Monday – September 08 – Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor Inc – Sturgeon Bay WI .. 920-743-3311 .. we got up to thick FOG that did not burn off until midmorning .. the Staff at the Marina had completed the work on Dee Light that we had them do when we took our ‘road trip’ to Eau Claire WI and it all looks great .. ( oil change .. oil filters changed .. Starboard Bow Rail repaired from the hit that we took when we were docked at Put-in-Bay .. Fresh Water Intake for the Generator replaced ) .. the Staff at the Marina was also pulling boats for the Winter .. they also had just pulled one of the commercial Fishing Boats for some repairs .. these boats remain in the water all Winter as they do commercial fishing right thru the Winter .. we worked on the interior of Dee Light and Betty did some shopping to restock Dee Light .. Marv went over to Palmer Johnson’s Home Office and saw that they had launched one of the three boats that they are working on .. they will be working on the boat for another Month before the boat will be delivered to the Owner .. it is a silver grey sleek boat that looks much like a ‘Drug Runners’ boat .. before we turned in our rental car we took a drive up Door County to buy a colorful flag for Dee Light and some local Cherries that we had seen when we were up there before ..
Tuesday – September 09 – Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor Inc – Sturgeon Bay WI .. 920-743-3311 .. we got up to mostly clear skies .. after checking out the weather we left the Marina by 07:30 am .. the Canal is heavily used by both commercial boats as well as pleasure crafts so we maintained a slow speed until we got to the Break Walls at the Lake .. we made out onto Lake Michigan by 08:15 am .. the Weather Channel on the Marine Radio said that the winds would be up to 10 miles per hour from the Southeast with 1 to 3 footers .. wellllll they were wrong .. the winds were from the Southeast but the Seas were 6 to 10 footers right on our Port / Bow / Side .. UGH !! .. and we had become complacent with not putting a lot of our ‘stuff’ down soooo we had stuff flying in all directions .. and ended up breaking a number of things including Betty’s Glass Boat that was filled with Seashells that she has collected over the years .. at that time we decided to make a change in our destination for the day from Sheboygan WI to Algoma WI .. about 10:00 am as we approached Algoma we called on the Marine Radio for ‘local knowledge’ about Marinas and water depths .. out radio conversation was intercepted by the US Coast Guard who was sitting in front of the Break Wall entrance to Algoma .. after asking how many people we had onboard, etc. they said that they were going to be boarding Dee Light and told us what information that we should have ready for them .. i.e. our Drivers License and Dee Light info .. we said that we had the required information but said that with the rough waters a boarding may go better inside the Break Wall where the waters are calmer .. the Coast Guard said NO that they would be boarding the boat at Sea and instructed us to put Fenders out on our Starboard side and maintain a speed of 5 mph .. we suggested that we turn around and head into the waves to cut down on the rough waters .. they oked that idea and after we changed our direction they started to approach us right after Betty had the Fenders in place .. they instructed us as what we should do and right after they thru Betty a Bow Line they smashed into our Starboard Bow Rail right in the exact spot that was just repaired by the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor .. UGH !! .. Betty said that there were four Guys on the Coast Guard Cutter and that the three that were out on the Deck were very young and that they had a look of ‘fear’ on their faces .. and they appeared to not have a clue of what they should do next .. Marv contacted them on the Marine Radio and asked them how much damage they had done to Dee Light when they hit us .. as the hit really felt hard on the side of Dee Light .. after a long pause they said that they were now going to board Dee Light on our Port Side / Aft and instructed us ( Betty ) to ready our Fenders on the Port / Aft section of the boat and to just drift and not maintain any speed at all .. Marv radioed back and said ok but expressed a concern about the boat rocking violently from side-to-side .. after another boater suggested that we head Kewaunee WI as the water depths are real good there Marv also told the Coast Guard that we had decided to head to Kewaunee and that it may be a safer place to board Dee Light .. once the saw that the Port / Aft idea was not gonna work they said that they were going to board the boat using a Life Line that they would secure from boat to boat .. ( Marv thought that that was a real DUMB idea but did not say anything ) .. they soon decided that it was too rough to board our boat at Sea .. sooo we gave them our Cell Phone number and they called us on the Cell Phone .. they said that when we went thru the Canal back at Sturgeon Bay this morning that we were going faster than the ‘posted’ 5 mph speed limit .. and they said that we could start heading towards Kewaunee while they question us .. his voice became very humble .. after they got some info from us over the Cell Phone they said that we should get back in contact with them if we have any damage due to there hitting us .. otherwise to have a good day and if they can be of any further assistance please contact them by Marine Radio or Cell Phone ( since we have there number ) .. as we headed to Kewaunee the Seas remained the same if not a little heaver .. we called ahead to the Marina that we were told about when we asked for local information and they were ready for us at the Dock .. Dee Light was backed into the Slip and all tied off by 12:00 pm .. UFTDA enough fun for one day .. Betty has had it for today, there was broken glass all over the floor of the Salon and the Back Deck, dirt from the upset flower pots, the coffee table was turned on its side, every movable object on the floor had rolled around, looks as if we had attempted to return to Cuba and Marv is hungry as we had no breakfast and says he is SHOT and sat right down just looking around .. I ( Betty ) think that Coast Guard Boat has an intense dislike for women and he wanted me to fall overboard .. making me switch the Fenders from side to side in those heavy Seas .. there was a time I had respect for the Coast Guard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I gave him a good piece of my mind when his boat hit Dee Light right where I was standing trying to attach HIS line to Dee Light .. losers that they are .. and they really did a number on her hairdo also .. UGH !! .. Betty was sooo upset she forgot to even think about the Bus Station but did mutter something that sounded like ‘this is a two drink night !!’ .. after a quick breakfast / lunch and checking in at the Marina Office we spent the afternoon cleaning the exterior of Dee Light .. when we were in Eau Claire the spiders did a job on Dee Light so we took care of them .. after cleaning ourselves up we walked across the Bridge into town and had dinner at The Cork Restaurant & Pub .. the food there was great and when we made it back to Dee Light we were ready to call it a day .. our bodies were sore and tired .. we must be getting old ..
