The adventures of Jim & Mary on America's Great Loop.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Calumet, Des Plains, & Illinois rivers
Barge that we tied up to going thru the lock
Going thru the lockLeaving lockHouse along the Illinois
We started our long trek down the river system, there is allot of barge traffic, and on the weekend allot of of pleasure craft. We have gone through 5 locks so far, and I still do not like them, unless there is a barge in there with us and we can tie up to them. Then the guys on the barge take the lines for me and tie them off. Once we are tied off in the lock then all you do is wait until the water either lowers or raises us. There are many different sites along the rivers, one of the pictures shows what looks like a small waterfall, it is some sort of aerator for the water in the river . We have seen some of the asian carp, and have been told that when we get closer to Peoria and Grafton, there will many more. They do not like the noise of the boat motors, and become so agitated they jump out of the water. They have been known to jump 5' in the air, and the adults can weight as much as 40 lbs, and up to 4' in length. I am very happy our boat sits high in the water, people have gotten injured when these fish land in their boats. I will try to take pictures of the "flying fish".
We probably have a few more days on the Illinois river, then we enter the Mississippi river, where there is even more barges. When we want to pass a barge, I contact the tow captain and tell him we want to pass, he will tell us which side to pass him on. They are very friendly, so that is not much of a problem. The other thing I do, is contact the bridge operators, if the clearance is not enough for us to get through, we have to wait for them to either lift or swing the bridge. Our height is 18'7" to the top of the light bar, and some of the bridges are only 15'. So that's my day, locking through, talking to barge tow captains, and bridge operators, and putting the fenders and dock lines out.