The morning fog at Kaskaskia made the spider webs stand out with all the water drops. We left Kaskaskia Lock and dam once the fog cleared and traveled to Little River Diversion Channel. The Little River Diversion Channel leads to a river and waterway that seem to go for miles. We explored up the river in the dinghy and saw soybean fields right at the edge of the river bank. The plants were so far out to the edge it is surprising the tractor did not fall in the river. The anchorage at Little River Diversion Channel was peaceful and quiet. It must be near a small airport that is home to experimental helicopters. We saw a few of those fly over the river.
On the way to Little River Diversion Channel, we saw the two canoeists who are traveling the length of the Mississippi river. We met them at the Alton marina when we noticed one of them had a Michigan shirt on. They are part of Warrior Expeditions.org.
Finally out of the muddy, debris laden Mississippi River! While I miss the current pushing us, there is nothing else about the Mississippi River that we will miss. The boat speed dropped from 11-12 knots to just over 6 knots. So instead of a 4 knot bonus pushing us, we had a 1 to 2 knot penalty slowing us down. Traveling is much easier, not large logs, whirl pools and a lot less barge traffic. The few you do meet only have 2 or 3 barges not as many as 30 (5 wide, 6 long) hooked together, like we met on the Mississippi River.
After traveling a few miles on the Ohio River, we encountered the Olmstead Lock and Dam Project. This is a HUGE construction project on the river creating a new dam and pair of large locks, with an expected completion in 2020. There was a long delay (over 4 hours) waiting for an escort through the work area. The old lock chamber was open and we just passed through without any lift. Totally do not understand the logic behind the long delays and escort process there, but then I am not a government employee.
With the long delay at Olmstead Lock, it made for a late arrival at the anchorage planned for the night. We anchored just after sunset, a 12 hour “travel” day by Bean Branch Creek on the Ohio River.
We needed to leave the anchorage early to get to the next big hurdle which is lock 52. It has only one of its two lock chambers open and recently was closed for a couple days completely. After “only” an hour wait we were allowed to pass. We were told to tie to the side of the barges that were just entering the lock. This tie-up put us up very close and personal with the barges and tows. From there it was an easy travel to our planned anchorage for the evening by Towhead Island.
We are at Green Turtle Marina in Kentucky. We plan to stay here a couple days and re-provision and do laundry etc.
On to Green Turtle and the huge Barkley lock……