This is the log of Samana coming up to Minnesota from Florida in the summer of 2004. The log is in chronological order from oldest to newest, with the oldest at the top.

 

Captains Log

Thursday, June 10, 2004

We arrived in Florida early Monday morning. After three intense days of preparation we left the dock on Wednesday, June 9 and anchored off a swim beach. We are pulling up anchor Thursday, June 10, 2004, for the crossing of the Gulf of Mexico.

The next message you will receive is when we are crossing Mobil Bay, Mobil, Alabama.

All is well! We are still excited!

The crew of Samana

 

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The crossing of the Gulf of Mexico is completed. We arrived off Mobil Point, slipped behind Fort Morgan and anchored in Navy Cove for the evening at approximately 2100 hours. We were underway for 62 hours.

I was unable to communicate with cell phone from the swim beach since the signal strength was very weak. The plan was to notify everyone of the actual time of departure.

The crossing had its interesting moments.

The first problem was a complete failure of the 12 volt charging system caused by a bus bar corrosion problem in the engine compartment. A hot fix with a jumper wire gave us back charging current from the alternator. The voltage came back up and works well now. This is a temporary fix for now.

The new primary filter cartridge filled with debris from the bottom of the diesel tank which had not been used much in the last 18 months. This caused an engine stoppage which took approximately 3 hours to remove the filter, clean the filter bowl, replace the primary filter with a new one and then bleed the fuel system. This leaves us with 11 new filters since I laid on a supply of one dozen filters just for this sort of problem. The rest of the crew had their anxious moments during the maintenance time.

The winds became calm during each day and came up a little at night during the crossing. The winds shifted towards the southwest and then became westerly resulting in more fuel consumption than expected. This adds an additional fuel stop today at Winters Marina, Mobile River, Mile 8.0 RDB, which the crew will “really” appreciate since there will be showers all around.

We weighed anchor approximately 0530 hours Sunday, June 13, 2004 and are now motoring up Mobile Bay towards Mobil, Alabama.

This message is expected to be sent via cell phone as we pass the city of Mobil.

Art Howard

Monday, June 14

Winters Marina was the stop for the afternoon with fuel and water replenished. There were showers. How nice to get the salt from the Gulf of Mexico washed off! Winters Marina is on the Bayou Sara off the main Mobil River. We called the railroad bridge for an opening and then you go up several miles. Winters Marina is primitive and very rustic looking.

Later we anchored at mile 9.8 of the Mobile River in the Big Bayou Canot just of the main channel. The captain ate some bad chicken and became ill with food poisoning! 

P.S.  Jean’s comments:  Art is understating the primitiveness of Winter’s Marina.  This is really off the main channel in the bayou area and definitely a “cultural” experience.  Gail’s kids refused to shower there. 
Our down time for engine “maintenance” gave us the opportunity to see an alligator while Art has his head in the engine compartment.
Gail was initially concerned about food preparation and what type of meals to make.  I think she was convinced that Art will eat anything after I gave him the left over chicken for lunch and he thought it tasted good.  After Art got sick, we checked out the chicken and it looked pretty slimy.  And to think he wanted the rest saved for later!

Tuesday, June 15

There were some anxious moments today with two unexpected engine shutdowns. After waiting for some time, the engine would restart. I believe the stoppages were caused by salt water calcium deposits breaking loose in the cooling system, causing a momentary exhaust blockage. The diesel seemed to work fine after it was restarted. First it would belch black smoke, then white smoke, and then everything would return to normal. The engine shutdowns caused a high level of anxiety amongst the crew!

We accomplished our first lock, Coffeeville Lock and Dam, on the Tombigbee River at river mile 116.7. Our next stop was Bobby’s Fish Camp, another primitive and rustic area. There are no showers, stores, or food. This was a required stop since the crew for the Gulf of Mexico crossing had dropped their car here. There were good byes all around, some tears, and they were off, Gail, William, and Cadence traveling north by car to return home with memories to last a life time.

Wednesday, June 16

Fuel and water were replenished at Bobby’s Fish Camp this morning and we were underway again, just the two of us, Jean and myself. The boat seems quit now without Gail and her two kids.

It was a long day of many twists and turns on the Tombigbee River. We had two more engine shutdowns. The humidity was very high with the temperatures in the 90’s F. We anchored at mile 159.6 for the night.

 

Thursday, June 17

Another long day of twists and turns on the Tombigbee River and we are still not very far from the Gulf of Mexico and the high humidity and hot days. The engine sputtered a few times but no more stoppages. We anchored at mile 206.4 for the evening.

Friday, June 18

What a day! The Demopolis Lock and Dam at river mile 213.2 did a number on the bow pulpit of Samana when we missed getting a line on the floating bollard. Bummer! The welds were weak on the bow pulpit and replacement was low on the outfitting list. The damage to the bow pulpit now puts replacement near the top of the list.

We entered the Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway at mile 217 for another long day on the river system. We anchored at mile 266 off the main channel just below the Gainesville Lock.

P.S. – Jean’s comment:  I was standing at the bow when Art couldn’t get the boat stopped in time to get the line on the bollard (or “pig”).  He was still in the learning process of how this boat handles.  I’m yelling “backup – backup!!” as the boat glides forward hitting the front wall and crumpling the bow pulpit.  There was a bit of excitement until the boat was stabilized against the lock wall.

Saturday, June 19

An early morning departure, locking through the Gainesville Lock, and then many more twists and turns on the Tenn-Tom today. The Howell Heflin Lock and Dam was another experience of a major problem. A line to the floating bollard was dropped and promptly went around the prop shaft causing a complete engine stoppage. The dingy was put into service to complete securing to the lock wall. After we left the lock I donned mask, snorkel, and fines for repeated dives to clear the prop and shaft. It sure would have been nice to have had a tank of air and a regulator. I kept surfacing to get air and then would return to the work at hand. Later, we locked through the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam at river mile 306.8 and anchored for the night just below John C. Stennis Lock and Dam at river mile 334 just off the main cannel behind a green can. We attempted to anchor in the old river channel from the main navigation channel and promptly grounded. We backed off the shallows and moved down the right descending bank just behind a green can and anchored for the night.

Sunday, June 20

Today was a very slow day. We got stuck behind two barges and had to wait at each of the locks. The locks today were John C. Stennis Lock and Dam at river mile 334.7, Aberdeen Lock and Dam at mile 357.5, Amory Lock at mile 371.1, Glover Wilkins Lock at mile 376.3, and Fulton Lock at mile 391.0. We arrived at the Midway Marina, Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 394.0, and docked for the night. Showers were great. This is a very good marina for an overnight stay. We refilled the diesel.

