The Admiral’s cousin has jumped on board, welcome Mary Alice.
The crew managed to cruise in three states this past week: Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. This also marked the first time for Still Waters II to cruise waters in Indiana. The crew left Green Turtle Bay on Tuesday and met a very interesting couple from Norway who are doing a completely different kind of Loop. On Thursday the crew made way to the small town of Golconda. Then Friday the crew made a dock -n- dine stop for lunch at E-Town River Restaurant before dropping the anchor at Wabash Island. Saturday, the crew made a long slow crawl against the current to end the week in Evansville, Indiana.
Click on the Still Waters II Travel Map to see detailed Voyage Logs and additional pictures of each days route.
The native Indians had many names for the Ohio River, the Seneca Indians called it the ohi yo h , meaning “good river.” When the French explorers arrived, they called it the la belle riviere. People now call it the Big Beautiful River. However, back in 1937 the river was big, but it was not beautiful. 1937 was the year of historic flooding that still claims the record books from the headwaters at Pittsburgh to the mouth at Cairo.
It all started with 12 days of historic rain fall in January that saturated the Ohio River Valley. As the runoff started the river began to rise. In Paducah, the river crested on February 2 just over 60 feet above normal. Paducah sits up on a high 49 foot bluff overlooking the river. This meant that the town was now under 11 feet of water. To prevent a reoccurrence of the disaster, Paducah built a flood wall to protect themselves from the Beautiful River.
The Flood Wall stands 12 feet above street level in Paducah. Along the wall the history of Paducah has been captured with murals. Just a few:
There was a large sailboat, India, on the dock when the crew arrived at Paducah. The crew met the owners later in the day and were intrigued by the story the Norwegians had to tell. They left their native land about a year ago and have been cruising their sailboat on a grand adventure. They have crossed the Atlantic three times so far, with one more crossing in their future to return home.
They are hoping to cruise into the Great Lakes, then out the St Lawrence River to Greenland, hop back over to Iceland, and eventually return home to Norway. The crew wish Dirk and Ingrid fair seas as they complete their journey.
The following is an e-mail sent from the crew of India, about their journey up the inland rivers starting in Mobile.
After we have arrived here, the customs are finished and we, for the time being here tied up at
the outer pier, we start to settle in. Everyone is nice, wants to help and is interested.
Telecommunications have been a little tricky, but at the moment we can call inside the US and
take calls from Europe. The data consumption via the mobile phone hotspot was enormous and
used up after 5 days. But a very nice person (call me Spencer) gave us his mobile hotspot,
unlimited, as long as we were here. He also invited us to the local yacht club and we can use an
old car from him every now and then. We can only enter the harbor with our boat at high tide. So
now everything has to be planned good. We expect 2 days around the crane. We can lie here
for a month for US $ 650.
A motorboat left the harbor on our route the day before yesterday and is the spotter for us.
Here there are in the moment some strong thunderstorms but also beautiful sunny days. Our
plan today, May 10th taking the masts down falls victim to announced thunderstorms. Hopefully
it works tomorrow.
I dropped my tablet here on the 3rd day. Big damage, but now I have a small laptop that needs
to be set up properly. Let’s see how I (with strong support from the skipper) can do it. Not
everything goes like clockwork. Yesterday, Sunday we were in Mobile, Downtown with historic houses … and looked a bit through the suburbs. There are apparently really rich and poor districts, but the area in between
Yesterday, May 11th the masts came down. Except for long periods of thunderstorms,
everything went as planned. Requirements for the masts on the boat are still being completed
today. Then the masts come back on the boat, this time lying down. Before that we have to
dismantle the spreaders and the electronics and pack everything together. We will definitely start this week.
05/13/2021 We are back on the outer pier. Supplies have been replenished, once again a tour to Walmart. A few days ago we also bought new herbs there. Only the Norwegian parsley survived. The rosemary had made it to Cuba, the rest ended up in the Caribic before. We have that ok for and from a new fellow sailor. She’ll join us in about a week. American, currently living in Germany. On the 14th we filled up with the tanks and tomorrow morning, right after sunrise, we will start. Bye Mobile, Turner Marina and… .. Tonight again live music from the River shack across the street. Say goodbye all around and try to sleep. We received a lot of support here, morally and also with direct help.
Saturday May 15th 06 in the morning casting off from the jetty. A last morning greeting from our new neighbor, born German, now American and arrived
on our route from St. Louis a few days ago with the mast down, and off we go.
Again on the seaside past Mobile, almost right through the harbor and first on the Mobile River. Then Tombigbee River with an overnight stay on the so-called Bates Lake. Rather narrower than the Tombigbee but with a lot of huts and cabins. People live here, at least on weekends. Otherwise it often looks deserted on the river. Despite 2 to a maximum of 3 knot countercurrent, we made very good
progress. Today very little business trip, good weather and after the initial stress has subsided, a nice route.
