Friday, October 8, 2010


Oct. 7, 8, 2010--- Have we only been home two days? Already missing the boat. Comparing the Ohio River to the Tennessee River is an easy judgement call. The Tennessee is far more pleasant to travel and there are many more marinas to handle pleasure craft. They are also better equipped to handle repairs. There are lots of miles on the Ohio where there are no travel lifts to take a boat out of the water for prop changes and other service that may become necessary. There are some cities along the Ohio with river front walls where boats can dock overnight. We really enjoyed stopping at the small towns to walk the historical streets. Upper end of the Ohio from Marietta to Pittsburgh is more open to pleasure craft (last 172 miles). Not many of the marinas on the Ohio have 50 amp electrical service. Sometimes we had to function with a single 30 amp connection. No matter what, we sure enjoyed the experience!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Oct. 5, 2010---Finished loading the rented mini-van. Loaded it was! Just barely had enough room to bring our wives along. Picture on right is the skyline of Memphis, Tennessee. Made a brief stop on Mud Island to check on a property that Keith and Maryann own.

Turned west on I-12 in time to see the sunset. Just 107 miles to go. Makes one think there is light at the end of the tunnel! At Baton Rouge we merged on to I-10 and contined on to Lafayette and then home at Youngsville, Louisiana.

Unloading the mini-van keith is saying "who does this stuff belong to?" It was a good travel day. It took 11 1/2 hours of very steady driving to cover the 665 miles. Keith did the driving to minimize the number of stops. It was a relief to get out of the vehicle at the end of the endurance trip. It won't be long though before we miss being on the Dream Manor.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Oct. 4, 2010---Said goodbye to Carl and Ricki Guthrie as they are on their way to do the "Great Loop". They are wonderful people and the 4 Mcgees certainly have enjoyed becoming friends with them. They will make many more friends as they travel for about a year. Sure wish them the best. Felt a little jealous as we watched them leave Green Turtle Bay. On the right side there is a link for Questontheloop. Follow their blog from here or save it in your favorites and keep track of them on the big adventure as we will be doing.

Busy day packing. Things seen in these pictures is only part of what we plan to load in the rental mini-van and haul to Louisiana.

It will be a challenge to make it all fit.

The Dream Manor will sigh in relief and float higher out of the water!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Oct, 3, 2010---Spent the day sorting through items stored on the boat. There are a number of items (boxes) that will be taken home. Still learning just what is really necessary. The ladies think since this was our third season, they should carry a lot of the clothes home and start with a new batch in the spring! Speaking of three seasons, figured some readers might be interested in the cum numbers. Following information is the cumulation of data since April 2008. Total engine hours 911. That amount of time covered 6913 miles in 543 days. Total fuel used is 6267 gallons. Average fuel consumption 6.88 gph or 1.10 mpg. Average speed 7.59 as compared to 6.74 this season. That season was .85 mph slower and mpg increased to 1.18 compared to the 1.10. Overall the year by year numbers are very similar. One other piece of information--we have now anchored a total of 33 times and done 2 soft landings.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Oct. 2, 2010---From normal pool elevation of 302' below Smithland lock to normal pool above Emsworth lock of 710' at Pittsburgh, there is a change of 408'. That is the sum of the elevation change made possible by the 18 locks in that part of the Ohio River over a distance of 923 miles.
Total distance traveled on inland waterways this season was 2486 miles. Diesel fuel consumed by the twin 315 hp Yanmars was 2103 gallons. Total engine hours was 311.8 making average fuel usage 6.74 gallons per hour or 1.18 miles per gallon. Time spent warming up the engines the first start of the day, time waiting at locks and docking time reduces the average speed. Spent 164 days on the boat. Anchored out 7 times and made 2 soft landings. Went thru a total of 50 locks. Not easy to compare fuel consumption going up the Ohio as to coming back down. Going up river at 1800 rpm the speed was about 8.5 mph comsuming 5.9 gph. Down river at 1800 rpm the speed was about 10 mph with fuel consumption still 5.9 gph. This late in the season there was not as much helpful current as one might expect. There was conversation about so little rain the locks were considering going to a 2 hour schedule to reduce the number of times the lock would operate letting water go downstream. In other words water is being held back to maintain each of the pool levels. Overall the fuel consumption coming down was nearly as much as going up. Dodging debris going up and operating at lesser rpm's. Coming down the water was much cleaner and we pushed harder to get back. At 2300 rpm coming down river the speed was 11.5 mph consuming 10.5 gph. It has been a great boating season! May not have seen all the sights, but we sure saw a lot of them. The 4 McGees really had a good time. Would liked to have extended the boating season but we have some land obligations that need to be done. Meetings to attend and familiy to see.