P.S. Jean’s comment:  Another exciting lock through!  Of course, when the line wrapped around the prop, there was no controlling the boat until the dinghy and its little 2.5 h.p. motor was secured to the side of the boat and used to hold the boat against the lock wall.  This is major excitement number 2 involving locking.  I hate locking!

 

 

Monday, June 21

Another early morning start after putting on water and removing the trash from the boat. We locked through the John Rankin Lock at mile 398.4, the B. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Lock at mile 406.7, and the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam river mile 411.9 This completed the series of locks on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. We entered Pickwick Lake in the afternoon and encountered many pleasure boaters, water skiers, and fishing boats. This is a large recreational area with the Goat Island Recreation Area and Marina and Aqua Yacht Harbor providing many opportunities for    water recreation. We arrived at the Tennessee River mile 215.0 in the late afternoon after traveling 450.7 miles on the Tennessee – Tombigbee river system.

Then another adventure that cruisers would like to not experience happened! We entered the Pickwick Landing just as a major thunder storm was approaching. A gust of wind started to blow as we completed tying off to the lock wall bollard and a line let loose. We moved forward and tied off again, this time staying on the bollard. Then the rain started and it came down in buckets as we were lowered 55 feet. Next the lock master came on the radio and said he would keep the lock doors closed because of the strong thunder storm. The next sight was not pretty at all. You could see a wind line coming down the lock wall and we were at the bottom of the lock! I put full power on the engine and hoped the spring line would hold on the bollard. The bow started to swing out and I gave Samana full left rudder and continued to hold full engine power. Gradually the bow swung back toward the lock wall where I continued to hold for what seemed an eternity before the wind let up and the rain continued to fall in a torrential down pour. A few minutes later the lock doors opened, we released from the wall, and motored out past a barge tied to the lower lock wall where he was waiting for us to lock rough.

We anchored at Tennessee River mile 192.1 behind Wolf Island off the main channel. The decks were cleaned of all the moss that blew off the lock wall. I popped pop corn and sat on the deck in the evening watching the fire flies in the trees, reflecting on the day and how nice it was to be in a quiet anchorage with the river current hold the boat steady. We had out 110 foot of anchor rode, since the depth off the main channel was 30 foot.

P.S. – Jean’s comment:  The Pickwick Lock was our last lock before Kentucky Lake.  Since we were going to be lowered rather than raised to another elevation, I was assured there would be no turbulence.  Then the storm hit while we were in the lock.  The wind force was tremendous!  It had all the earmarks of the “Perfect Storm”.  Stress level was high!  I still hate locks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It is 8:20 AM and we are still anchored. Breakfast of French toast, bacon, apple juice, and coffee has been eaten. I am completing this e-mail before we start down the Tennessee River towards Kentucky Lake Dam Marina. We should arrive at our next fuel stop on Thursday, June 24.

Above sent as e-mail at 1628 hours, June 23

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The journey continues. Today was uneventful which was just wonderful. No breakdown, no locks, just a nice day going down the Tennessee River towards Kentucky Dam Marina. We anchored in the afternoon in the same spot that Sail La Vie was anchored in September of 1994. I recalled memories of building a fire ring on the beach with my daughter Kristy who is now in the US Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. We went looking for the old fire ring but the pool stage was much higher so if it was still there it was underwater. I did notice that there is much more garbage from the human presence than there was ten years ago. Also, there were up to five boats in the anchorage as compared to none almost ten years ago. We were offered a cold beer from another anchored sailboat. I took the offer and we spent some time talking about sailing on Kentucky Lake. They were very nice people enjoying a day sail, evening anchorage while cooking, and then they departed for their slip and a local small marina just up the bay from the protected small bay where we were both anchored.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

We slept in today, had breakfast, and then pulled anchor to resume motoring down the Tennessee River. Before noon the breeze picked up nicely so we stopped the diesel, raised the sails and sailed the rest of day, arriving at the breakwater off Kentucky Dam Marina about 1800 hours. The sails were taken down, the boat secured, and then we called the Marina for directions to the slippage. The diesel was started and we motored into Kentucky Dam Marina. After setting and securing dock lines we went to the office to pay for slip fees and get directions to an eating place. After a nice shower we went out to eat.

We had a wonderful supper ashore at the Catfish Kitchen just a few short road miles from the Marina. It was nice getting a meal ashore, no dishes to wash, and they even had ice cream! What a treat!

Thus ends the Captains log of the journey of Samana from Tarpon Springs, Florida to Kentucky Dam Marina, Gilbertsville, Kentucky. The journey resumes in August after a summer class for my Masters Degree, working the airshow at the annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and attending another class at Ashland, Wisconsin.

Friday and Saturday were spent prepping the boat for the six week storage. Perishable food was removed, some supplies and maintenance items I need for the summer, and securing the dingy on deck while I am gone from the boat.

My daughter, Kristy, came to visit for Friday evening and helped on Saturday. She and Jean raised me to the top of the mast so I could determine why the mast light and anchor lights were not working. Two bad bulbs, back down the mast, off to NAPA for two bulbs, back up the mast again on the bosons chair, and now the mast light and anchor lights are bright again.

Jean and I started the 12 hour drive back to Minnesota about 1500 hours after saying good bye to Kristy. She returned to the Fort Campbell Army base. After a long grueling drive we arrived in Rochester about 3 AM Sunday, June 27, 2004 for some much needed sleep!

I am looking forward to returning to Samana in August to complete the journey to Lake Pepin. Then I start the long process of upgrading and fixing systems to prepare for heading back down river for ocean cruising in two years starting in the fall of 2006. Anyway, that is the future plan for now. Keep tuned for when the Captains log starts again!

 

 


August 5, 2004

The Captain’s log continues for the adventures of moving Samana, my Challenger 35 Ketch from Kentucky Lake in Kentucky on the Tennessee River to Lake Pepin.  The summer activities are complete with attendance at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, the airshow at Oshkosh, and another class at Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin. Bob Gielow is the crew for the next week. We drove down to Kentucky Lake in my car and Jean drove the car back to Lake City. As always, the maintenance issues keep coming back. We arrived at Samana on Thursday evening and the following day preparations began.

August 6, 2004

Supplies were loaded after some maintenance items were completed. Then we attempted to start the engine and found that the starter would not turn over the engine. After a through check of the electrical system and finding several problems which were fixed we had to remove the starter.

August 7, 2004

After a complete disassembly we discovered that the shaft was rusty and the starter would not engage the engine fly wheel gear. We thoroughly cleaned the parts, sanded the shaft, greased the shaft and spine, and greased the bearings before reassembly. Then the big test, would it work? The glow plugs were turned on and warmed up, the key was turned to the start position, and the engine turned over. It started and we were underway! It only took two days from the arrival to get going.

My daughter, Kristy, joined us on Saturday, August 7, and in the late afternoon we put on fuel and departed the dock at Kentucky Dam Marina. After a short sail we locked through and anchored on the Tennessee River below the lock a few miles.

