XXXIII Peoria to Havana

Thursday September 18, 2014

We had a quiet night here at the Peoria City dock in midtown Peoria. They have quite a nice waterfront park here and up above us is the aforementioned Joe’s Crab House. No, not a clinic but a waterfront restaurant. We are waiting again for the fog to clear and it is advertised to be a nice day if and when we can get it started. Not sure where we are going to end up tonight. We have two more locks to deal with on the Illinois, one is the Peoria locks just below us.

When we arrived at the Peoria Lock they were in the open stage. That means that the dam wickets are down and you can drive over the damn dam, which is what we did. Over the damn dam we went. The river is still quite high, rumour has it the wickets go back up on Tuesday which will mean lower river for whomever is behind us. La Grange Lock’s wickets will likely go up by Wednesday. That means we need to get Fracas fixed and full of water to head. on.

On Thursday night I could see EDE J on AIS. He was with some other Loopers up at the Illinois Valley Yacht club or IVY. We had to overtake a few Tows and Barges today. The procedure is, you ask the Captain where he wants you to pass and how or if. Sometimes they ask that you hang back if the river is narrow or a bend is coming up.

There is a lot of physics at work; the river is moving, the Tow is moving and Fracas is moving all the same direction. The opportunity you think you have to pass is affected by the river moving at 2 kts as well. I have an Ontario Boaters Permit and I am up to the task.

We called ahead to the Tall Timbers Marina and we were told that they were full but we could use the dock at the Havana Nature Center. This dock was next to the entrance to Tall Timbers and they managed that facility as well. The nature center is a free dock, without water and power. We were ready, willing and able to take a dock with services as we had lost all our fresh water with a leak in our hot water system.

Everyone in Havana has taken the ‘be friendly and helpful to tourists’ training. I was offered a car by a camper ashore to go to the Ace Hardware (Tim’s could get a lesson in inventory at this store). He was dismayed that I refused, “the brakes work” he further assured. Great I said…”I need a little exercise”. I could hear him offer the car to the PBTer that was coming out of the marina…

They (Ace) are a very well stocked small town hardware. They had all the fittings I needed in either brass, galvanized or black iron…well stocked. The Grocery store had moved out to the interstate to be adjacent to the ‘Farm Store’. I suspect a Tractor Supply or some variant. I had a bad experience with plaid and rubber boots with spurs on them at a Tractor Supply.

They do have a dollar general store ‘downtown’ that has some groceries. There is no produce available but if it lives in a can or a box they likely have it. Milk and I think eggs.

Bob is the owner manager of the Tall Timber Marina. Bob apologized for not being able to accommodate us. He assured me that we could get in first thing in the morning to get a pump out and water fill. I told him I needed 300 gallons…no problem.

There is some interesting architecture on Havana’s main street. Like main streets everywhere Havana’s suffers from the big box (or the grocery store moves to the highway) problem. The main street remains and is brick…kind of cool.

Woody came back to the boat furious that I had mislead him about being in Havana. I had mentioned Havana and he was gone. All he would say was if any chickens or an armed farmer came by we were to say we had no knowledge of him. That’s always good advice about Woody. I do make Woody wear a collar with a tag. The inscription reads “1 hour at 350, salt and pepper to taste”.

 

 

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