Where is YOLO?

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mississippi... DONE, Ohio... DONE!!

With much less than a good nights sleep sunday night, we got up early to contend with the last few days of the mississippi river. We would have to cover 180 river miles to make it to the confluence of the Ohio at Cairo, IL (which, after I probably sounded like an idiot, found out it's pronounced KAY-row). We casted our lines from the barge we were tied to before the sun rose in a effort to get an early start. Serendipitously, in our early start, we forgot to pay for the extra night we just spent tied up (Sorry about that Jimmy!). We set our course towards the lock and dam at the Kaskaskia river, 80 miles down river. The current helped to push us an additional 3-4 kts and we made it all the way to our 1st planned destination well before the sun set. However, this was not achieved without a stop 20 miles south of St Louis at the famed "Hoppies" marina for a Diesel / Water top off. This place was something else. Dirty old houseboats, beer cans rolling all over the place, mismatched lawn furniture of decades past right on the docks. It was what Craig Morgan sung about in his song, redneck yacht club. We were also told by wiser men than us that we had to stop there to meet this legendary "Fern" character. She's a 70 something year old lady who runs the joint. She knows the river better than anyone. She knew every bend and every mile marker on every river in the heartland! While smoking and filling our diesel tanks (yes, simultaneously...) she gave us some serious pointers that have helped us navigate these sometimes tricky waters. Don't worry, we evaded ignition.

We woke again VERY early from being tied up to the upriver approach lock wall at the kaskaskia lock, this time still in the dark to punch through our longest day yet 103 miles. Fern gave us the info on a potential anchoring spot 7 miles upstream from Cairo. We did our part and made sure we were there before the sun set, but once we made it, we weren't so sure of this anchorage and thought it to be a good idea to press on through the night and shave some time off our trip towards salt water. We consulted the upcoming locks on the Ohio to get a grasp on what kind of current and barge traffic we'd have to contend with and made our decision to press on. It turned in to a semi good idea.

There were 3 locks to contend with on the Ohio. #54 was still under construction and we bypassed it. #53 had the dam lowered so we were told to motor over the dam, kinda weird but we did it without problem. #52 (i curse this one)... We waited ELEVEN HOURS for our turn to lock through! Aparently their main lock was busted so they were using their "auxillary" lock. That's engineer speak for "smaller". So small that the barges (sometimes up to 5 barges wide by 7 barges long) had to break up and go through like 8 at a time... It created quite the traffic jam. We arrived at the lock a little after 1AM when we were instructed over the radio that we should just drop anchor off channel and wait our turn. we waited with baited breath through the night for our turn that never seemed to come, finally a little after noon we were let through with a smaller set of barges. I'm really not a fan of locks.

Finally on our way up the rest of the Ohio we took a right turn up the Tennessee river to another 3 hour wait at the Kentucky Lake Lock. We made it into Kentucky Lake last night around 8pm and carefully navigated the narrowly dredged entrance to our marina for the night. It was here that today we finally put the mast back up. It was a lot of tedious busy work getting it back into place, re connected, secured, rigged, adjusted, and most of all TESTED! we sailed YOLO for the 1st time this evening at sunset along the way to our rest area for the night, Moors Marina and Campground. but the spot would have already told you that. Sorry there's no pictures, our memory card was full. Pictures tomorrow. You'll just have to take my word for it, YOLO looks good under full sail!

1 comment:

  1. Awe shit, your blog is bookmarked in my phone