Day 10 – I yam what I yam

Miles cruised 40, fuel purchased $0, dockage fee $0

The morning started out overcast at Hoppies Marina on the Mississippi River. The temperature has dropped 10*f since yesterday. We had our first rain in 10 days last night. The boat received a much needed wash. We washed her some more this morning before we shoved off. It was a bit rolly last night due to all the barge traffic passing by. The docks are open to the river so there is no protection. The fender outside our porthole squeaked all night.

We have a washer/drier onboard. We did a load of laundry on the boat while we still had access to water to fill our tanks. The next three nights we will be “on the hook” which means we will not be attached to a marina dock with water and electricity. Don’t worry gentle readers, we have a generator to run all of our creature comforts such as heating and air conditioning, satellite TV, microwave and convection oven and hot water heater.

We spent the morning visiting the village of Kimmswick. We discovered that 39 of the 44 structures in Kimmswick are arts and crafts shops plus one restaurant. We had lunch at the Blue Owl before returning to our boat. The Blue Owl was started by a pastry chef who sold her wares at flea markets. One year she received orders for 30,000 Christmas cookies and decided to expand her business out of her home kitchen. She said she worked 21 hours a day for three weeks to bake all the cookies and fulfill the orders. When we returned to Hoppies we met a couple who had done the Loop in 1995 and were retracing their steps by car. They talked about having to use paper charts for navigation. Imagine that.

We travelled down-bound on the Mississippi with a 5 mph current. Once again we burned almost no fuel on the this 40 mile leg. We are spending the night tied to the outside of the lock wall on the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam. The Kaskaskia is a small river that connects to Fayetteville, Il which is 35 miles up river. Only one barge per day passes through this lock. The cost for overnight dockage is free. The other highlight of the area is Chester, Il which is where Popeye was born and is home to the Popeye fan club. There are two other Loopers here – Nuclear Fishin owned by a nuclear scientist and Sea Bear owned by a couple from Marshfield, Ma. Eventually we will turn onto the Ohio River and be fighting the current as we go up bound to the Cumberland River.

Today’s prose contribution from Carl (Chef) Wooden.

hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…

Tomorrow we will travel 69 miles to the Little Diversion channel at mile marker 48. We will spend the night at anchor. Once again no marinas on this section of the Mississippi River.

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Banner at the entrance to the Kimmswick market


The Blue Owl is not to be missed for breakfast and lunch


The amenities are few at Hoppies Marina


Here we are at the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam – the red triangle.





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