August 8, 2004

Sunday and a nice motor down to Paducah, Kentucky at mile zero of the Tennessee River, we anchored and went ashore with all of Kristy’s stuff which was dropped at Kristy’s car. We had dropped her car on Saturday near the water front so it would be available for her to drive back to Fort Campbell. We took a walk around the downtown area which we found was not open on Sunday. Kristy took Bob and me in her car to a Texas Road House restaurant for dinner. After hugs all around, Kristy left to return to Fort Campbell and Bob and I returned to Samana to continue down the Ohio River. We arrived at the Mississippi River close to sun down and anchored just above the bridge into Cairo, Illinois at mile 1.5. Bob, being a good cook, cooked supper!

August 9, 2004

We raised anchor about 6 AM and started up the Mississippi River traveling about 3.5 miles per hour with some bends and turns at about 2.5 miles per hour. This is the slowest part of the river with the most current and boiling water. We have seen three tows, one fishing boat, and one pleasure boat during the journey to Cape Girardeau, Missouri where we anchored at mile 50.5 on the Illinois side of the river. Fishermen that were camped on a sand bar sent one of their boats over to greet us an invited us to supper. We decided to relax first and then we may go over. The cell phone works here so I have decided to send an e-mail. The current is very strong where we have anchored behind the buoy line so we may just stay put for the night.

Above sent as e-mail on 2004-08-09

August 10, 2004

We raised anchor at 0610 hours and resumed going up the Upper Mississippi River in the strong current. We had speeds as low as 2.3 miles per hour in the turbulent current. There was not much river traffic today, just one commercial fisherman and a few barges. We anchored at UMR mile 106.2 southeast of Chester, IL for the night.

August 11, 2004

Anchor was up by 0545 hours and we were underway for a long day on the river. We have seen two tow boats and two eagles today. There was lots of turbulent water and slow going up stream. We arrived at Hoppie's Marine Service about 1845 hours and put on 78.2 gallons of diesel plus filled the water tank. Overnight dockage was arranged and then Bob and I walked up to a restaurant where we had supper. The restaurant was a very old building in the historic town of Kimmswick, MO. The food was excellent and the portions were very large. We took half of our meal back to the boat for another meal tomorrow, Wednesday.

August 12, 2004

We were underway at 0520 hours from the dock at Hoppie’s Marine Service. Today was an event filled day! We passed many busy docks in St. Louis, barges being put together or taken apart, tugs crossing the river, barge maintenance facilities, and tow dry docks. Then the unexpected happened as we were leaving St. Louis. A call was received on the radio addressing Samana and when I looked around there was a US Coast Guard boat. We were boarded at UMR mile 181 by two young men and while the third piloted their boat. After asking if we had any weapons aboard they went about their inspection. While they were on board we asked about the Chain of Rocks Canal and lock and were told that they was a jam up of barge traffic because of a lock that had some parts that needed maintenance. The pilot of the boat called ahead to the lock master. Samana passed the boarding with no violations and US Coast Guard left and returned down river.

When we got to the Chain of Rocks Canal it was full of barge traffic. What a big log jam! We called to the Chain of Rocks Lock and Dam 27 and were told to come up to the lock for lockage. We had almost no wait and were through the lock and then working our way around the backed up barge traffic as we motored through the rest of the canal towards the upper entrance. Out next lock was the Melvin Price Lock and Dam 26 with floating bollards. We locked through with no problems. Later in the afternoon we tried to get into Piasa Harbor at Godfrey, Illinois but found the water to shallow. We returned down river to the Alton Marina in Alton, Illinois, for overnight dockage and a crew change. Fred and Kay Klingerman joined the crew list on Thursday evening.

August 13, 2004

Bob Gielow left about 0700 hours just after breakfast to return to Lake City. I spent time with an oil and filter change along with other minor maintenance. After topping of the fuel supply we left the Alton Marina about 1240 hours. Around 1330 hours I noticed a noise from the front of the engine. We did not shut down but kept going. The noise continued for the rest of the day. We anchored for the night at mile 238.2 around 1910 hours which is about three miles below Lock and Dam 25 near Winfield, Missouri.

August 14, 2004

The engine was started about 0610 hours and the anchor was raised about 0615 hours. The front of the engine still has a bearing noise but no leaks. We went through Lock and Dam 25, Lock and Dam 24 and Lock and Dam 22. We anchored at mile 303.4 on the LDB (Left Descending Bank) at 2024 hours, a short distance below Hannibal, Missouri for the night. We have seen many pleasure boaters during the day. It was Saturday and we are now above the wild part of the river. The turbulent waters ended after getting above the first two locks above St. Louis.

The above sent as e-mail on August 15, 2004

 

August 16, 2004

We raised anchor at 0617 hours and were underway again. There is still the noise coming from the alternator side of the engine. The lake portion we are on is about 45 miles long, much bigger than Lake Pepin. The wind was from behind so I unrolled the jib about 1325 hours and reduced power on the engine. We were motor sailing until 1400 hours when the channel narrowed and our direction on the river channel changed. The jib was furled and we continued under diesel power. A check of the alternator confirmed a total failure. The battery bank was changed from both to bank 1 and the DC refrigeration was turned off to conserve battery power. The anchor was dropped at mile 444.5 and all secured for the night.

It was either on the 15 or 16th of august that we seen a low flying Air-coup airplane just skimming the water as he came up behind us on the starboard side. About a half-hour later he came back down river just above the water again on the port side. On this section of the river we observed several flights of geese going south. It seems early to see flights of geese going south along the Mississippi River fly-way.

August 17, 2004

At 0603 hours the engine was started on battery bank 2 and then switched back to battery bank 1. The reason for the switch back to bank 1 is to conserver bank 2 for starting the diesel since the alternator is no longer working. Bank 1 seemed to have plenty of power so the DC refrigeration was started again. At 0810 hours we anchored at mile 455.4 across the river from the Muscatine Municipal Boat Harbor. The harbor depth was less than four feet. The alternator was removed from the engine and I took the dinghy ashore at the boat harbor where I talked to two people on a docked house boat. They directed me to an alternator repair shop that was only two blocks away. I walked a short distance and talked to the shop proprietor at D. C. Hetzler Automotive Auto Electrical and Air Conditioning Service and Supply. I explained the noise coming from the alternator and was told that the repair would be completed the following day.

Today Jean Harris came to the boat for a crew change. Luggage was shuttled back and forth across the river from where Samana was anchored. The car was used to pick up supplies and obtain some hardware for the alternator. When I removed the alternator from the engine I discovered that it was incorrectly installed. A bushing was missing and there were no lock washers on the mounting bolt or tightening bolt. I had now discovered why the alternator belt was constantly causing us so much trouble. The alternator would not stay secure so the belt was always becoming loose as the mounting hardware became loose.

