Left Hoppies in sunshine, mild winds, 70F, strong current, but had 2 of the fellows, Harry and Dave, to help throw our lines - they are born and bred on the Mississippi and advised how best to leave the dock in the strong current - worked well for us.
We cruised at 1400 rpm most of the time for 12 mph due to the current. Anything slower and steerage becomes a problem sometimes.
Passed a mega barge tow with 30 barges [5 long and 6 across] pushed by a triple screw tow, who didn't make as much turbulence because he was heading downstream like us. When going upstream they really create a wake, etc. as Marg mentions. The river continued to offer challenges with recurring eddies, debris, etc. It definitely is a 'working' body of water.
Arrived at Kaskaskia Lock/Dam at 13:30/1:30pm and received permission from the lockmaster to tie up along their floating concrete pier that separates the lock from the dam and spillway. So we were in a current but nothing like the big rivers. Marg lassoed the cleat and we were secure. An hour after we arrived, another Looper boat, a 1984 Monk 36 came along and I helped him to tie up. He too is from AL, Scottsboro and heading home but will be going to Nashville first.
The pier has good cleats and a clean, albeit 'hard' wall, to tie up, but no power or other service. So we will run the genset [generator] all night to keep the a/c on and the freezers.
The one of the mega tow-barge. And of our pier dock at Kaskaskia - the huge concrete pilings have steel runners allowing the pier to float up/down. If going into the lock, the boat stays to the left side of the pier; one can dock on the right, or dam, side only.
A short day today. Good thing as we are still pooped from yesterday
The Mississippi River is a new experience for us. We've heard all the comments about dodging debris, currents, eddies, barge traffic and long stretches without marinas or services for fuel etc. And they're all true. Hoppies is part of the river lore.
It was an interesting evening and night docked on the river without the benefit of any wave attenuation. The big tows are huge!! 30 barges and the push boats/tows are triple screw powerhouses. A wake can last for 30 minutes. Nearly fell out of bed once. Our tie up for tonight on the Kaskaskia is much calmer. And we've seen 2 regular recreational boats!! I think the lock master here has a long boring day. Not one boat has gone thru!
I think that's it for today. Another long day tomorrow
Tomorrow we head for our first anchorage of the year [and our last one] at Little Diversion Channel at Cape Girardeau, 69 miles. Then, on to Paducah, KY on Thursday.
Terry • 04 Aug, 2021 - Mary Frances Luckey lives in the Cape.
ErnieR • 04 Aug, 2021 - Hopefully you will get to see a “shanty boat” before you get off the Mississippi. Boating back home will seem so tame!