Chicago to Green Turtle Bay,
We got underway from DuSable Marina at 0730 with Primetime, who
planned to leave the same day as we planned, so we decided to travel
together for the river system to Green Turtle Bay. Mast down, we
headed for the Chicago Harbor Lock, then ventured through the city of
Chicago. We were apprehensive about the bridge clearence, but with
our mast down, we had 16.4 ft. clearence, and the bridges were at
least 17. We were close, but had plenty of room. It was hectic for a
while with 70 wide barges on the Chicago Sanitary Canal. We had to
pull over and wait for some and navigate around others. Blue Max and
Grace Full caught up with us as they came down a different canal. We
locked through with them, however, they pulled over in Joliet to the
wall. We continued on to Harborside Marina in Willmington. The next
lock was ready for us and the ride was only 12 miles. The following
pictures are of our trip down the Chicago River.
Following Primetime on the
Chicago River, downtown
Chicago. The tall building
in the middle that is being
built is the Trump Tower
Very LOW bridges
Chicago Street near
Michigan Ave. >
< Not so pretty scenery on
the Chicago Sanitary Canal
Golden Lily and PrimeTime got underway at 1015. The lock was all ready for us and we headed
through and on our way to Ottawa to Heritage Harbor Marina. Since both our boats are a deeper
draft, we have to find marinas that have enough water for us. The marina here is great, friendly,
wonderful people. One of the owners who had done the loop, let us borrow his truck to go out to dinner
and to the local IGA market. We will be watching the water level on the Mississippi and plan
accordingly. There has been reports of lots of floating objects. We have 217 miles on the Mississippi
after the Illinois River to get to the Ohio River. Although the Mississippi is still a ways down, we
want to make sure we get there when the water is safe to travel.
We stayed in port today. Our Sirius weather showed green, yellow, and red and the forecast on
weather.com showed thunderstorms and RAIN. It poured all day. We took the marina truck into town
and did laundry and stopped at the store. Jim did manage to get the bimini up just before it started
to rain. Our PrimeTime friends gave us a hand with that job. It's a good day to say IN! We hope to
head south tomorrow.
We got underway a little after 0900. It was freezing cold and there was a lot of fog, so we waited
for that to lift and for the sun to come out to warm the air. Our trip to Peoria was 75 miles and 8
hours which included one lock. We had to pass several barges to get ahead of them to the lock,
otherwise we would have had to wait at least 2 hours for them to lock through. We passed 2 more
just before we reached our destination in Peoria, I.V.Y Club - Illinois Valley Yacht Club. We met 5
other looper boats here, met for some social time, then ETC, PrimeTime and Golden Lily went to The
Firehouse for a quick dinner. Tomorrow is a longer day - 80 miles. We will be tying up at 2 barges
along the river. That's the only place that we can get to with enough water for our draft.
Some of the barges and tows
we met along the Illinois
River. They create a lot of
current as you pass by. You
don't want to get too close to
Starved Rock >
We passed thousands of white
birds. They looked like
pelicans through my binoculars.
This is where we stayed on
Sept. 10 in Beardstown at
Lodsgon Tug Service...it's a
story to tell!
moved up to the next barge which was level with our boat, put on her boots since the stairs were
grated metal. She jumped off the boat and climbed up the stairs with ease. We walked a few blocks to
the Mexican restaurant, got back to the boat, and went to bed. It was a pretty depressing place and
the tug in front of us made so much noise with the props and pushed logs and debris under our boat. You
can see a picture above of Golden Lily and PrimeTime. We were told it was a barge to tie up on and
never thought it was going to be like this, however, it was a place for the night and it was an
We left early 0700 to finish up the last 88 miles on the Illinois. ETC had already reached the lock,
PrimeTime caught up, and we were still behind. We had 15 minutes to go 8 miles. We really pushed our
Nordic to almost its maximum speed...17 knots. We had to reach the corner for the lock master to see
us in order for him to wait. If we missed this lockage, there were 2 barges waiting, and if they went
first, we would have to wait at least 1 1/2 hours with no place to tie up. We did make the lock in
time. The rest of the trip went fine except for some down pours, but we were warm and dry in the
pilot house. We arrived at Grafton, Illinois which is right where the Mississippi joins the Illinois. We
will be here at least 2 nights before heading to Alton which is 17 miles down the Mississippi.
Mississippi R. >
< Illinois R.
When we were at the barge tie up, our generator quit, so yesterday PrimeTime Captain, checked it and
impeller way inside. Everything is now all fixed!
We left Grafton at 0830, heading for Alton Marina in Alton, Illinois. The Mississippi River was not only
muddy, but had a pretty high chop from the wind. The marina is great with covers over the slips except
for our slip. We are too high unless we drop the mast. PrimeTime is right behind us and there are 3
more looper boats here so far. Our slip is pretty exposed to the entrance and the current is "pouring" in.
We put on extra lines and hope we don't get too much wind from the Hurricane Ike which is supposed to
bring heavy rain Sunday. We went grocery shopping to get supplies to last us for the extra time we will
be staying here. We will most likely leave until Wednesday. We were told not to come down the
Mississippi until 3 days after the storm.
|View of the Mississippi River as we left
Click on the pictures to enlarge them for details.