More luggages were shuttled to my 93 Ford Escort since Kay and Fred Klingerman were leaving as crew to return to Minnesota and drop my car off in Lake City. We spent the evening relaxing and preparing for the following day.

August 18, 2004

We took the dinghy ashore to get the alternator. Mr. Hetzler informed me that he replaced both bearings and that the brushes and windings were OK. There was a lot of corrosion inside the alternator. I was informed the alternator is not a marine alternator and should be replaced. This does not surprise me since I have an old boat and someone did not have the correct maintenance performed. This will be another item to correct once Samana gets to Lake Pepin. The alternator was installed on the engine. After the engine was started we found the alternator working again. With DC Refrigeration started again and both battery banks charging it was time to get underway again. The anchor was raised at 1435 hours and Samana was underway again north bound.

A stop was made at 1640 hours at Fairport Landing Marina, mile 463.0, for 68.5 gallons of diesel. We were underway again at 1700 hours. We anchored early at 1900 hours, mile 475.0, since there was a big thunderstorm coming up behind us. We were just south of the Quad Cities area where Davenport and Bettendorf are on the Iowa side of the river and Rock Island and Moline are on the Illinois side of the river. Two anchors were set, one of the bow and another off the stern to hold the boat steady for the expected wind increase from the thunderstorm. There was lots of lightening and thunder but the expected wind never happened.

August 19, 2004

With the anchor raised at 0705 hours we continued to Lock and Dam 15 where we discovered that the lock closed for replacement of a lock door. The lock-master informed us that closure could be up to up to twelve hours for the repairs. We dropped anchor on the Right Descending Bank behind the President Casino boat near downtown Davenport, IA, at mile 482.8 of the Upper Mississippi River. The sun came out and it is warming up. It is relaxing hanging on the hook and enjoying the day.

The above sent as e-mail on Thursday, August 19, 2004 in the AM.

August 19, 2004

This is a continuation from the time we anchored near downtown Davenport, IA at mile 482.8 behind the President Casino boat while waiting for the lock door replacement.

The Lockmaster for Lock and Dam 15 called us about 1620 hours and informed us that the lock would be opening in about an hour. We started the engine and pulled anchor to get ready for the lock. The maintenance crew informed he Lockmaster by that they still had to grease the door mechanism so we waited just a little longer and then locked through. We traveled a couple of hours before the daylight faded away. We set the anchor at mile 496.6 LDB (Left Descending Bank) across from LeClaire, IA and shut the engine down at 2015 hours.

August 20, 2004

This day started very early when I started the engine at 0557 hours. The time is getting short to get back to Lake City so I have extended the hours to maximum daylight time for running on the river. After a long day we dropped anchor at mile 575.2 just below Dubuque, IA. We made 78 miles plus opening the Clinton Rail Road Bridge, locking through Lock and Dam 13, opening the Sabula Railroad Swing Bridge, and locking through Lock and Dam 12. We had a good day traveling up river.

The engine inspection revealed the alternator was loose again. I inspected the alternator mounting bolt and it appears to be an incorrect bolt as the threads do not match the mounting bracket. I retightened the mounting and adjusting hardware and hope it will hold.


August 21, 2004

I started the engine at 0515 hours for another long day. About 0745 I discovered the alternator was loose again. We dropped anchor about 0850 hours at mile 594.8 LDB (Left Descending Bank) and I worked on the alternator again. Then the radio came alive with a call to the Challenger 35 from Raphael (spelling). I answered and looked up the river to see a ketch coming down river! I talked to Mike on the radio and he offered to stop if we needed help. I said the alternator just kept causing problems and we would be underway again after retightening the mounting hardware. We watched as they passed us and continued down river. We anchored within about 20 miles of each other the previous evening. If we had known we were so close together, we both could have pushed just a little longer and anchored together!

We continued up river and anchored at mile 647.5 on the LDB (Left Descending Bank) just below Lock and Dam Number 9 about 1945 hours. They were locking a tow through and would complete the lockage after darkness. Two anchors were set to keep Samana from swinging around the anchor road. The wind from the south pushed the boat up stream against the current keeping anchor line loose with the potential for fouling the anchor line around the keel. I found the alternator loose again and retightened the bolts, this putting safety wire around the head of the mounting bolt hoping that the wire would keep the bolt from working loose.

This was the worst day of the entire trip from Florida. It being Saturday, the weekend boaters were out in force. Many of them kept going up and down river between the locks shouting and waving at us while waving their beer cans in the air. A house boat with more than two dozen peopled pulled out from the shore and into the channel directly in front of us and then slowed down while weaving back and forth. I blew the warning horn several times at them. Finally someone left the upper deck quickly and went down below. After the houseboat stopped weaving I passed them to the right without fear of them hitting us. It was easy to tell that most of the people aboard were having a good time and were ignorant of the dangers involved with poor seamanship on the river. I wondered aloud if they even had enough life jackets on board for everyone.

August 22, 2004

With the engine started about 0525 hours we were underway by 0545 hours after pulling up two anchors. It is always a challenge to pull the stern anchor when the current is working the boat to the side and putting a good strain on the line. Sunday found a much improved day over Saturday as there were fewer weekenders in party mode. We anchored at mile 729.8 just above Lock and Dam Number 5A above Winona, Minnesota about 2010 hours. Samana is now in the river system between Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is with sadness that I now realize the journey is about over. We should reach Lake Pepin tomorrow, Monday.


August 23, 2004

After checking the engine and finding the alternator OK I started engine about 0700 hours. We slept in today since it looks like we will make Lake Pepin and Lake City today. The anchor was up about 0730 hours and Samana was underway again.

We entered Lake Pepin about 1445 hours and set sails with a partial jib, full mizzen and one reef in the main. I shut the engine down about 1515 hours after setting the sails and insuring ourselves that the sail set was good. There were white caps on the lake and a following wind. We tried wing on wing first. Then we did a run with the wind off the starboard stern and finished with the wind off the port stern.

We rounded the point off Lake City, dropped sails, and anchored near the swim beach about 1715 hours. Samana was now in Lake Pepin having completed over 2010 miles from Tarpon Springs, Florida to Lake City, Minnesota. During this journey the sails have been set only four times. The first was in the Gulf of Mexico, the second for about seven hours on Kentucky Lake, the third with the jib only on the river above Alton, Iowa, and the fourth and final time on Lake Pepin. The diesel performed its job well. The starter and alternator were another story. The field strip, cleaning, greasing, and reassemble of the starter should last for a long time. The alternator and the alternator bracket need replacement to solve the many problems of the alternator experienced throughout the journey.

