Thursday, May 21, 2015
High – 64
Low – 48 (and we sent home our warm clothes)
We woke to a gray, cold, windy day. But, the rain had moved on so it was time to travel. Our goal is to beat the next weather system into Caruthersville on Sunday evening. Monday is Memorial Day and we have a package to pick up when the post office opens on Tuesday.
The first item in the agenda was breakfast. Don’t ever feel sorry for us eating LaNae’s dehydrated meals for four months. They are wonderful. And not only are they warm and delicious, but the also come with many accoutrements and treats. Individual mini-ziplock packs of daily vitamin servings are laid out at each breakfast. Dinners often have, Parmesan cheese, homemade bread croutons or corn bread croutons packaged separately in the “kit”. Deserts (yes, most dinners have a separate desert), often have breading or granola packaged separately to add into it. Our meals are organized, healthy, and delicious.
Our day on the river started simple enough except LaNae was continuing to struggle with her rudder. I have checked the function numerous times and confirmed all is working well and was starting to voice my annoyance (unwarranted and poor timing) at the situation. Today she was trying her wet shoes instead of her boots and at our first stop we cleaned things up in her cockpit. She seems to be getting along better now. Speaking of our first stop, it was at river mile marker # 937 at the Columbus boat ramp. There is an Ingram barge repair dock there, and the guys let us fill up our water reserves.
Let’s talk about dikes. Dikes are man-made “walls” (usually a line of rocks) that generally extend out from the shore line perpendicular to the river. Their purpose is to prevent river current from eroding islands and shorelines so the river doesn’t redirect itself. On the Wabash and Ohio, these were usually charted as 5-10 feet below the waterline at pool level, were infrequent, and except for some odd currents, were indistinguishable when paddling over them. Not the same situation on the Mississippi. They are ubiquitous and often at or above the waterline. This leads me to my navigating mistake of the day. We went over a dike. Not fun. Picture a short run of rapids with exposed rocks and a defined drop in water surface of about two feet. Oh, and I should note, this was 1/2 mile off shore in a 2 mile wide river. Lots of excuses but clearly my error. We won’t do that again. To those traveling the Mississippi, avoid the dikes like Satan himself. We certainly will.
Oh well, upright and unscathed, we paddled on until it was time to look for a spot to camp for the night.
Let’s talk about whirlpools. Yea, the ones like you saw on cartoons that would suck Popeye’s entire boat down. Unlike the dikes, these will prove to be unavoidable at times.
We moved over to the left bank to look for a camp spot that we assumed would present itself just before or after a small protruding point. As with most shorelines like this, the point caused an eddy. The difference on the Mississippi? The eddy line is sometimes as churned as whitewater and often contains monster whirlpools that appear, disappear, and move. My particular ride of joy was about four feet in diameter (I was too scared to look how deep it went). Oh well, after engaging my brief but interesting dance partner, we paddled on.
Upright and unscathed to our serene sandy beach home for the night. Twenty six miles closer to our destination.
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.