Making our own breeze

First of All –

  • First abrupt change in plans
  • First turtles seen along the river bank
  • First hills seen along the Illinois River
  • First professional fishing guide boat (with bass on as we go by)
  • First good old boys out muddin’ in 4 wheelers down on the river bank
  • First day cruised more than 60 miles

Namely Speaking-

  • Matanzas Island
  • Friddle Branch
  • Beardstown
  • Meredosia
  • Malavais Terre

Loop Log:

  • Miles Cruised today: Power 64; Sail: 0
  • Total Miles Cruised to date: 440
  • Hours Underway: 8 3/4
  • Fuel: 5 gallons – $18
  • Morning House Battery Reading: NA
  • Wind Speed: light ; Wind Direction: variable
  • Daily High Temperature: 89
  • Water Temperature: 82

DSCF7785We’re expecting another hot day today, and last night we decided to just hang out at Tall Timbers Marina for another day, trying to keepDSCF7786 cool somewhere indoors. Sandy gets up early and walks up into town for a look see. Meanwhile, our friends on the big trawlers pull out, one by one to continue their journeys down river, all except for I think I can and us. Sandy didn’t see much of interest in town, and we discuss pulling out today. It’s going to be hot and uncomfortable either way, and if we’re running down the river, at least we can make our own breeze. As it turns out, the breeze of our 7.5 mph forward motion is the only breeze we get all day.

We go by two Corps of Engineers dredge operation sites, but no one is working due to the fact that this is the Labor Day holiday. Tow boats apparently don’t get holidahys, however, and we pass several oncoming barge trains, and overtake another. The country is starting to change, and we see occasional hills a short distance back from the river. We pass through the last lock on the Illinois in mid afternoon. The light is green on approach, and we get locked through, all by ourselves, without delay. As we near our intended anchorage around 6pm we approach a railroad lift bridge, in the down position. Once again I’m glad I didn’t raise our mast at an upstream marina. As we pass under the lowered bridge a freight train pass right overhead. When I swing into our anchorage, the mouth of a narrow channel between Big Blue Island and the shore of the river, I find the water shallowing quickly. We end up anchoring in only 3 feet of water, but we are protected somewhat by the downstream tip of the island. We grill sausages for dinner, and enjoy a remarkably bug free evening in the cockpit. Just before retiring, however, an abrupt and brisk wind kicks up, creating some uncertainty as to tonight’s weather.

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