XXXVII Willow Island to Grafton Harbor

Monday September 22, 2014

It is a beautiful cool but sunny fall day here just north of St. Louis. We are anchored about 30 river miles north of the confluence of the Mississippi and the Illinois Rivers. Grafton Marine is located adjacent to the junction of the two rivers.

For some reason our computer that runs the google TV that plays our TV shows and Movies reminds us that the date and time is wrong. It reminds us about every 20 minutes. Mary Lynn is concerned that the anger I demonstrate when the time reminder occurs is not healthy. I suppose it would be silly to blow a vessel over a slight delay in watching TV. So now I smile and say “that’s nice” while I rage within. I will likely still blow a vessel but with a smile on my face. Less work for the undertaker. Trying to fake happy is a lot of work, and I am basically irish and we are happier when we are angry.

The last 30 miles of the Illinois River was very nice. Picturesque, quiet, still, sunny and warm. We cruised along, met a few Tows and passed one, Timothy C. Leary who was a patient gentleman who waited til the three loopers got the hell out of his way before he powered up for the twists and turns ahead.

We arrived at Grafton Harbor. We had reservations and from my previous life as a person who works I know how it happens…they didn’t exactly have a spot for us. They are very very nice people and they put us on the service dock while they found a spot for us. After about an hour Joe came by and said he had a covered slip on E dock number 22. We fired up FRACAS and made for the slip. I made the turn into E and it felt like the steering had failed. I have hydraulic steering and I always wondered if the day would come when I would just go straight. I eased the throttle and FRACAS stopped like she had brakes…Sister Mary Francis! Now I have 17.5 years of education and I know what causes boats to stop like that. We were in a water shortage. From my securely parked FRACAS I yelled over to Joe “I think I’m aground”… he said “I wondered about that”, “it must have silted in”. I can only assume that it silted in while we were en route from the fuel dock but what do I know from Silt.

I suggested and he concurred that FRACAS would return to the gas dock and we would further discuss where we might spend the night. Once I got FRACAS’ 80 horses digging we made short work of the silt and were on our way back to the fuel dock. We planted ourselves in the corner sort of angle parked to allow Joe and his cohorts to service other vessels. We thought we were good for the night. We have a recurring theme…Christopher Columbus… Guess who needs to buy 1000 gallons of diesel for the Nina and the Pinta? Christopher Columbus or some guy acting for him. So, being Canadians we said Ok, we will move again. Now FRACAS is tied across the end of two short fingers. CC brought both of his boats in and fueled them up. I bet the real CC never said he needed 100 feet of fuel dock and 1000 gallons of diesel.

Please don’t let anything I say detract from this facility in anyway. It has great facilities, service, location and stuff. *****

While on the fuel dock we got to meet Bob. Bob was dressed as or is a pirate. He is also a musician and reported that he was a former commercial captain on the rivers and in the gulf. He said he was waiting for his pirate ship to stop by and pick him up… apparently he is a shift worker pirate. Then the Gypsy Rose V arrived…tabernac she was a pirate ship. She was complete with patrons who were well into the spirit(s) of pirating. No canons, luckily. Tim builds these pirate outing vessels and is on his 8th construction. Woody was last seen on the shoulder of one of the wenches on the Gypsy Rose V. He needs an outing after the Havana debacle.  He did hang around long enough for a family picture with Bob and I.

The hot tub was full of loopers and security didn’t see any risk in this so the loopers had a great time. I discovered that a lot of the loopers if not all of the loopers we have met since Mackinac are here in Grafton. Tomorrow we have several activities  planned with our new friends and loopers.

I grow weary of writing for today, so I will be back in the morning. Not sure where FRACAS will be but anywhere here is Ok with us.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.