Travel – Sturgeon Bay WI to Kewaunee WI – 44 Locks To Date – 35 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3664
Wednesday – September 10 – Kewaunee Inner Harbor Marina – Kewaunee WI .. (920) 388-2120 - $1.00 / LF .. Kewaunee is a fishing community .. most all the boats in the harbor are equipped for fishing .. we checked the weather out again today and decided to head out and it looks like we will have one more day before the Storms that are West of us will get to our area .. we left the Marina at 08:15 am .. we started out with the predicted 1 to 3 footers right on our Port / Bow .. but they soon turned into 4 to 8 footers and that’s what we had all the way to Sheboygan WI .. the winds also change from South Southeast to South and once we were past Two Rivers WI we headed right into the winds .. the waves on the Great Lakes are much different than Ocean waves or Gulf waves .. the Lake waves are chopper .. we had Dee Light backed into the Slip and tied off by 12:45 pm .. this is a great Marina .. it is a SkipperBud’s affiliated Marina that is located near the heart of town .. the Marina has a great Boaters Lounge, Pool, Ship Store, Cable TV, etc. .. after we checked in at the Marina we ha a deelightfull lunch on the Back Deck and then Betty spent part of the afternoon out on the Front Deck collecting some ‘sun rays’ .. we got our bikes off the back of Dee Light and took a long ride around Sheboygan ending up on the Fishing Warf where we had a light dinner at The Mucky Duck Shanty .. we sat outside and watched some of the Crews on the Fishing Boats display their catch of the day ..
Travel – Kewaunee WI to Sheboygan WI – 44 Locks To Date – 55 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3719
Thursday – September 11 – Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan WI .. (920) 458-4406 - $1.40 / LF .. HEADLINES – NEW YORK (Sept. 11) -- Two years after the profound horror and grief of Sept. 11, the small voices of children rang out at ground zero, joining in song and reading the names of the 2,792 people who died there .. ''We come here to honor those that we lost, and to remember this day with sorrow,'' Mayor Michael Bloomberg said .. Minutes later, the anniversary ceremony at ground zero paused for a moment of silence - the first of four commemorating the times when each jetliner crashed into a tower and when each skyscraper collapsed .. Across the nation, bells tolled, firefighters stood at attention, and in many places, moments with no words at all were held for the second anniversary of the terrorist assault that killed more than 3,000 people .. we watched much of the TV coverage of 09-11-01 reflecting the impact that the ‘attack’ has had on all of our lives .. after breakfast and war games with the Yellow Jackets ( Bees ) we took a ‘portage’ to Kohler WI .. once in Kohler we went to see ‘THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA’ .. yes ‘The Bold Look of Kohler’ .. the ‘Wall’ is about 300 feet long and 25 feet high and is all ‘China’ .. see photo .. we met another couple on the ‘Loop’ .. they had their AGLCA Flag flying from the Bow of their 42 foot Carver ( How Bout Me ) .. they came in the Marina for fuel and then headed back out heading South .. in the afternoon we took Autumn for a walk on the Beach and out to the South Point Lighthouse at the end of the Break Wall .. the entire Harbor area has been improved in the past few years .. Kraemer Construction has a large ( $64,000,000 ) Convention Center, etc going up right across the Sheboygan River from the Marina .. it will be a great Waterfront improvement for the area .. later we took the bikes into town and enjoyed a ‘real’ Italian dinner at Trattoria Stefano An Italian Restaurant in the heart of the downtown Sheboygan ..from Betty .. I think the episode with the US Coast Guard has effected Marv, he gently insisted that I accompany him to visit (The Great Wall of China) little town of Kohler, turned out to be one whole wall of toilets stacked to the ceiling in various ways, he was ecstatic and took many pictures, it also cost him two taxi fares lunch and swing dance lessons upon return to Florida, certainly hope he returns to normal before we continue our trip down Lake Michigan ..
