Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Upstream on the Ohio, now on the Cumberland

Yesterday we saw some people who were having a real adventure traveling down the Mississippi... in kayaks! I wanted to ask them if they'd seen Huck & Jim, but we were being swept past at 11 knots. Plus, it would have been rude to interrupt the guy's cell phone conversation!

This photo was taken just below Grand Chain, downstream from Cape Girardeau, Missouri (link to GoogleMap). You can see the rocks on the west shore of the river.

The Ohio River is quite different from the Mississippi. It is wider and shallower, with much more development along the banks. The Ohio has less current right now, which is lucky for us, and can change dramatically at higher water levels or stages.

This photo shows the confluence of the Ohio & the Mississippi, looking north-west from the mouth of the Ohio... in other words, the southernmost tip of Illinois! If you look, you can see a nav beacon displaying both red & greed for the two diverging channels.

There are two locks on the lower Ohio River, imaginatively named Lock & Dam #53 and Lock & Dam #52. We locked through the first one (#53 about 18 miles upstream from the Mississippi confluence) with only slight delay.

This photo shows the wide Ohio, crossed by powerlines and lined with smokestacks. At left are fellow Great Loop cruisers Sea Estate.

Wednesday afternoon we arrived at Lock & Dam #52 (link to GoogleMap) just east of Metropolis, Ohio, at about 4:30 pm. There was a lot of commercial traffic waiting to lock through. Sometimes the tow captains will agree to let recreational vessels share the lock chamber, if there's room. We were not offered that option by the lockmaster and it grew dark while we waited. Since it would be dangerous for us to run the river at night, and there was no place upstream to stop for many miles, we waited until this morning.

This photo is looking upstream on the Ohio River, about due north along this bend; you can see our traveling companion vessel Sea Estate and two islands at the mouth of the Cumberland River. Here we turn right to go up the Cumberland, through the hills of Kentucky.

Here is the view of the downstream side of Barkely Lock & Dam on the Cumberland River. This is one of two dams that hold back the Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers to form a huge lake in western Kentucky & Tennessee.

So for tonight, we are back in civilization (link to GoogleMap)*. We are on the TVA lake system which is a lovely and safe cruising area. We are really looking forward to the next week of our Great Loop cruise!
*addendum: if you "zoom out" on the map, you can see the Ohio River flowing northeast, and first the Tennessee River (left) then the Cumberland River (right) taking off from the Ohio; you can see we followed almost a clockwise route to get to the marina at Grand Rivers KY

Best wishes to all-
Doug & Kathie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We explored that area by car last Thanksgiving checking out marinas, boats and real estate. If you go by the casino at Metropolis, Il, drop in a nickle for us and say hello to the Superman sign.