Last evening Rhonda hosted docktails aboard R&R for twelve of our new lock wall buddies. We met people ranging from those almost finished with their 6000 mile loop, to a couple just finishing their second day. We enjoyed the fellowship and did some planning for those who (like Rick) want to get through the Mississippi River and on to quieter waters.
Soon after we entered the Mississippi River and headed south, we ran into heavy fog banks. We could not see far beyond the bow of our boat.
It was very disorienting, but we kept on the center channel line on our chartplotter, turned on the radar to “see” boats near us, moved very slowly until the fog lifted, and kept following our buddy boat Aquaman on AIS.
The Mississippi River has a lot of trees, logs and other debris floating on the surface. We steer around (almost all of) them to protect our propellers from damage.
With help from the Mississippi River current, we are traveling about 15 miles an hour even though our engines are running slowly.
Our goal for the day was to travel about 95 miles to an anchorage just north of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. But….because of the fast and roiling currents and whirlpools of the Mississippi, and heavy barge traffic, we and two other boats decided to continue on, turn left onto the Ohio River, and look for an anchorage on the Ohio.
When we made the turn from Mississippi to Ohio, it was like moving from 3 foot waves in Lake Michigan into the Holland channel where the water is glassy smooth. We went from downstream to upstream immediately, and lost 7-8 mph with the same engine speed. But the water is smooth and we found a safe anchorage just off the Ohio River channel. Our first overnight “on the hook” after a long 137 mile day.
We are happy to have conquered the Mississippi!