We left Spring Brook Marina after the lockmaster at Marseilles told us to wait there an extra day.
It was a special day.
Sam had been saying for weeks since we learned about the lock closures, that all he wanted for his birthday was to get through the troublesome locks.
We had already been through Lockport and had two more to go – Marseilles and Starved Rock.
Was it even possible?
A Very Long Day
When we did approach the Marseilles lock, we were prepared to wait.
The lockmaster wanted us there so he could put as many pleasure boats through as possible.
Four of the boats rafted together attached to a “dolphin” post.
Four more boats including us decided to anchor.
We were able to shut off the engines and wait for about an hour until the lockmaster gave us the green light to enter the lock.
Once we entered the Marseilles lock, we all get positioned.
There were a total of ten boats in the lock.
They could have easily fit more.
On Down the Road
As we worked our way down the river to the Starved Rock Lock, we continued seeing a lot of large barges along the way.
There were also quite a few bridges.
Starved Rock Lock
More waiting at Starved Rock Lock but once we entered we were greeted with a little vandalism evangelism from a looper.
We don’t know Fishy Business but thanks for the smile, Steve.
It was in this lock that tragedy struck.
We lost our bow thruster.
To say there was debris in the lock is an understatement.
There were logs and brush and all kinds of mysterious gunk.
It was one of those logs that decided that we didn’t need a bow thruster anymore.
It was a long, taxing day full of frustrations requiring patience that we just didn’t have.
This is NOT a great way to spend your birthday but we pushed through.
Spring Valley Marina
We have never been so excited to get to a marina after such a long day.
The owner of the marina went out of his way to make room for us.
He even helped us tie up at the fuel dock.
We didn’t expect to have power at this location but were pleasantly surprised to find out that there was indeed power!
You know how excited I was about that!
Time to Celebrate!
Spring Valley Marina has a restaurant and bar so we were able to finally celebrate Sam’s birthday.
And lucky for us, there were other loopers there that wanted to help us celebrate!
The thing about celebrating looper birthdays is that gifts are given but not purchased.
You look around your boat and find something that you either don’t want or that you can live without, wrap it up and boom, that’s your gift.
It’s very much like a white elephant gift or how Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation gives gifts.
Very creative and fun!
It was a fantastic end to a challenging day.