September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012  Day 126      Peoria, IL      Total miles to date:  2596.0

Are we there yet? Such a long 11 ½ hour day! We traveled 79 miles, waited almost two hours to enter the Starved Rock Lock, and had to run on one engine most of the day! 
Early morning fog
However, the Illinois River was very calm, there were few boats out, and we saw deer and lots of pelicans. Joyce thinks she saw three Asian Carp also because they were flying out of the water behind the boat.  They were just small ones!  We saw some carp fisherman out in their boats with their spears!

Katie & Jessie on their sailboat, Louise
We passed this guy on our port side -
we always have to ask!
We left Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottawa at 0645 and arrived at the lock at 0810. We were fortunate to be able to tie up to one of the large cells and turn off the engines while we waited for the tow and barge to exit the lock.  By the time we were ready to enter, Loopers, Katie and Jessie on Louise showed up and locked in behind us.
We had been having some starboard engine concerns shortly before the lock and even after shutting down the engines for two hours, it did not help. We had white smoke billowing out of the exhaust. Then the oil pressure started to drop and that is when we shut it down for the rest of the trip. Bill called Caterpillar Marine Services in Peoria (what better place to be when you have 3208 CATs than Peoria!).  They will see us early Monday morning to diagnose (and let’s hope fix) the problem. 

We arrived in Peoria around 6:20 pm and found space on the town dock wall.  There are signs here that say no overnight docking but many people have done it without being questioned.   There are several boats here. Now we have to stay here for at least three nights, but can’t really move until we get the engine fixed.

After we got the boat secured, we walked around looking for dinner. We almost ate at Joe’s Crab Shack but a policeman told us about the Octoberfest being held a few blocks away.  So we walked down there and had a nice German meal and enjoyed the music. The event is going on all weekend so who knows, we may try it again!