shame on us .. our wake not only chased humans
but animals as a couple of times there were herds of cattle
in the river on the bank standing in water up to their
bellies .. when the wake hit them they went running with
their tails in the air up the river bank ..
overtook the catamaran sailboat Wind Spirit .. friends of
Tom and Ann on the Manana .. we gave them a message from the
Manana .. a beautiful day .. no breeze .. water like glass
.. temperature about 78 degrees .. different water front ..
different trees .. occasional river houses all along the
waterway .. at mile 119 we went by Bobby’s Fish Camp .. they
have a brand new Fuel Dock with a no wake area ½ mile above
and below the area ..
Coffee Bill Lock .. slight delay as some maintenance
being completed .. landed on the boat’s starboard side ..
Mile 116 .. departed at 11:45 and dropped 34 feet .. this
was the last lock ..
13:20 .. passed Lady’s Landing .. nothing left .. no dock
at all .. but there are several new mobile homes moved in
and the place is cleaned up .. a mile below .. more cattle
in the river .. at mile 674 into Newman Bend and Horseshoe
Bend .. we cruise every point of the compass as there were
so many turns ..
14:10 .. caught up to the towboat Shawnee with 4 barges at
Dave’s Bar .. mile 63 .. the Capt asked us to stay behind
him until he got his tow around the double bend .. when he
cleared the bends and we were able to go around him our
starboard side on his port side .. met another tow .. the
Brooke .. laying against the bank with 2 oil barges waiting
for the Shawnee to clear the narrow stretch in the river ..
at mile 42 passed a dredge .. just an interesting note .. on
the right descending shore there was a marina however they
had two signs .. one on the top and one on the bottom which
said .. “Keep Out” …. now we are in Alabama bayou country ..
approached the CSX Railroad Bridge but had to wait as the
bridge tender was doing some maintenance so we had to wait
for him to walk all the way back to the center of the bridge
.. up the ladder about 20 feet to the booth where the bridge
controls are ..
.. as it was now dark .. we anchored at mile 10 in the Big
Bayou Canut with 2 sailboats and 2 other cruisers in good
water about 12 feet deep .. this Canut was the one which the
Amtrak train ran into because he lost his way in the fog ..
a Tow Boat had hit the bridge and knocked the railroad
tracks out of line .. so when Amtrak came it hit one of the
bridge posts and the train went into the Canut we were in ..
a bridge person and many people were killed ..
17:00 .. we were in .. Ann had a Martini .. Capt. Ron had
a Blood Mary and Marv fixed dinner consisting of salad ..
chicken alfrado .. lasagna and garlic bread .. by 20:00 the
crew was sacked out after a long day of driving of 206 miles
.. no one went out to trick or treat .. not even the young
ones .. Jimmy and Capt. Ben ..
boats encountered No. of Locks
Craft with 8 wood chip barges
with 2 oil barges
Chickasaw with 6 empty barges
Pushmataha with 6 empty barges
Star small harbor work boat
with 6 coal barges
Water, new harbor work boat
and Heloise tows picking up barges
Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - Big Bayou Canal - Mobile River
– Mile 10.0 -
06:00 .. everyone up but Capt. Ron .. we pulled up the
anchor and got underway .. the Leisure Lizard also got
underway and followed us to Mobile, Alabama ..
.. entered the Mobile Harbor above the highway Bridge ..
a barge fleet was along the left descending bank .. cruised
by freighters from Amsterdam and Panama .. there was a large
ocean barge .. May Boch had 7 vents and about 10 feet of
canvas above the coning .. the Stern wheel paddlewheel boat
Cotton Blossom was tied off at Mobile .. down town Mobil
there is a nice Park with a good dock but with a sign that
says .. “No Boat Docking” .. passed the Mobile Fire Boat and
a cable laying vessel which has just gotten underway with
the assistance of a tug along side .. there were several
freighters from different countries in the Mobile port ..
