XX – Hammond Indiana

Friday September 05, 2014

The plan for today is to go with Captain Ed and EJ from EDE J and go over to Skyway Marine to have their mast removed. I thought this was a good idea, I could give them a hand and learn the trail and process for our day next Tuesday.

It is about 2 miles from Hammond Marine over to Skyway. There are two paths to through Chicago and area to get to the inland river system. The Calumet river is the southern entry into the river system and the location of Skyway Marine. We have to pass under four bridges to get there and the interaction with the tows and bridges is interesting and initially challenging. Some of the radio banter is similar to CB radio trucker…

In order to get to Skyway we have to negotiate four bridges; Elgin/Joliet/Eastern lift railway bridge (permanently open), 92nd street bridge, 95th street bridge and the conrail railway bridge.

We had to wait about a half and hour for one railway bridge. They had a lot of train traffic and the bridge operator apologized but what could he do. The large railway bridge had two separate tracks and the western one was lower than the eastern one. We were debating on deck whether we would get under the second when the bridge operator intervened and asked “How high are you”? I assumed he meant the boat as it was morning, at least before 10 am. Ed reported 65 feet…the bridge operator said You better wait while I lift another 15. We did luckily.

Skyway marine seems to be a business that has a number of Tows to manage. We had to maneuver around several tows and barges to get EDE J into the dock for mast removal. Once the sling was in place the mast removal went fairly smoothly. They will strip and wrap the mast for shipment and once our groups masts are all in place they will be picked up by the truck company. Hopefully they will arrive in Mobile before us.

The ride back was interesting as EDE J was transformed into a trawler/powerboat. Visibility has improved. More toe stubbers and less handholds are apparent. It was a great practice run for me, it will make our trip on Tuesday less stressful.

So far I have the mizzen and staysail off the boat. The amount of rain we are getting supports our choice to live on a boat. I have a good start on the animals required for an ark.

We finished off the evening by going to the Casino. They should simply have a bucket at the door to throw your money into. At one point we were ‘up’ a couple of hundred bucks but we continued to push it until we lost our budget and bailed. The casino (horseshoe) was extremely busy on a Friday night. Thousands of folks eager to make donations I guess…

We have to get some work done tomorrow, Jen arrives on Sunday afternoon and we have Chicago to concur on Monday.

Tomorrow: A road trip to a hardware store…

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