Left Peoria at 0830, went down to the lock and waited a couple of hours for a tow in front of me to lock down. The tows in this section seem to be doing longer distance runs, and are maximum sized, 3×5 barges, which means the block of barges is 1000×105 feet. At the locks they need to push the first 3×3 block into the lock, then disconnect and back up a bit. The first block goes down, and is winched out of the lock to the wall. Then the lock goes back up and the towboat comes through with the remaining 2×3 block, drives up to the 3×3 block, reconnects and leaves the lock. It all happens in slow motion.
It didn’t get above freezing today but was sunny and clear all day. Overall a lovely day for a river cruise. We’re out of the congestion now, and most of today was spend cruising through empty land on a wide river. I met three oncoming tows, no drama.
I decided to stop for the day at Havana, mile 120. Not a high mileage day as I started at mile 162. But it gets dark at 5:00 and I’m not going fast.
My choice was a free town dock with no power or a nice little private marina that’s moderately priced. I opted for the marina and am now plugged in. Will likely walk into town and explore dinner or opportunities. It’s not far, a few blocks.
The cruising has been very relaxed. I’ve been playing more with the radar and MFD. There are some very useful features like split screen displays. I mounted the new MFD on the flybridge and the tablet connected as a repeater works very well for the lower helm. Today I would go outside for a while, then back inside to get warmed up. Overall very pleasant. I kept the generator running all day.
River conditions on the Illinois and Mississippi seem to be benign right now. I’ve stopped worrying about major debris in the water, really haven’t seen any.
A few pics from today.