Long time readers will recognize that rivers hold a special fascination for me. I’m thinking now of fall travels south on the big rivers.
The trip up went pretty much according to plan. It was nice having family visitors in Tennessee and Alton, and seeing old friends in Knoxville. I didn’t make it up the Cumberland River. Another time. The Upper Mississippi and Ohio are still calling my name. I’ll be back.
Looking back, I’d say it was all interesting. I liked the trip from Mobile to Demopolis and the detour up to Tuscaloosa. The Tenn Tom and Tennessee River were interesting, mostly because it was all new. The Mississippi is an endless adventure to me. By the time I was on the Illinois I was mostly pressing for Chicago, but the lower sections were pleasant. All in all fun travels.
I had two noteworthy incidents. I had a minor grounding on the Tennessee River and I damaged my prop getting off. Easy fix with a local yard hauling and swapping to spare prop. I had the prop repaired in Alton. $1500 total repair bill.
More recently I took a chunk out of the port transom while moving the boat on the dock in Ottawa IL. There was a lot of wind and current and protruding steel. Not a major repair. I hope to get the boat in the shop this summer for some paint repairs.
I’ve been thinking lots about traveling upriver vs downriver. I did lots of both on this segment. I’ve decided I prefer to travel upriver. But that’s going to get its own post.
Tallying mileage and fuel for the Florida Panhandle to Alton segment, Feb 9 – April 9:
Distance traveled: 1,927 NM (2,217 miles/3,569 km)
Engine hours: 298
Fuel used (excl heat): 1,599 l (423 gallons)
That’s not far off the mileage I get on the ICW. A lot of those miles were up and back detours, and I loafed going downriver. This is a picture taken of me going downriver below Pickwick Locka by another boat. Not much fuss, and probably 10+ mpg.
I should add that with about 10,000 miles aboard Escapade, I am very happy with the boat. I’m always looking at other boats, but rarely suffer boat envy these days. Fuel economy is a key component for me, and the numbers above tell the story.