Tuesday, April 29, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Day 5, 4/29/08

Our plan for today was changed about midnight last night – we decided to try and make 107 miles to Hickman, KY on the MS River. However, when I called the lockmaster on the TN River at 5:00 AM, he advised there would be a 3 hour delay. So, we went back to bed (actually, I went to bed, Rhonda never got up the first time), knowing that Plan B would not require as many hours on the water. We left Green Turtle at 10:20 and implemented Plan B which was to take the Cumberland River to the Ohio rather than the TN River as there was no delay at the Cumberland lock and there was a nice anchorage at the junction of the two rivers. The Cumberland runs from Nashville to the OH River and is only a few hundred yards wide for the 31-mile stretch we had to the Ohio. Rhonda particularly likes this type of river - close enough to see all the wildlife and details on the shoreline (and close enough to swim to the shoreline if we sink!).

The Cumberland River

Paducah, KY on the Ohio River
But the plot thickens. Before we left Green Turtle, the harbormaster had mentioned that some boaters have tied up to a lock under construction about 17 miles from the MS, Olmstead L&D near Mound City, IL. So, a few miles from our anchorage, I decided to make a couple of phone calls to the lockmasters in the area about that possibility. No one would give us permission but no one said we couldn’t. So, we decided to press on with Plan C now for Olmstead L&D, joined the OH River at 1:45, tied up to the lock at 5:30, mm 964 on the OH River, which gave us about 40 more miles of progress for the day. Get the idea? Have a plan and some options but be flexible and adjust as the conditions permit or require.

We’ll try a 120-mile run tomorrow to Caruthersville, MO but it will require some help from the MS River current which we’re told is running about 4 mph. If that doesn’t work out, we have options to stop prior to there at New Madrid, Mo or Hickman, KY.

Our dock at the Olmstead L&D

The security camera is straight ahead at the bottom of the pole. Caught in the act!

Leia again, Rhonda at right in the galley preparing dinner

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