Yesterday morning we departed Joliet, Illinois, down-bound in company with 5 other boats. The current has slacked noticably over the past couple days, but it is still runing fast enough to make maneuvering tricky. At one point, we going 9 knots while barely revving the engine above a slow cruise... probably 3 knots of current.
Here is a photo of one of our cruising companions, the 'Jeanne Marie,' squeezing thru a tight gap behind a tow into a lock. The tow captains were very considerate but they assume that you can maneuver your boat as skillfully as they do!
Here is a view of Labor Day Saturday on the river near the town of Morris, Illinois. This waterway is busy with commercial traffic (translation- big heavy barges that would squish any pleasure boat like a bug). The water is calm but there is at least 2 knots of current. The two speedboats in front of us had stopped in the channel to talk about what a beautiful day it was, and made it rather difficult for us & the tow to get by safely.
Ah this modern world... at the Marseille Lock, we struck up a conversation with a passerby. He has done some ocean sailing on tall ships and is planning a trip across Africa, we were flattered that he was interested in our boat & cruising. While we chatted, he took this picture with his Blackberry and emailed it to us!
Last night we anchored at Buffalo Rock, a beautiful state park along the Illinois River with a sheltered channel behind an island. This photo shows only the north-east quarter of the rocky bluff overlooking the anchorage. Here is a link to a MapQuest Map of this location... unfortunately the map does not show the island, but the aerial image does.
Hope you are all well & happy
Doug & Kathie