Chris and Bud's Excellent Adventure

Vessel Name: sidebandit
Vessel Make/Model: OP 75
Hailing Port: Rochester, NY
Crew: Bud, Chris, Bob, and Mike, and JC
About: Two Sailors, an Uncle, and a Pilot, and a guy from th U.
Extra: Somewhere near Peoria we pick up JC. He's a licensed captian from Miami (who went to Miami University, the U).
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale
23 October 2011 | Marco Island
22 October 2011 | Clearwater
21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico
20 October 2011 | Pensacola
19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS
18 October 2011 | Columbus, MS
17 October 2011 | Grand Harbor Tennessee
16 October 2011 | Green Turtel Bay
15 October 2011 | Hobbie's Marina
14 October 2011 | Grafton
14 October 2011 | Peroria, IL
12 October 2011 | Seneca, IL
12 October 2011 | Hammond, IN
10 October 2011
10 October 2011 | Chicago
08 October 2011 | Betsie Bay, Frankfort, MI
07 October 2011 | Mackinaw City
Recent Blog Posts
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale

Day Twenty (d)one

Day 21 Monday October, 24 We push away from the dock on what is supposed to be our last day of the trip at 9:00. It has rained overnight, but appears it will be yet another delightful day for us. (I'm not really fan of the word delightful, but I've grown tired of writing beautiful and perfect and [...]

23 October 2011 | Marco Island

Day 20 Final Stop

Day 20 Sunday October 23 Up early, because it's what we do now, but instead of leaving in the dark, we have a delicious and relaxing breakfast aboard the boat while we await the tide. After cleaning up, we're underway at 9:45.

22 October 2011 | Clearwater

Day 18 Part Two

Day 18 (continued) Saturday, October 22 .....Only serves to make us stronger. The second sunrise of our Day 18 looks a lot like the sunset did. As the sun is rising we get word from the Coast Guard that Tow Boat US has dispatched two boats and that they should get to us around 8:00. At 8:30 they arrive. After [...]

21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico

Crossing the Gulf?

Day 18 Friday, October 21 We're up before the sun again and we follow a barge out the channel to the Gulf. By the time we actually enter the Gulf, the sun is rising. We get to the open water and pick up the pace.

20 October 2011 | Pensacola

Day 17 Leaving the River System

Day 17 Thursday October 20 We're up and ready to leave by 5:00, but again commercial traffic at our first lock keeps us at the dock. It's cold, 36 degrees, and foggy. So foggy you can't see the opposite shore. You can barely see the bow from the stern. But if you look up, there are stars everywhere. [...]

19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS

Bobby's Fish Camp

Day 16 Wednesday, October 19 Up at 5:00 and talking with the Lockmaster at Columbus Lock. He's got an upbound tug in the lock, so our 5:30 gets pushed out a little. After a relaxing cup of coffee we push away from the dock at 5:45 and head for our first dark lock in.

Day 9

12 October 2011 | Seneca, IL
Chris/ Cloudy
Day 9 Wednesday October 12 Up with the sun for an early start. We get to the Calumet and right away we’re stopped, hovering, waiting for a bridge to open. Not too long though and we in the river. This is no place for a pleasure cruise, I’ll tell you that. The area is incredibly industrialized. Although that seems to have happened a long time ago. Nothing looks new or fresh. A half mile or so, and several drawbridges in, we have to wait for the freighter Arthur Anderson, as she backs up the river, and clears a couple bridges. By the time we get to go by, she’s dockedand unloading; and we pass close enough to have a conversation with one of the crewmembers. It’s the beginning of many close passes in what turns out to be a busy waterway.

We pass by (sort of, a story to be told in person) Lake Calumet, and hit our first lock since the Wellend. It’s a down bound lock for us, and does not even pump water out. They simply, and very slowly, open the gates at the ‘low end’ and let the water drain out. We pass by some really sad looking marinas, and then we’re right back into industrial stuff. We pass lots of barges and loading docks, through some tight quarters.

And speaking of tight quarters, the bridges, and there are lots of them, are really low. We get to the lowest one, at just over 19 feet and we pass under it with maybe a foot or so to spare. Had the radar and dooms not been taken down the day before, we clearly would not have made it.

We get to another lock and are told it will be about an hour until we are let in. We put the radar and domes back up while we are tied to a wall waiting. We are 37 feet above the river pond below. We come out of that lock and haul stern to the next lock, six miles away.

No real wait here, and we exit the lock at Joleit, IL. We come upon a low draw bridge and decide to try it without having it raised. Again, it’s a poor plan that can’t be changed. We get about half way through before realizing we’re not going to make it. The steaming light gets to within four or five inches of the bridge, before we actually start going backwards. We were a foot short (or tall, as it were) of clearing. Probably could have made it if we had left the radar and dooms down. We request the bridge be raised and we’re on our way again.

Things get a little less stressful and we start making some good time. We go through about a three mile stretch in which there are duck blinds everywhere. I would not want to make the trip during hunting season.

We get to our last lock of the day, thinking we have about an hour to our day’s destination. Again, ‘it’s a poor plan tha…..’, as we arrive just ahead of a four barge raft that is given priority over us. We hover for a couple hours while he gets in to the lock breaks down the raft in the lock, gets lowered, and rebuilds and exits. The lock is refilled and we get to enter. This time we’re with a USCG tug and barge. Our first lock shared with commercial vessel.

When we come out the sun is setting and a fabulous full harvest moon is rising. We have 15 or so miles to go to a marina that can handle us. It will be closed by then, but they tell use to come ahead and tie up to the fuel dock. We follow a guy who makes the marina his home and we finally get tied up around 8:30. It has been a big day, and we’ll all sleep in tomorrow morning. The marina, Spring Brook Marina, in Seneca, IL, is bringing a tanker truck into fuel us up in the morning. Then we will continue south to the Mississippi. Only 1800 miles to Mobile Bay.
Comments
sidebandit's Photos - Main
Ft Lauderdale and the River Boat Show
53 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Marco to Lauderdale
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, and Marco Island
47 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
Day 18 and 19 going to Clearwater.
62 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The Bay, the Gulf, and Florida
38 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The riverfront of Mobile, AL
88 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Clear sailing, so to speak, to Mobile
33 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Leaving Bobbie's Fish Camp and Heading For Mobile.
23 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
From Demopolis to Bobbie's
34 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Lunch and a tug tour
19 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
The early part of a day that started slowly.
73 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
A day that could have been much longer.
117 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee River is in lake mode again.
41 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee becomes a lake again.
32 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Now it's a River.
53 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The first half is lake like.
29 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Off the Ohio and into the Tennessee
20 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
78 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Leaving Hobbies Early And Heading For The Ohio
18 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Beyond St. Louis to Hobbie's
16 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
40 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
75 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
73 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our one cloudy day so far.
87 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
The second part of the day, after leaving the Calumet
85 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our first day off the Great Lakes
54 Photos
Created 16 October 2011
Leaving Chitown and heading for the Calumet
28 Photos
Created 12 October 2011
Leaving Frankfort, Arriving Chicago, Burnham Marina, and Chicago
115 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Leaving Mackinaw City to Frankfort
102 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
69 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Mid River and Detroit
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
23 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Pictures of The Wellend,
53 Photos
Created 9 October 2011

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