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Anyone taking a yacht up to the Great Lakes this season; plans? route?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Capt J, May 4, 2020.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, right now, Alton and Grafton still have no diesel. Can fuel in St. Louis. But then....

    Fuel a challenge up the Illinois, but available at Hamm's Holiday Harbor. However, a lot of debris and right now the Illinois is above flood stage so locks beyond Peoria are not operating and a wait of 4 to 5 days. Will be 3 or so by the time you're there, perhaps.

    I show Lagrange in service and Peoria operated yesterday, but none of the locks beyond Peoria.
  2. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Get this. I just talked to Alton who now has NINE FEET into the harbor. May just keep on chugging, knowing that we have that option. It would be a short, slow run from Melvin Price. Will have Dave make that call.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    With their nine feet, do they now have fuel or still not? Not much of a reason to hurry, obviously, as you're going to get stuck on the Illinois.
  4. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Thanks for that info. That makes today’s decision a no-brainer. Hoppies tonight and Grafton until...
  5. Rodger

    Rodger Senior Member

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    Canadian and US Border extended another thirty days
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You keep talking about Hoppies. What is currently open there? I thought they closed.
  7. captaintilt

    captaintilt Senior Member

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    I spoke to Hoppies yesterday, and they are open, but no fuel as we know. Heritage Harbor Marina up the Illinois has plenty of Diesel as does Illinois Valley Yacht Club if you get to that point of needing fuel. I will probably need to take on fuel around Peoria or shortly thereafter even with the barrels.

    Will be interesting to see how long the locks are closed on the Illinois. Heritage Harbor said that they are about 3" from their historically high flood stage, and it's usually about 3-5 days for the waters to recede back to being able to work.
  8. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    They have a small amount of transient dock space with 50A power, but no fuel. We tied up here and walked to The Blue Owl for lunch.

    The “dock” is a mess and isn’t connected to shore. Had to use a little jon boat to get to shore. Huck Finn ain’t got nuthin on us.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are going to be a lot of you stacked up waiting for things to open and likely having to wait for many tows to go through first. It looks to me like 8 tows went up through Peoria Lock yesterday and will be waiting for things to open up. No telling how many of you reverse loopers will be waiting.
  10. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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  11. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I have a friend running a tow who was at Grafton earlier today. He’s going to keep us posted, but he said there was a lot of big debris in the water today.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    That's what I heard from someone who was in the Peoria area.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    So I fueled in Green Turtle yesterday and called the Kentucky lock and they said they could get us right through if we got there in 45 mins, we got there in 30 mins, waited 2 hours, got through and made Paducah docks right before dark. No water or power there right now.

    Today we ran up stopped in Cape G. and met Charlie with Kidd's at 1pm, he was right on time and took 500 gallons from him. Super nice guy and a good price. Dock does have a lot of current on it that's parallel with the dock but didn't have an issue. We then ran to the Kaskaskia lock and are tied up for the night. We lost 4-5 knots speed, so only cruising at 15-16 knots, or 1100 rpms at 4-5 knots. There is some debris here and there, not horrible on the Mississippi. Next stop is Polestar marina.

    Most of the markers are missing but running the chart as it shows on the chartplotter has been no problem.

    Then who knows with the flooding. How do you see current bridge heights on the Illinois waterway.

    The Garmin charts, have to go to the fishing chart for any depth or details outside of the channel.
  14. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I don’t know of any way to know bridge heights than to either guesstimate off river gauges or just waiting to see the gauges on the bridges once you get there.

    If your air draft allows getting under the fixed bridge in Chicago, you won’t have any clearance problems ahead of there, unless the flood reaches UGE stage. :D

    You burned 500 gallons from GTB to Kidd’s?

    What are you bringing up?
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No about 350 gallons and topped off 2-35 and 2-55 gallon drums. New 52' Manhattan.
  16. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    Be careful on the Illinois, this time of year you can have picnic tables, tires, lots of large diameter trees, houses, yes houses from the flooding. We have had tremendous amounts of rain the last 5 days, today was sunny and no rain. I'm in Saint Charles il. The Fox River flood stage is 9.5' were at 11.2' and rising, which dumps into the Illinois River in Starved Rock east of the lock and dam. Chillicothe IL Hamms Harbor will have more debris floating as there is low lying land. Be careful. Have a safe trip.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I made it to Polestar marina today with no issues. Would've only had 60 gallons of fuel left out of 580 (2 tanks) IF I hadn't brought drums. So very happy there. No issues...… Debris wasn't too bad, a small patch every 20 miles until we got out of the Mel Price lock, then there was a good bit of debris floating. We're fueled up and ready to go. We're all flying home and coming back once the water levels subsides. On NOAA it looks like it is flooded and not even dropping as far out as May 27. So who knows. But we got this far with no issues to speak of.
  18. KoffeeCruising

    KoffeeCruising Member

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    Cap’n J

    Love following your progress & your general posts. You are making great progress and I may make that same trip because I grew up in STL and am thinking of leaving my 54’ there for a season.

    Flying out of STL, hopefully the Pasta House restaurant in will be open in either Terminal 1 & Terminal E.

    Order the Toasted Ravioli Appetizer, it’s a St Louis Classic. I worked at a Pasta House location in the late 70’s and pretty much every customer ordered them. I can still hear “Trapp on 12”. Meaning “Toasted Ravioli Appetizer for table 12”, and I’d dump the ravioli into the fryer For 90 secs, then drizzle olive oil, parsley, finely grated Parmesan, and put red meat sauce in a dipping bowl. They ain’t really toasted ... but hey.....

    wait- did I just hijack this thread? I meant to say after you put the Manhattan to bed.... stop by the Pasta House at STL..... nevermind.
  19. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    My tow Captain buddy sent me some info that predicted the locks will reopen on Monday. Time will tell.

    We called it good in Alton, and I drove home for a few days. Will be watching things and hope to go back on Sunday or Monday.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's what everyone was saying 3-4 days, but the NOAA predictions for the 2 lock pools paint an entirely different picture and doesn't look like it's even going to start dropping until May 28th. We're fueled up, fueled up the drums and are ready to go without having to fuel to get to Hammond, instead of Illinois since all of the fuel docks in Illinois are still closed We all flew out.

    riverbills website has the 2 lock graphs on it for Le Grange and Hardin lock (From NOAA's site) and they paint an entirely different picture:
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lsx&gage=hari2&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lsx&gage=nlgi2