According to yesterdays forecast today was supposed to be a high chance of rain/thunder storms nearly all day but we woke up to find that there was a window until about 1100 hrs. before that was to occur. We decided to pull off the mooring as soon as we could get everything organized and so were off and running at 0720.
We met a 5×3 tow coming our direction and went to the 9’ contour on the charts putting us on the edge of the channel. As we passed the towboat it was churning the river up pretty good. For whatever reason this caused the Asian carp to go nuts around our boat. They were jumping everywhere and smacking into the sides of the boat. Eventually one landed on the side deck and then flopped its way along leaving a trail of blood until it was in the cockpit. Then it went nuts flopping all over the cockpit leaving blood on the chairs, cooler and deck. In hopes that it would soon die we let it lie but after an hour and a half it was still flopping about occasionally. I finally inserted a screwdriver into the a gill and was able to lift it up and over the side of the boat. Then I took a deck brush and using river water tried to wash/dilute the blood that was everywhere on deck while Vicki wiped down the chairs and cooler.
We were traveling along when we were passed by Harmony and Manãna. Apparently they had stayed somewhere up river from Henry’s for the night. The river opens up into Upper and Lower Peoria Lakes that are quite big though shallow except in the main channel. The wind was blowing exactly up the lake from the south so with the long fetch and 15 mph SSW winds there was about a one foot chop. In the middle of Lower Peoria Lake the thundershowers arrived. It was a deluge. Visibility was reduce to a few hundred feet at times. I looked on at the weather radar on the iPad to see that we were in for the same for the next 15-20 minutes and then it should lighten up. Not wanting to arrive at our destination when it was pouring we slowed down. By the time we arrived at the Illinois Valley Yacht Club it was raining lightly and the visibility was good again so we proceeded into the harbor mouth.
I had called the IVY Club yesterday to see if there was transient moorage available for today. It turns out that the employees there had worked through the labor day weekend so were taking Tuesday off. There wasn’t going to be anyone there. It turns out I had been talking to the bar tender and he said just take any open spot you can find. He seemed to think there would be a few open spots so on the strength of his best guess we had proceeded to make this our day’s destination.
We saw water depths going in that were barely below our keel and I knew it would be nip and tuck for Namastè. We landed at the first available slip and walked the dock to determine where we could go. The slip we had pulled into was way to short so we were sticking out into the channel. I found two open slips so moved the boat to one of them. As soon as I was docked I put boat soap on the deck and washed it thoroughly. The carp really did smell bad and the residual smell was there until the deck was scrubbed with soap.
Namastè tried to enter the harbor but touched bottom more than once. We got some information from someone with local knowledge and following those instructions he managed to scape his way into the harbor. He tried to go down the fairway to the other open slip but it wasn’t deep enough so he ended up mooring at the gas dock.
We found there were about four other Looper boats at the Yacht Club and one of the women organized a chart hour at 6:00 pm. All of these boat crews were new to us though we had seen one of the boats before in a couple of harbors. It was a nice group of people and we had a good time with the crews of Reunion, Blue Haven, Gemini and Plane To Sea.
The day was finished with a very nice pot luck dinner prepared by Vicki and JoAnn with BBQ by Jim. We ate this on the IVY Club veranda under the canopy. Unfortunately since the club was shut down there were no lights there but Jim came to the rescue with a very nice lantern for ambiance.