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Days 10 & 11

Location: Alton, Illinois (Closest marina to St. Louis) Mile 203 of the Mississippi River

Distance Travelled Yesterday: 70 Nautical Miles

Total Trip Distance: 524 Nautical Miles

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful but still cold with a high in the upper forties. We departed our anchorage at 8:00 am. We were in beautiful countryside interrupted occasionally by industrial and barge loading areas. The autumn colors were the most spectacular we’ve seen. As we moved along, the river widened causing the current speed and our speed to drop. There were often high bluffs on either side. I’ll post some of the pictures in the photo gallery but they don’t do justice to the beauty of the area.

At around 2 pm we joined the Mississippi River (Mile 0 of the Illinois and Mile 217.9 of the upper Mississippi. The Mississippi was as much as a mile wide in this area. We had read to expect currents of 4 to 5 knots and were hoping for increased speed but the actual current in the Mississippi at this point is less than one knot and we’re told that is typical in this area. The Mississippi runs more than 1700 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota to New Orleans. For navigation purposes it is divided into the upper and lower Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. Thus, the mile markers start at 0 in New Orleans and run up to 855 in Cairo. Then they start over at 0 in Cairo. So our present position is 203 statute miles above Cairo, where we will turn off the Mississippi and proceed about 60 miles up the Ohio to the Cumberland River and on to the Tennessee River.

I’ll be camping here in Alton awaiting the Lovely Laura Lee who will join me Sunday evening and we will resume travel on Monday, Day 16. Perfect Deckhand flew home tonight to rejoin the lovely Livy and resume work constructing his new home. After my sarcastic posting yesterday concerning Perfect Deckhand, it is now time to pay proper tribute. James 2006 Sturgeon Bay to Mobile reduced 030.JPGtruly is a perfect companion on boating trips. He is knowledgeable in operating the boat and handling the lines, fenders and anchor. He is an outstanding chef who has prepared fabulous meals for us daily. He is good company and enjoys solving the mysteries of the boat with me. However, his ultimate accomplishment on this trip was the repair of the forward shower which has had no hot water since the trip began. This morning, he took out the mixing valve in the shower and pronounced that it was faulty. He dispatched me to Lowe’s to purchase a replacement valve and, Bingo, the forward shower is fixed. In addition to his other qualities, Perfect Deckhand is also an outstanding plumber, so I can assure the Lovely Livy that her new home will have both hot and cold running water.

So here’s to you, Jimbo. Thanks for helping me this last week, and for good food and good company. Have a safe journey home. I’ll have you as a deckhand anytime, anywhere. And, by the way, I successfully completed the installation of the inverter control panel in the pilothouse tonight. No drilling was required…it’s a steel deck.

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Reader Comments (1)

Great to hear that you got the inverter control panel installed! I'd be interested to find out what problem blew out the other two panels.

Keep up the great blog, our boat is coming out of the water soon and vicarious yachting is a fair substitute.

Capt PJJ
October 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPeter J

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