MILES TRAVELED TODAY: 45 KM
Three of the other docked boats decided to catch the 8:30 lock opening but we opted to reset the mast before journeying on. After lending Dan our muscle and mechanical acumen, Debbi and I hoofed it to the Joliet Farmers Market, leaving Dan to do the tedious finish work. We returned with peach pie, cinnamon buns and some great produce for our larder.
We made our exit from the Joliet Town Wall (MM 288) and followed Lazy Dolphin and Valhalla through the bridge opening and into the Brandon Lock and Dam (MM 286) to drop 34’.
|LAZY DOLPHIN LEADING VALHALLA AND QUEST FROM JOLIET|
At MM 283 we passed the Argosy Empress River Casino in an area with no town, just a floating dock with gambling. Tour buses transport eager folks to and from the casino. At least this vaguely resembled an old riverboat.
|ARGOSY EMPRESS RIVER CASINO|
The Des Plaines River, Kankakee River and Fox Rivers all join at MM 273 and become the great Illinois River. We will travel this path until we merge with the Mississippi River in Missouri. The landscape has changed back into a more rural scene. There are lots of trees and birds, a few scattered homes, an area congested with duck blinds, dried fall corn fields waiting to be chopped into silage and even a tree swing for kids of all ages.
|DUCK BLINDS LITTERING THE RIVER|
|LONELY TREE SWING|
The Dresden Lock and Dam (MM 275.5) gave us instructions to pull over ant tie up because “It’ll be a while”. After a relaxing lunch, the north bound tug with its load of barges pulled out of the lock and we were invited to enter and lock down the 35’. The Lazy Dolphin was in front of us and this little old 1957 Starcraft tied up behind us.
|OUR LITTLE LOCK MATE|
We also spent a good while waiting for transit at our last lock of the day, the Marseilles Lock (MM-244.8). We ended up going through with the tug, Clyde Butcher, and its four loaded barges. By the time we cleared out it was almost 6:30 and we still had 5 miles to go to Ottawa. Dan “put her in gear” and we made haste.
Image via Wikipedia
|AERIAL IMAGE OF ILLINOIS RIVER BETWEEN MARSEILLES AND OTTAWA, IL|
|DEBBIE FEEDING LINE AS WE ARE LOWERED|
|TIGHT FIT WITH OUR NEIGHBOR|
THE TUG, CLYDE BUTCHER, AND ITS 4 BARGES
"WALL TO WALL"
Passing by Bulls Island, Dan spotted this small heard of deer at the water’s edge. They didn’t even flicker as we sped by.
|FAMILY OF DEER FORAGING ALONG THE SHORE|
At Ottawa, we found the dockage area filled and rushed the ½ mile back to the anchorage behind the Scherer Island. The sun was now setting and we weren’t too interested in anchoring in the darkness.
Boom! Crunch! Buzz! Shit!
The depth finder shows we are in 6+ feet of water but we just hit something hard, and it’s not sand. The port engine shut down and had to be restarted. Quest shuddered as we limped back the 2 miles toward Heritage Harbor Marina at MM 242. We heard a call over the radio requesting contact with the pleasure craft heading back north from Ottawa. It seems that Tom Heimsoth, owner and developer of Heritage Harbor, was holding a Chamber of Commerce cocktail party and admiring our Quest from his terraced back yard. After witnessing our little mishap, he called "Captain Moe" at the marina and advised him that we might be in need of assistance and a home for the night. Moe made the call and guided us into marina. He was waiting on the dock with a light and two boaters to help with our lines. By the time we were all secured with water and electricity, Moe had a diver on the phone with Dan and an appointment was made for tomorrow morning.
|WELCOMING HERITAGE HARBOR LIGHTS|
We dined fashionably late on the Quest this night and watched one of the movies Debbi brought, Slum Dog Millionaire.
I am optimistic about tomorrow’s outcome.