Monday, April 28, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Day 4, 4/28/08

We had another great day, covering 73 miles, no locks. Rain and thunderstorms were again forecast for the afternoon so we left Pebble Isle Marina at 6:15 and arrived at Green Turtle Bay Marina in Grand Rivers, KY at 1:30. No sooner had we refueled and gotten settled in the slip for the night when the rain came pouring down. We borrowed the courtesy car, bought a few supplies in town, did a little laundry, had salad, French bread, and spaghetti for dinner, and are settling in for the evening.

The past two days the river had been a consistent 1/4 mile-wide channel with few changes. Today, there was a signifcant difference as it opened up to sometimes 2 miles wide and water as far as you could see. At one point, we saw a bridge on the horizon ahead, and checking the charts, determined it to be 14 miles away. You can actually sense the curvature of the earth in these conditions - pretty cool. I wish we could capture the beauty of this with our camera. Even if I could, the bad news is that I forgot to put the chip in the camera today and lost the few pictures we did take. So how about a couple of shots of the cats?

Meet Leia and Jag, cooling it on the couch.

Here's Skippy, who spends most of the day in her carrier sleeping. Then at night she concentrates her efforts on keeping us awake. She might want to consider swimming lessons if this keeps up (just kidding). She even looks guilty doesn't she?

And below, Help Me Rhonda docked at Green Turtle Bay.

Notice the stain developing on the hull of the boat. This is from the river water constantly flowing over the hull surface. It's referred to on the water as a boat moustache.

And a shot of the marina. Green Turtle Bay is huge and the two pictures we have here cover only a very mall portion of it.

We had some questions today on the internet about locks. Is there a charge? No. Actually, yes - it's called your tax dollars. We appreciate your contributions toward our trip. How do you contact the lockmaster? Normally by VHF radio. Another option is by cell phone but this is discouraged. If you have no radio, you can actually also pull a chain/rope at the end of the lock wall to let them know you are there. There is a signal light similar to a traffic light that indicates red to stay out and green to enter. There are also horn blasts to let you know you have approval to enter and later to leave. A siren signals to boaters below the lock when water is preparing to empty from the lock. Once in the lock, you tie your boat to a floating bollard in the lock wall which rises and falls with the water. How long do you have to wait? That is totally dependent upon the amount of traffic there at the time and it really is all about timing. Rhonda and I made a trip last February to Mobile through 19 locks and only had to wait for one. Yet, we've already been delayed for several hours at 2 of the 3 we've had on this trip. I spoke to one of the lockmasters on the Ohio River today to assist us in planning for tomorrow. He said there is so much barge traffic on the Ohio, they sometimes wait for 2 or 3 days to get through.

An interesting thing about the locks on the Ohio and I'll close. When the river is high enough (as is the case now), the dams have a section called a wicket that can be lowered 17 feet and boat traffic floats right over the top of the dam completely bypassing the lock. Pretty cool stuff.

All in all, a good day, even got a T-shirt. We have a very short day tomorrow. One lock (assuming we don't have to wait very long) and only about 30 miles to the Ohio River where we'll anchor out. Keep in mind we'll be anchoring out the next 3 or 4 days. Our next WiFi communication will be in Memphis. See ya then.

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