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2000 - Log - Trip South - Wabasha MN to Fort Myers FL

Dee Light - da Trip South - 2000

 

Note ……. This Log was written by Capt. Ron ..typed by Ann .. and a few modifications by Marv …..

 

October 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 …….

 

October 20, 2000 – Friday – Mississippi Parkside Marina – Wabasha, MN – mile 760.5 -

 

da Crew - Marv .. Jimmy .. Ann ….

 

…… by 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 screen …..

 

07:00 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 …..

 

da Crew – Marv .. Jimmy .. Bud .. Ann

 

Lock 4

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 ….

 

Lock 5

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 Wabasha ……

 

Lock 5a

11:30 - 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 Lock …

 

Winona, MN

12:00 - … 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 potty ……

 

Fueled in Winona at Severson Oil Co. - 507-452-4743

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid - 260 gals … FWD - 282.0 gals

Total – 542.0 gals

Port - 0923.3 hours … Starboard - 0929.8 hours

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump - 00.00 hours

 

….. da 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 ...

da Crew – Marv .. Jimmy .. Bud .. Ann .. Capt. Ron

 

12:35 – Dee Light left Winona …..

 

Lock 6

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 Bridge ……..

 

Lock 7

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 …….

14:30 – 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 …

15:15 - 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 ….

 

Lock 8

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..

 

Lock 9

18:00 - 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 ……

 

Starting Mile Marker was 635.7 … total mileage for the day was 125 miles 

Tow boats/barges encountered                     Number of Locks

Laurie Extern with 15 barges                         7 locks

Hamilton Tow, 3 petroleum barges

Thompson Tow

Robin Ingram

 

October 21, 2000 – Saturday - Island of Capri Casino Marina ( formerly the Miss Marquette Marina ) – Marquette, IA – mile 635.7 -

 

05:30          - .. da Crew headed south in the dark ….

06:00 - .. encountered a Tow Boat ... weather to be a high 70’s .. clear .. sunny .. little wind …….

08:00       - Marv 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 10

 

09:30 – we entered the 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 …….

 

Lock 11

11:00 - …. in Lock  and out at 11:20 … passed Eagle Point Park .. a Tug Boat .. and Dubuque, IA after leaving the lock ….

11:30 -  ….. 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 ….

 

Lock 12

….. had 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 ……

13:05 - …. 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 …..

another Tow Boat .. Dreama Klebee.  Savannah IL .. home of Wayne King .. first the bluffs .. now very flat .. another swing bridge .. Sabula, Iowa ..

 

Lock 13

14:50 …. 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 ... 

16:34 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.”

17:25 - … met the Tow Boat Tigre .. multiple quaint river towns along both sides of the Mississippi ...

 

Lock 14

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 ……

Mileage for the day was 152 miles and  7 locks

 

Tow Boats Encountered                      Number Locks

The Tigre tow had 6 empty sand and gravel barges   7 locks

Hagersted  Tow

Hamilton Tow

 

Sunday - October 22, 2000 – Quad City Marina – Davenport, IA – mile 483.5 –

 

06:30 – …. da Crew up …. temperature was 55 and winds at about 15 mph ... another great weather day ….

07:00 - .. underway  from Davenport/Rock Island …... 

 

Lock 15

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 …..

 

Lock 16

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 …..

 

Lock 17

10:10 - …. 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 ….

 

Lock 18

11:55 - … 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 …

13:00 - … arrived 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 …. 

14:20 - …. 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 ..

Mileage was  117 and 4 Locks ..

 

Monday, 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 ..

 

Fueled in Keokuk, Iowa -

AFT - 344.0 gals … Mid – 241.5 gals … FWD - 184.6 gals

Total – 769.1 gals

Port – 0949.6 hours … Starboard – 0955.8 hours

Mileage – 29.41 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump - ??? hours …

 

… a 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 ...

 

Lock 19

10:40 - .. 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 ...

11:15 - … 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 ….

 

Lock 20

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 ...

14:05 - .. 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 …..

 

Lock 21

15:40 - …. 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 ..

we 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 ……

 

Lock 22

16:55 - .. arrived at lock 22 …

18:20 - .. 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 ….

Mileage 82 miles and 4 Locks

                                               

Tuesday, October 24,2000 - Two Rivers Marina – Rockport, IL – mile 283.2 -

 

05:30 - … 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 Boats )

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 …..

11:00 - … the Lock Master helped us tie Dee 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 …..

12:35 - .. locking 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 ……

13:30 - ….. 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 ……

 

Lock 25

14:20 - .. 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 …..

15:45 - … 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 …..

20:15 - ….. 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 ...