The tea kettle was filled with water and put on the propane stove. Jean and I enjoyed a cup of hot tea while reminiscing about the planning and completion of journey. Jean previously asked about how I planned for lock passage and still kept a schedule. My answer was planning is just planning and the rest happens with adjustments. The upriver speed was planned at five miles per hour with 12 hour days. The actual bank speed after St. Louis was closer to 6.5 miles per hour and I extended the days to 14 hours to keep on schedule. The breakdowns, lock delays, and other unexpected events are the unknowns when planning a journey such as the one just completed by Samana. The summer of 2004 was for moving Samana from Florida to Lake Pepin with time out the last week June, all of July, and a couple of days in August while I attended two college classes and worked the air show at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I completed all the goals of summer. The crew changes, logistics, car shuttles, and outfitting are now all memories.  I received positive comments from the various crew members that helped in the delivery of Samana. I am truly indebted and honored to have had such willing and helpful voluntary crew aboard Samana. Each part of the journey was different so all took away a unique experience.

As for me I am ready to go again. I start teaching a Pepin Area Schools next week. The outfitting of Samana and upgrade of systems are in the planning stages for another voyage. The next time will not be a delivery with a tight schedule but a much more leisurely trip with time out for exploration along the way.

Stay tuned for the continuation of the Captains Log for Samana.

 

Revised: 21 September 2007

© 2007 Arthur L. Howard

This is the log of Samana coming up to Minnesota from Florida in the summer of 2004. The log is in chronological order from oldest to newest starting at the top.

 

Captains Log

Thursday, June 10, 2004

We arrived in Florida early Monday morning. After three intense days of preparation we left the dock on Wednesday, June 9 and anchored off a swim beach. We are pulling up anchor Thursday, June 10, 2004, for the crossing of the Gulf of Mexico.

The next message you will receive is when we are crossing Mobil Bay, Mobil, Alabama.

All is well! We are still excited!

The crew of Samana

 

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The crossing of the Gulf of Mexico is completed. We arrived off Mobil Point, slipped behind Fort Morgan and anchored in Navy Cove for the evening at approximately 2100 hours. We were underway for 62 hours.

I was unable to communicate with cell phone from the swim beach since the signal strength was very weak. The plan was to notify everyone of the actual time of departure.

The crossing had its interesting moments.

The first problem was a complete failure of the 12 volt charging system caused by a bus bar corrosion problem in the engine compartment. A hot fix with a jumper wire gave us back charging current from the alternator. The voltage came back up and works well now. This is a temporary fix for now.

The new primary filter cartridge filled with debris from the bottom of the diesel tank which had not been used much in the last 18 months. This caused an engine stoppage which took approximately 3 hours to remove the filter, clean the filter bowl, replace the primary filter with a new one and then bleed the fuel system. This leaves us with 11 new filters since I laid on a supply of one dozen filters just for this sort of problem. The rest of the crew had their anxious moments during the maintenance time.

The winds became calm during each day and came up a little at night during the crossing. The winds shifted towards the southwest and then became westerly resulting in more fuel consumption than expected. This adds an additional fuel stop today at Winters Marina, Mobile River, Mile 8.0 RDB, which the crew will “really” appreciate since there will be showers all around.

We weighed anchor approximately 0530 hours Sunday, June 13, 2004 and are now motoring up Mobile Bay towards Mobil, Alabama.

This message is expected to be sent via cell phone as we pass the city of Mobil.

Art Howard

Monday, June 14

Winters Marina was the stop for the afternoon with fuel and water replenished. There were showers. How nice to get the salt from the Gulf of Mexico washed off! Winters Marina is on the Bayou Sara off the main Mobil River. We called the railroad bridge for an opening and then you go up several miles. Winters Marina is primitive and very rustic looking.

Later we anchored at mile 9.8 of the Mobile River in the Big Bayou Canot just of the main channel. The captain ate some bad chicken and became ill with food poisoning! 

P.S.  Jean’s comments:  Art is understating the primitiveness of Winter’s Marina.  This is really off the main channel in the bayou area and definitely a “cultural” experience.  Gail’s kids refused to shower there. 
Our down time for engine “maintenance” gave us the opportunity to see an alligator while Art has his head in the engine compartment.
Gail was initially concerned about food preparation and what type of meals to make.  I think she was convinced that Art will eat anything after I gave him the left over chicken for lunch and he thought it tasted good.  After Art got sick, we checked out the chicken and it looked pretty slimy.  And to think he wanted the rest saved for later!

Tuesday, June 15

There were some anxious moments today with two unexpected engine shutdowns. After waiting for some time, the engine would restart. I believe the stoppages were caused by salt water calcium deposits breaking loose in the cooling system, causing a momentary exhaust blockage. The diesel seemed to work fine after it was restarted. First it would belch black smoke, then white smoke, and then everything would return to normal. The engine shutdowns caused a high level of anxiety amongst the crew!

We accomplished our first lock, Coffeeville Lock and Dam, on the Tombigbee River at river mile 116.7. Our next stop was Bobby’s Fish Camp, another primitive and rustic area. There are no showers, stores, or food. This was a required stop since the crew for the Gulf of Mexico crossing had dropped their car here. There were good byes all around, some tears, and they were off, Gail, William, and Cadence traveling north by car to return home with memories to last a life time.

Wednesday, June 16

Fuel and water were replenished at Bobby’s Fish Camp this morning and we were underway again, just the two of us, Jean and myself. The boat seems quit now without Gail and her two kids.

It was a long day of many twists and turns on the Tombigbee River. We had two more engine shutdowns. The humidity was very high with the temperatures in the 90’s F. We anchored at mile 159.6 for the night.

 

Thursday, June 17

Another long day of twists and turns on the Tombigbee River and we are still not very far from the Gulf of Mexico and the high humidity and hot days. The engine sputtered a few times but no more stoppages. We anchored at mile 206.4 for the evening.

Friday, June 18

What a day! The Demopolis Lock and Dam at river mile 213.2 did a number on the bow pulpit of Samana when we missed getting a line on the floating bollard. Bummer! The welds were weak on the bow pulpit and replacement was low on the outfitting list. The damage to the bow pulpit now puts replacement near the top of the list.

We entered the Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway at mile 217 for another long day on the river system. We anchored at mile 266 off the main channel just below the Gainesville Lock.

P.S. – Jean’s comment:  I was standing at the bow when Art couldn’t get the boat stopped in time to get the line on the bollard (or “pig”).  He was still in the learning process of how this boat handles.  I’m yelling “backup – backup!!” as the boat glides forward hitting the front wall and crumpling the bow pulpit.  There was a bit of excitement until the boat was stabilized against the lock wall.

