Left IVY in Peoria at 07:05, partial cloud, 71F, no wind, and went through Peoria downtown and then the lock-dam which is a wicket type - see photo and explanation. With the water high, the wickets had been lowered which allowed all boat traffic to just cruise over the dam - a nice option.
Saw lots of barges/tows for the first 2 hrs, then only rarely. The last 5 hrs were real quiet; just had to focus on staying in the channel in the meandering river.
Arrived in Beardstown, IL, at the Logston Tug Service, at 14:40/2:40pm, after 7.5hrs and 80 miles; they offer a place to tie up overnight, at $1/ft, on one of their unused barges [see photos]. The current had been 1-2 mph pushing us all day and is 2-3mph here, if not more, so drove past the barge and turned into the current to approach the barge, just like a face dock in a marina. They have large 'bits' for tying to, which are at the same level or a bit higher than our deck [see photo]. It is an interesting experience, never having tied to such a barge before.
We ran at 1600 rpm all the way, making 11.6mph which is >1mph faster than usual, suggesting the current to be at least 1mph. Tried going 1800 rpm and noticed a definite vibration which didn't disappear even at 2000 rpm. Likely a prop ding from that submerged big branch. Called Grafton Harbor and they have a diver who I spoke to and he will come Thurs. there and look at the props; and change them if needed, since we have spares fortunately.!!
Cell service and internet wifi are rather spotty along the lower Illinois R. May not get the photos uploaded.
One of the Peoria Lock-Dam - it is a wicket style of dam, meaning the wickets, which are large hinged 'boards', can be swung up off the river bottom to stop the river flow, raise the water level when needed, and divert it through a spillway and the lock, For us it was a bonus that they were down [the water level was high, so they are lowered] which enabled us to cruise straight through and not have to navigate the lock and wait for the tows/barges ahead of us.
A couple showing our docking barge - bit 'rough' but it is safe and stable - at the Logston Tug Service; they charge $1/ft. They were busy working at the other dock they have, as can be seen in the photo looking along the dock upstream, and we couldn't tie up there. No way to cross over to the land from this barge so they sent out a small boat to collect their money; had a nice chat with the bushy bearded fellow, who says they are 5' over normal pool [water level] and have had some flooding - there is a high flood control wall along the water front here, and one has a loooong set of stairs to get over the wall to get to their office and the town.
From the Admiral:
We had a pleasant trip today. Long but easy and once we left behind all the commercial docks we traveled in lovely scenery. Glassy water and a green shores. Very peaceful.
Our tie up spot for the night is the most interesting one we've had. A rusted barge that a tug service business makes available. See photos . No night shots I suspect.
The trip was so quiet today I decided to do a couple of cooking things. Nothing interesting, just want to have a couple of things made ahead. We will not have access to much for a few days after Grafton. The Instapot/slowscooker is heavy and stable enough to use while moving and I can always put it in the sink to prevent it tipping.
Nothing more to add. Our internet is very intermittent so hopefully this gets sent.
To Grafton Harbor Marina tomorrow, 88 miles.
ErnieR • 28 Jul, 2021 - Can’t beat a good ole barge to tie up to, at least you know it is not going anywhere but fenders very important! The least they could do is shovel off the dirt!