Sunrise at Green Turtle Bay.

Commonwealth Yacht Club at the marina is a fine place to eat.

There are decorations all around the grounds.

Fall is definitely in the air as temperature tonight is expected to only be 42 degrees.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Oct. 1, 2010---Sunrise caused a glow on the stairs leading up to the bridge that crosses over Lusk Creek. Made way down the Ohio to Smithland Lock at mile 918.5 with a 22' lift down. This is our last lock on the Ohio. There are 18 locks to this point and 2 more downstream before the Ohio reaches the Mississippi River. We came up through those locks in 2008 so we have now been through all 20 locks on the Ohio.

At mile 923.8 turned to port into the Cumberland River. There was a tow pushed against the point and we had to pass around behind the tug to get started up the Cumberland.

Several places along the bank tree roots are very much exposed. Many of those trees will probably be washed loose during high water next spring.

There are several rock operations along the banks of the river. Passed several barges loaded with course rock.

This barge is being loaded by use of a dump truck.

Traveled 30.6 miles up the Cumberland to the Barkley Lock. This lock raised 57 feet to the level of the lake above the dam. Lake Barkley is a wonderful lake that extends 118 miles. Just past the lock is the turn to port into Green Turtle Bay Marina. Trip today covered 54.7 miles in 6.6 hours.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sept. 30, 2010---Beautiful sunrise and calm water. Turned out to be a fine anchorage six miles up river from Old Shawnee Town, IL. First order of business was to sweep and wash May Flies off the boats. May flies! Isn't this the last day of September?

After separating the boats Carl Guthrie finished washing the top of his.

Quest is looking good!

Traveled 50 miles today in 5.4 hours. Turned starboard into the Golconda Marina at mile 902.5 and tied up on their B dock. The Quest arrived about an hour later and tied up behind Dream Manor. Looking from the dock, stairs can be seen that access the bridge over Lusk Creek. That is the walking route into the small town of Golconda.

Ricki and Maryann walked to town looking for a bit of history. Found a sign that said Sarah founded the Town of Golconda orignially called Sarahville. She established the first ferry across the Ohio at this location.

These figures honor the various armed forces.

Lewis and Clark were in this area the fall of 1803.

One of the many old structures in the town.

The ladies indicated there were a few stores, but hardly any were open.

This old saloon was probably a hot spot in its time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Sept. 29, 2010---Backed out from the fuel dock at Inland Marina at 6:30 a.m. Departed early as the two boats that had tied up behind us last night needed fuel. Did not want to hold up their progress down the river.

Athilean is the name on the cruiser facing this way. Trawler facing away is the Quest.

Evansville, Indiana in the morning light.

Sunrise causing a reflection from the water and windows on Dream Manor makes it appear as though a person can see through the boat. Just a mirror image!

Two tugs appearing in the fog. Neither one pushing any barges.

At times the fog was rather thick, but still able to see okay.

This picture taken looking toward the sunny side of the boat made the fog appear even worse. It was certainly much better when it all lifted about 8:30 a.m.

Approaching the mouth of Wabash River. Lots of sand piled along the shore on the Indiana side.

Mouth of the Wabash River. Center of the river is the border between Indiana and Illinois. At times the Wabash flows with great velocity. Lots of sand is deposited as the flow meets the Ohio River. Many dead trees are stuck in the sand.

Continued down the Ohio to mile 852. Made a total of 61 miles today in 6.5 hours. Selected an area outside the green bouys that was suitable for anchorage. Set the hook in eight feet of water at 1:15 p.m. Quest arrived at 5:00 p.m. and tied off to the Dream Manor so we could enjoy eating with Carl and Ricki Guthrie. Had a great evening together.

