Sunday, September 29, 2019

Kaskaskia to Little Diversion

Seems like the kind of day one should spend watching the greenery go by, along with dramatic bluffs that line the Mississippi, all the while marveling how a young Samuel Clemens navigated these very waters as a paddleboat pilot in the mid-1800s.

And yet, we spent more time watching for debris in our way and dodging large tows that shoved themselves up the river with such force that the waters resemble Lake Michigan for a good mile or so once you've passed them.

Fact is the river is still high, higher than it usually is by this time of year. Only 2 - 3 feet below it's flood stage. This means we're getting a crazy strong current heading with us that's adding 4 - 5 knots to our speed. We just heard that another 7 feet are on its way and will be here by next week. We'll be off the thing by then. But it's astounding. In addition to strong current, when the water is this deep it churns instead of flows. Both As You Wish and us had our auto-pilots steer (which have better reflexes that we do) and we still would swing left and right, almost out of control, as we shot across this eddy and that whirlpool.

We planned on anchoring on a canal called Little Diversion near the town of Cape Girardeau, MO. (Darling looking town, too. I was bummed they didn't have a town wall or docks to tie up to, every for a visit. We think these towns just have different views of what the river could bring, and loopers aren't part of that equation. Their loss... but I digress). 

Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)
piloted a paddlewheel ferry between
St. Louis and New Orleans.
Little Diversion is off the right as we head down river. Making that turn, however, was ridiculously difficult. I did the same maneuver yesterday without much effort at all, but today Cat-n-Dogs couldn't get out of the Mississippi. I gave up, taking her down river, then turned her around on the Mississippi and headed back up against the current to make the left turn. It was kind of another Poughkeepsie maneuver, just tilting the bow a little towards the canal as the river pushed us inside the opening, but the engines were running hard just to maintain a 2 knot speed up the river.

I have no idea how anyone will do that next week, when the river is over its flood plane.
Mostly a lovely view on the Mississippi
Thought I'd share this -- this is Hoppies.
I'm told they'd seen better days.

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