Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alton. IL

 We only had 16 miles today to Alton so I had time to finish the oil change I started yesterday.  Today I changed 4 oil filters, luckily the engines had cooled so with a fan I survived the 2 hour job.  We departed at 11:30AM on a beautiful day with a light north wind.  This was our first time on the Mississippi River. Much wider and more scenic than the Illinois.

As we approached Alton Debbie perked up, a casino she said.  The marina was within walking distance of the marina.
 The marina is behind the breakwater on the left.  You can see the blue roof on the covered slips. We were told that during the June flood the river overtopped the breakwater and pushed drift into the marina, a real mess.  Great conditions today.  
Island Hopper was too tall for a covered slip so they placed us on an end spot.  This would be our home for 4 nights as the Mississippi River below St Louis was high due to flooding in Missouri.   
I had scheduled a crew change here.  Debbie and Bryce the terrier were heading home and my son in law Tom Lang was taking on duties as a deckhand.  Because of the delay here, my daughter Aynsley and her two children decided to come, Ella and newborn Evan.
Ella age 4 1/2 enjoys self portraits with Popi's camera and hat.
 Popi is enjoying a few minutes with Evan (EJ) 2 1/2 months on our "patio".
 We used the dinghy and new electric outboard for harbor cruises.  Ella especially enjoyed a ride with her Daddy.
 Late one evening this raft arrived.  We talked to the paddler the next morning.  She is paddling from the beginning of the Mississippi to the Gulf coast.  No motor just oars. She gave up on ice, too.  She left the next day for points south.  She paddles about 40 miles a day and sleeps on the river banks.  Not my idea or Debbie's! as a good time. She was a river guide on a river in Georgia for a number of years so she knows those aspects of her challenge.  

Tommy and Ella are getting ready to unload the girl's luggage as they are leaving to head back to Cincy.

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