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 10 The Illinois River

14 October 2011 | Peroria, IL
Chris/ Clear again
Day 10 Thursday October 13, 2011 We wake up in Seneca, IL and in the daylight get to see just how big the marina is. They have seven huge sheds and a ton of land. They are Viking dealers, but have no parts in inventory. We are looking for new 32" windshield wipers and some light bulbs, but they can't help us.

After topping off the fuel tanks (214 gallons) and the water tank, and cleaning all the water intake filters (one for each engine, the generator, and the AC system) we depart Spring Brook Marina at 8:57. It's drizzling and a little chilly. Apparently this is going to be our first day of nasty weather after ten perfect days.

We get to out first lock of the day and we have to wait for a tug with three barges to go first. We stand in the rain while we tend to lines, dropping 37 feet in the Illinois River. As we make our way to the next lock the rain stops. We go through the second lock with the Coast Guard tug and barge that we dropped with yesterday. The commercial captains have to give a private boat permission to enter a lock with them rather than wait, and these Coasties are the only ones to welcome us so far.

After we get out of the lock and continue downstream we encounter three new things. First we see a beautiful bald eagle in flight. What a majestic bird. Then we see a couple white pelicans. Then dozens. Then hundreds. Ultimately we see thousands of them. More on that in a bit.

Then we have our first encounter with Asian carp. We see one or two jumping out ahead of us. I go to the back of the boat for the camera, and notice the dozens jumping in our wake. They are suddenly everywhere. Doug Faust, avoid the Illinois River. After awhile I get their pattern down and mange to photograph some 'flying' fish. You'll get to see those and lots more photos when I get to a wireless LAN somewhere. The air card is just too slow for pictures.

We make our way to Peoria, IL and Hamm's Holiday Marina (which is no holiday, trust me). Very shallow water going in, and several river boats, barges, and tugs that have been intentionally run aground and are waiting to be scrapped. There are also two in the harbor waiting for buyers. Anybody want to own and run a river boat casino.

We're at the 'fuel dock' at 2:45. They run the diesel hose down the hill to the dock and we begin filling up. The guy at the top of the hill yells down the gallons pumped to the guy on the dock who relays it to us. We take 226 gallons, and head for our overnight dock. We wind our way by the river boats, past the power line floating in the basin and dock in just enough water at the end of one of their piers. We're about 15 yards for the opposite shoreline. It feels like we should have used a shoehorn to get where we are.

After I do a little exploring on the beached riverboats (pictures to follow) the marina owner gives us a ride to a near by restaurant on the river. While we are sitting there we watch the white pelicans, thousands of them, begin there evening's migration. They fly in single file and rise and sink like they are on a rollercoaster. It's like watching a wave make its' way down the river. It is awesome to see. I hope I see more of it when I have a camera with me.

Then it's back to the boat, and a good night's sleep. We hope to cover 170 miles tomorrow and make it to the Mississippi.
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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