Saturday, June 19

An early morning departure, locking through the Gainesville Lock, and then many more twists and turns on the Tenn-Tom today. The Howell Heflin Lock and Dam was another experience of a major problem. A line to the floating bollard was dropped and promptly went around the prop shaft causing a complete engine stoppage. The dingy was put into service to complete securing to the lock wall. After we left the lock I donned mask, snorkel, and fines for repeated dives to clear the prop and shaft. It sure would have been nice to have had a tank of air and a regulator. I kept surfacing to get air and then would return to the work at hand. Later, we locked through the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam at river mile 306.8 and anchored for the night just below John C. Stennis Lock and Dam at river mile 334 just off the main cannel behind a green can. We attempted to anchor in the old river channel from the main navigation channel and promptly grounded. We backed off the shallows and moved down the right descending bank just behind a green can and anchored for the night.

Sunday, June 20

Today was a very slow day. We got stuck behind two barges and had to wait at each of the locks. The locks today were John C. Stennis Lock and Dam at river mile 334.7, Aberdeen Lock and Dam at mile 357.5, Amory Lock at mile 371.1, Glover Wilkins Lock at mile 376.3, and Fulton Lock at mile 391.0. We arrived at the Midway Marina, Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 394.0, and docked for the night. Showers were great. This is a very good marina for an overnight stay. We refilled the diesel.

P.S. Jean’s comment:  Another exciting lock through!  Of course, when the line wrapped around the prop, there was no controlling the boat until the dinghy and its little 2.5 h.p. motor was secured to the side of the boat and used to hold the boat against the lock wall.  This is major excitement number 2 involving locking.  I hate locking!

 

 

Monday, June 21

Another early morning start after putting on water and removing the trash from the boat. We locked through the John Rankin Lock at mile 398.4, the B. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Lock at mile 406.7, and the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam river mile 411.9 This completed the series of locks on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. We entered Pickwick Lake in the afternoon and encountered many pleasure boaters, water skiers, and fishing boats. This is a large recreational area with the Goat Island Recreation Area and Marina and Aqua Yacht Harbor providing many opportunities for    water recreation. We arrived at the Tennessee River mile 215.0 in the late afternoon after traveling 450.7 miles on the Tennessee – Tombigbee river system.

Then another adventure that cruisers would like to not experience happened! We entered the Pickwick Landing just as a major thunder storm was approaching. A gust of wind started to blow as we completed tying off to the lock wall bollard and a line let loose. We moved forward and tied off again, this time staying on the bollard. Then the rain started and it came down in buckets as we were lowered 55 feet. Next the lock master came on the radio and said he would keep the lock doors closed because of the strong thunder storm. The next sight was not pretty at all. You could see a wind line coming down the lock wall and we were at the bottom of the lock! I put full power on the engine and hoped the spring line would hold on the bollard. The bow started to swing out and I gave Samana full left rudder and continued to hold full engine power. Gradually the bow swung back toward the lock wall where I continued to hold for what seemed an eternity before the wind let up and the rain continued to fall in a torrential down pour. A few minutes later the lock doors opened, we released from the wall, and motored out past a barge tied to the lower lock wall where he was waiting for us to lock rough.

We anchored at Tennessee River mile 192.1 behind Wolf Island off the main channel. The decks were cleaned of all the moss that blew off the lock wall. I popped pop corn and sat on the deck in the evening watching the fire flies in the trees, reflecting on the day and how nice it was to be in a quiet anchorage with the river current hold the boat steady. We had out 110 foot of anchor rode, since the depth off the main channel was 30 foot.

P.S. – Jean’s comment:  The Pickwick Lock was our last lock before Kentucky Lake.  Since we were going to be lowered rather than raised to another elevation, I was assured there would be no turbulence.  Then the storm hit while we were in the lock.  The wind force was tremendous!  It had all the earmarks of the “Perfect Storm”.  Stress level was high!  I still hate locks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It is 8:20 AM and we are still anchored. Breakfast of French toast, bacon, apple juice, and coffee has been eaten. I am completing this e-mail before we start down the Tennessee River towards Kentucky Lake Dam Marina. We should arrive at our next fuel stop on Thursday, June 24.

Above sent as e-mail at 1628 hours, June 23

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The journey continues. Today was uneventful which was just wonderful. No breakdown, no locks, just a nice day going down the Tennessee River towards Kentucky Dam Marina. We anchored in the afternoon in the same spot that Sail La Vie was anchored in September of 1994. I recalled memories of building a fire ring on the beach with my daughter Kristy who is now in the US Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. We went looking for the old fire ring but the pool stage was much higher so if it was still there it was underwater. I did notice that there is much more garbage from the human presence than there was ten years ago. Also, there were up to five boats in the anchorage as compared to none almost ten years ago. We were offered a cold beer from another anchored sailboat. I took the offer and we spent some time talking about sailing on Kentucky Lake. They were very nice people enjoying a day sail, evening anchorage while cooking, and then they departed for their slip and a local small marina just up the bay from the protected small bay where we were both anchored.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

We slept in today, had breakfast, and then pulled anchor to resume motoring down the Tennessee River. Before noon the breeze picked up nicely so we stopped the diesel, raised the sails and sailed the rest of day, arriving at the breakwater off Kentucky Dam Marina about 1800 hours. The sails were taken down, the boat secured, and then we called the Marina for directions to the slippage. The diesel was started and we motored into Kentucky Dam Marina. After setting and securing dock lines we went to the office to pay for slip fees and get directions to an eating place. After a nice shower we went out to eat.

We had a wonderful supper ashore at the Catfish Kitchen just a few short road miles from the Marina. It was nice getting a meal ashore, no dishes to wash, and they even had ice cream! What a treat!

Thus ends the Captains log of the journey of Samana from Tarpon Springs, Florida to Kentucky Dam Marina, Gilbertsville, Kentucky. The journey resumes in August after a summer class for my Masters Degree, working the airshow at the annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and attending another class at Ashland, Wisconsin.

Friday and Saturday were spent prepping the boat for the six week storage. Perishable food was removed, some supplies and maintenance items I need for the summer, and securing the dingy on deck while I am gone from the boat.

My daughter, Kristy, came to visit for Friday evening and helped on Saturday. She and Jean raised me to the top of the mast so I could determine why the mast light and anchor lights were not working. Two bad bulbs, back down the mast, off to NAPA for two bulbs, back up the mast again on the bosons chair, and now the mast light and anchor lights are bright again.

Jean and I started the 12 hour drive back to Minnesota about 1500 hours after saying good bye to Kristy. She returned to the Fort Campbell Army base. After a long grueling drive we arrived in Rochester about 3 AM Sunday, June 27, 2004 for some much needed sleep!

I am looking forward to returning to Samana in August to complete the journey to Lake Pepin. Then I start the long process of upgrading and fixing systems to prepare for heading back down river for ocean cruising in two years starting in the fall of 2006. Anyway, that is the future plan for now. Keep tuned for when the Captains log starts again!

