This is the most remote river area we have traveled through. There are a few small towns, few marinas, and little or no cell phone or internet service. The river bank has looked the same throughout this area with only one riverbank home seen in two days. The tows are becoming more frequent as we near the Mississippi River. This one is 130 ft long and has liveaboard crews that run from New Orleans to Chicago 24 hrs a day.
|Typical river banks|
|A large river tug|
Today we decided to try our first anchoring on the river. Good anchorages are inlets off the river or behind small islands as they provide protection from wind and the wakes of the tows. Since the river levels this year are very low, many of the anchorages are too shallow to get into. Our first attempt was at Grape Towhead Island just south of Beardstown; however, the boat grounded trying to get in, and I was lucky to be able to back it off. We found a better one nearby just southwest of Bar Island and it turned out to be a beautiful spot. You can see the same location on the chart plotter with our boat position identified by the GPS (quite remarkable accuracy) and a depth of 8.4 ft. The sunset was just spectacular and was the highlight of the day.
|Anchorage off Bar Island|
|Anchorage off Bar Island on the chart plotter|
|Sunset at Bar Island Anchorage|
Tonight we are tucked in at Grafton Marina which is at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Tomorrow we change rivers and head for St. Louis.