Friday – September 12 – Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan WI .. (920) 458-4406 .. HEADLINES – Johnny Cash ( 71 ) and John Ritter ( 54 ) both died .. the weather changed overnight .. we had planned on leaving today but the Thunderstorms that are heading this direction are moving in faster than what was predicted .. the storm have increased the winds and has increased the fog .. soooo we decided to spend the day right here .. Betty did laundry in the ‘state o the art’ Laundry Room at the Marina and we worked on both the exterior of Dee Light until the rains started .. with the rains the fog became denser .. Betty made a deelightfull dinner on Dee Light and as we watched Dr Phil and Katie Couric’s Special over TV about ‘controlling your weight’ Betty made a desert to die for .. yes full of calories ..
Saturday – September 13 – Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan WI .. (920) 458-4406 .. we had rain on and off all night and again all day .. the area really needs the rain but why now .. and the high winds kept right up with the rains .. with the winds, rain and FOG the area Fishing Boats only fished inside the Break Walls .. it was interesting to listen to them over the Marine Radio .. they were within a few feet of each other but could not see one another at all .. they did use their Fog Horns almost nonstop .. we also worked on our itinerary for the next number of days .. we ended up walking in the rain to the Warf for dinner .. on our way we walked passed a few of the Charter Fishing Boats that were just coming in after spending the day out fishing .. we came across Mark Lewis and Al Scholze both from the Eau Claire WI area .. we talked with them before heading to The Mucky Duck Shanty for dinner .. they had a great day out fishing and had a huge catch of fish that they displayed on the Warf .. their spouses also had a great day of shopping ..
Sunday – September 14 – Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan WI .. (920) 458-4406 .. we checked out the progress of the Severe Thunder Storms that have been going thru the area and decided to hold tight for another day .. UGH !! .. this is getting OLD !! .. we called ahead to the DuSable Harbor Marina in Chicago IL and found out that they did not have any Slips open for a 60 foot boat so we called the Burnham Park Harbor also in Chicago and made a reservation for there .. despite being inland .. Lake Michigan can be treacherous .. fast moving Storms moving across the Lake at 50 MPH create dangerous Rip Currents near Harbor Entrances as the air pressure rises and falls .. a few weeks ago seven swimmers caught in the Rip Tides drowned in different areas in the lower part of the Lake .. a good Website for information is http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/ .. we watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions at Green Bay WI ( 31 to 6 ) .. right after the game the sun peaked out ( briefly ) and a rainbow came down on the Red Channel Marker outside the Marina .. we also watched the Indianapolis Colts beat Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis ( 33 to 7 ) .. after a deelightfull dinner on Dee Light the rains stopped soooo we took Autumn for a long walk .. we walked out to the end of the Break Wall and watched the sunset and we talked to a number of Guys that had made it to the Break Wall after the game and now they were going to be fishing off the Wall right thru the night ..
Monday – September 15 – Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan WI .. (920) 458-4406 .. we checked out the weather and decided to head out for Milwaukee or Chicago .. we left the Marina at 07:00 am .. last night we added two units of Killem Fuel Cleaning Additive to our Starboard Fuel Tank .. the Fuel in the lead Fuel Filter soon turned black .. with the winds from the West we had Seas of 1 to 3 footers on our Starboard Side with Rollers of 3 to 5 feet on our Aft .. we went by Milwaukee WI at 09:45 am and since all was going great we decided to head for Chicago .. we called ahead to Washington Park Municipal Marina in Michigan City IN and found that their fuel prices are 40 cents per gallon less that Chicago soooo we will plan to fuel up there .. we passed what Betty called a ‘Water Train’ .. it was a Towboat with 4 Boxes behind it .. once we were past Milwaukee the winds died off and all that we had were Rollers on our Aft .. we used the Autopilot for much of the day .. a great day on the water !! .. we listened to the Weather Channel on the Marine Radio and the forecast for lower Lake Michigan has changed due to the Hurricane Isabel moving towards the East Coast .. we could see the Skyline of Chicago from about 40 miles out .. we called ahead to the Marina on the Cell Phone as they did not answer us on the Marine Radio .. they gave us docking instructions but said that they did not have anyone that could help us dock as they are short handed .. soooo we found Slip E-51 and squeaked Dee Light in .. and it was a tight fit as the winds picked up as we got to the Marina .. we had Dee Light docked at 02:30 pm just as the ‘Windy City’ became windy .. when we checked in at the Marina Office the Harbor Master said that we were too long for the Slip that they put us in sooo we had to move Dee Light to the end of D-Dock .. Betty had many words of ‘wisdom’ that she would have liked to share with the Harbor Master .. UGH !! .. we were re-docked by 04:00 pm .. after a short walk we took a Taxi into the Navy Pier where we had a ride on a large Farris Wheel and the had dinner at Charlie’s Ale House on the Pier ..