 

 


August 5, 2004

The Captain’s log continues for the adventures of moving Samana, my Challenger 35 Ketch from Kentucky Lake in Kentucky on the Tennessee River to Lake Pepin.  The summer activities are complete with attendance at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, the airshow at Oshkosh, and another class at Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin. Bob Gielow is the crew for the next week. We drove down to Kentucky Lake in my car and Jean drove the car back to Lake City. As always, the maintenance issues keep coming back. We arrived at Samana on Thursday evening and the following day preparations began.

August 6, 2004

Supplies were loaded after some maintenance items were completed. Then we attempted to start the engine and found that the starter would not turn over the engine. After a through check of the electrical system and finding several problems which were fixed we had to remove the starter.

August 7, 2004

After a complete disassembly we discovered that the shaft was rusty and the starter would not engage the engine fly wheel gear. We thoroughly cleaned the parts, sanded the shaft, greased the shaft and spine, and greased the bearings before reassembly. Then the big test, would it work? The glow plugs were turned on and warmed up, the key was turned to the start position, and the engine turned over. It started and we were underway! It only took two days from the arrival to get going.

My daughter, Kristy, joined us on Saturday, August 7, and in the late afternoon we put on fuel and departed the dock at Kentucky Dam Marina. After a short sail we locked through and anchored on the Tennessee River below the lock a few miles.

August 8, 2004

Sunday and a nice motor down to Paducah, Kentucky at mile zero of the Tennessee River, we anchored and went ashore with all of Kristy’s stuff which was dropped at Kristy’s car. We had dropped her car on Saturday near the water front so it would be available for her to drive back to Fort Campbell. We took a walk around the downtown area which we found was not open on Sunday. Kristy took Bob and me in her car to a Texas Road House restaurant for dinner. After hugs all around, Kristy left to return to Fort Campbell and Bob and I returned to Samana to continue down the Ohio River. We arrived at the Mississippi River close to sun down and anchored just above the bridge into Cairo, Illinois at mile 1.5. Bob, being a good cook, cooked supper!

August 9, 2004

We raised anchor about 6 AM and started up the Mississippi River traveling about 3.5 miles per hour with some bends and turns at about 2.5 miles per hour. This is the slowest part of the river with the most current and boiling water. We have seen three tows, one fishing boat, and one pleasure boat during the journey to Cape Girardeau, Missouri where we anchored at mile 50.5 on the Illinois side of the river. Fishermen that were camped on a sand bar sent one of their boats over to greet us an invited us to supper. We decided to relax first and then we may go over. The cell phone works here so I have decided to send an e-mail. The current is very strong where we have anchored behind the buoy line so we may just stay put for the night.

Above sent as e-mail on 2004-08-09

August 10, 2004

We raised anchor at 0610 hours and resumed going up the Upper Mississippi River in the strong current. We had speeds as low as 2.3 miles per hour in the turbulent current. There was not much river traffic today, just one commercial fisherman and a few barges. We anchored at UMR mile 106.2 southeast of Chester, IL for the night.

August 11, 2004

Anchor was up by 0545 hours and we were underway for a long day on the river. We have seen two tow boats and two eagles today. There was lots of turbulent water and slow going up stream. We arrived at Hoppie's Marine Service about 1845 hours and put on 78.2 gallons of diesel plus filled the water tank. Overnight dockage was arranged and then Bob and I walked up to a restaurant where we had supper. The restaurant was a very old building in the historic town of Kimmswick, MO. The food was excellent and the portions were very large. We took half of our meal back to the boat for another meal tomorrow, Wednesday.

August 12, 2004

We were underway at 0520 hours from the dock at Hoppie’s Marine Service. Today was an event filled day! We passed many busy docks in St. Louis, barges being put together or taken apart, tugs crossing the river, barge maintenance facilities, and tow dry docks. Then the unexpected happened as we were leaving St. Louis. A call was received on the radio addressing Samana and when I looked around there was a US Coast Guard boat. We were boarded at UMR mile 181 by two young men and while the third piloted their boat. After asking if we had any weapons aboard they went about their inspection. While they were on board we asked about the Chain of Rocks Canal and lock and were told that they was a jam up of barge traffic because of a lock that had some parts that needed maintenance. The pilot of the boat called ahead to the lock master. Samana passed the boarding with no violations and US Coast Guard left and returned down river.

When we got to the Chain of Rocks Canal it was full of barge traffic. What a big log jam! We called to the Chain of Rocks Lock and Dam 27 and were told to come up to the lock for lockage. We had almost no wait and were through the lock and then working our way around the backed up barge traffic as we motored through the rest of the canal towards the upper entrance. Out next lock was the Melvin Price Lock and Dam 26 with floating bollards. We locked through with no problems. Later in the afternoon we tried to get into Piasa Harbor at Godfrey, Illinois but found the water to shallow. We returned down river to the Alton Marina in Alton, Illinois, for overnight dockage and a crew change. Fred and Kay Klingerman joined the crew list on Thursday evening.

August 13, 2004

Bob Gielow left about 0700 hours just after breakfast to return to Lake City. I spent time with an oil and filter change along with other minor maintenance. After topping of the fuel supply we left the Alton Marina about 1240 hours. Around 1330 hours I noticed a noise from the front of the engine. We did not shut down but kept going. The noise continued for the rest of the day. We anchored for the night at mile 238.2 around 1910 hours which is about three miles below Lock and Dam 25 near Winfield, Missouri.

August 14, 2004

The engine was started about 0610 hours and the anchor was raised about 0615 hours. The front of the engine still has a bearing noise but no leaks. We went through Lock and Dam 25, Lock and Dam 24 and Lock and Dam 22. We anchored at mile 303.4 on the LDB (Left Descending Bank) at 2024 hours, a short distance below Hannibal, Missouri for the night. We have seen many pleasure boaters during the day. It was Saturday and we are now above the wild part of the river. The turbulent waters ended after getting above the first two locks above St. Louis.

The above sent as e-mail on August 15, 2004

 

August 16, 2004

We raised anchor at 0617 hours and were underway again. There is still the noise coming from the alternator side of the engine. The lake portion we are on is about 45 miles long, much bigger than Lake Pepin. The wind was from behind so I unrolled the jib about 1325 hours and reduced power on the engine. We were motor sailing until 1400 hours when the channel narrowed and our direction on the river channel changed. The jib was furled and we continued under diesel power. A check of the alternator confirmed a total failure. The battery bank was changed from both to bank 1 and the DC refrigeration was turned off to conserve battery power. The anchor was dropped at mile 444.5 and all secured for the night.

