August 31, 2015 – Monday – Chicago to Joliet – 42.3 statute miles traveled

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.

Chicago sun through the mist.

Chicago sunrise through the mist.      

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.

Approaching the Chicago Harbor Lock

Approaching the Chicago Harbor Lock

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.

Leaving the Chicago Harbor Lock westbound and into the city.

Leaving the Chicago Harbor Lock westbound and into the city.

Lake Shore Bridge crossing the Chicago River

Lake Shore Bridge crossing the Chicago River

Chicago River through downtown Chicago

Chicago River through downtown Chicago

One more bridge over the Chicago River.  One of 40+ in the first 10 miles.

One more bridge over the Chicago River. One of 40+ in the first 10 miles.

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.

Downtown.

Downtown – Recognize the name?

Will the radar at 15' 10" clear the bridge?

Will the radar at 15′ 10″ clear the bridge?

Leaving downtown Chicago

Leaving downtown Chicago

Approaching the Lockport Lock

Approaching the Lockport Lock

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.

Tying to the Lockport Lock wall.

Tying to the Lockport Lock wall.

Going down at the Lockport Lock

Going down at the Lockport Lock

Leaving the Lockport Lock

Leaving the Lockport Lock

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “August 31, 2015 – Monday – Chicago to Joliet – 42.3 statute miles traveled

  1. Maura O'Neill

    Fascinating pictures and accounts of managing the locks. Brings back those memories of the Midi canal, but instead of vineyards you have a magnificent skyline to see. Thanks for sharing this adventure.
    Much love, Maura and Michael

    Like

  2. Don

    As a future looper I follow many blogs – for quite some time now. These are the best Chicago photos I have seen to date.

    Like

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