Mileage was  203 and  2 locks.

 

Wednesday, October 25,2000 – Alton Marina – Alton, IL – mile 202.9 –

 

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 ...

09:45 - …. departed Alton Marina ..

 

Melvin Price Lock 26 - …. the 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 ….

 

Lock 27

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 chamber …..

 

Please 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 ….

 

13:30 - Fueled at Hoppe’s Marina – Fern and Hoppe are friends of Marv ….

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 200.0 gals … FWD – 227.0 gals

Total – 427.0 gals

Port – 0968.2 hours … Starboard – 0974.3 hours

Mileage – 23.02 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 hours …

 

…… very 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 ..

 

14:25 - .. 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 ….

Mileage was 169 and 2 Locks …..

 

Tow Encountered

 

Thursday, October 26, 2000 – on da Hook - Mississippi River – mile 34

 

07:00 - … 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 .. 

09:05 - … 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 …

 

Lock 53

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 ..

when we 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 …..

 

Lock 52

14:22 - ….. 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 ...

16:35 - .. 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 ….

Traveled about 103 miles .

 

Tow  encountered for the day       

Bob Smith Tow with 36 barges of coal

Gane Pierre Cenex Tow with 2 empty oil barges

Andrew Conasdow Tow with 3 refrigerated anhydrous ammonia barges

Cooperative Enterprise Tow 24 barges

Shirley Franklin Tow 2 barges

Eva C May Tow 2 cement barges

Butch Bar Tow 8 oil barges

Cornell Smith Tow 5 barges

Nonie Tow 8 barges

Al Gray Tow 10 barges

Charles E Patters Tow light/empty

Mathew Edwards Tow 2 barges

Charles Ditmor Tow 35 barges

Mary Jane Tow with construction barges

Evan Brent Tow with 12 oil barges

Martha Mack Tow with 10 barges

Anne B with 15 barges

Cumberland Hunter tow with 6 barges

Margi D Tow with 15 barges

Number of Locks

Three (3)

 

 

Friday, 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 …

 

Fueled at Kentucky Dam Marina –

AFT - 021.0 gals … Mid – 256.0 gals … FWD – 237.2 gals

Total – 514.2 gals

Port – 0985.0 hours … Starboard – 0991.2 hours

Mileage – 30.52 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 hours …

 

…. while 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. ..

there 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 –

 

….. in 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 ..

08:00 - … 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 ….

09:10 - .. 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 ..

our slight breeze disappeared and now the water is as smooth as glass ..

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 ..

14:25 - .. 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 ...

15:20 - .. 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 …. 

16:35 - … we passed an anchor boat which was displaying a diver who appeared to be a “river clammer” looking for clams …..

17:00 - … 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 ……

18:00 - .. 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 ...

 

Fueled at Pickwick’s Tenn-Tom Marina –

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 251.0 gals … FWD – 213.0 gals

Total – 464.0 gals

Port – 0995.0 hours … Starboard – 1001.1 hours

Mileage – 46.63 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 hours …

 

 

……. the 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 449.7 -

 

….. 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 ……

07:00 - .. 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 ….

09:55 - …. we 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 ……

10:15 - .. 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 12:00 ….

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 …..

14:35 - .. entered the Aberdeen Lock at mile 357.5 .. locked down all by ourselves .. dropped 27 feet and departed the Lock at 14:45 ..

14:55 - .. 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 Dock

 

Fueled at Marina Cove –

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 173.0 gals … FWD – 140.0 gals

Total – 313.0 gals

Port – ??.0 hours … Starboard – ???.0 hours

Mileage – ??.?? gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 hours …

 

….. then 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 ..

Tow boats encountered                                           Number of locks

Gilbert Taylor with 4 barges                                                    8

Susan Elizabeth with 8 barges

Mitz Lou with 4 barges of logs

Creole Sun with 2 oil barges

Bill McNiel with 2 barges of benzene

Ann B with 5 barges

 

Monday, 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….

13:30 - .. 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 …

 

Fueled at Demopolis Yacht Basin –

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 118.0 gals … FWD – 110.0 gals

Total – 228.0 gals

Port – 1010.5 hours … Starboard – 1016.7 hours

Mileage – 35.0 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 hours …

 

Cruised 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..

we had 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 ….

 

Tow Boats Encountered                      Number of locks

Fast Eddy with 6 empty log barges                                    2

 

Tuesday, October 31,2000 - Demopolis Yacht 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 ..

left the 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 …..

10:00 ….. 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 ..

10:35 …. we 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 mile above and below the area ..

11:30 .. 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 ..

16:35 .. 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 ..

