Copyright © 2015
From Captain Tom
I have always had a ton of respect for the Mississippi River, but it has grown after cruising it to Cairo and the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Mighty Mississippi is MIGHTY! After you pass St. Louis, the river takes on a new personality and she can get angry real quick! There were times when it felt like we were in a washing machine. Keep in mind, the boat weighs about 30,000 lbs. and at times, she tosses you around like a toy. I was happy to get off the Miss and onto the Ohio, where there was no debris and less barges.
The Ohio River was about 50 miles and we then got on the Cumberland River and traveled to our current destination of Grand Rivers KY. On the way along the Cumberland, we approached an aggregate quarry that was loading boulders into barges. Came around a bend to find a barge anchored in the middle of the river in front of said quarry. Giant trucks were dumping and rolling these boulders in to empty barges on shore when I was summoned by the Tow Captain. "Ya Bella, ya got room on my two whistle to fit by?" It was about a 30 foot wide opening and we are 14 foot wide... "Sure Cap, we can make that work" as we passed, the boulders are close and making a hell of a racket tumbling into the empty barge a few feet away. Needless to say I "puckerd up" and after passing called the Captain on the radio and thanked him. "Ya'll have a nice day from the Samuel Jackson" was his reply in a thick southern drawl... I needed to use the bathroom.
With the help of the current on the Miss, we were getting the following mileage-
At 800 rpm, 9.5 mph and burning 5 gallons of diesel per hour.
At 1270 rpm, 12.7 - 13 mph, 9 gallons per hour.
At 2400 rpm, 32 mph, 35 gallon per hour. It's going to be a slow trip!!!
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.