Friday, October 9, 2015

Wednesday 10/07/15– in Beardstown IL.
Weather/Sea   Sunny, Calm, temp 60 to 80
   Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Stewart and Greg Murphy
Let me first say that my new crew is working out great and we are becoming a working unit, not bad for three strangers. Dutchess is heading down the Illinois River which is 273 miles long and it ends at the Mississippi River.
We are now in Beardstown IL, attached to a crane spud barge in Logsdon Tug Service. This is a commercial operation but they let recreational boats tie to their barge for the night. For this privilege they charge $44.00 per day. We walked into town, again a very small village with not much, the movie theater is for sale!
On Oct 3 we did a 7.5 hr. run from Heritage Harbor in Ottawa to Henry Harbor Marina in Henry IL. Dutchess went thru lock #6 the Starved Rock Lock with easy center tie. Henry Harbor is a small marina with an old stone wall that larger boats can tie to. The wall is the remains of the first lock on the Illinois River. The depth was ok and they had electric. Instead of cleats they have looped rebar stuck in the rock for boats to tie to. Henry is not much of a town; we ate a spaghetti dinner in the boat, thanks to Greg’s cooking.
On Oct 4 we ran for 4.6 hrs to the Ilinois Valley Yacht Club better known as IVY located near Peoria Illinois. No locks on this run. We arrived here on Sunday and they were having a Football party in the club and we were invited to enjoy the buffet. After tanking 12.9 gallons of diesel and emptying the holding tanks we took them up on their gracious offer. The Commodore bought the first round of beer, a STELLA for each of us and we consumed a delicious meal. We talked at length with the members they were all curious about the trip and very friendly. They charge $1.50 per ft x44’ =$66.00 but the free meal was worth more than that.
The next day Oct 5, we went to the Peoria Municipal Marina only 5 miles from IVY. This is a free marina for 3 hours but we were told that we could stay overnight; we were the only boat there. We immediately walked the 2 blocks to the Caterpillar Visitor Center and Museum. There we saw the history of Caterpillar which is headquartered in Peoria. They showed a video in a theater which is in the bed of their huge mining truck. This is a very interesting and interactive display of their equipment. It was a bit of a sales job but that was expected. Chuck and I took a long bike ride and picked up some groceries. Greg and I took a dinghy ride after working out some bugs in the propane system. The river is full of Asian Carp an invasive species, which do not react to Dutchess but the dinghy engine really spooked them and they were jumping all around us. We were afraid to be hit by one of these 5 to 10 LB fish. In the evening we sought a restaurant but being Monday only the Kelleher’s Irish Pub was open. We had a nice Irish stew and beer.
On Oct 6, we sailed to Havana IL. where Chuck wanted to stop to see the father of his friend. Well Scotty Lynn was waiting for us with a welcoming sign, wine and muffins. He was going to drive us to a grocery store but first he had to show us off to the town newspaper the Mason County Democrat. The editor wanted to see the boat and take pictures. We immediately returned to the boat he took pictures of us and the boat and we will be featured in the next edition. Front page news in Havana! The head line will be “Havana To Havana” since I told him I plan to go to Havana Cuba, if the laws are changed. Then Scotty took us to a bar “Babe’s” and we had a Stella and wings, then finally groceries and back to the boat. At 1830 Scotty and his lovely wife Barbara came to the boat and took us to “Babe’s” for dinner. We had a very nice evening and could not pay a cent, not allowed. On the way here we went thru Peoria Lock #7 with only a 9’ drop, no problem.

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