Tow boats encountered                             No. of Locks

Southern Craft with 8 wood chip barges                                   2

Venture with 2 oil barges

Chickasaw with 6 empty barges

Pushmataha with 6 empty barges

Johnson Star small harbor work boat

Geismer with 6 coal barges

Blue  Water, new harbor work boat

Cherokee 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 ..

06:30 .. 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 ..

10:05 .. 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 …

10:55 .. Perdido Key for fuel .. Service Station on the water ..

 

Fueled at Perdido Key –

AFT - 364.0 gals … Mid – 174.0 gals … FWD – 105.0 gals

Total – 637.0 gals

Port – 1026.2 hours … Starboard – 1032.3 hours

Mileage – 39.0 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 51 minutes …

 

11:45 .. 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 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 offshore ..

16:00 .. changed course to 309 degrees picking up entrance buoy to the ship’s canal into Panama City port .. lovely port ..

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 ...

We cruised 109 miles today ...

Tow Boats Encountered

Skimmer working in barge fleet

Lucky Pal pushing a fueling barge

Danny May with 2 oil barges

Mike Machimie had 4 coal barges

 

Thursday, 2 November 2000 - Panama City Marina – Panama City, FL - Mile 290.0

 

05:30 .. 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 ..

07:00 .. 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 responsibilities ..

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 miles ….

08:20 .. we set a course at  150 degrees .. 3.5 miles off shore 65 feet of water and put auto pilot on …

08:30 .. 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 ..

10:00 .. cruised by Apalachicola Florida  about 5 miles off shore ..

11:00 .. a large number of dolphins were diving around the boat and we changed the clocks to EST and changed course to 067 degrees ...

13:05 .. changed course to 030 degrees ..

13:15 .. took boat off auto pilot …

13:20 .. 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

13:35 .. 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 ... 

 

Fueled at The Moorings at Carrabelle, Inc. - Carrabelle FL

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 295.0 gals … FWD – 262.0 gals

Total – 557.0 gals

Port – 1036.4 hours … Starboard – 1042.6 hours

Mileage – 54.08 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 minutes …

 

….. a 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

Friday, November 3, 2000 - The Moorings at Carrabelle, Inc. – Carrabelle, FL - Mile 381.0

 

06:30 .. 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 afternoon ..

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 Deck ..

09:45 .. another shrimp boat  off  the port bow .. wind has picked up to 15mph .. sun is shining about 78 degrees and clear ..

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 ..

12:20 .. 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 him …

13:30 .. picked up a cruiser on our starboard side doing about 20 knots ..

14:00 .. 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 smoke ..

15:15 .. we could see the Christa Belle off our port side going into Clearwater ..

15:30 .. 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 ..

16:45 .. 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 ..

17:30 .. 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, Florida ..

18:40 .. 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 ….

Total mileage for the day was 244 miles ..

 

Saturday, November 4, 2000 - Crow’s Nest Marina Restaurant – Venice, FL - Mile 57

 

07:00 .. 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 ..

10:45 .. 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 ..

11:15 .. 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 ..

12:15 .. off our port side a small Tow Boat went by .. he had no barges ..

12:35 .. 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 ..

12:50 .. 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 ..

22:00 .. Crew back on the boat ..

Cruised 61 miles ..

 

Sunday, 5 November, 2000 - Tween Waters Inn and Marina - Captiva Island, FL

07:00 .. Crew is up ..

07:50 .. high tide and so departed from the Tween Waters Marina in Captiva ..

08:15 .. 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 ..

09:05 .. 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 ..

10:35 .. 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 ..

there 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 ..

 

Fueled at Fort Myers Yacht Basin - Fort Myers, FL

AFT - 0.0 gals … Mid – 401.0 gals … FWD – 350.0 gals

Total – 751.0 gals

Port – 1053.9 hours … Starboard – 1060.1 hours

Mileage – 42.9 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 0.0 minutes …

 

.. many .. many very large cruisers in the Fort Meyers Yacht Basin which is located in old Fort Meyers downtown area ..

 

Tuesday, 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 ..

 

Trip Log prepared by Capt. Ron Larson and Ann Bauer ..

 

Monday, March 6, 2001 – Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers, FL - Mile 135.0 – River Marker #49

 

Fueled at Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers, FL

       Dockside Fuel Service – 2040 SE 8th Terrace

Cape Coral, FL 33904

941-637-0733

AFT – 315.7 gals … Mid – 373.0 gals … FWD – 360.0 gals

Total – 1047.7 gals

Port – 1109.3 hours … Starboard – 1116.4 hours

Mileage – 18.8 gals per hour

Little Dee - 0.0 gals

Fuel Transfer pump – 33.0 minutes …

 

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