Friday, May 4, 2012
Holly Is Getting Used to the Boating Life
The previous week on the hook was very pleasant for us. We're finishing up some last minute things and seeing some friends one last time before we depart. We've officially signed up on the "Looper Locator" on the AGLCA website. I think if you type in Swing Set, you can see where we are when I update it. I'm still figuring out how it works. In the photo above, we are at anchor (on the hook) above Island 525 between the Illinois River and the Mississippi River. There are four "chutes" between the two rivers right above their confluence and the last one actually is two that run together before it joins the Mississippi. The Island between the 3rd and 4th chute is named Island 525. The 3rd chute is named Mason Chute because it is adjacent to Mason Island, so named on most charts. The Mississippi side of Island 525 is deep and a good place to anchor, but pay attention to the depths. Charts show a dike across it about midway, but it's deep in the middle. Way in the background of this photo is the pretty town of Grafton, IL.
We spent two nights anchored here and it was very nice and we had good cell service, a condition that we have begun to consider when choosing an anchorage. In the picture, Holly is taking a break from some industrious work on her nylon bone. We also spent some time teaching her how to maneuver the flybridge stairs and introduced her to the Mississippi; the dog paddle is alive and well on Swing Set.
About mid-day we motored up to Enterprise Island and took the dinghy over to a nice beach and spent the late afternoon with several friends that typically show up for a Thursday beach party, always a fun time.
Before heading to the beach, Holly and Rosie posed with their matching swim wear. By late afternoon, Holly was a regular jumping bean, quite at home dashing about the cockpit. Once we open the transom door, the life jacket will come on, as she more than once almost went into the drink at the end of a Lou Brock slide toward the swim platform. We wouldn't be too worried about her getting wet, but the current is still swift and too cold for a manned rescue, me being the "manned" part.
I'm writing this blog while in the slip at the Duck Club, for not too many more times. My dad is coming up for a visit today and we're heading to Kinder's Restaurant. If you are coming through this area, it's a place not to be missed. The docks are a bit tricky, (put out lots of fenders), but the food is "down home" good and is easy on the wallet, something us new pensioners will get used to appreciating.
We're having a little bon voyage party with friends this weekend, a bittersweet time for sure, but we're getting lots of well wishes and "boy are we envious" comments that make us feel like we are doing the right thing, although we don't have many misgivings. Maybe a couple.
Everyone wants to know when we are heading out. Well, Tuesday is my birthday; do you think a good birthday present would be cruising by the St. Louis arch for perhaps the last time, with a glimpse of our condo (we can see the building from the river) for maybe the last time too? I've been hesitant to tell anyone when we were officially departing and there are two reasons why: The first reason is that we don't want a big to do over it and don't want friends showing up for a big weepy goodbye. The second reason is that if we wanted a big to do over it, maybe no one would show up. :)
The next post should be after we've left Pool 26. Some of the best people we will ever know boat up here. If you're passing through, stop and meet some of the nice folks around here.