Sunday, May 17, 2015
High – 72
Low – 68
Hi. John here again. LaNae said I have to do the daily journal periodically. I’ve learned that “periodically” means, as determined by LaNae.
Today Is what we call a “D” day. We’ve determined that each of our days fall into one of the following four categories:
“A” days- (mileage on the river, efficient, etc. In other words, a day that most would consider productive towards reaching our ultimate goal).
“B” days- (scheduled day off, “sabbath”, to rest and reflect. We try to do this once a week).
“C” days- (unscheduled days off, to dry clothes, work on gear, etc…).
“D” days- (forced into the tent due to in-climate weather).
It seems to be taking forever to get to Cairo, Illinois. There’s a lot going on at Cairo and we are anxious to pass this elusive milestone. First, there is the significance of its location. While Cairo is still over two miles from the confluence on the Ohio and Mississippi, it is, nonetheless, the generally accepted location of the confluence. Second, is our gear and food cache. This time we not only have our food for the next week that our friends Mike and Cyndy have sent us, but we also have our warm weather “wet pants” and a replacement “Overboard” phone case that ROC sent to us. In addition to these packages, we will be gathering up numerous and space consuming cold weather gear and sending it back home.
Well, much like how that last paragraph drug on, so goes our attempt to reach Cairo, as thus is our third day of heavy rains and storms.
We woke today at 3:30 AM hopefully morning would bring a reprieve from the bad weather. However, we woke to storms and a radar that both indicated another day in the tent was likely.
So here is the key. Enjoy and make good use of each type of day. On a trip like this, one must assume each type of day will happen. Actually, on an adventure such as this the terms “good” and “bad” are somewhat subjective. It is ALL just part of the trip.
So, we killed the alarm and got some more rest. During a lull in the rains I ran to LaNae’s boat and grabbed the lunch bag and we fixed ourselves some wraps and nuts to eat in the tent. (Oooh, eating in the tent. This is normally taboo, but in this case the situation warranted it.) Finally around 1:30, the rains stopped and the dark and thunderous skies were replaced by low gray clouds and flashes of sun. Aha! We can get knock of some miles towards Cairo.
I quickly fired up the stove while LaNae started to break camp. As is our norm, once breakfast (lunch for breakfast and breakfast for lunch) was on the fire she took over the cooking duties while I started packing the boats. (By the way, as I’m writing this, tomorrow, LaNae is playing solitaire and making noises like a seal. No, I don’t get it either. Maybe tomorrow’s entry , will have an explanation.)
By 3:30 we were on the water and squeezing past (no, I literally mean squeezing past) the tow Hamilton and her barges, which she had pushed within 10 feet of our beach as she waited for some southbound traffic to pass. She was empty so had a draft (“draught” for my British friends) of only about two feet. This meant she could push right in close to shore. (Good thing she wasn’t there earlier since today was bath day!). Once I let the Hamilton know our intentions, we were underway.
We were soon navigating past lock 53 in which the wicket dam was open, (meaning no need to lock through), and about a mile further downstream the new Olmsted dam and lock construction project. These monsters narrow the sailing lane and forced us into it. So I contacted Olmsted to see if they had any instructions and ask about the barges closing on us from upstream. The tow Bridget Colley jumped on the radio and identified herself and indicated it was her coming down behind us and that she was making about 9 mph. We let her know we would simply hold our position and jump in behind her once she made the turn. All was well.
So, as we passed Olmsted the river opened up again and an approaching southerly turn allowed the south winds to have their way. We were soon pushing through two foot plus rollers that crashed clear up over our deck bags. I communicated (I thought) my plans and heading to LaNae and pushed on, singing (poorly) and enjoying the bouncy but strenuous ride. After a mile or two I looked back and LaNae (immediately noticed the unpleasant look on her face) and tried, above the noise, to ask her to come closer to my boat. I heard a loud hbjhffdfgyuivq! in response and assumed (wrongly) that she had simply said “ok” and would soon be merrily paddling alongside me. So I paddled on a another mile singing (poorly) as the spray smashed me in the face and again looked back to see LaNae some distance off my port stern with that same unpleasant look I had seen earlier and yelled out, “Hey, where ya going?” She responded in an animated way with what I again perceived to be “hbjhffdfgyuivq!” This time I figured I should wait for her and discuss the situation. Hmmm, it turns out she totally misunderstood where I said we were headed (oops) and really does NOT like wind and big waves (oops). Once I had a good laugh (OOOPS), I clarified my destination intent and we pushed on. We made landfall at about 5:30 after completing about six miles.
Cairo and the Mississippi tomorrow?!??
Thanks for following our adventure. For photos and videos of the events mentioned in this daily journal, check us out on Instagram @ separateboats.
Also, please continue to pray for and support our charity, The Fortress. The fund-raising is not going well and they need your support. Thank you.