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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sept. 16th-19th

We left Grafton Harbor after staying 3 days, accompanying Present Moment. As we passed Alton Marina, which we heard was a nice place as well but in a major metro area, we picked up another looper, Midnight Sun Robert and Ivy from near Toronto Canada. We had two locks to go through today, Melvin Price and the second one Chain of Rocks, was under repair with divers in the water. I it took 2 1/2 hours to get through.

We arrived at Hoppies Marine Services at 3:30PM. We had time to walk to town and get ice cream before our evening information session with the famous Fern Hopkins. Her Husband is Charles Hopkins father started the Marina in 1937. It is the only marina for recreational boaters on this stretch of the Mississippi for two hundred twenty three miles. Hoppies is located in Kimmswick, Mo. The next morning we became a caravan of 5 boats and traveled only 40 miles to tie up on the lock wall at the juction of the Kaskaskia River and the Mississippi River. This was a fun evening even though we could not leave the lock exterior wall. We were on an island in the middle of the r\River. We had a great cocktail hour with the occupants of the five boats.

We were able to go ashore with Buddy, BoBo and anther dog named Beaner (Vanilla Bean) for you know what. We tied the dingy off to a dredging barge and tug when we went ashore. We got a history lession from the dredge operator on the process done every year.

We stopped Sunday after traveling 75 miles form Kaskaskia at the Little River Diversion Channel 3 miles south of Cape Girardeau Mo. Going ashore here was a real trip! Gloria Buddy and I had to wade in the blackest mud to get the boys to shore to do their duty. What a mess the boat became after we got back aboard.

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