Day One On the River - Filled With Surprizes
07 September 2017 | Joliet free dock
So here we are, just our first day on the river, some 50 or so miles into our 1200 mile journey. Here are my first observations: 1. there is a lot of decay, abandonment and what appears as poverty along the river, 2. the tug boat guys are great, call them on the VHF and they will tell a story, 3. SAND, it looks as though someone placed the Michigan dunes along the river.
Factories abandoned, houses for sale and looking pretty shabby. private docks wrecked and left to die. So sad, sunken boats and boats that probably haven't seen a human in years. But,
Calling a tug with barge, having gotten the name from our AIS, gives me a sense that despite the above there are people out here doing their jobs and doing them well. Call on channel 16, you get a response and a very pleasant comment. Ask a question, shift to vhf 14 and you get a story. We went by what seemed to be miles of piles of sand. Now my friend Tom Flynn might know quite about what is going on here but for us it was astounding to see such piles. One captain pushing a two by six barge told us the sand came from dredging in Morris, barged up here for making concrete for Chicago.
Thanks to Joliet, tonight we have free dockage and free 30 amp power.