this was an extremely busy port .. there was an impressive
looking convention or shopping center .. however .. it
appeared that the skyline and thus development in Mobile was
not as advanced as we had seen in St Louis however .. the
harbor was extremely busy with HUGE vessels … it is hazy and
foggy with visibility about 1 mile .. passed several shrimp
boats out in the Bay .. just as we got out of the harbor
into the bay a dolphin came by .. there is a large amount of
drift in the water as we leave the harbor and enter the bay
.. the bay is full of shrimp boats along with large numbers
of a variety of sea birds waiting for the catch and thus
their breakfast .. very impressive .. as we went along we
spotted hundreds of birds hovering over one shrimp boat ..
with some following .. the shrimper was cutting the heads of
the shrimp and throwing them in the water so the birds were
having their breakfast or at the very least frantically
trying to get their share .. kind of like humans in a line
for a church dinner .. when we got to buoy #27 we left the
ship channel and went through a cut between Dredge Spill
areas and took a short cut to the Inter-Coastal Canal ..
08:00 .. the fog has lifted so we have about three miles
of visibility .. there was a group of cormarans sitting on a
day board with their wings spread out to dry after they had
gone “deep sea fishing” .. out at the far end of the bay
there were three oil rigs and there were boats bringing
supplies out to them .. it took 51 minutes to transfer fuel
from the aft fuel tank ..
09:10 … left Mobile Bay and entered the Inter Coastal
Canal .. here there is a development of miscellaneous condos
with private boat slips .. mostly sail boats for the owners
.. this Port of Fair Hope .. the home of a factory which
builds large grandfather clocks .. caught up to the Tow Boat
Cristy pushing 4 coal barges .. we had to wait awhile before
there was room to pass him on the one whistle side .. there
were fishermen on the banks and our wake chased them up the
bank as we went by .. passed 2 sunken barges lying against
the bank near a nice home ..
we entered the state of Florida .. Ann took a short
nap in the Cock Pit .. at Bear Point Marina a Coast Guard
Cutter was tied off .. at Bear Point there is a mix of ship
channel and Inter-Coastal buoys which is very confusing to
the boaters .. more dolphins played with our boat ..
beautiful real estate with a “small” price .. for sale sign
on a lot was $4,900 a foot .. some very lovely seaside homes
and then there were also older homes .. small but with
magnificent lots …
.. Perdido Key for fuel .. Service Station on the
at Perdido Key –
- 364.0 gals … Mid – 174.0 gals … FWD – 105.0
– 637.0 gals
– 1026.2 hours … Starboard – 1032.3 hours
– 39.0 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 51 minutes …
departed Perdido Key .. we decided to go to Pensacola
and take the ship canal out into the gulf .. as we got
underway .. the cruiser .. Logical Wizard .. caught up with
us and followed us to Pensacola where we picked up the ship
canal and the Logical Wizard went into the Pensacola Harbor
Marina for maintenance work .. Capt. Ron gave Ann a lesson
on tying a bowline knot ..
12:20 .. cleared the ship canal and set a course for
Panama City via the Gulf of Mexico .. water was calm ..
visibility great .. running 1 ½ mile offshore in about 50
feet of water .. we were on course 095 deg at 1900 RPM’s and
cruising at 21.5 knots/hour .. the boat was on auto pilot
and we took off for our destinations ..
13:30 .. changed course to 108 degrees and were 6 miles
16:00 .. changed course to 309 degrees picking up entrance
buoy to the ship’s canal into Panama City port .. lovely
16:10 .. entered Panama City Harbor
16:30 .. tied off at the Panama City Marina .. tied off
behind the Christa Belle from Nashville, Tenn .. Ann and
Autumn took our walk and found a neat gift store .. Ann
found a bargain as usual .. a T-shirt from the marina ..
then Capt. Bud went shopping and came back with a very nice
shirt .. everything on sale .. there was another boat on the
other side of the dock who were from Chicago and had been on
Capt. Ben’s Casino Boat out of Michigan City so they had a
“get together” or happy hour which was the beginning of the
end for Jimmy ..
19:00 .. we walked to dinner at Hawk’s Nest .. within
walking distance of the marina .. had delicious food ..
plentiful and economical .. excellent service .. we all
walked back to the marina .. Jimmy and Ben socialized with
their buddies on the dock .. Ben came home but Jimmy found
more activity and had a late tight ...
