September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012  Day 123      Seneca, IL      Total miles to date:  2507.7

Waiting with 5 boats for the tow and barge to exit the lock
Another day, another river…we left the DesPlaines River and entered the Illinois River today on our way from Joliet to Seneca.  The other Looper boats left Joliet at 7am to make the bridge opening (it does not open between 7:15 and 8:15 during the week). We left just before 9am, went through the Brandon Road Lock at 9:25 which lowered us 38 feet.  Then we arrived at the Dresden Lock at 11:30 – only to find the other Loopers waiting there!  We never expected to see them again today and feel badly they had to wait so long to lock through. We waited an additional 45 minutes after we arrived, but the commercial tow boats come first.  So we finally locked through with 5 other pleasure craft boats and were lowered 20 feet.
We continued on to Seneca while everyone else went to Ottawa to dock at the Heritage Harbor Marina.  Our choice to come to the Spring Brook Marina in Seneca was in recognition of our boat.  The original owners took delivery of this boat at this marina in 1989, and we (her 5th owners) brought her back (is that a loop of its own??).  Ironically, the captain who had delivered the boat to this marina (we met him in Charlevoix) arrived here less than an hour after we did, delivering someone’s boat to them. He recognized Carried Away and we had him over for a visit!  A very small world for us to have seen him twice!! 

Traffic on the river
Today was a windy, sunny day and we saw almost no barge traffic. Many were pulled over, but we saw one exiting the lock and then one other while were underway.  We are sure this will change! We do see them on AIS and can tell in advance if they are moving or not and at what speed, etc.
We finally saw wildlife today!
We had dinner on board, did laundry and some other boat tasks.  Tomorrow we will go the short distance to Ottawa and stay at Heritage Harbor Marina. They are very accommodating to Loopers.