#61 Kaskaskia, Illinois to Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

October 31, 2019

It was much too cold to have a big docktails event with the nine other mostly Looper boats tied to the Kaskaskia Lock wall.

So we didn’t have a chance to visit with the others to see where they were heading next.

I was afraid there were more boats than places to stay.

We wanted to get an early start to go the 43 miles to get to Little Diversion to anchor.

But around 7 a.m. we started hearing engines.

Uh oh.

The race is on!

As we were getting ready to go, we found out that most of the boats here were going to be moving farther ahead then we were.

That was good news.

But we still got ready and then got out of there.


From far away all the structures going across the river look like bridges.

When we get closer, we see cars or trains go across.

But this one.

Turned out to be a pipeline.


Down the Mississippi

As we continued down the Mississippi River, we continued to see spectacular fall colors.

But also had the chance to see these bluffs decorated for fall.

How beautiful.

And of course, there were tow boats pushing those barges.

And naturally, more bridges.

I was a bit obsessed with this one.

So incredible.

I don’t understand the way this flood range is marked.

Does it mean when it gets up to 30, there’s only 30 feet left to go until the bridge where the cars are is flooded?

Does it mean there is 30 feet of clearance under the bridge?

I’ve seen a few markings like this on the Mississippi and I just don’t get it.

Write in the comments below if you know.

I would love to understand this.

I was a little obsessed with this bridge.


Maybe a more than a little.

Little Diversion

We passed the town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and started getting ready to duck into the channel.

When we arrived, there was one boat already anchored near the railroad bridge.

Whisky Business, Saltaire, and us decided to raft up together.

Whisky Business was going to set their anchor.

We flipped around and set our anchor and then backed up and rafted to the Business.

Our boat acted as a stern anchor for the center boat.

Then, Saltaire rafted up on the other side of Whisky Business.

So, there we were, three boats rafted together in the middle of the channel.

This was our peaceful view once we were set.

That evening, we invited the other two boats over for happy hour and a movie.

We watched Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.

Action packed!

We had a great night’s sleep and felt well-rested when we woke up.

And Then It Rained…

We woke up to the sound of rain.

I love that sound.

But I told Sam I was not willing to move the boat today.

Thankfully, there was no mutiny on our boat because everyone else had decided the same thing.

So, we anchored a second night at Little Diversion.

It was about mid morning when I walked through the salon and looked right.

Instead of seeing the row of trees along the bank of the river, I saw the railroad bridge.

Not good.

The rain increased and the current accelerated.

As the river rose, our anchor released itself from the bottom of the channel.

And then our boats swung around.

In the pouring rain, we pulled up our anchor and then tried and tried and tried to get back to our original set up.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

The current was too much.

Trees and debris swiftly floated down the channel.

Using our boats as target practice.

Sam slept very little that night, going outside to check the ever-changing conditions every hour.

I slept great.

We just had to get through the night.

Our Thoughts

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  1. More excitement and more skills learned to put in your bag of tricks! The markings on the bridge piers indicate the vertical,clearance from the water to the lowest steel of the bridge.

    “Clearance gauges may be installed that indicate vertical clearance. The gauges are located on the right channel pier or pier protective structure facing approaching vessels.” the full reference is contained here along with some other navigation know how: https://www.boats.com/how-to/navigation-know-how/

    • Thank you!

  2. the markings on the bridge indicate the air draft between the bottom of the bridge and the water

    • Thank you. I guess if you couldn’t see the 30 marker, it’s not safe to go.


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