The sun came up and we were off of the dock at 0620. It was still misty out and the dew had been so heavy the boat looked as if it had just come out of a major rain storm. We had to wipe down the windows outside in order to see where we were going.
After maneuvering out of a long inner harbor we turned north and headed to the Chicago Harbor Lock entrance. On the way I called the lock master who said they were bring a boat up and would be ready to lock down in about 20 minutes. We hovered on one side of the lock until we could enter. Once again we were the only boat in the lock. This was really surprising even though it was about 0700 on a Monday morning. This lock only drops about two feet so the locking time is short. The lock had lines hanging down that we hand held on the descent.
It was great fun sauntering down the Chicago River through the heart of downtown Chicago at a slow pace. The sun was behind us and shining on the buildings. In the whole downtown area we only ran into one empty tour boat passing us port to port going in the opposite direction. In the first 10 miles we went under around 42 bridges.
After going through downtown we went through the industrial part of town for quite awhile. By now the river had quite a lot of trash floating on the surface though the water itself doesn’t look too filthy. I think much of the city drainage system empties into this river so this is not surprising.
We arrived at the Lockport Lock when it was bringing a boat up river. We had to wait around for about a half hour and then, once again were the only boat in the lock going down river. Right after the lock we went under three bridges in a row that were around 16.5’ in vertical clearance. I stopped the boat at each of these bridges and slowly floated under the span to make sure we were going to clear.
Two locks and 61 bridges later we pulled up to the free wall at Joliet. We had passed only two boats all day and those heading in the opposite direction. The wall was almost two feet higher than our deck rail and the concrete edge was all broken up. At first I was not sure how I would tie up as I did not want the lines running over that broken cement edge as they would get chafed badly. I ended up tying the stern line to the gooseneck on the lower portion of the mast between the boom and the upper portion. The bow line was tied to the solid framework of the bridge canopy. This way the lines were not touching the wall. There was free power on this wall so we had no right to complain.
Vicki had been coordinating our travel progress with our sister-in-law Bonnie and friend Darwin from the Rio, Wisconsin area. They arrived in time to meet us at the Lockport Lock and take pictures of us locking down. They then drove down river and arrived at the Joliet wall while we were docking. It was fun to show them around the boat and then to catch up on the latest in both families.
Bonnie and Darwin were able take us for a provisioning run to Walmart and then we were able to have dinner with them before they had to begin their three hour trip back home. We certainly appreciate them for spending six hours riding in a car just to see us for a similar amount of time.
While we were off on our shopping trip Sea Moss, with Clark and Evelyn aboard had parked on the wall just in front of us. We spent some time catching up and then turned in.