Looking on a map you would find we are anchored 6 miles up river from Old Shawntee Town, Illinois.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Sept. 27, 2010---Windy day, Dream Manor was shoved hard against the dock with a tight fit between two boats. We felt like a day of rest anyway after the long haul yesterday. Spent some time in the engine room doing a little clean up and maintenance on the primary fuel filter for the port engine. Keith fixed a large batch of popcorn and we spent a lot of time watching movies. Then of course Monday night football has priority over any other activities. It was a good game between Green Bay & Chicago. However Green Bay beat themselves with penalties.

Sept. 28, 2010---Traveled a great distance of 35 miles today in 3.5 hours. Tied up at the Inland Marina fuel dock in Evansville, Indiana at mile 792. (This means we are now 792 miles from Pittsburgh). Took on 426 gallons of diesel. Dream Manor was a little thirsty! First order of business after that was to call Casino Aztec and have the courtesy van come pick us up and haul us to the casino. Lunch at the buffet you know! Spent all we wanted to at the slot machines and returned to the boat. Will continue down river in the morning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sept. 26, 2010---Looked like fish scales in the sky as we raised anchor at West Point, Kentucky.

Got an early start as we planned to make some miles today.

Sun was shining brightly on this spot creating neat colors.

Since there were no signs to indicate crossing the time zone from Eastern to Central. I am sure it took place in line with the tree that has the straight, bare trunk! That is mile 681.3 on the Ohio River. Time line actually follows the river for the next 8 miles. Fully across the line at mile 689.3.

Someone has quite a view from this house perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the river.

Definitly had a big travel day. Covered 127 river miles from West Point, Kentucky to Owensboro, Kentucky at mile 757. Started to feel like an endurance contest. Also had one lock, "Cannelton" at 720.7 miles. Let down 26'. Total 11.6 engine hours. Good thing there was an extra hour of daylight as a result of the time change. Also got more practice docking in the wind.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sept. 25, 2010---Changed oil & filters on the main engines. Enjoyed a fine breakfast at River Edge marina. With no wind it was easy to back out from the end of the fuel dock where we were bow forward and parallel to the boat ramp. Bob Conrad and his wife put out a lot of effort for boaters to have a good experience at their marina (502-552-7829)

Someone launched a boat while we were there.

Cruising was very pleasant today. Sunshine and calm water. Went past Louisville to the McAlpine lock at 606.8 mile mark. Went into the small chamber as a tow was entering the long chamber. Since there was half as much water to let out of the short chamber to lower 35' we got out just ahead of the tow. Continued down the Ohio to mile 630 and set anchor across the river from West Point, Kentucky. West Point is located just outside the border of Fort Knox Military Reservation. Town of Fort Knox is located ten miles south of here. Traveled 5.2 hours today and covered 45.4 miles. Not bad for a mid morning starting time.

What a sunset! Red sky at night, sailors delight.

This is the way it should be when anchored for the night.

Friday, September 24, 2010


There is an old saying "Red Sky in the morning, sailors take warning." Must be something to that, as contending with the wind today made yesterday seem like just a breeze. One of the readers commented that we got to learn to drive in the wind. Sure got nine hours of practice today.

Markland lock at mile 531.5 had the small chamber out of service doing repair work. Had to wait one hour for a tow to be brought up. Lock master wanted us close to cut in behind the tug to get in the lock quickly. Trying to save time. The strong wind was enough of a problem and then getting into the churning water behind the tug made it plenty difficult to transition into the lock chamber. After getting secure we still had to wait on two smaller boats coming down the river. Went down 35' to the next river level.

Glad to let the two smaller boats rush ahead.

Passed Turtle Creek Harbor marina at mile 529 where we had enjoyed a few days stay going up river.

Passed by Vevay, Indiana at mile 537.5 where the town name is painted on tall pilings.

Had planned to stay at Madison, IN. When we arrived the docking area was quite full. Attempted to dock, they quickly waved us off as all spaces were reserved. Managed to back away in the strong wind without getting into trouble. Found out later the annual Madison Chataqua Festival of Art was taking place this weekend. Must be a major event as we met about 20 boats that appeared to be headed that way. Most boats we have seen traveling on the river for quite some time.

Water was rough all day.

Arrived at Rivers Edge Marina at mile 584.6 and tied off on the end of the fuel dock. Near the community called Charlestown, IN.
Having traveled 78.6 miles in 9 hours we were ready to shut down.