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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ottawa to Peoria - Anyone need a good mechanic!!

 Time travelled: 12.5 hours
 Nautical miles: 69.4 NM
 Docked at:  Peoria Day Docks- all by ourselves

Wow, this river is quiet - in a way it is kind of eerie because there is so little traffic on it. We passed a coast guard barge first thing this morning. They were out replacing markers from the looks of it.  

Arrived at the Starved Rock Lock & Dam (try saying that fast three times) at 8 am but had to wait for a barge to come up - it was huge and took a few trips to get it all up and then they had to connect everything again.

This is just the front of the load.

 - we finally got in and were out at 9:30.  While we were hanging around above the lock Garth spotted a white pelican, according to the lock-keeper they just started showing up a few years ago. 

Look Closer
We were zipping along at our usual 9 knots an hour when the voltage alarm went off - I took the wheel and Garth ran down to the engine room to see what he could do. After about twenty minutes at idle speed he said we needed to find a marina --great -- here we are in the middle of nowhere and not a marina in the next 40 miles that could take us. Finally we spotted a barge along the banks, Garth called the tow boat that was just above it and asked if we could tie up to it as we had engine problems. He said OK and after securing the boat Garth displayed his hidden mechanical talents - forty five minutes later the new alternator was on and we were leaving the barge - so far so good!  If anyone needs a good mechanic I highly recommend Garth. I was impressed and he was doing the happy dance as we got back into the groove of zipping along the Illinois.
Looks like a White Pelican meeting -all in a row!
The Spirit of Peoria passed us later when we were tied up.

Rush hour on the Illinois
We got our first glimpse of  Asian Carp this afternoon - when the boat goes a particular speed the noise makes them jump - we passed the Spirit of Peoria paddle-wheeler and wow you should have seen them -- jumping all over the place. I will try and get a picture of them next time. 

Tomorrow we have another long day - 88 miles and the only place available for us to tie up to is a barge on the side of the river! Humm - had practice at that today!