September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012  Day 132   Beardstown, IL  Total miles to date:  2670.1

We left Peoria! Our starboard engine is fixed and running better than ever!! We are happy to be on the water again and made an easy 74 mile run to Beardstown today. There was very little boat traffic – we passed one tow and barge and very few other boats.  The water was very calm when we left but the wind kicked in by mid-afternoon and we had 1½ ft. waves on the Illinois River!  We also had just one lock today - the Peoria Lock. When we arrived it was open for us, thanks to a phone call ahead of time. We did not have to tie up, but just floated in the middle with another small pleasure craft! We made the trip in 8 ½ hours by running at 9 mph which is faster than normal.

Tied up to a barge!
Another view of the barge next to us
Lots of steps to climb to the office
We are tied up to a barge at Logsdon Tug Service right on the Illinois River.  It is really a pretty neat experience.  One of the tow captains helped us tie up and then invited us to visit the flybridge of his tow.  There are no services here but we are grateful for a place to tie up for the night, and we can run the generator!  They charge $1.00/ft (cash only), so Joyce made the big climb up the steps to the office.  This setting just adds to the adventure we are having!
The ELCO - we toured this towboat
before it went back out to work!

There are three other Loopers here: Bama Belle, Attitude Changer, and Catmandu.  They arrived earlier in the afternoon and were here to greet us.
We had chili for dinner, then Bill plotted the course for tomorrow. Our plan is to make the long trip to Grafton. It is supposed to rain, but the forecast for Saturday is heavy winds, and we would like to get there before that and stay a few days.  If not, we can go to Hardin and tie up at a restaurant overnight. The other Loopers that are here are planning to do that anyway since it is closer.

We have heard good news that Lock 27 at Granite City is now open but there are reportedly over 44 tow boats lined up and only six got through today. There are Loopers stacked up in Alton, St. Charles and Grafton, so we will be part of that as well, delaying our planned arrival into Green Turtle Bay.