HURRY UP! (Andwaitandwaitandwaitandwait…)

October 15 & 16

The best laid plans of mice and men. Our plan was to depart Joliet at 7:30 this morning. Having gone to bed at 8 o’clock last night (Deb followed at 9) we were up at 6:30. Good thing cuz those darn Kuchma’s phoned at 6:45. We are on Central time. Always good to chat with Steve and Christine at any hour. Late last night (9:30) got a call that the bridges that we would need to open for us would not do so during rush hour. Postponed our departure to 8:15. So Debbie and I head out to breakfast at a place Sam and Rev Crouse had recommended when they were here. Back to the boat in time for an 8:15 departure and once we get short tied, the power cord stowed and the engines warmed up, we get notified by the lock just downriver from us there is a lot of barge traffic so our departure is now 9:15.

HUGE breakfast with a plate of hash browns bigger than my head. As we walked to the Route 66 Diner we passed this church which gave me a splendid idea.

The buildiing was for sale. $228K or best offer…Had me a VIOLA moment! Make a low ball offer for the church, renovate it, move in and become…FATHER JERRY! Whoa, no more income taxes. Worshippers kissin’ my ring. What could go wrong??? Jeez, Debbie can be such a buzz kill. She did not share my zeal for this endeavor. Maybe due to the fact that since retiring I have had 2 jobs. Didn’t get paid at either one of those, although the benefits at Kentuckiana Yacht Services were fabulous!

This is a photo of our group on the wall in Joliet. Less 2 sailboats who do not need to wait for bridge openings since they have their masts down (but they DO have to wait for lock openings) Whisky Business is 5th from the right. We came across those 2 sailboats quite a few hours later at our first lock. They had been waiting hours when we finally arrived.

Video of our “anchorage” outside the busy lock. Waited there for hours. See the two “demasted” sailboats at the beginning and end of the video? They left the Joliet wall before 7AM and got stuck at the lock. We didn’t get their before 10:30 so they were there for probaly 5 hours before we all got through.

The next 2 images are of the tow array (don’t call ’em barges to a tugboat operator) that took 3 hours to get through before we could go. They had to break up their array of barges into 2 sections to get them all through the lock.

Coupla shots along the way.

Aqua-miniums?

Turning into a pretty day.

Prior to getting to our second lock we all had to wait again. Dropped anchor and waited. Again, WB had 2 boats rafted up to us. Tow array came along and wanted our make shift anchorage so we all had to move. Except WB. Went to lift the anchor and when it got close to the surface the windlass began straining. Got the anchor to the surface and there was a steel braided cable about 1 1/2″ in diameter looped around the anchor. Using a boat hook (telescoping pole with a hook on the end) I got one loop of the really heavy cable off the anchor. Called the tug captain and told him of our dilemma. He was very patient and courteous. Could not get the cable off. Steve and Carol on Valentine came over tied up with their stern to our bow (Valentine is the second boat over in the photo below) . Since Steve was so much closer to the water than I was on our bow, together we were able to get the cable off. Below are the 3 boats rafted off to WB in the lock chamber. That is a boat hook in the center of the photo.

Four boats rafted off each other in front of us. Unlike all of the locks on the Ten Tom waterway, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers these locks have very few bollards to tie off to.

That’s the lovely Carol Smith on Valentine waving to you 2 boats over.

In the image of our NEBO track from Tuesday, after we got out of the last lock we turned up the heat in the engine room and ran a couple of times at over 20MPH. We exited the last lock after 5PM. Debbie and I do NOT run after dark. We still had 20 miles to go before sunset. Good thing we did. When we got to the marina the wind was gusting to over 20 MPH and the dock the marina staff wanted us on had the wind blowing us away from the dock and we could not get tied up there. Had to exit the small marina to have space to turn this big girl around. It was dusk when we finally got tied up in a slip. By then it was dark and the rest of the the armada had arrived. The slower boats did not get to the marina until after dark.

Eight O’clock captians meeting Wednesday morning. Some of our captains slept in. At 7AM Captain Steve (2nd from left) contacted the Marseilles lock and was informed they MIGHT get us through at 3 but could not gaurantee anything. Could get us through at 6:30 tonight, after dark. Nope.

Since we were gonna be sitting still for the day, it was time for bloody mary’s! Debbie and John Neal with their trusted sidekick, Cheeto.

Finished the day with pizza, dominoes and cammaraderie. Tomorrow’s plan is to leave the marina by 7 AM and run the 7 miles to the Marseilles lock.

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