Mississippi River sailing

We have spent two long days sailing southward along the Mississippi River – the super water highway for natural resources.

Yesterday, we left Hoppies at 8.30am after a breakfast of soft boiled eggs and soldier toast, provided by Stay Cool. Our destination – Kaskaskia Lock. The lock master of this offshoot river lock allowed us to tie up to the lock wall for the night. We were very thankful for both his allowing us to stay, as well as, the welcoming water depths of 12 feet.

The Mississippi River is currently very low, exposing dry river banks and narrowing the channels.

It also means the already few ‘safe harbor’ stops along the river become fewer with silt clogging openings and deadheads (fallen trees) impeding progress into shallow waters. This, in turn, means longer travelling days to get to these scarcer safe places.

The water of the Mississippi River is fast moving. We picked up 3-4 mph. The water is constantly roiling, producing massive eddies which skew us sideways. The depth in the channel varies constantly from 10 to 65 feet. The surface is never smooth, and with today’s winds, we had whitecaps in some areas.

And I would like to know, why is that all the jetsam and flotsam and tree trunks, float down the magenta line? Needed to do a little slalom sailing today!

For a laugh we donned our safety helmets when we reached 11mph and still our buddy boat, Stay Cool, flashed past us.

Today, we left Kaskaskia before sun up for an 11-hour day of sailing to reach the next safe anchorage.

Passing very few communities, but many tugs with massive barges, factories and quarries, we finally made it to Angelos Towhead, 118 miles downstream. On the way down Missouri was on our right and Illinois on our left.

Now we reside peacefully for the night with our buddy boats. No Scrabble today – way too tired!

Such is Life!

3 thoughts on “Mississippi River sailing

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