Travel – Sheboygan WI to Chicago IL – 44 Locks To Date – 144 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3863
Tuesday – September 16 - Burnham Park Harbor – Chicago IL .. (312) 747-7009 .. $1.50 / LF .. Diesel Fuel $2.08 .. the Marina is located just South of the center of town .. it is a large very nice facility in a great location right by Soldiers' Field and Shedd Aquarium .. but virtually few amenities .. though they do offer an inconvenient phone line in the Ship's Store for a laptop plug-in for a few minutes .. we spotted tow boats that we have crossed paths with before .. HOME JAMES .. a 90 boat that we saw on our way South last year at the Alton Marina .. and SEA LAB .. a 65 foot Viking that we saw last year on our trip North on the Tenn-Tom .. docked next to us was an 80 Burger named CHATEAU THIERRY with an Ocean Reef FL logo on its side .. we took a good look at the weather on the Internet, NOAA and the Marine Radio .. it looks like Isabel is going to have an affect on the Lake .. they are calling for Seas of 9 to 12 feet towards the end of the week .. soooo we have decided to not head out to Michigan City IN in the morning .. this is where Betty’s daughter and family had planned on meeting up with us .. but instead we will head to Hammond IN in the morning and stay of the Lake the balance of the week .. we took our bikes down and headed into town on the Bike Trail .. Betty spotted a AGLCA Flag on boat tied up along the Sea Wall we stopped and met the Martin family on their boat HIPPOPOTAMUS .. their two kids are 6 and 8 years old and they ‘Home School’ the kids .. they were on their 30 foot Catamaran Gemini 3000 .. Adrian lost his employment and they sold everything and bought a boat and are doing the Loop .. they have a Website .. www.hipporeport.homestead.com .. after lunch at The Bread Corner .. yes soup in a Bread Bowl .. a Chicagoin joined us for lunch and we said that we have tried to eat ‘area foods’ in our travels .. he proceeded to tell us that in Chicago the ‘locals’ eat the Chicago Style Hotdog and gave us the history of this rare delicacy .. we did not have a Chicago Style Hot Dog .. after lunch we took The Architectural Water Tour and it was time very well spent .. once back on the bikes we headed North up the Bike Trail .. we went for miles and never saw any sings of the end of the Trail .. the Bike Trail is very well done and very well used .. we had talked about going out for dinner to a nice ‘Chicago’ restaurant but when we got back to Dee Light we were soooo tired that we decided to stay right on the boat and Betty put together a great dinner ..
Wednesday – September 17 - Burnham Park Harbor – Chicago IL .. (312) 747-7009 .. the sunrise was spectacular but the weather forecast is for high WINDS starting later today right thru Saturday .. sooo we are going to head South to the Hammond Marina in Hammond IN .. that way we will be just 4 miles from the mouth of the Calumet River .. Betty’s daughter Cheryl called .. she had Carpel Tunnel Surgery on Tuesday .. she is at ‘home alone’ recovering .. Cheryl and her kids are still planning on joining us this weekend .. she cannot drive for a week so she will have to depend on her daughters for that .. we pulled out of the Marina at 08:30 am .. only 1 to 3 footers from the Southwest .. we called ahead to the Marina and pulled into the Fuel Dock at 10:15 am right at the base of the Casino Boat .. the cost of Diesel Fuel here is 52 cents a gallon less than at the Burnham Park Harbor .. sooooo we took on Fuel ..
Engine Hours – Port Engine .. 2079.4 – Starboard Engine .. 2089.4
.. after taking on Fuel we had Dee Light docked by 11:30 am .. and Betty served a deelightfull lunch on the Back Deck .. after lunch we took our bikes off Dee Light and took them to the Marina Office .. the Marina is huge sooo the bikes came in handy .. we even took Autumn potty on the bikes .. Marv changed our Fuel Filters on the Starboard Side .. later we went to the Casino for dinner and we tried to make an investment in the Slot machines but we ended up making a withdrawal .. plus we had a good time ..
