7/13-14/08---Time has a way of quietly slipping by. It has been rather uneventful on the Dream Manor. I (Allen) don't wear a watch much anymore and generally am not very aware of time or date. A few days have apparently passed since the last blog entry. Some time is spent watching the "May Flies". Isn't this July? The pesky things cover the boats and are just a mess to clean up.
We finally decided to burn some diesel and made a trip to Polestar. Getting tied up against one of the Wahool Marine boats in the fleet proved to be a challenge in the wind. But Keith manuvered the boat like a pro and put it in place for the crew to secure lines. Wahoo had some customers who wanted to view the boat. After showing the boat, Scott Bachman (Wahoo Marine) rode up river with us to the Winfield lock. There was a barge in line to pass through the lock and we had a 2 1/2 hour wait. This provided an opportunity to practice with the windless. That is the device which lowers and raises the anchor. This was the first time we had operated the unit. It is powered with a 12 volt motor and worked quite well. The plow anchor dug in securely and held the boat with no problem. The horn blew at the lock and it was our time to enter. It was just a lessen in procedure as this was our first time in a lock. The lock crew was patient and very helpful in throwing lines to us for practice. We thanked them and headed back down river. The day had slipped away and we got another lesson. What I am telling you is that it got dark! We were sure glad to have Scott with us to help get us back to Polestar. The radar and GPS worked well, but lack of experience and trust creates a sensation of doubt and concern. Upon arrival we tied up against the dock there and spent the night.
The next day was full of sunshine and we decided to make a run up the Illinois River to Hardin before going back downstream to Alton. Enroute we noticed fish jumping out of the water. Carol patiently waited with her camera held in position to capture a shot of one in the air. Learning the name of the fish is "Asian Carp", it became clear the food is being developed in advance of a possible invasion. HaHa. Upon arrival it was quickly noticed the walkway from the dock was under water from flood damage. We sure wanted to have lunch at Mel's River dock Restaurant. With some commotion we hailed a local fisherman with a small boat who gave us a ride to firm land. He said he was going fishing and would be back later. The local favorite is Mel's well known brisket. After a large brisket sandwich and a fine piece of pie it was time to return to the houseboat. What a stroke of good luck! The same fisherman was in sight and came to give us a ride back to the boat. With full stomachs we were content to have a leisurely ride back to our base dock in the Alton Marina. We put 10.7 hours on the engines in these two days.
On a driving trip it became so clear that we have been here most of the growing season. This corn was only a small seedling back in April. Keith was excited as it brought back memories of youth when we were rasied on a farm in Wyoming.