Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Angelo Tow Head, Cairo, IL to Cumberland Tow Head, Smithland, KY — October 5, 2013

Very dark clouds this morning and rain and thunderstorms were forecast for the day.  We are moving because the radar looked good this morning and the weather is coming in from the Southwest.  Candy and I went for our walk on shore and then we had a brief rain shower after we got back to the boat.

The trip up the Ohio River was slow.  I was at idle on the last mile of the Mississippi while the other boats were raising the anchor and the Champ III was moving at 9 mph.  As soon as we turned northeast we were travelling at 4.5 mph.  Most of the day we travelled at 7 mph.  We had 2 locks to go thru and the first lock had an issue with their secondary chamber.  They could not get the door open so we had to wait for the tow to clear the primary chamber.  At the second lock things went a little smoother as there was no real wait except it did take a while to put the water in for the 10’+ lift.

Overall the weather during the day was pretty gray but we did not have a lot of rain.  There were a few showers but everything was very tolerable. Nothing the windshield wipers could not handle.

After we finished the second lock Terrapin decided that they would stop at Paducah and the other 3 boats were going to continue on to the Cumberland Tow Head.  Terrapin was the slowest at 7 mph maximum speed.  We did pick up the speed to about 9+ mph to go the last 12 miles.

As we were going up the river we were listening on the VHF radio of reports that the weather service had issued tornado warnings for several Kentucky Counties. Cairo, where the Angelo Tow Head anchorage is located, was in the path of the heavy weather and received the tornado warnings (Boy am I glad we left).  Fortunately the county we were in was not one of the Counties.  We did hear one company telling their tow captains about reports of swirling clouds and high winds. Paducah appeared to be in the path or very near it.

We arrived at the Cumberland Tow Head and wasted no time in getting the boats anchored and I was able to drop the dinghy before the rain came.  We had lots of rain and some wind but no real problem.  By about 8:00 the rain had stopped and I bailed the dingy and Candy and I went into the Tow Head Island for her walk.

A little later, around 9:30, the second round of storms came thru and were much stronger.  The rain was really hard and the wind was pretty high.  The storms lasted a couple of hours and I spent a lot of time in the cockpit watching the situation and where the boats were. Things seemed to settle down a little after 11:30.  There were a lot of rain showers during the night with some of them pretty heavy.

I think everyone was pretty happy that we had gotten to the anchorage with plenty of time to set the anchors before the rain came.

Linde said he had monitored a couple of tows on the river and at one point the rain was so heavy the tows stopped on the river because the radar could no longer pickup the buoys on the river, the radar could not penetrated the sheets of water coming down.

Sorry there were not a lot of pictures today.  It was a result of the weather and rushing to get things done during the day and before the storms.