Sunday, July 27, 2008
7/26/08---Believe it or not we got an earlier start! If you consider 9:00 am early. Concern about the water depth prompted us, as it appeared the water level had gone down some overnight. As we pulled out of the Peoria Boat Club harbour the props stirred some mud in places. At one point the depth sounder showed 1.2 feet of water. We heard that a barge had hit the dam at the Peoria Lock that is likely causing the problem. The day was pleasant with a little wind. We traveled the length of Lake Peoria and Upper Lake Peoria, about 20 miles. We had to slow down many times during the day as there were plenty of weekend boaters. They were fishing, tubing, skiing, swimming and generally having a great time in the sunshine. In some places there were lots of folks fishing along the shoreline. At 5:30 pm we reached the Starved Rock Lock and Dam in anticipation of a new experience. We locked thru with no problem. This was our first full lock thru. They raised us up several feet before letting us out upstream. We again had to drain water from the sediment bowels a couple of times today. Looking for a place to stop for the night we made a random choice to pull into a harbour that had nice block walls leading in from the channel. It is 6:30 pm. What a stroke of good luck! As we pulled in looking for a spot to tie up, "Capt Moe" met us and provided great help and guidance. His name is actually John Mobley. He is the HHO Cruise Director and Waterway Consultant. There was plenty of room along the dock. A band called "Wake The Sheep" was playing some fine country music. We were cordially invited to join the gathering under the pavilion. Capt Moe introduced us to Marina Manager, Mike Harloff. He also introduced us to the developer, Tom Heimsoth. This was an older marina that has been taken over and will continue to be developed as a premier place to stop. The area for the boat slips has been nicely dug out for good water depth and surrounded by the block retaining wall. The 50 slips are already full, but plans are to build up to about 400. This fine place is called "Heritage Harbour Ottawa". It's known as the HHO Marina. When you are traveling by water, be sure to stop here for a warm welcome. The overnight charge is $1.50 per foot but accomodations are very good. Yes they have showers. Gasoline is avalable but no diesel yet. Should be available next year. This will certainly become a magnificent place as they build the hotel and about 800 private residences. This fine spot is located at mile marker 242.5.