We left Lower Henry anchorage well after sun up. Although I spent a great deal of time looking out for deer, I missed seeing a doe and her fawns drinking close to our boat. So close, yet unseen!
We headed downstream to the Illinois Valley Yacht Club just outside Peoria. The weather was magnificent for sailing. We encountered many varieties of bird life: blue herons, white egrets, Canada geese, ducks, pelicans, bald eagles and other raptors.
Tow and barge traffic is prolific on the Illinois River. The river is well below normal water level and, in parts, the channel is quite narrow. This proves to be ‘exciting’ when passing a tow. It is also ‘exciting’ when the navigation aids are missing or situated in the wrong place. I am just so thankful Mark knows what he is doing!
The entrance to the yacht club saw us in depths of 3 feet 8 inches. We draw 3 feet 11 inches. How we did not run aground, nobody knows! The yacht club had an old world charm, great facilities and a wonderful round-house bar and restaurant overlooking the waterway.
Watching the moon rise as we enjoyed cocktails followed by a casual dinner on the ‘porch’ was a beautiful way to end a memorable day.
In the afternoon, with fellow buddies from Stay Cool, we explored the Caterpillar museum in downtown Peoria. Information overload on how engines work and types of diggers. However, it was really cool to be seated in the theatre which happened to be the dump trump tray.
Size definitely matters!
And, we also had fun in the simulators, trying to move dirt. Unfortunately, I rolled my digger – apparently a first in the simulator!
We left Peoria just after a glorious sunrise and tasty breakfast aboard Stay Cool. Our buddies came to our rescue after we had a water pump failure whilst alongside. We very much appreciated their supervisory role, as well as food sustenance.
Another day of perfect sailing conditions saw us complete our journey to the next anchorage behind Quiver Island, just upstream of Havana. We again saw many types of bird life, jumping fish and huge tows. Earlier, we locked through the Peoria Dam which had a very friendly lock master. I am sure he would have jumped aboard if given half the chance!
Our day of sailing was completed with more games of Scrabble and much laughter with our buddies from Stay Cool and My Time Too. The guys opted to work on boy stuff in man caves, before settling down in this delightful anchorage.
Such is Life!