The aggravation of handling the mast in Chicago instead of going around the city turned out to be worth it completely. Wednesday, after having a good rest from loading the mast on the truck and visiting the city, we drove our boat through the city of Chicago. We went under about 50 bridges and were right next to the Trump towers. All the high-rises, and they have water taxis on the river, people take a water taxi to go to work. Absolutely fascinating!
We are now gone from the city life, and are travelling down the rivers, just like Tom Sawyer. (Of course, he did it in a raft without GPS and laptop). After travelling about 40 miles just short of the Lockport Lock, the river was closed (no advance warning) right in a main industrial area, at a barge staging and repair area. These huge barges are tied together, up to 10 of them, and one towboat pushes them along the river. We were forced to turn around and go back until we could find an area to tie off, and there was nothing we could find, so after we got by the chemical loading and the fuel tanker area, I saw a series of carbon barges on the side, I tied off to one of those. Now everything on and around the boat is black!
After a couple hours, the river opened and we were off, turns out it was the Army Corps of Engineers working on the electrical fences on the river to keep the Asian Carp from getting north. Big signs saying no anchoring, no mooring, and no body contact with the water. Wonder what it’s doing to our electronics? After we arrived at Lockport Lock, there was a tow going north, then another tow heading south that we would be able to lock with if they were not carrying chemicals, which it turns out they were, so we requested and were given permission to stay tied up for the night. We’ll head out in the morning; hopefully the lock will be slower then.
We went to 3 Rivers Yacht Club at about Mile Marker 271 and had a wonderful time. Due to the high waters on the River still, we stayed an extra day. We used our new folding bicycles to tour around a bit, and had a party at the yacht club. They awarded us a 3 Rivers Yacht Club burgee. It was a really fun place to be.
The pictures are of the Chicago area we motored through, Mary Beth on her new bike, the navigation buoys on the river (they have moved and sometimes it is difficult to tell which side of the buoys to be on, lots are on the bank as well), a sign from the Illinois River Lock, and a party at 3 Rivers. It has been a great week, and the barges are incredible. We’ve seen 10 barges tied together being pushed by one towboat. Apparently they get even more in the Mississippi. Can’t wait.
Love to All,
Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”