Sunday, October 18, 2015
Sunday 10/18/15– in Grand Rivers KY
Weather/Sea Sunny, Calm, temp 40 to 65
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Stuart and Greg Murphy
Dutchess is in Grand Rivers Kentucky at the Green Turtle Bay Marina, we are resting up from our push down and up the rivers. This is a large marina and resort on Barkley Lake KY, it has a yacht club with a good restaurant which is about 100’ from the boat. We are staying here three days at a cost of $51.92 per day plus tax it totals $165.11 for our stay here. By anchoring out in the rivers the 3 previous days the cost is not much per day. I will discuss each river leg as follows.
On Oct 11 we left Grafton IL and entered the wide Mississippi at mile 218. The river flows between Missouri and Illinois and an impressive body of water. The river flows at 2 to 3 knots so we were doing 8 to 9 knots. We stopped at Alton mile 202.9 to get the holding tanks pumped out because there is none at Hoppies and none for the next 6 days. The two 40 gallon tanks were full; Dutchess stores all the waste water including sinks and galley so it adds up. Alton charged only $5.00 for both tanks and I gave the dockhand a 5 dollar tip. At mile 200.8 we had to traverse the Mel Price Lock to drop 23 feet, we had to wait 2 hours for commercial vessels which have priority. There is no place to tie up therefore we kept station with the engine and bow thruster. Then were allowed in behind a short tow, when the lock opened we again had to wait for the tow to exit, they start very slowly and create a lot of turbulence with their big screws.
The Missouri River enters the Mississippi at mile 195.3 from the Missouri side of course, which increases the flow and width of the Mississippi.
The next and last lock on the Mississippi is at mile 185, the Chain of Rocks Lock at the end of the Chain of Rocks Canal and drops 12’. We entered this lock right away and locked thru quickly. Then we scooted past St Louis and the ARCH to Hoppies Marina at mile 158.5. A total trip of 60 miles which took 10hrs. 20 min. At Hoppies we tanked diesel but took only 24.5 gallons. They charge $1.25 per foot, it cost us $55.00 per day and we stayed 2 days. Hoppies consists of 5 old steel barges tied to the bank. You park your boat alongside and are subject to the wakes from the tows all night, but it is the only marina on the Mississippi. We rented a car from Enterprise and visited St Louis. We saw the Courthouse where the Dred Scott case was tried (look it up) and where they sell tickets for the ARCH. Both the Courthouse and the Arch are a National Monument with US Park Rangers on duty. Chuck and I went up the arch and took pictures, very impressive view out of both sides of the arch. We had dinner in town and then drove back thru local streets to Arnold MO to return the car by 1730. Enterprise drove us back to Kimmswick MO where Hoppies is located.
On Oct 13 we sailed down the Mississippi to Little Diversion Channel a narrow anchorage off the river, at mile 48.8. This trip of 110 miles took 11hrs15min a long haul, dodging many big tows and even a stern wheeler passenger ship. Since there are no more locks in the Mississippi the tows are bigger, we saw some with 5 across and 7 long or 35 barges. We anchored at 1815 in about 10’ in black muck with no current, placed bow and stern anchor to keep us in the deep part of this little channel. Dutchess was the third boat and therefore we had to be the first to leave. We hoisted anchors at 0700 and crept up the inlet, but noticed on the AIS that 2 tows were passing the inlet so we waited for them to pass and then shot out of the inlet into the current. We needed some speed to have rudder control or the Mississippi current would have grabbed us and pushed us along the shore. A little trying since we could not see up or down the river. At 1150 we entered the OHIO RIVER which starts with mile 981. We are going up the Ohio so fighting the current she could only make 5 knots.
Going up the Ohio we have to pass the construction of the Olmstead lock, and you have to call them for permission to pass. They gave us directions to follow a tow which we did with no problems. Olmstead Lock when finished in 2020 will replace the following locks #53 and #52 and raise the water level to the present pool height behind Lock 52. We proceeded to Lock 53 at mile 962.6 and were told to wait on the wall, which we did for an hour. Then we were called to enter the lock behind some tugs and we tied up to the rough steel caissons which make up the wall of the lock. Never seen that type of lock before it looked cheap and done in a hurry. Also because these locks are due to be replaced and demolished they do not perform any unnecessary maintenance. We sailed out of the lock and to our anchorage at mile 949.0 which is in the Ohio river but next to a sand bar and therefore protected. I cut the turn a little soon after the red buoy and touched bottom but managed to back off and try again. The red buoy was apparently off station, this happens a lot, we see buoys on the wrong side or banks every day. We anchored in clean sand bow only and had a peaceful night, except for the noises of the tows going by, they run around the clock.
On Oct 15 hauled anchor at 0815 and sailed up river to Lock 52 at mile 939.0 where we entered the lock with another yacht “Golden Girl” and behind a construction barge with 3 small tugs pushing. This old lock is made of circular steel caissons with very rough and jagged steel walls. The Dock Master advised us not to tie up but to float in the lock which kept me busy keeping station. After the upstream lock doors opened the barge Captain came on the VHF and told us to pass him that was nice, the Yacht slipped by and we followed and proceeded up the Ohio. At Paducah Mile 934.5 the Tennessee River flows into the Ohio but we had decided to take the Cumberland River at mile 923.0. We went upstream and near the Cumberland we took an anchorage behind Cumberland Island, nice and wide and protected. Two more boats joined us there for the night, plenty of room. We had arrived early at 1318 and stopped because the Cumberland run to Barkley Lock and Dam was 30 miles and with the lock would make us enter the Marina in the dark.
We had a pleasant quiet night and at 0750 pulled anchor and sailed up the Cumberland. This river is smaller and you must be careful passing tows. We only passed 2 and they were small no problem. We arrived at Barkley Lock at 1345 and went right in behind another looper boat. Then we had to wait for two more looper boats. The boats were Crossroads, Encore, Yolo and Dutchess. This lock has a 57’ lift to get you up to Lake Barkley. It has floating bollards; we simply put one line amidships around the bollard and float up as they fill the lock. After the lock the Green Turtle Bay Marina is only a mile but it has a tricky entrance, not to be done in the dark on your first visit.