Travel – Chicago IL to Hammond IN – 44 Locks To Date – 20 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3883
Thursday – September 18 - Hammond Marina - Hammond IN .. (219) 659-7678 .. .. $1.00 / LF .. Diesel Fuel $1.559 .. after talking with Cheryl again we decided that the trip from Indianapolis IN to Hammond IN would be too much for her due to her surgery .. soooo we decided get a Rental Car and to head to Indianapolis .. HEADLINES - ‘Isabel's Leading Edge Hits East Coast’ - The Associated Press - ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (Sept. 18) - The outer bands of a weakened but still potent Hurricane Isabel lashed the North Carolina coast with screaming wind and heavy rain Thursday, knocking out power to more than 3.5 million people and 12 deaths .. forecasters said Isabel was expected to maintain its status as a Hurricane for about 24 hours after landfall .. this weather front coming from the East and a second weather front coming from the West is affecting the weather on Lake Michigan with Gail Force winds and Seas of 9 to 12 feet .. UGH .. about 04:30 pm we arrive at Indianapolis and got unpacked at Cheryl’s house .. dinner at Danny and Shellie’s house was great .. their daughter Danielle ( 6 ) will be joining us next week on Dee Light as a Crew Person when we head down the Illinois River ..
Friday – September 19 – Cheryl’s House - Indianapolis IN .. 317-255-9583 .. both Cheryl and Autumn made it to the Beautician .. Marv took Autumn to Noah’s Animal Hospital and Betty removed Cheryl’s Medication Pump device and washed Cheryl’s hair on the Kitchen Counter .. flat on her back .. HEADLINES - Indianapolis IN - HONORING THE GOVERNOR - Thousands bid farewell to 'a beautiful man' .. an hour-long interfaith service paying tribute to the life of Governor Frank O'Bannon begins at noon today on the west steps of the Statehouse where he was inaugurated in 1997 .. he Died September 13, 2003 in Chicago IL .. Betty and Cheryl did some power shopping and Marv joined them for lunch at the Bread Shop .. later we got together with Jim ( Cheryl’s friend ) at his place ( next door ) for dinner .. and later we had dinner again with Shawn and Sandy ..
Saturday – September 20 – Cheryl’s House - Indianapolis IN .. 317-255-9583 .. we headed out at went to Danny and Shelly’s house and loaded up their daughter Danielle .. on our way back to Cheryl’s house we stopped at Randy and Michele’s house to see Sierra ( Betty’s granddaughter ) .. after having brunch at Cheryl’s and seeing Amy and Katie we headed back to the Hammond Marina and Dee Light .. after shopping at the Grocery Store we had dinner at the Casino .. we also contacted the Lockmaster at the O'Brien Lock ( 1st one on the Cal-Sag Channel ) and learned that the pool elevation at mm 300.6 ( where the low .. inoperable Rail Road Swing Bridge is located right after the junction with the Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal ) is currently -2.0 feet .. that means the normal low clearance of 19' 1" is now 21' .. good news !!! ..
Sunday – September 21 - Hammond Marina - Hammond IN .. (219) 659-7678 ..
Crew – Marv .. Betty .. Danielle ….
.. before we left the Marina we put all the Antennas down .. and we turned our Marina Gate Key and our Rental Car Key in at the Marina’s Security Gate .. two boaters ( Bears Fans ) helped us with the Lines as we took off .. and we left the Marina at 08:00 am .. we had a few 3 foot Rollers before we made it to the Calumet Inlet .. we also met a Towboat right at the Inlet and asked him for ‘local knowledge about the Bridges and the Locks .. we needed to get the Illinois River by way of Calumet .. as the Chicago route is limited to a 17 foot Fixed Bridge clearance .. it is the lowest Fixed Bridge on the entire Loop at 19.1 foot .. it is just South of the junction of the Cal Sag and the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal .. we had filled our Fuel and Water Tanks .. the area between Lake Michigan and Joliet is just someplace to get through .. very HEAVY .. HEAVY Industrial and dirty .. we easily got through the worst of it in two hours .. by 09:40 am we had gone under 15 Bridges and 1 Lock .. we always slowed down when we went past working equipment or a Fleet Area .. going was VERY SLOW .. as the locals have little patience with Pleasure Boats .. Betty and Danielle took the Wheel many times after we passed the Heavy Industrial area .. at about 12:00 pm we had gone under 50 Chicagoland Bridges and we made it to the Junction of the Calumet River and the Illinois River .. the first 10 miles of River was very narrow .. it was about the width of 4 Towboat Boxes .. at the Lockport Lock we had a wait of an hour and a half for a North bound Towboat .. once to Towboat COOPERATIVE AMBASSADOR was out we locked down 37 feet .. they let us use a Bollard but the other two Pleasure Craft had to use Lock Lines .. the Lock Tenders on the Illinois River do not answer their Marine Radios .. you just have to call and wait .. eventually the Lock Gates will open and you can come in .. we called ahead to the next Lock and requested to use a Bollard and they said that we would have to use Lock Lines .. UGH !! .. but we made it and arrived at the Fuel Dock at the Marina at 06:00 pm .. the Crew from another Boat on the Loop ( RIVER OILOTS ) helped us at the Dock .. we watched the Colts beat Jacksonville and the Green Bay Packers vs. the Arizona Cardinals in the 103 degrees at Arizona .. we walked to the Harborside Inn that is part of the Marina and had a great dinner .. we met the other Boaters that we were traveling with all day ..
