Hitting the ground running....

Trip Start Oct 17, 2009
Trip End Nov 15, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Well, actually it was while we were anchoring but long story short, on day 3, yes, we grounded the boat on a mud bank while seeking an anchorage behind an island. It took nearly an hour and the help of two of our anchors, our engine, and some very kind people in their speed boat to haul ourselves into deeper water. Very exciting indeed. We'd currently placing the blame entirely upon our depth sounder which we discovered was improperly calibrated...(ahem).

Like many good stories, there came a Part Two which took place today (2 days later). While using our anchors to help leverage ourselves out, we managed to sink our big daddy CQR anchor super deep in the clayed mud. Since we planned to stay at this anchorage another day we figured why haul it out now when we know it's not going anywhere. So this morning as we planned to push off towards Peoria, Tom hopped into the dinghy to ride out and haul the sucker up . It wouldn't budge. The tricky thing here was that we really needed to use some mechanical advantage from the rigging on our boat but at the same time couldn't risk bringing the boat any closer towards the shallows. In the 50 degree day (and water not much warmer), Tom reluctantly donned a wet suit and hopped in. It was nearly noon when he finally managed to pry it loose.

The story continues....

We opted not to leave today since we were so behind schedule. In order to get an early start tomorrow morning we decided to motor up the river a mile to the Starved Rock Marina to replenish our dwindling supply of diesel and water and then return to our anchorage (this time knowing exactly where it shallows). We tossed the first anchor and with it a trip line (used to help retrieve the anchor). You see, we did learn a thing or two from the previous debacle. But with the strong winds and strange current the anchor line disappeared under the boat. Tom yells, "where's the anchor?" a moment before we hear a thump and the engine cuts out. Turns out the trip line got wound around the prop. For the second time today, Tom dons his wetsuit. Fortunately, it was a relatively simple (albeit cold) matter to disengage the line from the prop. A quick check and yes the engine and prop are still functioning and we are good to go....undoubtedly more stories to come...
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