July 25 Update

On the road again….20160720_122546.jpg

Approaching Harborside:


View from the Marina lawn overlooking the Illinois River. The lime green at water’s edge in the distance is massive lily pads with huge flowers.


Spectacular, terrifying thunderstorms Friday and Saturday nights. Glorious! It was a continuous 360 degree light show. KAAARACK, BOOM. All night. Poor Inky was beside himself. Deluge of rain that flooded the river and floated numerous logs we later had to dodge going down stream.

The heat has been unbearable.Truly oppressive, and to escape it we stayed 3 days in Harborside because there is a pool – we lived in it. Literally. We just stayed in the pool while Inky panted in the shade on the adjoining lawn.

Needing to go into a town we were accommodated by, Wayne Donaldson, a lovely gentleman who drove us into Morris, IL. He and dog, Brazos, took really good care of us and we are forever grateful.Good people who will go out of their way to help us make our travails tolerable.

July 24  

Left Harborside at 10:30 a.m. Called ahead to the Dresden Lock for permission to lock downstream and were told to come and wait. We waited 4 hours at anchor on the apron of the dam!  Apparently this lock waits until a barge comes along and pleasure craft (PC) enter with them. While waiting we visited with other PC and met a terrific guy, Captain Scott, on the “Follow Me”.Scott and his First Mate, Michael, are delivering a 40 foot Silverton to the owner in Fort Meyers. Scott is a licensed river pilot AND marine mechanic. He knows the rivers and the lock keepers. We learned a lot listening to him communicate on VHF radio.

When the downstream barge was in the lock, the lock master radioed all PC to enter the lock, and Scott took leadership to organize us in the lock behind the enormous tow. He told three of the larger boats to raft up. The Lock Master told us to tie to the port wall, so Scott went first, being the largest of us, and Panacea tied to his starboard hip, then we lashed the next larger boat, with Captain Steve and Julie on Rock Star, to our hip. Two smaller craft tied  separately behind us to the port wall. Quite a spectacle! Wish I could have managed a photo. These locks are amazing. You silently drop or rise 20, 30, 40 feet  with no movement of the boats. The lock tenders are very responsive to the PC and help us tie.

Downstream Scott lost a water pump in one of his 2 engines and followed us into Spring Brook Marina, arriving at 5:30 p.m. VERY LONG DAY. A storm was brewing so we tied each other to the dock and ran to the marina office restaurant before it closed. When the storm hit 15 minutes later I scurried back to Panacea to be with Inky. As I rounded the dock I saw him leap out of the forward hatch and jump into the dinghy. By the time I got to the boat he was nowhere in sight. I grabbed his leash and dashed outside to be met by an angry boater who screamed at me for animal abuse. “I’m gonna report you to the Humane Shelter! You left your dog in that dinghy and he went in the water and was nearly hit by a huge boat. I’m gonna report YOU!!!” What the heck???? I tried to reason with him, but he just kept screaming at me.

Inky jumped in the water??? Are you kidding??? Inky rarely swims, he doesn’t like it that much. And, ABUSE?? That dog is so stinking spoiled, he won’t stay in the boat for 15 minutes while we go ashore and shower. I was so upset I just cried and cried. We were exhausted and burned to a crisp and someone gut punches me??? Where was Inky? Well a nice couple saw the incident and put him in their car until they could find me. Geez. We took Inky to the restaurant and we sat in the rain on the deck. Poor old Inky. He was so upset.

When we returned to Panacea Don walked over to the mean man’s boat and “requested”  to speak with him, but he declined to come out. He is docked in a 60 foot Jefferson and his crew had to hustle him out because Don would not leave. So Bill came out and Don told him he was  out of line to speak to me that way when he didn’t know the circumstances and that he should apologize to me. He again became an irate jerk and when Don wouldn’t back down a bulging gorilla of a man came out and asked, “Are you threatening Bill?” Don ignored him and told Bill he was an idiot and walked off.  Today we checked them out and their boat. They are 5 large quiet men who never leave their boat. The local slip owners are guessing they are Chicago thugs passing through.  Yikes.

Tows :


Barges/Tows. I think Tows push the containers and Barges pull the containers. Or maybe it’s just eastern colloquialism. More to learn. They run silently day and night. At night they broadcast brilliant high beam spot lights that illuminate shore to shore. Really fascinating.

tows along the way

Spring Brook Marina Sunset after storm looking downstream…sunset spring harbor.jpg

Sunrise looking upstream…sunrise spring brook.jpg

July 25…8:30 p.m. Cool evening. View from my galley looking downstream…AHHHH

view from galley spring brook.jpg




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