Monday, September 10, 2012

Down the Mighty Mississippi

Days on cruise:  171

Distance traveled:  42.1 miles

Travel time:  4 hrs, 9 minutes

Total trip odometer:  3,685 statute miles

Last night’s dinner at Hoppie’s Marina was great! Hoppie and Fern served barbecue and everyone else, a mix of Loopers and locals who keep their boats at the marina, brought side dishes. We sat at a table with Gary and Christelle, Canadian Loopers on Time and Tide, and locals Claudia and Aleeta, who were a hoot!


Below is Hoppie’s Marina with local and Looper boats tied to the three barges that constitute the marina docks, right on the Mississippi River.


The river was calm early in the morning, and so far has not thrown us any issues with weather or conditions. Ocean swells and big waves are not, thankfully, a problem here.


The river banks are clearly much bigger than usual with the very low water this year.


The river is wide, though the marked channel isn’t always. And there is LOTS of tow-barge traffic. We continue to find the tow operators to be friendly and responsive to our questions and requests for direction on how best to pass them, up-bound or down-bound.


Some of the scenery is pretty, and the bank tends to be higher on the Missouri side of the river.


Early in the afternoon we arrived at the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers, where the lock up to the Kaskaskia (which we will not travel) allows recreational boaters to tie up for the night for free with no amenities of any kind.  We’re here with Time and Tide and a sailboat named Kathryn, and all 7 of us had cocktail hour on Next To Me tonight.  A nice group.

Tomorrow will be our new longest day of travel if things go as planned. It’s 135 miles to the next anchorage (other intermediate anchorages are silted in or too shallow), and as we want to travel only in daylight hours, all 3 boats plan to take off just after 6 am at first light, hoping to make it to Lock 53 on the Ohio River before dark.

It’s 9:15 pm local time and we’re headed to bed.

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