Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 16      Little River Diversion Channel

Thursday September 9, 2010

         Looking upstream at Somerset 2 in Little River Diversion Channel

                                 Looking downstream toward the Mississippi

It rained all night, but we were comfortable and dry. Thanks, Mark and Cheri at Custom Covers for a great new canvas. We left Kaskaskia Lock about 7:00 am and traveled with Somerset 2 to the first anchorage of our loop at Little River Diversion Channel at Cape Girardeau, MO. We traveled 62 miles and arrived at 1:30 pm. It’s nice to be out of the strong Mississippi River current for the night.

Day 15      Kaskaskia, IL

Thursday September 9, 2010

Caramel Apple pie at the Blue Owl

They use 18 apples in each pie!!!
Levee High Apple Pie

The Blue Owl Restaurant

Windsor Harbor Road Bridge 1874
Kimmswick, Mo

The Tom Sawyer arriving at Hoppies with 150
tourists from St. Louis,Mo

Tied to the Kaskaskia River Lock for the night.

We walked from Hoppies Marina to the town of Kimmswick (about ¼ mile) for breakfast at the Blue Owl. The owner, Mary Hostetter, has appeared on the food channel with Paula Deen. Breakfast of biscuits and gravy (guess who) and quiche (guess who) was delicious. We enjoyed looking in a few shops in the town. Back at Hoppies, we watched the arrival of a tour boat called the Tom Sawyer. It turns out that a group of people ride the boat from St Louis down to Kimmswick. Another group rides down in a bus. Both groups spend the day eating and shopping in Kimmswick (similar to the Village of East Davenport only larger). On the way back the groups swap rides. It’s a great business day for the Kimmswick shopkeepers. We left Hoppies around noon. At mile marker 130 (with Fern’s forewarning) we encountered extreme turbulence and whirlpools, which along with the effects of flooding required us to power up to retain control even though we were traveling downstream. We arrived at Kaskaskia Lock and Dam around 4:00 pm. This is the only federal lock and dam where recreational boats are allowed to tie to the lock wall. Somerset 2 was ahead of us and already tied to the wall. We got permission from the lockmaster and tied up. What a great place to stay – protected, no current, no wake, extremely safe, comfortable, and free. However, there are a few restrictions: you cannot get off of the boat, you can tie only to the cleats that are very low, and you have to provide information to the lockmaster about your boat and destination.

Day 14      Kimmswick, MO

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Entrance to Chain of Rocks canal below Mel Price Lock

 Leaving Lock 27 after locking through with this tow.

Passing the St. Louis Arch

Hoppies Marina Dock at Kimmswick, MO

Hoppies Boardroom

Fern Hopkins and Jim

We left Port Charles Marina at 7:45 am. No wait for Mel Price Lock, but waited 45 minutes for an up bound in Lock 27. We locked through with a tow with a single barge. We arrived at Hoppies Marina around 3:00 pm. We enjoyed a very informative talk by Fern Hopkins. After years of hearing about Fern’s advice on boating, it was great to actually be here in person. She was extremely helpful and lives up to her reputation. We enjoyed meeting fellow loopers Pete and Jane Duvoisin on Summerset 2, a 35 foot Sea Ray. They are about to complete the loop when they reach Chattanooga. They reassured us that traveling the loop on an express cruiser is an excellent way to go. We had bacon-wrapped turkey filets, mashed potatoes, and a glass of wine for supper on board.

Day 13      St. Charles, MO

Tuesday, Sept 7, 2010

                                     "On the hard" at Port Charles, MO

                                                               A new wax job

Ready for launch

Very busy work day at Port Charles Marina: they moved us to the well and finished painting the bottom, installed a backup depth sounder, extended the antennae on the redundant chart plotter, installed shaft and trim-tab zincs to fight electrolysis in salt water, made adjustments to the inverter, and launched the boat. We did laundry, stocked up on groceries at Schnucks (turns out that the “close by” grocery store is a half-hour drive each way on the interstate). We’re ready to travel.

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