XXXIX – Grafton Harbor to Alton Marina

It’s hard to believe we’ve been on this trek for XXXIX days. It seems like only X or XV days since we left.

So far today there have been no sightings of Christopher Columbus or any of his cohorts. Rumor has it he is going up the Arkansas River to discover whatever there is to discover there. CC might be a great navigator but he required a small outboard tug to get him to the dock and out again after. Our new and final dock here at Grafton is very quiet compared to the activity at the service dock.

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This is Hoppies on the Mississippi. We are booked in on Monday through Wednesday morning

The family of Loopers here is starting to dwindle some. Four or five of the Loopers here have moved on to Hoppies. Hoppies is a ‘marina’ on the way south. They have assembled some old barges and have developed an institution on the River. Hoppies is now a must stop on the way south.

We had to do a spinarama at the dock in a narrow space. The wind was with the move but I think there was a slight water  shortage again and she wouldn’t spin back to the dock. As I was trying to spin her from the dock I had to climb up the bowsprit to get back on the boat and we dieseled our way around and out of the harbor.

The Mississippi is wider so far and the preferred course bounces around the river course. We experienced a little more current but not much more, maybe 2 kts.

At 9 kts it was a 2 hour trip down to Alton. We grooved the bottom on the way in…I could feel the mud but it barely slowed FRACAS down. At our dock we have about 6 inches under the keel, but the water continues to rise a few inches every few hours. I just looked and we are up another 3 inches. There is hope that there will be enough water to float us when we leave.

Our view is of the Clark bridge. This bridge is a very cool looking cable stayed bridge. I can’t wait to cross it on Friday morning to go and pick up Allan and Anne at the airport.

We went for our walk and like other communities we have explored the downtown core is sparse. We did happen upon the Baxter’s party store. We found many new tickle trunk items. I wish we had room for more stuff but that didn’t stop me. I got a parrot head hat…a new inanimate pet ‘Red Skeleton’ it is getting close to Halloween. So if you are trying to keep track, the crew; Captain Greg, Admiral ML, Woody, Spot, the Rats, the three Rubber Chickens and now Red Skeleton.

We lucked out again today, farmer’s market in the marina parking lot. We bought a lot of vegetables (all the colours colors Crystal) and a little more than we needed. Mary Lynn felt obligated to buy something from each booth. One of the vendors insisted that we inspect his okra. Now I’m not a prude but he could keep his Okra to himself…I likely offended him, so Mary Lynn bought a melon.

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