Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 10 on the river

It was nice to start the day at 51 degrees. But the winds did pick up as the morning got going, and the head winds caused us to lose some speed. There have been requests for photos of me so will post those on today's photos. Lock 24 was a bit rough. We hit the wall after we had tied to the floating bollards. The winds were strong. In Lock 25 some of the bollards were missing so we couldn't tie off. 25 is on the end of a 10 mile long canal just north of St. Louis, MO. As we got close to downtown, 2 coast guard boats went by. The closer we got to the arch the higher the wind and waves got. That is when I saw that the stucture that holds the mast was sliding 4-6" on the deck and 12 -18" at the top. Each time the bow slammed into a wave the structure and mast shifted. At on epoint the waves were over 5' and head wind was around 35 miles a hour where the river narrows (for a nunber of bridges through St. Louis). It felt like back in July when we were on Lake Superior.

I put on my life jacket and looked for ways to stop the structure and mast from shifting and rocking. Dave slowed the boat down and tried to set the boat for the least amount of waves. I was able to add some straps up front and used some lines though a hole in the bimine to a roller and to a winch on both sides. And yes I may have been a bit nervous with the mast moving around over my head on the bow, as it going down to the water line and back up again with every wave. Finlly the waves decreased and we got everything to stop shifting.

It was a bit surreal: we are out on the river fighting with the boat, and just on the shore people are walking around the arch. 

I was able to make lunch while still rocking around some. Dave did have to slow down a few times before the river turned and the wind was not coming straight at us.  We did make it to Hoppie's Marina as expected, got docked, topped off the fuel, got some ice. The lumber yard was closed (I guess it is Sunday) but Hoppie's was able to find more 2x4's for us to add more bracing for the structure  tomorrow.  I had never planned that the river was going to be as bad as Lake Superior when I built the structure. I am glad it held, and we will add more bracing to make it more secure.

It was around 3:30 or 4:00 when we headed into the town of Kimmswick, MO. It was a very cute little river town with small shops all over. Hoppie's told us some of the places to eat, and we ended up going to The Dough Depot for dinner, great food at a good price. We got sandwiches made on homemade pretzel bread. As we got ready to pay and leave we started to talk to the ladies that worked there we ended up telling them about the trip and the blog. Sp they gave us some cookies for breakfast.

It is only about 6:30 now and I am beat. The next few days look like rain and wind. It may be warmer than home, but still cold when you are in it all day.

1 comment:

  1. This is getting a little too exciting, guys! I wish you peaceful sailing ahead. Thank goodness strangers are helping you out with cookies! It sounds like a little kindness will go a long way for you around now.

    Take care!