Left Kaskaskia Lock dock at 07:55, sunny, no wind, min. current, 69F, and travelled 69 miles over 5.7 hr to arrive at the Little Diversion Canal at Cape Girardeau, MO. The current pushed us along so that we stayed at 1600 rpm and achieved 12.3 mph.

Passed/overtook one large tow [3 screws] with 25 barges but minimal wave because he was heading downstream. Passed several going upstream and they created large standing waves and wakes effecting the river for 15-20 minutes after passing us. The river is indeed turbulent already and only exacerbated by the tows. We hit at least 3 large whirlpool/eddy areas which gave us quite a spin but less so now that we have learned to see them and power through or avoid them.

The terrain is changing: the Missouri side has mostly coniferous growth while the Illinois side remains deciduous. The hills we saw the previous few days are mostly flattened now. We have only seen one other pleasure boat and that was the Looper Monk last night.

Getting into the Canal to anchor took a fair bit of power to overcome the current and not end up on the rocks. The Canal has even depth around 15' all the way across it which is about 85' in width; we went a half mile up the creek/canal to almost the railroad bridge, putting our bow anchor east and dropping a stern anchor west to reduce our swing. They seem to have set and we haven't moved any closer to the bridge [yet - bit paranoid we are!]. I have an anchor 'app' to alarm if the boat moves too far.

Photos: three attempting to show the setting for our anchorage - quite peaceful, but unfortunately our generator must be on.

Two of the rather large standing waves created by the bigger tows moving upstream against a strong current. Can't grasp the physics underlying how a 3 prop tow can create such prolonged standing waves - perhaps boater Terry or Ernie can help explain it, as I thought that any standing wave was created by having two waves travelling in opposite directions and which were of identical amplitude, came together to make a 'perpetual' [standing] wave with water flowing over it. Anyway, they are dangerous for small boats like ours who have to travel through them, so we don't.

Admirals Comments:

A not so bad travel day. The river is constantly changing, the eddies that could swirl you around completely without power and effort, the current, and the huge tows. We encountered our first triple screw tow going upriver creating big standing wave but managed to maneuver around them. They are treacherous and could easily capsize a smaller boat. We managed to not meet one in a narrow channel.😬

A surprising event: A couple of butterflies fluttered past our windshield! One resembled a Monarch and the second one was mostly black.😊. Amazing.

I must have been tired when dressing this am. I discovered mid morning that I had my shirt on inside out!😂😂😂. Probably why it looked clean!! A new solution to extending how many days I can wear the same shirt.

Its been a while since we last anchored out. A bit rusty but we're in a good spot and hopefully well dug in. Seems ok. We'll shut down the generator for a while later and enjoy the silence and night sounds.

Long day tomorrow so will sign off.


Tomorrow, head for Paducah, KY, 96 miles on first the Mississippi R. and then the Ohio R. We have 1 lock on the Ohio R., Olmsted, to go through.


ErnieR  •  05 Aug, 2021 - Great place to anchor, will be quite peaceful with gen off for a couple minutes! Like Marg’s t-shirt extended wear program and if all one color no one would notice! Believe the “pushboat wake” has more to do with the dynamics of hull design and prop placement. The bulk of the hull is below the water line and rises sharply at the stern to allow the props to run parallel to the surface of the water unlike “our” boats that have the props angled down and dispersing the wake into the water as opposed to the surface like push boats. Have seen pushboats with four screws and boats with idiots at the helm get swamped/sink!

Terry  •  05 Aug, 2021 - The waves are caused by the huge bulk of the tows compressing the entire river. As it moves, it displaces huge amounts of water and the water attempts to return and had to go somewhere. We passed a tow in the Gulf ICW and hit bottom because the water was sucked away from the bank trying to hold the water displaced by the tow. Of course, loaded barges cause greater effect. Hope I have passed on my hydraulic engineer son's explanation

Deedee  •  05 Aug, 2021 - Keep vigilant! Sounds nerve racking!! Cheers🥃🥃🥃

Ann R  •  05 Aug, 2021 - Last day on the mighty Mississippi River! And then the Ohio (which looked like thick coffee with lots of cream (or sludge!)) before heading to our somewhat cleaner Tennessee River. Glad you are getting closer to home. You are back in the South again. “Y’all come to see us when you can.” 😎😎🪕🪕