Holiday Travel

Since we knew no one would come out at Brandon Rd, we waited in the channel center for the gates to open.

After our friends waited so long to get into the Brandon Rd Lock I wondered how long it would be for us today. When I called at 7 this morning the lockmaster said he would start filling the lock and would have it ready in 40 minutes. We got ready in 20, got there in 10 and sat for 10 in front of the lock when the doors opened. We were the only ones there, locking down 34 feet in a 600 by 110 foot chamber. That much water would do your lawn for a number of years.

Dresden was our second lock of the day and 1½ hours from Brandon Rd and Marseilles would be the last 2½ hours further. We called each as we exited the previous lock and were told basically to come on, but no guarantees. I think calling reminds them to wait for us if they are just locking through a few other private boats. Might as well get their money’s worth for all that water.

We went through Dresden alone after just a few minutes of waiting. They wanted us on the left wall so I turned the boat 180 in the lock for a starboard tie, where our best lock fenders are. Marseilles was open and waiting for us. It had three small runabouts on the left wall while we tied up on the right.

Recreational on a few holidays and weekends, but industrial every day.

I counted thirteen small boats passing a tow at one time. If I was tow captain I’d be getting nervous.

This is still an industrial area. We passed coal fired and nuclear power plants, various factories, piers for loading different types of stuff into barges, etc.

We passed two tows going the other way and none going our way, far less than yesterday. What we did see after Dresden was loads of small boats. A few were fishing, but most were just racing about with many pulling skiers or kids on floaters. Hot weather Labor day boaters were out in force.

Labor Day boaters.

Where were the tows? If I were a tow captain, today would be a great day to take off. If your kid falls off a tube 1000 feet in front of a 5.5 mph tow you have two minutes to get them out before the tow, which takes a mile to stop and may be 100 feet wide, runs over them. Those little boats pulling people scared the tows off.

So with few tows to delay our locking we arrived at Heritage Harbor marina in Ottawa by one. We’ll stay here until Jim and Paula come.


3 thoughts on “Holiday Travel

  1. Frank Castles says:

    Jack and Sue, What great news that you two are on the Great Loop adventure. It has been quite some time since we have been in contact. I retired from the City of Kalispell in the Fall of 2010 and we have moved back home to near Tupelo, MS. Tupelo is about 40 minutes West of Midway Marina at Fulton, MS, on the Tenn-Tom Waterway which runs from the Tennesssee River to Mobile. Relda and I would very much like to meet you and show you around this area if you are coming down the Tenn-Tom. Please keep us posted on your voyage and we will plan to get together. My phone no is :850-450-3922 and Relda’s is 850-450-2908. My email is:
    We are still on the board of Mission Builders and west to the Spring meeting this year.

    Blessings & Shalom, Frank & Relda Castles


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