22:00 .. boat secured ...
cruised 109 miles today ...
working in barge fleet
Pal pushing a fueling barge
May with 2 oil barges
Machimie had 4 coal barges
November 2000 - Panama City Marina – Panama City, FL - Mile
da Crew up except Ann .. they were making so much
noise such as checking the anchor chain .. right above the
forward guest quarters .. so there was no need to try to
remain in bed ..
Jim .. one of the 4 early birds .. went to sleep in
the aft salon .. Marv and Capt. Ben were up most of the
night .. Jim stayed up all night after he found a few girls
in the local saloon and we think he brought them to the
boat but they didn’t stay and neither did Jim .. so needless
to say he was badly in need of sleep at this hour .. so
Capt. Ben .. Capt. Ron .. and Marv took over the
07:50 .. we departed from Panama City Marina .. picked up
the buoy of the ship canal and followed the canal out to the
gulf .. cruising at 1800 rpm’s .. 20 mph .. visibility 7-8
we set a course at 150 degrees .. 3.5 miles off
shore 65 feet of water and put auto pilot on …
off port about 2 miles is a small naval vessel like a
mine sweeper on maneuvers .. at that time we adjusted our
course to 154 degrees ..
.. cruised by Apalachicola Florida about 5 miles off shore
.. a large number of dolphins were diving around the boat
and we changed the clocks to EST and changed course to 067
changed course to 030 degrees ..
took boat off auto pilot …
picked up the red buoy to guide us to the channel
inside Dog Island .. as we passed the point of Dog Island
there is a sunken shrimp boat the Treasure One ... all we
could see was the mast sticking up above the water
.. went slowly by Dog Island and pick up the shrimp boat
Lori Line .. the music must be getting to Ann and Capt. Ron
.. and followed it into the Carrabelle River ...
14:15 .. tied off at the Moorings Marina Fuel Dock ...
Moorings at Carrabelle, Inc. - Carrabelle FL
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 295.0 gals … FWD – 262.0
– 557.0 gals
– 1036.4 hours … Starboard – 1042.6 hours
– 54.08 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 minutes …
fishing boat came in front of us and tied off. They had 400
pounds of fish ... we cruised 91 miles today ... this is the
first marina that had TV Cable hook up ...
18:30 .. the crew went to Julie Mae’s restaurant .. had
courtesy pick up and delivery … food was delicious .. Capt.
Ron and Ann had a delicious raw oyster cocktail .. 15
oysters .. service and food was excellent ..
20:00 .. restaurant ‘s courtesy shuttle brought us back to
the boat .. everyone looks as tho’ they are going to stay in
for the night and get ready for our big trip tomorrow ..
possibly to Clearwater .. that is everyone but Jimmy .. he
managed an all nighter .. made it back to the boat 15
minutes before we departed
November 3, 2000 -
The Moorings at
Carrabelle, Inc. – Carrabelle, FL - Mile 381.0
Crew got up and Ann took a walk and saw the “smallest
police station” in the world .. the size of a small
telephone booth .. picked up some groceries and returned to
the boat .. Marv noted that the Christa Belle got underway
in the fog at 06:00 .. about 06:30 Christa Belle radioed us
to inform us that once in the bay the fog was less dense ..
fog was clearing in the gulf ..
07:30 .. Anne returned from her grocery run .. fog was
lifting and we got underway .. however .. continued to use
radar to locate the buoys ..
07:50 .. cleared the Carrabelle River ..
08:00 .. passed the point on Dog Island and put the boat
on auto pilot at 150 degrees .. the water was rough
throughout the trip due to land swells ...