Travel – Hammond IN to Wilmington IL – 3 Locks today and 47 Locks To Date – 64 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3947
Monday – September 22 - Harborside Marina - Wilmington IL .. (815) 476-4400 .. Mile 273.7 .. $1.00 / LF .. the water at the Marina really had a very BAD odder .. we all showered in it soooo ya know what we smelled like .. the Harbor Master said it was Sulfur .. it had rained overnight and was overcast in the morning .. a 60 foot Viking Sports Fishing Boat from Stuart FL took off at 06:15 am in the dark .. and GRAN JOY the 40 foot Trawler that we traveled with yesterday with two Guys aboard heading to Florida for their first time left the Marina at 07:00 am .. we left the Marina at 08:15 am .. and made it thru our first Lock without a hitch ( 37 foot drop ) .. the Lockmasters cal there Chambers the ‘Pit’ .. i.e. ‘it will take us 20 minutes fill the Pit’ .. the Lockmaster gave Danielle a ‘Boating Fun Coloring Book’ .. about 09:00 am we heard the two Gals aboard DEVOTION ( AGLCA boat ) pull out of the Marina .. at Mile 263.2 the Channel was closed as they were lifting a large beam for a new Bridge .. when we got to our second Lock we saw GRAND JOY waiting for the Lock as there was a Towboat in the Lock heading our way .. sooo we had an hour wait .. the winds picked up when we were waiting .. once in the Lock it was windy but with the help of our new Crew Person Danielle we did ok .. this section of the River looks much like the Mississippi River without Wing Dams .. we called ahead to the Marina and pulled up to the Fuel Dock at 02:30 pm .. GRAND JOY tried to spend the night here but was told that they were filled for the night .. the boat RIVER PILOTS was able to get dockage for the night .. the Restaurant at the Marina was closed soooo Betty and Danielle made a deelightfull dinner .. after dinner Marv changed both of the Final Fuel Filters on he Starboard Engine .. that Engine has been sputtering a little since the last time that we added the Fuel Additive .. we are so far out in the ‘sticks’ that our Air Card dose not work, Betty’s Cell Phone cannot pick up signal, no Cable TV, etc but Marv’s Cell Phone dose work .. sooo Danielle used Marv’s Cell Phone and called both of her parents .. she found out that her Cat has a Kitten ..
Travel – Wilmington IL to Ottawa IL – 2 Locks today and 49 Locks To Date – 40 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 3987
Tuesday – September 23 – Starved Rock Marina - Ottawa IL .. (815) 443-2826 .. Mile 233.4 .. $0.75 / LF ( with Boat US ) .. we saw, felt and heard the Towboat activity all night sooo the first thing in the morning we called ahead to the Starved Rock Lock just below us .. they had a Towboat going into the Lock and are going to lock us thru with the Towboat MV LOIS ANN on his ‘Second Cut’ .. we left the Fuel Dock at 08:00 am just as a second South bound Towboat was heading by us .. we pulled up to the Lock Wall and tied off as the first Towboat worked on their first Cut .. when we were waiting for the Towboat two other Pleasure Crafts joined us at the Lock Wall .. WAVE CUTTER from Carmel IN and GRAND JOY that we have been boating with the last two days .. sooo we all made it thru the Lock with the Towboat .. this was the 50th Lock of our trip .. we were planning to make it to the Illinois Valley Yacht Club ( IVY Club ) at Peoria Heights IL but after talking with their Office we decided that we could not make it to their Marina due to the Water Depth into their Harbor .. so we got or Quimby’s Cruising Guide out and decided to head for Hamm's Holiday Harbor at Rome IL at they appear to have plenty of Water Depth .. we had some open water and we increased our speed for the first time in a number of days and our Engine Coolant Temperature Alarm on the Port Engine went off .. Marv checked out everything in the Engine Room and all seams to be ‘normal’ but it is another thing to keep our eyes on .. ?? .. it could be a signal that the Water Pump Impellor is going bad .. we called ahead to the Marina and they gave us directions on how to get into their Marina .. as we approached the Marina the Owner came out to meet us in a Jon Boat .. good thing too as we had to wind our way thru and around a number of very aged Towboats and Barge Boxes that had found their final resting spots in the Marina Harbor .. it is quite a site but we had good Water Depth all the way to our Slip .. the Owner / Harbormaster helped us with our Lines and we paid him in CASH for our dockage .. we had Dee Light docked and hooked up by 02:30 pm .. the Harbor was created in the 1950’s when there was a Gravel Pit cut into the River Bank .. after walking Autumn Betty and Danielle took off on foot for town .. they said that it was a loooong walk but it was well worth it because they found many bargains including new Sunglasses and candy .. Betty and Danielle also made a batch of Cookies that the ‘Dee Light Rat’ really likes .. they were NOT burnt or ‘soggy’ thus it must be Danielle’s touch .. Marv worked on Dee Light and later the Harbormaster drove us all in to town for dinner at the Grecian Gardens .. our dinners were great as well as the conversation that we enjoyed with the Harbormaster .. one of the Rigs that he has in his Harbor is the ‘Spirit Of The River’ .. it was a Burger King Restaurant at the Arch in Saint Lewis but was pulled from its Shore Line location in the Great Flood of 1993 .. it is about 30 feet by 120 feet .. he is now restoring it for something .. he said maybe Condos at Marathon in Florida where he has a Condo on the water ..
