Monday, September 11, 2017

CHICAGO!! To Chicago and downtown on the Chicago River

Day 142 … Sun, Sept 10, 2017 … 46 miles, 5:51 hours

New Buffalo to Chicago; across Lake Michigan

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Leaving new Buffalo, you can see tons of town houses … NewBuffaloAlso (2) - Copyeach has a private deck on 2nd story in-between roof peaks

NewBuffaloAlso (4) - Copyplus garage on one side and slip on the other. NewBuffaloAlso (3) - CopyNewBuffaloAlso (5) - Copy

Then there are patio garage homes

with full decks on top.

And, some slips with small decks above & spiral stairs from the boat slip. Unique.

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A bumpy ride across Lake Michigan to Chicago. Not uncomfortable, but lots of movement.Chicago (103)Chicago (84)

We were passed along the way by Thistle; ended up behind them at the docks at DuSable.Chicago (2)

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Dock hands and Greg, from Thistle, helped us tie up.

Lab Partners is right side of pier, closest to shore.

DCIM\100MEDIA\DJI_0081.JPGThen, a dock hand brought us a map with Chicago (8)directions to Mariano's so we could purchase Corona Light in cans!!! They had read our blog and saw we had been in hunt of canned Corona Light since NY. WOW, talk about service. Chicago (7)Chicago (89)

Columbia Yacht Club is the boat … the big blue SHIP is the whole club! How cool is that??

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Nice docks, great views and a park to walk and play with Cally. Lots of folks walking, jogging, roller blading, biking, etc. passed the marina.

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First priority was to lower the mast so we could transit the Chicago River thru the heart of downtown Chicago.

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Don't ask why, but I wanted a Chicago style hot dog for lunch. But, it was late and we were hungry, so lunch on the boat. While out walking Cally Chicago (9)I found a hot dog stand not far away. I asked and the gal said they would be open until 6pm. Great, Rip and I planned hot dogs for dinner, then a walk to Mariano's for the beer. We arrived at the stand about 5:15 ... and were told they were out of hot dogs because she was closing at 5:30 and had already cleaned up the hot dog cooker. Talk about PISSED.  Bet she had plans with friends and decided to close up early. I hate crap like that. So, off to Mariano's we go. Chicago (10)On the way back to the boat we stop ped at the cafe by the marina.

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Food was good, atmosphere was fun and festive, although service was slow, it was enjoyable. The slowness did cause us to miss docktails with many people on First Forty. The ice cream looked amazing; sadly the price and size of scoops were in direct opposite proportions making for the worst ice cream value on the Loop thus far.

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Nice quiet night resting up for a long day tomorrow. Only 40 miles, but the cruise will be at no or minimal wake so very slow.

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Day 144 … Mon, Sept 11, 2017 … 42 miles, 7:30 hours

DuSable Marina, Chicago, Il to Free wall at Joliet, Il

Up early, as we are now on Central Time. Chicago (30)The sun is up earlier and so are we. First up is a 2' lock down and into the Chicago River. I will let the pics explain the views and low bridges.

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Once thru downtown, we hit the industrial area. One railroad bridge, only 10' closed clearance and we need 17', has to open for us to pass thru. Still lots of bridges and not very scenic.

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Ottawa (13)Ottawa (14)Then we hit the Aquatic Nuisance Species Dispersal Barrier,

i.e. Fish Kill Barrier to stop the Asian Carp from coming up into Chicago and the Great Lakes. Ottawa (17)More on Asian Carp when we get to them on the rivers.

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We passed a couple tows along the way. One was 3 x 3 barges wide/long. We waited for him to make a turn that would have squeezed us all. However, 3 go fast Cruisers sped by us, as we waited patiently, and busted past the tow. These were locals and not Loopers. Tow Captain was none too happy with them, as we heard on the VHF.

There was a lot of maneuvering today with all the tows. Ottawa (26)

Found out later these same 3 boats running together, Handcuffed, Still Miss Behavin and the third boat, sped past Scott Free and tried to squeeze by a barge. Scott Free says they scraped along a wall to avoid hitting the barge. Later, heard same 3 boats  sped past several of our Looper friends and waked each violently.

Joliet (15)Then, we had close to an hour wait for the Lockport lock to fill and open for us to lock down 40'. A tow went in first, then she the 3 boats who have been waking everyone raced in. They rafted two starboard front and the third was single starboard aft. Joliet (16)That left us to lock on the port side, behind the tow, and have two boats, Scott Free and Getting Looped, rafted to us. Rip held our boat to the floating bollard and we all went down.

All went well enough until the exit. The tow, commercial vessel, has priority, but no ... the 3 fast Cruisers had to run out of the lock ahead of the tow. The tow was loosening lines to go when they had to stop to tie back up and wait for the 3 boats to exit. Once the tow left the lock, we then unrafted, untied and left behind them. 

Then the 3 fast Cruisers sped past the Joliet wall, where Time Out was tied already. Jean says they were waked so bad by the same 3 boats they thought their boat was going to climb up on top of the wall with all the waves lifting them and rocking them.Ottawa (23)

Lots of LOW bridges today … reported at 16’6” and, with mast down, we are 15’8-10”.Ottawa (22)

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Made our Plan A stop at Joliet, Il ... they have a free wall with free electric! There are 7 Loopers here now (Sweet Liberty, In Deep Ship, Getting Looped, us, Time Out, Ramble On and Scott Free. Ellis Island is due shortly.

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It was nice to spend time talking with everyone here on the wall this afternoon, meeting some new friends and catching up with others we haven't seen for a while.

We raised the mast back up after dinner. Should be an early night tonight ... everyone is tired. Pretty sure that is how the river system is going to be ... what fun?

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Some have dangerous liquids aboard.

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