08:55 .. the Captain of the Christa Belle radioed to see
if we got out into the gulf alright .. he is about 30
miles ahead of us cruising at 18 knots and we are cruising
at 21 knots so we should catch up to him around 3 in the
09:30 .. picked up a shrimp boat on radar just off the
starboard bow .. now are in 80-90 feet of water .. Ann took
her morning nap on the Bridge .. Jimmy slept on the Back
another shrimp boat off the port bow .. wind has
picked up to 15mph .. sun is shining about 78 degrees and
10:00 .. four dolphins jumping out of the water ahead of
us .. another radio message from the Christa Belle .. the
Captain’s name is Bob .. he wanted to know where we were
going today .. he suggested if we didn’t go to Clearwater we
should go to Venice at the Crow’s Nest Marina .. Marv said
he would check it out on the charts and it was decided that
we would go to Venice as there is 12 feet of water for
docking .. so we changed course to 140 degrees ..
the wind out of the NE picked up to 20 mph and we are
now getting spray up on the bow and the windows on the
bridge .. the boat and crew are getting a workout .. now we
have to be very careful when we move about less we fall …
Marv served a Dee lunch to the Crew less Jimmy …. Who was
still sleeping …..
12:50 .. picked up another shrimp boat dead ahead so
changed course to 135 degrees to give the shrimp boat enough
room and then returned to original course after we passed
13:30 .. picked up a cruiser on our starboard side doing
about 20 knots ..
.. wind laid down to about 5 mph .. better riding and
easier walking about ..
15:00 .. Captain Ben and Jimmy climbed up on the roof of
the boat to take a rest and get some air and probably take a
15:15 .. we could see the Christa Belle off our port side
going into Clearwater ..
we were off the shore of Tampa , Florida .. for
awhile there were eight boats within four miles around us
but none caused any navigation difficulties and we were able
to stay on course ..
off the coast of Sarasota, Florida .. in 40 feet of
water and we were getting large ground swells again which
really rocked the boat .. Jimmy and Capt Ben became very
excited and wanted more and more ..
picked up the entrance buoys to Venice .. we cut the
power.. shut off the auto pilot ..
17:40 .. tied off at the Crow’s Nest Marina in Venice,
a hungry crew went to the Crow’s Nest restaurant for
dinner .. even forsaking the happy hour cocktail .. we had a
delicious meal as usual .. Jimmy took his dinner .. and the
liquid that is in the tavern below and began his nightly
escapades in the Crow’s Nest Tavern .. these escapades
continued into and throughout the night .. Jimmy and Marv
were up most of the night .. along with a School Teacher
observed a family dispute and auto accident from the Bridge
.. the Bridge was the site of many evening ventures ….
mileage for the day was 244 miles ..
Saturday, November 4, 2000 -
Crow’s Nest Marina
Restaurant – Venice, FL - Mile 57
.. still in Venice .. Jimmy and Marv told Capt. Ron and Ann
about a new Camero pulled out of the Crow’s Nest parking lot
with the wheels spinning shortly after the Bar had closed
for the evening .. sideswiped a car .. jumped the curb ..
back on the street and hit palm tree by the boats .. backed
away leaving the front bumper at the tree .. a lady jumped
out and ran away .. then he turned around and drove away
minus a bumper and with two flat tires .. he supposedly came
back with another vehicle and tried the same thing .. Marv
also gave Ann a lesson on the finer techniques of using a
Garden Hose ..
departed Crow’s Nest marina .. nice sunny day ..
temperature 80 degrees .. no wind .. gulf is smooth and the
only waves created are by boats out cruising .. after we
left the break water and cleared the entrance buoys we set a
course of 150 degrees cruising at 1600 rpms .. boat on
automatic pilot ..
changed course to 145 degrees cruising 2 miles off
the shore .. Capt. Bob from the cruiser Christa Belle
radioed us to suggest we dock at a private island as it was
beautiful .. good dockage and we could use his name .. He
said that Captiva may be difficult to get into because of
the low water level .. they were on their way to St. Lucie
off our port side a small Tow Boat went by .. he had
no barges ..
picked up the entrance buoy to enter into the
Inter-Coastal canal .. passed Bocca Grande .. water more
shallow here at 6-7 feet .. the Dolphins played with us all
the way .. Jimmy went out on the pulpit and reported that
the Dolphins would let the boat bump them and then they
would swim away ..
overtook the Tow Boat Coastal Bocca Grande .. he
called on the radio and told us we could pass him on his
port side and then he thanked us for not making a wake ..
had two petroleum barges loaded to seven feet .. he had a
bow thruster unit which allows him greater steering
capability .. being this is Saturday we have a parade of
boats .. they have disrupted our peace and tranquility .. at
marker number 38 we turned starboard out of the
Inter-Coastal canal and headed out to Tween Waters Marina ..
being the tide was now low in some places on the way into
the marina we went through water only 5' - 6” barely
clearing the bottom of the boat .. met a large excursion
boat coming out of the marina ..
