Locks, low bridges, and Barges

Dorothy and I did not sleep well as SEASONS was rocked and bumped all night at the Columbia Yacht Club dock. At daylight we lowered our mast and radio antennas in anticipation of the low bridges we would encounter on the Cal-Sag water way.  After a short run on Lake Michigan to the south side of Chicago we entered the canal. This is a very industrial area not seen by most land based folks. Coal, grain, sand and gravel, power plants, and many abandoned factories was the scenery for this early section.

We were a little nervous and stressed with anticipation of this stretch of the canal. Would we clear bridges or ask for an opening? We were not 100% sure of our “air draft” (height of the boat above the water). The first few bridges we requested an opening and then mo rest were good. In doing our homework we found there is one bridge on the Loop that fixed at a height of 19′ but Lake Michigan water levels are up. Would we make it? No problem we had about a foot of clearance to spare. We also encountered our first lock. Dorothy had never locked through before while I have completed 40 or so. The process was smooth. The other factor we encountered was the tow barge traffic. They have right of way and its best to always talk to them when passing.

We ended our day in Joliet, IL at the public wall with Trains and Tows running all night long. We have completed 2 days of the trip and are starting to relax a little. We even had a great pizza delivered right to the boat. 20180930_100255[1]

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