Today we traveled from Havana, IL to Alton, IL. The trip was a total of about 138 miles and took us from the Illinois River to the Mississippi River. The trip was long but without making the long haul we would have had to anchor overnight somewhere. Fortunately because the water levels are so high we were able to proceed over the lowered wickets of the 8th and final dam of the Illinois River. This was our second wicket dam with lowered wickets. A wicket dam has wickets that are raised when the water levels are low and the dam is needed to keep the water levels high enough for navigation and lowered when water levels are high.
We left early, especially for us, at about 6:30 because of the length of the trip. This wouldn’t have been that bad except neither Laura or I slept very much the night before. We’d gone to dinner with Mike and Leann from Rowe Boat and Tim and Carol from Liquid Assets in Havana. While we were at dinner I’d left the hatch to the fly bridge open. I failed to consider that the marina we were in was nearly a swamp. By the time we’d returned from dinner the boat was swarmed with bugs. We spent quite a while before we went to bed killing bugs and then headed to sleep. Within a few minutes of going to sleep we realized we still had a ton of bugs in the boat. I fell asleep by about 1:30 and Laura about 3:30. At about 1:30 I heard Laura with an electronic fly zapper zapping away.
About 15 minutes after we left Molly came stumbling up very much half awake. Maddy, very surprisingly, slept until about 8:30. When she came up her legs were covered in mosquito bites. The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. The further down river we went and the closer we got to the Mississippi the more boats we saw. Along the way we saw bald eagles, giant tows, car ferries and lots and lots of floating debris.
As we entered the Mississippi I was very surprised by the beauty of the scenery. Especially the cliff faces of light colored stone with lots of foliage. We then had about a 20 mile run down river to Alton. Our arrival to Alton was marked by the really ugly boat of the Argosy Casino.
We pulled into a slightly difficult entrance to the harbor and headed right to the fuel dock to refuel and pump out. As we headed to the fuel dock we noticed depth below the boat was only about 2.5 feet. After fueling I backed off the fuel dock and backed straight back the way we came in to the main fairway. Shortly after backing off the fuel dock we heard and felt a loud bang. It seemed very likely we’d hit something submerged with the props. We decided to run out of the harbor and do a quick test to see if we had a vibration. On a busy and choppy river I’m pretty sure I felt a vibration. I’ve decided to live with the vibration and head to Green Turtle Bay and have the props checked there.