14:50 .. tied off at the Tween Waters Marina at Captiva
Island in the last slip at the end of the dock .. we were
surrounded by large boats in very “close” dockage .. at low
tide we only had 1 foot of water below the boat ..
beautiful beaches .. there appeared to be a wedding or some
type of a ritual occurring on the beach .. the road was very
narrow and we would have had to walk at least a mile to the
“Bubble” restaurant .. Capt. Ron and Ann decided not to
“risk their lives” on the highway and stayed at the Crow’s
Nest Bar and Restaurant .. Mike .. the bartender took good
care of us .. nice dinner .. and much to drink .. Ann
mistook Marv’s flashlight for the early morning sun ..
Crew back on the boat ..
61 miles ..
5 November, 2000 -
Tween Waters Inn
and Marina - Captiva Island, FL
Crew is up ..
07:50 .. high tide and so departed from the Tween Waters
Marina in Captiva ..
entered the Inter-Coastal canal southbound .. water
calm .. plenty of sun and nice breeze .. An took a short nap
in the Cock Pit …
09:00 .. 60 foot Sea Ray cruiser overtook us at full
throttle and because the Inter-Coastal was so narrow we
couldn’t direct the boat into the wake so we got rolled in
the wake and everything inside the boat went flying ..
Ann and Capt Ron were sitting in the aft salon
writing up the log and we heard a “slapping” sound off the
starboard stern of the boat .. upon checking we found
dolphins running with us and slapping the water as they came
out of their dives and into the air ..
09:55 .. picked up some commercial fisherman’s crab trap
lines in our props .. initially sounded as though we ran
aground .. no damage ..
arrived at Fort Meyers Yacht Basin .. the waterways
were filled with recreational boaters who were driving
extremely fast .. Ann decided that the weekend was not a
time to be on the water with these boaters ..
were also several new boats on their way from the boat show
in Fort Lauderdale ….. Ann decided that if she had her
choice of waters to boat in .. the first choice would be
rivers .. the second Inter-Coastal and last the ocean ..
while refueling Ann and Autumn went for their walk .. the
heat and activity became too much for little Autumn so we
found a cool place to sit down in downtown Ft Meyers until
Autumn regained her strength .. a victim of too many dog
treats .. upon returning to the boat we watered her down
with cool water .. she drank some water and has been
sleeping since .. the boys .. Capt. Ben and Jimmy cleaned
down the exterior of the boat after we docked ..
Myers Yacht Basin - Fort Myers, FL
- 0.0 gals … Mid – 401.0 gals … FWD – 350.0
– 751.0 gals
– 1053.9 hours … Starboard – 1060.1 hours
– 42.9 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 0.0 minutes …
.. many very large cruisers in the Fort Meyers Yacht Basin
which is located in old Fort Meyers downtown area ..
November 7, 2000 – City of
Fort Myers Yacht
Basin - Fort Myers, FL - Mile 134.5
Monday night football, Packer vs Viking .. WOW .. what an
ending .. the Packers beat the Vikings .. everyone happy
except for Capt. Ron and Jimmy .. Ann .. not much of a
football fan .. went to bed early so she did not get to see
the Packer triumph ..
prepared by Capt. Ron Larson and Ann Bauer ..
March 6, 2001 –
Marina - Fort Myers, FL - Mile 135.0 – River Marker #49
Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers, FL
Dockside Fuel Service – 2040 SE 8th Terrace
Coral, FL 33904
– 315.7 gals … Mid – 373.0 gals … FWD – 360.0
– 1047.7 gals
– 1109.3 hours … Starboard – 1116.4 hours
– 18.8 gals per hour
- 0.0 gals
– 33.0 minutes …