Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland Rivers and Kentucky Lake. Weather days 6-7, Cold day 8!

wahoo33417

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#1
Continuing Great Loop one section at a time.

Put boat in at Grafton, Il, in a very low Mississippi River.



Some nice high bluffs along the east side of the river.



Put away for the night at Alton Marina, just ahead of Melvin Price Lock. Really nice people at Alton Marina.

 

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wahoo33417

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Day 2: Had to clear Melvin Price Lock in the dark in order to make Lock 27 before it shut down at 9 am. At least I had my mom, sister and brother-in-law as crew today.




Will eventually get the St. Louis Arch photos from my sister. Day ended at Hoppies Marina in Kimmswick, MO. - last fuel stop for next 200 miles until Paducah, Ky.


 

wahoo33417

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Actually, for all of days 1 and 2 and half of day 3, I was ‘downbound’ as they say, running with the current. Hoppies is the last fuel stop and it is about 30 miles south of St. Louis. Use to be, Green Turtle, in Kentucky Lake, about 250 miles away, was next fuel. Now we have Paducah City dock, only 200 miles from Hoppies. It is Paducah’s dock that put this trip within my safety margin - or so I thought.

Also, Paducah was first stop to have Rec 90 fuel. The three previous stops all said they are required to carry ethanol because they are corn producing states.

In any case, with about Fuel and enough water, and stuff for two weeks, and running to optimize fuel, Yammy gauge says 3.1 mpg at 24 mph. I saw 3.3 mpg at half tank of fuel.




GPS speed bumps that up to 28.5 mph, giving 3.7 mpg. When I turned into the Ohio River, headed into a 2.5 mph current, I could still get 3.0 mpg while making good 23 mph GPS.






These numbers were pretty accurate at the pump. Boat did amazingly well on fuel. Most attributed to 2.5 days of a 4.5 mph ‘tailwind.’
 

magicalbill

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#9
Actually, for all of days 1 and 2 and half of day 3, I was ‘downbound’ as they say, running with the current. Hoppies is the last fuel stop and it is about 30 miles south of St. Louis. Use to be, Green Turtle, in Kentucky Lake, about 250 miles away, was next fuel. Now we have Paducah City dock, only 200 miles from Hoppies. It is Paducah’s dock that put this trip within my safety margin - or so I thought.

Also, Paducah was first stop to have Rec 90 fuel. The three previous stops all said they are required to carry ethanol because they are corn producing states.

In any case, with about Fuel and enough water, and stuff for two weeks, and running to optimize fuel, Yammy gauge says 3.1 mpg at 24 mph. I saw 3.3 mpg at half tank of fuel.




GPS speed bumps that up to 28.5 mph, giving 3.7 mpg. When I turned into the Ohio River, headed into a 2.5 mph current, I could still get 3.0 mpg while making good 23 mph GPS.






These numbers were pretty accurate at the pump. Boat did amazingly well on fuel. Most attributed to 2.5 days of a 4.5 mph ‘tailwind.’
Hi Wahoo:

Confusion & Question, Question first.

During your stints on the Miss & Ohio rivers, did you run into or see any debris/logs, etc in the water? if so, how much?

Confusion:

I remember you putting up pics below Pickwick Lock near Pickwick Landing & Aqua Yacht Harbor there at the Tenn Tom Entrance.
Now your heading to Paducah: At what point do you pull out since you've already done the route from Pickwick South?

Or am I totally mixed up?? In any case, it's enjoyable to follow your travels and look at the pics. This is a great adventure, I'm sure.

Have you thought about what happens when your done? Do you keep the boat or sell and move on to something else?
 

wahoo33417

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#11
I can understand the confusion since I skipped a section. Speaking approximately, I put in a little north of St. Louis because those are last marinas on Mississippi and I ended a previous trip there.

This trip officially ends at Kentucky Lake since I started a previous trip there. That was the trip that took me south of Pickwick into the Tenn-Tom.

But since I have a few more days to go, I hope to explore Lake Barkley which connects with Kentucky Lake.

As for debris, hell yes. Literally floating logs are not uncommon. I loosened up my transducer so it would kick up rather than break. It did kick up twice. Once I looked back and saw I was throwing up a ‘rooster tail’. Sure enough, there was a tree branch stuck on my lower unit.

Stepping back to earlier in the trip, what I didn’t know is that Mississippi had ‘rapids’ north of. St. Louis that would take out boat bottoms long ago. So now we have a Chain of Rocks Canal and Lock to bypass the hazard.



This is the lock that was shutting down at 9 am. It has a unique closing gate. A wall comes up from beneath.



 

wahoo33417

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#12
Once past St. Louis, there are quite a few scenic areas on Mississippi. But swirling currents are always present.



