Thursday, September 19, 2019

Henry to Beardstown

Nebo stopped working... :(
Somehow we went from "we aren't traveling today" to "we're going over 100 miles." Given the river ran with us, we could go 10 knots easily. But that made for a 10 hour day.

The reason we ran so long is there's is just not much between Peoria and St. Louis. Yes, there are a number of little towns along the way, but either they are working towns (so all the walls or dolphin heads or cells are meant for commercial vessels only) or they just never thought a city wall would be anything anyone would want to use. 

Not that there are a lot of towns. Most of the day was spent surrounded by trees. It was a wonderful run. We saw at least 3 bald eagles, storks, white geese (not those Canadian interlopers), and jumping carp. Quite a day.

Passed a couple of tows without incident. The river is wider here, so much more space for us to skitter by.

A bit of learnin': On the river we are not loopers. We are not even boats or vessels. We are PCs. Pleasure Crafts. We have no clout or seniority of any kind. When we see a boat on our AIS, we hail them by name and identify ourselves as the "downbound PC". We ask, "Where do you want us?" They typically respond, saying they want us on the ones or the twos. Sometimes they only give us a number, one or two. This is river speak -- one means pass me on the right, and two means pass me on the left. If you think of your direction on a clockface, and straight ahead is 12, then the 1 is on the right. The 11 (or two ones) is on the left. This is gospel down here.

Hazard of the rivers -- dead heads
As I pointed out, places to stay are a premium. As we traveled with hooked up with a group of loopers heading for an anchorage, stopping around 2:30 pm. But that meant at least one more night before St. Louis, and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Saturday. We'd like not to have to travel during one. So we pushed to Beardstown. 

No marina here, just a tug boat service shop. We're tied onto a barge. Definitely one of the weirdest places we've stayed. Getting to shore requires walking over steel beams, 3-inch lines, then up a crazy steep staircase.

How we get to land.

That's Cat-n-Dogs on the end of the barge.

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