Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Heritage Harbor, Ottawa, IL to Illinois Valley Yacht (IVY) Club, Peoria Heights, IL– September 24, 2013

Another crisp morning in Illinois.  Temps were about 47 this morning when Candy and I went for our walk.  Along the way we met a man talking on his cell phone and from what I overheard he was talking to the 1st lock of the day, Starved Rock Lock.  When he was off the call I introduced myself and asked about the lock.  He was from the boat Pazza Bella and related that the lock were going to bring a big tow up and should be ready in about an hour and 15 minutes. Needless to say we needed to hustle as the lock was about 11 miles downstream from us.

I had awaken Lenore before Candy and I went out so she was up and moving about.  I was able to get underway in about 20 minutes after Candy and I got back to the boat.  Almost thought we had a problem when the starboard engine would not start but in rechecking the switches and found while the key switch was over to the right. but it had not fully clicked on.  Boy did that relieve a few anxious moments.

Underway we moved along at about 11 mph, a little faster than normal but I needed to catch Pazza Bella who had departed maybe 5 to 7 minutes ahead of us.  We did catch up and settled back to a 9.5 to 10 mph speed to the lock.  We arrived just as a tow was departing the lock.  There was also a sailboat that was waiting lockage down so there were 3 of us in the lock.

The remainder of the trip was interesting from the standpoint that we some significant tow traffic on the river.  We also had some other pleasure craft on the river and I followed one all the way to the IVY Club.  He was back and forth on the river and his speed was erratic.  I tried several times to pass and he would speed up and then I would fall back behind him and he would slow down.  He continued on past the IVY Club.

When we arrived at the IVY Club Pazza Bella was in their slip and helped the harbor master with our lines.  The couple on Pazza Bella are Mike and Veronica from Charleston South Carolina.  Mike and Veronica are 6 months into doing the Loop and headed to the rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park on the Tennessee River.  We had dinner with them at the No Wake Zone bar and grill across the street from the IVY Club.

Lenore and I had stayed at the IVY Club last year but the bar was closed and it thunder stormed most of the evening after we had arrived last year.  They had a big flood this spring.  When you look at the photos the water was 3 1/2 feet above the second floor of the building and they are still in the process of renovating.

We will stay here 3 days to get mail and we ordered a replacement chip for the chartplotter as the chip for the center of the US is somehow missing.