Events today:

Left Joliet at 08:20 after first calling the Brandon Lock, 2 miles downstream, to verify no barge traffic, and then carried on. Had 3 locks total; lots of tows/barges for the first 20 miles, then mostly treed scenery, little population or boats, until we came to Marseilles Lock at m.244, 2 miles from our Heritage Harbor destination - had to wait 2 hrs for a double load tow/barges to clear half of his load - it was actually neat to watch how the lock staff pull the 6 barges out of the lock chamber using a steel cable on a winch - see photo. The lockmaster was kind to us as he allowed a pontoon boat and Doc's Aweigh to go down, between the tow loads - the tow still had another 6 barges to bring up and was waiting outside the lower gate. There was also a tow with 6 barges waiting at the top and he couldn't go until the double one cleared, so we lucked out.

Lots of barge traffic, with barges often grounded along the shore. Had to wait a couple of times for the tows to manipulate barges in the river. Arrived at Heritage Harbor Marina, in Ottawa, IL, at 16:40/4:40pm. Great little marina harbor, well protected, with 130 slips, restaurant, courtesy car, ships store. Staff really helpful.

Photos: some from Joliet last night and of a barge going by us at 05:30 - they run 24/7. Several of barges and tows along the way, with several being grounded along the shoreline to make more room in the river/canal and awaiting use; and one showing the barges being pulled out of the Marseilles lock.

One also shows the radar array hanging down via the hinge we had put in, so that we could get under all those bridges which were lower than our normal 19'6" clearance. After we passed through Dresden Lock I put it back in place.

A few of the marina; will post those tomorrow.

From the Admiral:

Another long travel day. We expected it could happen due to the commercial traffic on the river and their priority over anything non commercial at locks. We were making good time considering the barge congestion at all the industrial sites along the banks. Then, the last lock 2miles from our destination! A double load tow was ahead of us. We had to putz in place for 2 hrs. waiting for the first half of his load to clear the lock. I'll leave the description of removing the barges to Rob. Needless to say it was interesting and new to us. The 2hr holding in place was very tedious. Need one of the new pod drive boats that can "keep in place" (use GPS ) among many other options that $$$$can buy. Even I could captain a boat with those options.

We are definitely moving into more southerly weather. 87 today but felt like 99 according to the weather channel. Occasionally they're right.

Since leaving the most congested areas along the river we have come across junk, litter and tree chunks in the water. We bumped a couple tree chunks today. Fortunately nothing big enough to damage a prop. We were surprised at the plastic bottles, litter, trash floating by. We haven't seen litter in the water anywhere until today. Mostly by campsites. 😡. Shame on them. The river is not so clean outside of Chicago. There was an oily film floating by in Joliet. And we're on he lookout for Asian Carp. We are on the downside of the electric barricade.

Since leaving the spectacular high rises in Chicago and the miles of mixed big industry we have seen very few houses. A few public trailer campsites and parks but this is the first river community we've come across. I'm sure we missed some but compared to most waterfront communities we've seen throughout our trip this one is very nice. No mega-mansions, just some nice houses close to the water. See photos.

Hope to have the courtesy car get me to a Kroger's tomorrow. I can't cook without onions and Rob needs bananas. I really need a hair appt as well but bananas and onions get priority!😅

Good night.


Ernie R  •  23 Jul, 2021 - Good to see that onions and bananas make life good! Good training/experience on the locks for the remainder of the trip! Was going to help friend lock through Wilson today and lock master said 10 hour delay for barge traffic! The river will get cleaner when you hit the Tennessee!

Ann R  •  23 Jul, 2021 - Wow, you are making time in spite of debris & barges! Hope the trash in the water abates soon. Maybe you can snag a photo of the Asian Carp but don’t let any hitchhike with you! Loved your architecture photos! Enjoy being back on the rivers!