On May 16th our first American lock. No problem. Big, floating bollards, and we are all alone in. Spend the night on the most expensive floating jetty of all time. Bobby’s Fish camp. Shaky jetty, no shower, toilet … but $ 80. There you lie happier on the anchor.
May 17th turned out to be an expected long day. A distance of approx. 90 country miles without
stopping for the last 40 miles. Then our second lock and at dusk anchored in the upper water. The day started at 5:45 am and ended with anchoring at 8:30 pm. In between a lot of trees, water and an oncoming slipcase. You can feel alone. The phone / internet coverage is also quite pitted. But the weather has been good so far and we’re making progress. The next morning it goes a few more miles to the Marina Demopolis. After short negotiations we are here, a little off the beaten track but with a courtesy car, for 35 US dollars until our new crew member arrives. The city seems small but nice. The marina is large and fully equipped. Heather is scheduled to land in New Orleans on the evening of the 22nd and will probably come
here by bus. The cousin as a supplier is still being processed – but does not look promising.
As always, we think of you
Dirk & Ingrid
One of the joys of Looping is meeting some very interesting people. And speaking of interesting……..
The crew decided to stop for lunch 2 hours after leaving Golconda on Friday. There is a little floating restaurant on the water that is famous for their fried catfish, so of course, the crew had to stop. When they docked, there was an older gentleman unloading his morning catch. One of the guys helping unload the fish came over and grabbed the crews lines and helped secure Still Waters II. The Admiral went over to give the young man a tip. Once his co-worker saw what was going on, he said, “Hey, I told him to go help you,” as he held out his hand.
The crew went inside and placed their order for some fresh Ohio River catfish. While waiting on their food, the skipper spotted who he thought might be the owner, and struck up a conversation. Turns out, Joe was a civil engineer by training.
He turned in his pocket calculator a year ago and bought the restaurant. He has 8 commercial fisherman who supply his catfish. The skipper asked how much catfish he buys a week, and was met with a humorous answer.
Joe said, “Every pound I can buy.”
Joe has dreams to buy a paddle wheeler boat and use the boat as the structure to house the restaurant.
As Joe was leaving, The Admiral noticed a woman mowing on a zero turn radius mower. She commented how much she misses mowing. A short time later, the lady mowing came in the restaurant and spent a few minutes talking to the fellow in the corner, who turned out to be the Mayor. Then she came over to our crew’s table and introduced herself as Staci, the other half of the ownership team. The Admiral and Staci hit it off immediately with their common interest in mowing.
Again, very interesting people:
living their dream,
Speaking of dreams, how about the pioneers who set off down the Ohio River chasing their dreams. One such dreamer was Sarah Lusk. Her and her husband put the town of Golconda on the map. The town was started as a ferry crossing to move pioneers across the Ohio River. The ferry crossing was initially named after the creek which took the name of the man who started the ferry, Lusk’s Crossing. The man died early in the endeavor, but the wife carried on in true pioneer fashion. The ferry crossing began to carry her name as Sarahsville. After she remarried the ferry crossing became known as her new husbands last name. Finally in 1817, the town took its final name, Golconda, after the fort in India.
Perhaps you have heard of Fort Golconda, India. The region is very famous, famous for very large diamonds. Perhaps you have heard of America’s most famous diamond, the Hope Diamond. Yes, it was found near Golconda, India.
Another strange finding in Golconda was this plaque and memorial on the courthouse grounds next to their Veterans Memorial. Who would have known that someone associated with ending WWII would have come from this little town of 631 citizens.
On Saturday, as the crew made the horseshoe bend at Evansville they spotted a large grey US Naval vessel, the LST 325 moored along the riverfront. The crew decided to hike the 2 miles from the marina on June 6, to go tour the vessel. Because it was the anniversary of the D-Day invasion, they had reenactors and actual WWII veterans aboard. They were performing 21 gun salutes on the hour followed by Taps. A wonderful way for the crew to remember the sacrifices made so that they can enjoy the freedoms we have today.
When the crew arrived at the ticket window, the Admiral asked what LST stood for. The guy working the counter said it depends on who you asked. The government claims it stands for Landing Ship, Tanks. But he went on to say that the guys who took her over to the Omaha Beach on D-Day called her Long Slow Target.
Seventy-seven years ago on her first run to Omaha Beach she carried 59 vehicles, 30 Officers, and 396 enlisted men. She carried 38 casualties back to England on her return journey. To complete the liberation of Europe, she made over 40 runs across the English Channel delivering additional men and equipment.
She was eventually sold to Greece, who decommissioned her in 1999. A group of veterans decided to buy her, refit her, and bring her back across the Atlantic Ocean to make a working museum of her and honor the WWII shipbuilding industry in Evansville. The LST 325 is the last working LST of the 1,051 that were built. In the fall each year her crew of volunteers take her up and down the inland rivers to visit “foreign” ports.
To see additional pictures of the LST 325, click on the link to the travel map
The crew will continue upbound on the Ohio River and try to make Louisville, Kentucky for the weekend.