Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity



An easy ride and a short break from the rivers (10/6/17)

Three rivers down, two more to go.  And after we leave Green Turtle Bay and Grand Rivers, KY, we get a nice break on the Kentucky Lake. Continue reading “An easy ride and a short break from the rivers (10/6/17)”

Oh How slow It is On this river (OHIO) (10/4/17-10/5/17)

The Ohio river has one thing going for it. It is easy to spell. The rest you can keep. Other than Paducah. We like Paducah. Continue reading “Oh How slow It is On this river (OHIO) (10/4/17-10/5/17)”

Mighty Mississipp’ Days 2-4 (10/1/17-10/2/17)

Three days in which we chew up over 150 miles heading down the Mississippi and effectively bring our time on the big river to an end. Continue reading “Mighty Mississipp’ Days 2-4 (10/1/17-10/2/17)”

Meet us in St. Louis! (9/24/17-9/30/17)

Start: Grafton Marina, Grafton, IL, 0902
End: Alton Marin, Alton, IL, 1102
Total Distance: 13.7 nm
Time: 2:30
Average Speed: 5.9 kts
Number of locks: 0
Rental Car miles: 335

We left Grafton, glad to escape the Chaos. It is hot. And will be hot for the next four days. Our plan is to get to Alton Marina, just 13 short miles down the river, and sit by the pool. Alton has a deal for loopers–buy three nights get three free so we are going to take advantage of ALL of those days. Continue reading “Meet us in St. Louis! (9/24/17-9/30/17)”

Mighty Mississip’ Day 1 (9/30/17)

Start: Alton Marin, Alton, IL, 0640
End: Hoppies Marina, Kimmswick, MO, 1240
Total Distance: 37.2 nm
Time: 5:59
Average Speed: 6.2 kts! OVER SIX KNOTS!!! Including two locks!
Number of locks: 2

Our six days in Alton/St. Louis has come to an end with the alarm going off at 0545 this morning. When it went off, I was already out walking Lucky having gotten up at 5am. Apparently I was NOT as quiet as I thought I was when I left the cabin and I woke Jan. She thought it was time to get up so she got out of bed, did her morning routine and then looked at the time and (I quote her here) ‘had a cow.’ Glad I wasn’t there when she found out it wasn’t yet 6 am. Good news for me–when Lucky and I got back to the boat, there was coffee waiting for us! Continue reading “Mighty Mississip’ Day 1 (9/30/17)”

We finish the Big Muddy and wash up in Grafton (three day recap) (9/21/17-9/23/17)


One river done. 327.4 miles in 11 days. Average of just about 30 miles/day. Anchored out or sat at a wall for 6 of 10 nights. And were out of internet coverage for two days AND WHY IS THERE SOMEPLACE IN AMERICA THAT DOESN’T YET HAVE CELLULAR DATA COVERAGE?!?!? Seven Locks. One thousand flying carp. Average temp for first 5 days was 75 degrees and for last 5 days was 95 degrees. We did over 250 miles without refueling (and had 15 gallons left over). And we end up in Grafton, IL. Oh good Lord. Grafton. Continue reading “We finish the Big Muddy and wash up in Grafton (three day recap) (9/21/17-9/23/17)”

Jeezus it is hot and the river is open (for us)(9/19/17-9/20/18)

Bottom Line:

  • Two days on the muddy river of Illinois. We have had rain, fog, ungodly heat and humidity. Tugs and bugs. And a lock. River is closed to commercial traffic, open to pleasure craft (PCs)
  • It is unbelievably hot
  • We seem to be getting a bit better at this
  • The river is wicked low. We have run aground. Twice. On purpose.
  • I’ve grouped two days into one because I have been failing miserably to keep up; it is

Continue reading “Jeezus it is hot and the river is open (for us)(9/19/17-9/20/18)”

Flying Carp, we pass a barge and the river closes (9/18/17)

Start: Heritage Harbor Marina, Ottawa, IL , 0653
End: Anchorage vic. South Henry Island, mm 193, 14:49
Total Distance: 43.4 nm
Time: 7:56
Average Speed: 5.5 kts
Number of locks: 1

On Sunday morning, we decided to stay one more day (until Tuesday) because there were thunderstorms forecasted on Monday morning. But by Sunday night, the forecast had changed and so early Monday morning, we pushed off and headed downriver from Heritage Harbor. Continue reading “Flying Carp, we pass a barge and the river closes (9/18/17)”

A very long, very short day (9/15/17-9/17/17)

Start: Unnamed Island, Mile 258.6. 1101
End: Heritage Harbor Marina, Ottawa, IL 1934
Total Distance: 14.7 nm
Time: 8:33
Average Speed: 4.3 kts1
Number of locks: 1. Very. Long. Lock.

Today was a short day. 13 miles, more or less, from our anchorage to the marina in which we are going to spend the evening. Three hours, max. Tops! This will be easy! We will be in Heritage Marina in Ottawa, IL by noon! Except there is a lock between the anchorage and the marina. The Marseilles lock. We should have known that there was going to be an issue: Marseilles is french for congestion 2. Continue reading “A very long, very short day (9/15/17-9/17/17)”

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