Events today:

Left Ottawa, IL, in 81F heat, at 10:05, a few mild gusting winds, partial clouds, travelling at 7-11mph depending on marinas/boats, cleared the Starved Rock Lock after a 25min.wait, and arrived at Spring Valley Boat Club, in Spring Valley, at 13:15/1:15pm.

The weekend boaters were starting to be out, passing and waking us - one of them came way too close and fast and I turned asap into his wake and just missed his companion coming right behind him only faster and closer.

Started seeing more wood debris, and unfortunately hit a couple of submerged pieces but no apparent prop damage felt. We need all 4 eyes on the water now because the levels are up and there is more debris expected as we head south.

This marina is another friendly, nice spot, bit tight for our size boat, but we docked at their fuel dock with two men and two boys to help in the wind and tight quarters [can't really spin around to leave in the morning, so will just back out into the river - they pulled us in tight so that other boats could still gas up]. They tied us up rapidly and well, and connected our power before I could do anything; then invited us for their steak/potato/salad feast this evening - buy two tickets at $20 each and dockage is free!! The feast is in their nicely air conditioned club bar/grill [see photo]. They have 88 members and all are owners.

With the heat increase, we now put the sun covers on the pilothouse windows and have resumed covering the 'sun-roof'/escape hatches over the V-berth to keep the sun/heat out. The heat dome is apparently everywhere in the country.

Photos: a few of the marina. Not a lot of slips and most boats are in the 20-25' group. A couple related to locking through - one shows what a floating bollard looks like [we put a line around it to keep the boat tethered to the wall while the water drops and the bollard goes down simultaneously]; and the lock wall with one of our 4 fenders to protect the boat gelcoat from the wall.

From the Admiral.

Definitely traveling back into the heat and humidity. Our a/c units are barely keeping up. Our stateroom unit manages to keep us cool at night. We should have some thunderstorms this evening.

It was a short trip today. Definitely more weekend boaters. And debris. Even with 4 eyes looking out we still had a few big clunks that could have damaged a prop. So far no vibrations, etc so guess we are ok. The high water level is the cause for the debris.

Just got back from the steak fry. It was great but also is the event of the day!! One of the propane tanks exploded!! Likely caused by the sun and heat. It knocked over a couple of people, one Rob assisted, and was fine with only a couple of scrapes and a head bump, and another that required EMTs. We didn't see him as they quickly put him in the shower. Apparently his hair caught fire. But it didn't seem to be a serious burn. At least not bad enough to stall the lineup for steaks. We both smell like smoke. Therefore, the boat will smell like smoke. It's a very friendly club.

Photo: The Master Planner at work. The reason we never get lost, never run out of fuel, never overflow the holding tank, and we always have a place to stay at night.

Time to sign off.


Leave early tomorrow, before the wind develops, and head for Illinois Valley Yacht Club [known as 'IVY'], 50 miles.


ErnieR  •  25 Jul, 2021 - Wow, exploding tank! Always good to have a doctor in the house even if he is “aweigh! Weekend boaters!!

Ann R  •  25 Jul, 2021 - Oh my - that’s a scary event. Glad no one was seriously hurt. And glad you got your steak dinner!

Helen  •  25 Jul, 2021 - Boy the experiences are getting weirder as you head south. Hopefully no one was seriously injured. Does this mean anything? the water cabin idea but what do they do with all the beached barges?