I left Hoppies to begin Day 2 in a lifting fog. Very stupid move to assumelifting would continue. I got about ten miles and patchy fog became pea soup. I couldn’t see either shoreline or any nav aids. I am surprised at how disoriented I became. GPS reacts too slowly at idle speed to be of much help.





And a tug/barge about ten miles away wanted to talk passing arrangements. Very fortunately for me, I had spotted a floating dock about two miles back when I could still see and I marked it on GPS ‘just in case’. Probably saved my Grady.



I say saved my Grady because my only other option would have been to get the heck out of the channel. The Mississippi is full of ‘wing dams’ outside of the channel to stop erosion. I would have been very lucky to keep my boat into the current for the next hour without encountering one.

I was damn stupid and lucky. There are almost no docks on the Mississippi.
 

wahoo33417

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You have to overnight somewhere on the Mississippi. I chose, as many do, to anchor up in the Diversion Canal near Cape Girardeau. It’s 110 miles from Hoppies.

Sunrise on Day 3 from the Diversion Canal. The far bank of the Mississippi is in the background. That’s my Yammy in the foreground.




After turning left into the Ohio, it was highly congested with working tugs and barges. Not what I hoped for. But in about two miles it turned into a nice, scenic river. Very different from the Mississippi.



Day 3 ended at Paducah City Dock. I have to include since I’m so appreciative that they finally built it. And they have Rec 90 for my Yammy


 

wahoo33417

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Early morning start from Paducah with one more lock to go.




Early morning heading west on the Ohio. The entry into the Cumberland River is kinda sorta visible to the right.




The Cumberland was beautiful. iPhone can’t do it justice. Saw five bald eagles in a short stretch.


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That nice boat ride led to a two hour wait at Barkley Lock. No biggie.

Day 5 will be a rest day and maybe straighten up the boat a little bit!
 

magicalbill

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Early morning start from Paducah with one more lock to go.




Early morning heading west on the Ohio. The entry into the Cumberland River is kinda sorta visible to the right.




The Cumberland was beautiful. iPhone can’t do it justice. Saw five bald eagles in a short stretch.


.









That nice boat ride led to a two hour wait at Barkley Lock. No biggie.

Day 5 will be a rest day and maybe straighten up the boat a little bit!
X2 What Halfhitch said: Great instinct on marking the floating dock on the Miss.

Barkley is OK: There is a State Park down the lake on your stbd side as I recall. I like KY Lake much better, but that's just a personal preference. I remember Green Turtle Bay as a nice marina, and I also recall the incline on the launch ramps around there are so steep you almost need to be a Mountain Goat to scale them.


What's next?
 

wahoo33417

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Well MagicaI I sampled some of both sides. Green Turtle is most popular for loopers, but I prefer 'mom and pop' when I can find it.

I took two weather delays at Moors Resort near northern end of Kentucky Lake. The Lodge is simple hotel rooms and the slip is $10. And the family run staff are great.

Fueling up with premium at Moors. It was 41 degrees! I wore every layering had. In general, I was okay, but my hands hurt from the cold.




It was really cool (literally)watching the steam condense and rise off the relatively warm water.











I wish we could embed videos, but this gives an idea.





One more of your intrepid host.


 
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wahoo33417

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But the day give way to bright sunshine and the warmth it brings.



The Yamaha and Grady loved the cold. I had just topped off with fuel but still saw great fuel numbers despite the weight. For these numbers, I’m going against a slight current with the wind at my back and a laden boat in freshwater.





 

wahoo33417

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With my missing section complete, I wanted to see more of the Cumberland River. So at the end of a quite cold Day 8, I came back up Kentucky Lake and over to the Cumberland River. In this wide section opposite Kentucky Lake, the River is know as Lake Barkley. I ended the day at Lake Barkley State Park that Magical referenced earlier. And I was assigned a room with no heat. Really. The tech couldn’t fix it, so at 9 pm they moved me to the room next door with moderate heat. Other than blocked hot water lines from the boilers, it is a great place.



Day 9. Running south and west of Barkley St. Park the river narrows and fills with more bird habitat. I saw many wading birds and hundreds of white pelicans, which was a treat for me.



At least in my one day, the barges were still frequent and a bit smaller. But every tug captain was happy to answer on VHF 13 as to which side he wanted me on, passing either direction.
Thanks
This is the smallest barge setup of the day. For the bigger boys, I kept my focus on navigating, not picture taking



Lastly is the trip log. About 100 of the 500 miles were sightseeing outside of the Loop. And the Grady’s top speed on the last day is my Garmin's sense of humor that it pulls every once in a while.





All these photos are from my iPhone. When I get home, I may have some better pictures to add from my real camera'’s SD Card which I can’t access from the boat.

Rob