Part 2? I was encountering so many page reloads, I am guessing from the lenghty post that I had to do a “part 2” entry. You may notice the hour which you received your email notice. Two reasons. One, the numerous reloads were driving me crazy and I just gave up, and two, we had an incredible dinner on board of pot roast and green beans after which I went in to a stupor and retired for the night at 8 pm. Got up at 1:30 to finish.
I left off Just before we entered the Brandon Road lock. This lock had a 40 foot drop. This is a 600 foot long lock but there were only a few places to tie up in the lock as it is set up for large tow arrays, not for a lot of small pleasure craft. So we rafted up.
In this image we are tied off to Saltaire which is tied up to another boat and we are in the front of the lock. We are so far in front that after the lock had lowered we had to back up so the doors could swing open.
Three boats rafted up on the other side of the lock.
Four abreast behind us.
Notice the 2 boats rafted up to the left. A demasted sailboat called West Wind and a trawler called Best Day Ever. They are behind the 6 boats in front of them in the lock. As a rule Loopers are a very courteous and giving group of folks you could ever hope to meet. During our 45 mile journey today all boats stayed in a single line so as not to impede oncoming commercial traffic and operated in an orderly fashion.
Well that lasted only as long as it took to approach the tie up wall at Joliet, Illinois. This is a free wall with free electricity with room for all boats. This is not a terribly wide river and when we got to the edge of Joliet coming under a bridge just before the tie up wall, those 2 boats, charged ahead. WB was 3rd in line leaving the last lock. Coming under the bridge these 2 boats were on either side of WB racing to the front to get their spot on the wall. When Best Day Ever got to the wall as the second boat to arrive, the captain left 50 feet of space between his boat and the boat in front of him. By now we had grown to 14 boats so every foot of space was precious. Guy was an ass and very reluctantly moved forward. All boat crews gathered for docktails but this crew was not invited.
Below is an image at the bottom of the lock.
Prior to our departure from Lake Michigan there were 70 Loop boats waiting to get off Lake Michigan due to 2 locks being closed for maintenance. The director of the AGLCA, a delightful lady by the name of Kim Russo, made arrangement with the locks and marinas along the way for the various groups of Loopers who would be heading down river. There were 4 groups. Group 1 was already on the river staged to move through the moment the locks opened. Group 2 (us) would leave the day after that. Group 3 two days later and group 4, heck I don’t remember. On the radio this morning I heard that Group 1 had given themselves an official name. Not to be outdone, I hailed all members of Group 2 and suggested that over docktails each crew should submit a name for our group. I had 3 fabulous recommendations, Herd of Turtles, Speedy Herd of Inviting Turtles (or it’s acronym S—T) and Jerry’s Kids. Other great ideas were Valentine’s Vagabonds (Valentine was our leader), and Aqua Squad. What did they choose??? Twopers. Like Group Two/Loopers. Really? Jeez, I’m going back to bed.