Travel – Ottawa IL to Rome, IL – 1 Lock today and 50 Locks To Date – 55 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 4042
Wednesday – September 24 – Hamm's Holiday Harbor – Rome IL .. 309-678-7744 .. Mile - 178.6 .. $1.00 / LF ( CASH ) .. this is a great spot that we would highly recommend it .. it may be a Grave Yard for many large Vessels but it is a deep Harbor with really friendly people .. a Thunder Storm with much lighting and high winds move thru the area last night .. after filling our Water Tank with Well Water we pulled out of the Marina at 07:30 am .. some of the Barge Boxes had relocated themselves during the night soo we had to use a different path on the way out .. as we went thru Lake Peoria we saw hundreds of White Pelicans on the Lake .. the Lake is much like Lake Pepin on the Upper Mississippi River .. we called ahead to the Lock on the Cell Phone and found out that they had an accident last night during the Storm soooo they have four Towboats above the Lock and three below the Lock waiting .. UFFDA !! .. once we made it to the Lock we had a wait of about an hour and they fit us between a North bound and South bound Lockage .. we had a stiff wind ( 20 mph ) right at our Bow sooo controlling Dee Light in the Lock was a good challenge as it was another Line Lock .. we went thru the Lock with GRAND JOY that we have been traveling with and RECOUNT from Sarasota Florida .. after the Lock we were able to travel right along except for the Towboat traffic .. then at Mile 109 the River was closed due to a Dredger working right in the Center of the Channel .. we contacted them on the Marine Radio and they directed us off the Channel and around the Red Markers .. we went between the Shore Line and their Dredging equipment for about a half of a mile .. we shined our Props twice in the River Sand .. UGH .. Beardstown IL area we called ahead to the Tug Service on the Marine Radio ( Channel 10 ) for directions on where we should dock Dee Light .. after squeaking under the Railroad Bridge they had us pull up to a Construction Barge in the 20 mph up River wind .. UGH !! .. but with their help we got docked for the night by 03:30 pm .. they have an Office just above the Barge so we checked in with them and took Autumn for a walk .. Danielle really liked the Halloween Tree that the Office Manager had in her Office .. it was just like a Christmas Tree that was decorated with orange bulbs and Halloween decorations .. Betty and Danielle took a walk into town .. Marv put out Antennas back up sooo now the Colts Flag is higher than the Packer Flag .. UGH !! .. later we all walked to the Riverview Restaurant and Bowling Center for dinner .. we were able to overlook the River and we had Catfish .. when we were walking back we were stopped by a local resident who said that if we or anyone else passing thru the area needed anything at all to contact him .. his name is Will DeSollar .. ( Home – 217-323-2020 and Cell – 217-370-5054 ) .. he asked us to pass on his name and number to others .. Betty’s addition !!!!!!!!!! .. this has not been Marv’s best day .. the wind has been blowing 20 PLUS all day and it is cloudy .. the Bridges are too low and the Bridge Man wont answer the radio so Marv sends me up on top of the Hard Top to stand there and make sure we can clear .. I’m sure at times my head will be clipped off but we always manage to squeak thru .. the Dredger is in the middle of the Channel and tells us to go by close and we don’t get close enough .. the Depth Gauge is reading 4.5 feet when we need 5.0 feet and I cant bear to look anymore and Marv is radioing that we are stuck on the bottom .. we are in the lock with 2 other Pleasure Craft and for some reason he is unable to hold the front of the boat to the wall .. I don’t know what was wrong .. I wasn’t having any problems in the Cockpit and the boat behind us wasn’t having any problems .. THEN I hear him helping me Homeschool Danielle with new terms like One and Two Whistle, Wing Dams, Rednecks in the fishing boats with guns, Lock Slim, etc and Marv’s NEW MATH was the number of Barge Boxes that a Towboat was pushing, etc !!!!!!!!!!!!! .. we are so far out in the sticks I’m sure there is not a Bus Line near here at all ..
