Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little River Diversion Channel, Mississippi River Mile 49

The Muddy Mississippi
 After a chart briefing at Hoppie's Marina we learned the next stop was an anchorage at Cape Giradeau up Little River which is a diversion channel for storm water around Cape G. It is 110 miles downriver but with the current we depart at 7AM and arrive at 3PM just idling the engines.  So,  don't anchor there if rains are predicted or suffer the consequences.  Again our luck was with us, no rain, clear and cool, so no A/C needed.

An Illinois high security prison, don't pick up swimmers we are told. 

 Note the rock walls that were constructed into the river perpendicular to the flow, called wing dams.  Don't try to pass over them.  We stayed on the "sailing line" to avoid these.  if the water was up a foot or so you would not see them but look out.  The purpose is to speed the flow of the water to keep the silt from dropping out and shoaling up the channel.

Watching out for towboats keeps us on our toes.  We have not seen nor will we see any pleasure craft on the 212 miles of the Mississippi.   
 Oh Oh, two tows coming up river in a bend.  I call them on the radio and they say to stay on the one whistle which means port to port passing. They thank me for the call. 
 Then the larger one starts passing the small one reducing the available channel.  I call them again, "Should I hold back here, I ask" "No Captain keep her coming and thread the needle" I am told.  So between them I pass.  Huge rollers come off their sterns as they push their loads up river against the current.
Little River Diversion Channel
The Mississippi in the background
We turn up the Little River Channel and find a calm anchorage though deep at 18 feet due to the high water on the Mississippi. No current in here though.  We use the dinghy to set a stern anchor as the wind is blowing us around in the narrow river. We enjoy grilling out and watching a James Bond DVD.  The wine isn't bad either.   

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