Heading South (actually west, then south) part 1

October 14

We left Hammond marina which is about 3 miles southeast of Chicago with 9 other Loopers at 7:30 AM yesterday. In the image below you can see we failed to turn on NEBO, our tracking app until later in the morning. Shout out to our buddy Dave Heilman for the text reminding us to turn it on. I pestered Debbie daily to turn it on during my recovery so I could monitor their progress.

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Moon setting just before wheels up.

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There was a large barge adding boulder size rock to the breakwater moored in the entrance to the marina leaving a 30 foot gap for us to exit. Looked pretty darn skinny to me. Was glad to see a sailboat with a 5’5” draft go through before me.

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Short video of our departure.

We were 4th in line headed for the Calumet River. Would have loved to take Whisky Business through downtown Chicago but our air draft (height) kept us from doing so. Great shot of our armada approching the city.

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Time lapse video of us going through a number of drawbridges. Bridge attendants would not open bridges until all 10 boats had gathered together which created maybe just a little bedlam.

Boats behind us.

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5 boats in front of us.

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This is a real working river. No restaurants, grassy areas to be seen. Interesting nevertheless.

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We would approach these low (18-22’) bridges and I would swear there is no way I can get under them until one of the boats who has an air draft a foot more than WB would go under. We would still hold our breath.27775C9B-4719-4FFB-BA06-9590598B68DCE35730E5-1309-4888-9ABE-C5D20C9E44F13E840EBC-CC0E-46E7-8BE4-ED123AC6C5D5

Our first lock with a 2 foot drop. Lockmaster told us we did not even have to tie up to the sides of the lock if we did not want to. These commercial size locks are 600 feet long and 110 feet wide.

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Passed a couple of landfills that were…full? Guess that would make them “landfulls”?

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Interesting, an overhead pipeline. Saw quite a few of these.

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The obelisk structure below marks the confluence of the Illinois and Calumet Rivers.

That’s right. “obelisk”, look it up!

We are now on the Illinois River.

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Felt like we were gonna trade paint with the barge array below. A wee bit narrow.A66B9E6D-6DEF-4957-82B1-1ADD369365FFA7348B12-FD98-462B-A43F-6DE118F6790B

For a guy, this is one of the best jobs ever!

There is a section of the Illinois River where an electrical barrier has been installed to prevent the spread of Asian carp to the Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes. A metal grid placed on the river bottom that electrifies the water prevents any marine life from passing this area. Go to YouTube and search Asian carp. A terribly invasive species that decimates populations of native marine life.

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