Countdown to departure

My plan is to get underway again in a week. I’ve been reading all the warnings against taking the lower Mississippi but my plan is to go that route. So no change to the plans I outlined in my earlier post ‘Winter Plans.’

I need to be fully prepared. There are only a couple of places to stop south of St Louis. Basically I’m on my own for 600+ miles on the Mississippi. It’s kind of like getting on an expressway with no exit ramps. Or at least that’s how I’ve come to think about it. I think I’m going to like it.

Boat is in good order. I have a new radar, VHF with AIS, plotter, and depth finder. Mechanical is good. Have a comfortable inside steering station set up for bad weather.

I’ve been learning a bit more about the early canal building here. The Illinois and Michigan Canal had a big role in Chicago’s early history. I hope to stop and explore a couple of the river towns on the Illinois Waterway on the way. Lots of interesting history.

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