XXXIV Havana to Bar Island

Friday September 19, 2014

Thanks to the well stocked hardware here in Havana we cobbled up a new relief valve for the water heater. We are now refilling Fracas’ tanks with her 300 gallons. It takes about an hour to fill with the flow here at Tall Timber Marina. Bob the manager/owner is a very friendly and helpful guy. Everyone in the town is friendly as well. A guy in the trailer park even offered us his car if we needed it. I didn’t know how we could fit it on FRACAS.

In the morning I completed the repairs to the water system and it seemed like the leaks were fixed. It is hard to tell when you don’t have any water to test with. We had to wait until the five loopers who had found room in Bob’s marina did their morning necessities and vacated the premises. Included in the three boats are three PBT’s and two SV’s. Oyster, Next Dance and Bright Angel are the power boat trawlers and EDE J and Dragonfly the two sailing vessels. Dragonfly decided to stay in the marina at least another day til the advertised weather shakes through. The interesting thing about these other Loopers, other than they are great folks is the captain of Oyster’s name is…wait for it…Woody. It was awkward when I was regaling the group with the adventures and misadventures of my Woody. Luckily we couldn’t find Woody at happy hour and he had not come along with us. Woody and Lucy have a great De Fever passage maker.

Our entry into Tall Timbers was tricky with the river current and the narrow entrance but there was 13 to 15 feet right to the service dock. Remember the river is quite high.

Bob also has a fulltime job as a stationary engineer at government facilities nearby. I have no idea when he sleeps. Mary Lynn received a history and local issues update from Bob while I worked the water fill. Bob apologized that he had to charge us $5 for the pump out (Pump outs are free if you pay for dockage). I gave him $10. Last of the big time spenders.

Part of the discussion was about the river depth. I struggle with ‘normal pool’ and stuff like that. I drive where Garmin, Navionics and sometimes Ferd suggest. He said they were likely to raise the wickets on Tuesday. He said the water level would drop about 10 feet soon thereafter. That would leave 5 feet to get into the marina and I need 5… We have one more lock to get through on the Illinois the La Grange lock which is still in the open mode. They normally raise their wickets one day after the Peoria lock.

We met and passed a couple of Tows on the way south. The Loopers had Logston’s tug service as their destination. The tug company allows transients to tie up over night for a buck a foot with no services. We were a few hours behind them and when we passed there was no barge space left for us. We were good to go anchor out anyway and found Bar Island a couple of miles further south and here we be.

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