Adamant 1, Blog 4 - The RiversWe have conquered the worst part of the trip! Tonight we are guests of Green Turtle Marina on Barkley Lake, out of the current, debris and high water of the upper rivers.

We left our marina on a hot, sunny morning and headed into downtown Chicago on the river. It is truly amazing to watch high rises pass by beside you when you are on the deck of your boat.

The architecture of Chicago is worth the trip to this fabulous city. Most of the buildings are simply amazing, big old buildings, built when decorations on them was all the rage. The new ones compete with each other for “most impressive”. After downtown, the river abruptly becomes commercial and dirty. It is called the Sanitary Canal for a reason…they empty all their treated waste into the river and ship it down to New Orleans! It is smelly and very dirty. The industries are side by side and it is easy to see why Illinois is the acid rain capital of North America. Smoke stacks and smoke blot out the sun. Here too is where the tows start and the canal becomes crowded with parked barges. In some cases we had to squeeze and wiggle through to get past the mess.

It can be intimidating but having our Automatic Identification System on Adamant 1 has made our journey so much more relaxing as we can see what is ahead of us, what is moving and what direction they are moving in. If we need to we can call them and make arrangements to pass them. Our buddy boats, Folly and Sea Mist, followed closely on our heels.

Once we reached the Illinois River, the river widened making maneuvering much easier and our nerves relaxed a bit. We started to encounter debris but we were able to get around it if we could spot them soon enough. The amount of tow traffic was reduced and the scenery improved. The level of the river was up from normal pool, but not significantly, making only about a 2 knot current going with us.

We were in Ottawa Illinois on 9/11 and the Americans make a big deal out of marking the anniversary. We were treated to parachute jumpers holding massive American flags and a flyby of military planes…not jets, but really neat prop planes. We had some lovely anchorages in the river, but the current made getting into tight spots tricky. Any homes that are built close to or on the river have to be elevated on stilts in case of flooding. Most are 18 to 20' in the air. I wouldn't want to have to carry my groceries up those stairs!

We were happy to be off the Illinois and onto the Mississippi River, but that joy lasted only a few minutes. The Mississippi River was running at 4 knots of current and that was in the wide areas. Where the river narrowed down it sped up to 6.5 knots. For the first time I saw our log read over 11.5 knots! And the debris was so bad we didn't know where to put the bow of the boat. I spent most of our 4 days on the Mississippi on the bow pointing to a safe spot to pass. In some cases, we had to slow down, avoid the logs and hit the small stuff...no choice. We saw everything from sticks to logs and even telephone poles. Railroad ties and tires rounded out the debris. It is sad, really, to see such a mess. The visibility of the water was less than an inch and it was the colour of milky coffee. This is really too bad as the river is wide and very pretty, lovely homes high on the hills, huge quarries and lots of tows, but it was impossible to focus on that.

Adamant 1, Blog 4, the RiversWe spent 2 nights anchored on the river and 2 nights in creeks out of the debris. On day five, we hit the river running and within an hour we had turned up the Ohio River....a very wide, calm, clean, debris free river. We celebrated with Irish Cream in our coffee even though it wasn't yet 8 am! It was a beautiful, clear, hot and sunny day and we were so grateful to be off the Mississippi River. The Ohio River is lovely and we had plenty of opportunity to take pictures and relax. The new Olmstead Lock and Dam is built but not completed, so we were assigned a tug boat to escort us through. What a thrill to have an escort!

Two days later we went up the 30-mile-long Cumberland River and after we cleared the lock at mile 30.6, we were in Barkley Lake. Finally, we are in the “cottage country” of the rivers and are able to slow down and take it all in.

We are staying at the Green Turtle Marina and have been treated like royalty. Very few sailboats, and even fewer Canadians, show up here and the owner dropped by to see us and offer his help. It is a huge complex, tons of boats, two restaurants, which have fantastic food by the way...we sampled! We were even given a courtesy vehicle to drive into Paducah for supplies. I sent Pat shopping with the others and I visited the National Quilt Museum which was absolutely amazing! They also have golf carts available for trips into Grand River. If you are ever down this way, even by car, you must come in to visit. They have condos to rent and a pool and spa on site. It is truly a magnificent haven after all we went through on the upper rivers.

So now we will rest for a few days then head out to explore the Kentucky Lakes.

Until next time......

 

Destinations

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Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
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Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

 By Catherine Dook

“So you’re going offshore to Genoa Bay,” said an old salt at coffee that morning. Genoa Bay was 15 minutes away from our homeport of Cowichan Bay and hardly counted as offshore, but it was our first destination that fall. The fog had socked us in all that morning, so John and I drank coffee and gossiped with the neighbours while waiting for the weather to lift. We’d provisioned with cans of chilli, a sack of apples, and tanks full of water. We’d tested the engine and the anchor winch. We were ready.

Read More of Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay.....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
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Michelle Jacques of Cambridge ON share this memory of her adorable pooch. “This is Frodo. ...
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 By: Katherine Stone

Do you know how many boaters you run into while standing in the lift lines of Blue Mountain and the surrounding private ski clubs? Quite a few! Start some conversations on the ski lifts and you might be surprised how many avid boaters you can meet.

Many who boat say that winter sports are just there to pass the time until the ice clears and you can get your boat launched and start boating again. As a ski instructor, you tend to meet even more interesting boaters… Read more about the Reef Boat Club ....

 

 

Boat Reviews

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Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
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A Trip To Iconic Italian Yachtbuilder Riva And Lake Como

Riva And Lake ComoStory And Photos By Iain Macmillan

Eyes turn and conversations on shore pause as one boat in particular approaches the Grand Hotel Serbelloni’s jetty that extends out into the sparkling blue waters of Lake Como off Bellagio, northern Italy. It’s not because the Clooneys, George Lucas or Richard Branson are on board, not this time anyway, the attention is on the boat itself. The world’s most valuable, most magnificent mahogany launch, a classic 1960s Riva Aquarama, is paired appropriately with Como’s most prestigious hotel, its Michelin star dining room and suites that have housed royalty; a perfect mix of pleasure, luxury and a distinguished history.

Read more about Riva and Lake Como....

 

 

DIY & How to

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Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
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Marine Products

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Erik Pawson Of Watertight Boatworks here in North Vancouver, BC, is really passionate about the ...
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By Owen Hurst

Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine navigation instrument. We have discussed its functionality, available apps, relevant hardware and compared it to traditional charplotters. This focus on iPad led one of our readers to an interesting question that we have yet to address.

Question: Why has the focus been solely on the use of iPads for marine navigation rather than Android devices?

Read More Going iPad or Android.....