Shenandoah, Vera Segunda and A Time For Us at the free public dock in Paducah, Kentucky along the Ohio River.
September 17, 1999

Mile 202, Upper Mississippi River, Alton Illinois

We started cruising again this past Wednesday (Today is Friday) after our long stop in Peoria, Illinois. I had a good visit with family and Carol made a whirlwind trip back to Rhode Island to do some medical and dental things. She sends her apologies to all those people she did not get a chance to visit with, her time was so short. We are still experiencing some engine anomolies but have decided to continue anyway. Mystery leaks.... Any way the past couple of days have been fantastic weather wise and the scenery has been super. This southern part of the Illinois River has been just beautiful and this afternoon we entered the Mississippi River and it is just as spectacular. We have met up with other folks who are doing this trip and are traveling with them for a few days. So that's about it for a while, but wanted to let you that the saga continues and we will be thinking of all our friends in hurricane country, hoping that Floyd has not upset too many people or caused anyone harm.

Bridges Passed Under/Through 405.

Locks 51 Miles Traveled 2397

Average speed 7 mph

9 States 2 Countries 109

September 25, 1999

Green Turtle Bay, Grand Rivers, Kentucky - On Barkley Lake

We haven't traveled all that far since we last wrote but we just don't know
when we will have access to the internet again. We left Alton Marina went
through the Chain of Rocks Canal and passed through the center of activity
in St. Louis. There were tows everywhere and a bustle of commercial traffic.
We saw several riverboat casinos and a riverboat McDonalds! About 20 miles
south of St. Louis we stopped at Hoppie's fuel stop in Kimmswick, MO. It
wasn't much more than a bunch of old barges tied together but they had fuel
and there was a great restaurant in town. The following morning headed on
down the Mississippi with a 4 knot current. We are travelling with two
other boats, "Shenandoah" and "A Time For Us". Both are from Florida and
the folks onboard are just great. That night the three of us tied to the
lock wall on the Kaskaskia River lock and dam just off the Mississippi. We
couldn't leave the wall to walk around but we all got together and swapped
stories. The following day we were swept on down stream and made exceptional
time with the current of old man river. We averaged well over 10 miles per
hour (out here they don't use knots) and made it to the Little River
Diversion Channel where the three of us rafted together. not more that a
hundred feet off the Mississippi. We also could tell what they must have
been diverting, just by the smell...ugh! Another 48 miles down the river
brought us to Angelo's Towhead where we anchored in very shallow and log
infested water. This is right at the junction of the Ohio River and the
Mississippi River and the commercial traffic was exceptional, Commercial
traffic on these rivers consist of Tow Boats (which push everything) that
exemplify the character of the river. They are all engine, all power, very
stout ships that can push as many as 42 barges filled with coal or sand or
grain or cement or whatever. When we entered the Ohio we discovered that
this area, (Cairo, Illinois) is the staging area for a lot of tows and the
river was jammed with traffic. We made our way through and headed for our
first of two locks for the day..we locked right through with almost no delay
and headed for the next lock 22 mils away. As we arrived at the next lock
there were three other pleasure craft waiting to lock through. After a 15
minute wait we entered the lock and discovered that some of the other boats
had been waiting up to four hours to get into the lock. I guess it was our
lucky day.

We spent that night at Paducah Kentucky and really fell in love
with the town. We had happy hour with our new friends in a local pub and
spent the night at the free town dock - all in a fine evening. In the
morning we visited the local bakery and got some great breads. That day we
motored another twelve miles to the Cumberland River and up stream to the
Barkley Dam and Lock. The river was spectacular with steep bluffs and some
rugged carved stone cliffs. The narrow channel provided some interesting
moments when we met oncoming commercial traffic at blind bends in the
river...every one. And when we got to the lock we anchored and rafter with
our friends to wait three and a half hours to get into the lock which was
our largest to date... a 57 foot vertical lift into Barkley Lake. Another
mile into the lake brought us to Green Turtle Bay where we are sending this
from. We arrived just after sunset on Thursday and are leaving in a little
while (Saturday AM) to find an anchorage for the evening. We spent the day
yesterday doing chores, provisioning engine maintenance, washing the boat
and most importantly we drove the courtesy van back to Paducah to buy some
beer and wine as this is the first of may dry counties that we will be
traveling through in the next few weeks. Last night we ate at Patti's
Restaurant and had the finest pork chops ever cooked..we all agreed that
they were the best and highly recommend them to anyone in the area of Grand
Rivers, KY.

Bridges Passed Under/Through 431.
Locks 56
Miles Traveled 2692
Average speed 7 mph
11 States
2 Countries
117 Days