Travel – Rome IL to Beardstown IL – 1 Lock today and 51 Locks To Date – 90 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 4132
Thursday – September 25 – Tied off on a Barge – Logsdon Tug Service Inc - Beardstown IL .. 217-323-1290 .. .. Marine Radio – Channel 10 .. Mile – 88.5 .. $20.00 CASH .. this is a great spot .. no Power, no water, no Cable TV, no Air Card Service, very limited Cell Phone Service, etc .. but great Water Depth at the ‘Tie Along’ at the Construction Barge .. we got May Flies over night .. UGH !! .. we left the Barge at 07:45 am and headed down the River .. there were many Duck Blinds along the River and we even spotted a number of Wooden Dolphins ( Deadheads .. UGH !! ) .. there were many Fishing Boats in this section of the River and we saw many of them with their Flat Bottom Boats filled with hundreds of large silver fish .. we even saw one that had many fish jumping out of the water like they were trying to jump into the Boat .. we were able to float thru the Lock as we were all alone in the Lock .. we did run our Fuel Transfer Pump as we are planning to fill our Fuel Tanks at Hoppies Marina in Imperial MO as the Fuel in Illinois is so expensive due to the State Sales Tax .. at Mile 32 we had to slow down to a stop for a very busy Auto Ferry .. once under the Joe Page Lift Bridge we called ahead on to the Illinois Riverdock / Restaurant at Hardin IL on our Cell Phone .. Mel ( the Owner ) came out and helped us tie off to their Floating Dock .. by 01:15 pm Dee Light was tied off .. Mel said that they had a 72 foot boat coming later tonight and hat they were going to take on Fuel .. sooooo we when we checked in for the night at the Restaurant we also checked out the Fuel cost .. this is the LOWEST Fuel costs ( $1.224 inc all taxes ) that we have seen in a long time soooo we decided to take on Fuel right here .. at the Restaurant Marv met Richard MacDonald who is the Quimby’s Cruising Guide Operations Manager .. we had a 2002 Quimby’s and he gave us a 2003 Guide and two Hartland Boating magazines .. Betty and Danielle took a walk into town and found an Ice Cream Shop .. the Rat caught up with them and we all enjoyed an afternoon treat .. Danielle came back to Dee Light with a Cat that she found in the City Park ..
Engine Hours – Port Engine .. 2115.4 – Starboard Engine .. 2125.8
.. the FS Fuel truck Owner / Operator is David Johnson and his Cell Phone Number is 618-576-8080 .. Dave said that he will come to the Dock even for small fills but you just have to call him in advance .. after taking on Fuel we had dinner at Mel’s Illinois Riverdock / Restaurant just about 300 feet from the Dock .. we had great home-cooked food that required Doggie Bags .. at dinner we checked notes with the two Guys on GRAND JOY and the three person Crew on a 72 foot Ferretti named LYSANDRA that docked behind us and also took on Fuel ..
Travel – Beardstown IL to Hardin IL – 1 Lock today and 52 Locks To Date – 68 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 4200
Friday – September 26 – Illinois Riverdock / Restaurant - Hardin IL .. (618) 576-2362 .. Mile – 20.9 .. $25.00 CASH .. this is a great spot .. no Power, no water, no Cable TV, no Air Card Service, very limited Cell Phone Service, etc .. but great Water Depth ( 12 foot ) at their 250 foot long Dock and a GREAT spot to take on Fuel .. after a sunny and warm day yesterday a light rain moved thru during the night and it was overcast and windy this morning .. we left the Dock at 08:00 am .. as we headed down the River we could see the Bluffs of the Mississippi River .. and they looked GREAT !! .. and at 09:30 am we made it to the intersection of the Illinois and Mississippi River and the land of Towboats .. the Mississippi Queen was docked at the intersection on the Illinois River .. the Illinois was not the "horror story" that we read and heard about .. but it certainly was not our favorite Leg of our Trip .. we were looking forward to the new Marina at Eastport and it was too shallow for us and we had many more Towboats to deal with than we had thought we would .. as we approached Alton IL we saw LASANDRA coming up behind us .. we talked with them and we saw ahead the weather changing .. they passed us and headed down to the Melvin Price Lock & Dam only to find out that the Lock was closed due to a Power outage until 05:00 pm .. we called ahead to the Marina and had Dee Light tied off at 11:00 am ..the Mississippi and Alton Marina look REAL GOOD !! even in the heavy rain .. a short time later LASANDRA also came into the Marina .. after lunch Betty to off for the Beauty Shop when Danielle and Marv cleaned the Exterior of Dee Light .. when Betty returned the rains had started .. and when we left Dee Light for dinner it was coming down in buckets .. we had our Rain Gear on so we got just a little wet .. we went to the Seafood Escape and Danielle has a special treat of Shrimp Cocktail for all the work that she did helping Marv cleaning the exterior of Dee Light .. we ended up walking all the way back to Dee Light in the rain ..
Travel – Hardin IL to Alton IL – 0 Lock today and 52 Locks To Date – 38 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 4238