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  • Writer's pictureBecky Wagaman

Learning the Ropes

The past two days have been both exhausting and exciting all at the same time. What we thought would be a few short hours of boating between cities has turned into two very looooooong and very hot days days!

Yesterday we experienced our first locks - The Thomas O'Brien Lock first which was a piece of cake and gave us a completely false impression of what locks would be like (because it was the lowest elevation change and entirely too simple), then the Lockport Lock second (which was a complete nightmare and made me start to rethink some of our life decisions - I will post separately about this), and then three more since. What we didn't realize is how much time is spent waiting at the locks. Barge and commercial traffic have the right of way, even if they arrive after you, so then recreational vessels like us get the joy of waiting (for hours at times), for the barges to lock down and then for the northbound traffic to lock up, then allowing us to enter southbound. This morning we saw a boat go by at 730am while we were still tied up at the dock and they were unable to go through the locks until 12pm with us and several other boats! They just had to sit and wait that long. Yesterday we traveled 50 miles and it took us 12 hours. Today we traveled 35 miles and it took us 9 hours. We've seen some neat sights along the way though!

Right at the start of the river yesterday, we heard a few other Loopers on the radio coming up behind us that sounded way more versed than us in radio etiquette and we ended up traveling with and learning from them the past two days (M/V Redemption). Last night we had dinner with them once we all got to our marina for the evening and we learned that they are from Allegan, Mi - 35 min from our hometown!! Small world!

Today we got to anchor out and swim while we waited for the locks to open up, which was so refreshing seeing how it was 95 for most of the day!! Now our AC is having trouble staying on again so it has been a challenging day. But this new area we are in now looks beautiful and we are excited to explore a new park tomorrow and this week after work!

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