Sept. 3, 2012

Port Byron Um 498 to Muscatine, Iowa UM 455

The night actually went by without incidet. There were a few boats that went by in the night but the rocking didn’t seem to interupt our sleep. We did our morning wake-up routine and slipped on across the river to the marina for some gas ad ice, the two most coveted items on the river. Back down-river we came to the lock that we ran into the previous night. The lockmastemer  informed me that we would have to use the auxillary lock which meant going back upriver about a mile and entering a side channel which would bring us down to the auxillary lock on the other side of the island. OK so now we’ve been up and down this section of river enough and we’re ready to get the heck on the other side of the lock.

Lock # 14

Looking back at Lock 14

Finally on the other side, we spend the day just viewing sights along the river. Since today is Labor Day, there is plenty to see….

Labor Day on the Mississippi

It was an uneventful day of travel dodging boat wakes. Life on board typically consists of listening to rock and roll, looking at the towns passing by and basically unplugging from daily life. I am fortunate that I am able to do this once in a while. Cruising along, one of us steers while the other kicks back on the veranda soaking in the sun with a cooooool beverage. It’s tough but somebody has to do it…..

Coooooool Beverage Anyone?

Lock # 15 comes into view and we lock through without a wait. Gator just happen to be talking to his sweetheart, Julie, who was watching us live via a webcam in the lock. When “locking through” we ususally call the lockmaster via our marine radio and request Lock-through, “southbound pleasure craft to lock # 15 how are we looking for lock through?” The lockmaster will then reply with whatever information is relevant. There may be a north bound tow locking through and we will have to wait an hour or so or he may say we’re clear for entry and he’ll flood the chamber and open the gates. It’s really a cool process.

On the other side there is more of the same, just making miles and passing time today. Soon the infamous lock # 16 comes ito view and with a short wait we re-live the close call we had back in 2011. You see, as we approached the lock last year, our transom broke and we went over the dam, a close call. We survived the ordeal only because the river was up form flooding and the dam gate just happened to be open. Once on the other side we are somewhat relieved making our way across river over to Muscatine where we were towed to by the Muscatine Search and Rescue. Soon we pull into the Muscatine Marina and find a berth for the night.

Muscatine Marina

The heat was intense today and all we wanted to do now was find a restaurant with some AC and have a good supper. We walk on down to the “Button factory,” a cool place to eat but see that it is closed for the Labor Day holiday. In fact, all the restaurants near the river are closed……..crap!  So what now? Well, I look up the phone number of Ann, the Lt. of the Muscatine Search and Rescue. These folks came to our rescue last year when we had all the trouble.

Now Ann, being the great person she is,  came and picked us up from the marina, took us to her house, let us shower, do laundry and to pay her back for her kindness we took her and her best friend Kara out for a meal at Applebees. after a good meal we went back to her house and had a few drinks and a lot of laughs.

Ann and Kara

They return us to “the Belle” and after signing the boat, we say good-bye and thanks for the great evening. We are truly fortunate to have met such caring folks along the river.

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