It was either on the 15 or 16th of august that we seen a low flying Air-coup airplane just skimming the water as he came up behind us on the starboard side. About a half-hour later he came back down river just above the water again on the port side. On this section of the river we observed several flights of geese going south. It seems early to see flights of geese going south along the Mississippi River fly-way.

August 17, 2004

At 0603 hours the engine was started on battery bank 2 and then switched back to battery bank 1. The reason for the switch back to bank 1 is to conserver bank 2 for starting the diesel since the alternator is no longer working. Bank 1 seemed to have plenty of power so the DC refrigeration was started again. At 0810 hours we anchored at mile 455.4 across the river from the Muscatine Municipal Boat Harbor. The harbor depth was less than four feet. The alternator was removed from the engine and I took the dinghy ashore at the boat harbor where I talked to two people on a docked house boat. They directed me to an alternator repair shop that was only two blocks away. I walked a short distance and talked to the shop proprietor at D. C. Hetzler Automotive Auto Electrical and Air Conditioning Service and Supply. I explained the noise coming from the alternator and was told that the repair would be completed the following day.

Today Jean Harris came to the boat for a crew change. Luggage was shuttled back and forth across the river from where Samana was anchored. The car was used to pick up supplies and obtain some hardware for the alternator. When I removed the alternator from the engine I discovered that it was incorrectly installed. A bushing was missing and there were no lock washers on the mounting bolt or tightening bolt. I had now discovered why the alternator belt was constantly causing us so much trouble. The alternator would not stay secure so the belt was always becoming loose as the mounting hardware became loose.

More luggages were shuttled to my 93 Ford Escort since Kay and Fred Klingerman were leaving as crew to return to Minnesota and drop my car off in Lake City. We spent the evening relaxing and preparing for the following day.

August 18, 2004

We took the dinghy ashore to get the alternator. Mr. Hetzler informed me that he replaced both bearings and that the brushes and windings were OK. There was a lot of corrosion inside the alternator. I was informed the alternator is not a marine alternator and should be replaced. This does not surprise me since I have an old boat and someone did not have the correct maintenance performed. This will be another item to correct once Samana gets to Lake Pepin. The alternator was installed on the engine. After the engine was started we found the alternator working again. With DC Refrigeration started again and both battery banks charging it was time to get underway again. The anchor was raised at 1435 hours and Samana was underway again north bound.

A stop was made at 1640 hours at Fairport Landing Marina, mile 463.0, for 68.5 gallons of diesel. We were underway again at 1700 hours. We anchored early at 1900 hours, mile 475.0, since there was a big thunderstorm coming up behind us. We were just south of the Quad Cities area where Davenport and Bettendorf are on the Iowa side of the river and Rock Island and Moline are on the Illinois side of the river. Two anchors were set, one of the bow and another off the stern to hold the boat steady for the expected wind increase from the thunderstorm. There was lots of lightening and thunder but the expected wind never happened.

August 19, 2004

With the anchor raised at 0705 hours we continued to Lock and Dam 15 where we discovered that the lock closed for replacement of a lock door. The lock-master informed us that closure could be up to up to twelve hours for the repairs. We dropped anchor on the Right Descending Bank behind the President Casino boat near downtown Davenport, IA, at mile 482.8 of the Upper Mississippi River. The sun came out and it is warming up. It is relaxing hanging on the hook and enjoying the day.

The above sent as e-mail on Thursday, August 19, 2004 in the AM.

August 19, 2004

This is a continuation from the time we anchored near downtown Davenport, IA at mile 482.8 behind the President Casino boat while waiting for the lock door replacement.

The Lockmaster for Lock and Dam 15 called us about 1620 hours and informed us that the lock would be opening in about an hour. We started the engine and pulled anchor to get ready for the lock. The maintenance crew informed he Lockmaster by that they still had to grease the door mechanism so we waited just a little longer and then locked through. We traveled a couple of hours before the daylight faded away. We set the anchor at mile 496.6 LDB (Left Descending Bank) across from LeClaire, IA and shut the engine down at 2015 hours.

August 20, 2004

This day started very early when I started the engine at 0557 hours. The time is getting short to get back to Lake City so I have extended the hours to maximum daylight time for running on the river. After a long day we dropped anchor at mile 575.2 just below Dubuque, IA. We made 78 miles plus opening the Clinton Rail Road Bridge, locking through Lock and Dam 13, opening the Sabula Railroad Swing Bridge, and locking through Lock and Dam 12. We had a good day traveling up river.

The engine inspection revealed the alternator was loose again. I inspected the alternator mounting bolt and it appears to be an incorrect bolt as the threads do not match the mounting bracket. I retightened the mounting and adjusting hardware and hope it will hold.


August 21, 2004

I started the engine at 0515 hours for another long day. About 0745 I discovered the alternator was loose again. We dropped anchor about 0850 hours at mile 594.8 LDB (Left Descending Bank) and I worked on the alternator again. Then the radio came alive with a call to the Challenger 35 from Raphael (spelling). I answered and looked up the river to see a ketch coming down river! I talked to Mike on the radio and he offered to stop if we needed help. I said the alternator just kept causing problems and we would be underway again after retightening the mounting hardware. We watched as they passed us and continued down river. We anchored within about 20 miles of each other the previous evening. If we had known we were so close together, we both could have pushed just a little longer and anchored together!

We continued up river and anchored at mile 647.5 on the LDB (Left Descending Bank) just below Lock and Dam Number 9 about 1945 hours. They were locking a tow through and would complete the lockage after darkness. Two anchors were set to keep Samana from swinging around the anchor road. The wind from the south pushed the boat up stream against the current keeping anchor line loose with the potential for fouling the anchor line around the keel. I found the alternator loose again and retightened the bolts, this putting safety wire around the head of the mounting bolt hoping that the wire would keep the bolt from working loose.

This was the worst day of the entire trip from Florida. It being Saturday, the weekend boaters were out in force. Many of them kept going up and down river between the locks shouting and waving at us while waving their beer cans in the air. A house boat with more than two dozen peopled pulled out from the shore and into the channel directly in front of us and then slowed down while weaving back and forth. I blew the warning horn several times at them. Finally someone left the upper deck quickly and went down below. After the houseboat stopped weaving I passed them to the right without fear of them hitting us. It was easy to tell that most of the people aboard were having a good time and were ignorant of the dangers involved with poor seamanship on the river. I wondered aloud if they even had enough life jackets on board for everyone.

August 22, 2004

With the engine started about 0525 hours we were underway by 0545 hours after pulling up two anchors. It is always a challenge to pull the stern anchor when the current is working the boat to the side and putting a good strain on the line. Sunday found a much improved day over Saturday as there were fewer weekenders in party mode. We anchored at mile 729.8 just above Lock and Dam Number 5A above Winona, Minnesota about 2010 hours. Samana is now in the river system between Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is with sadness that I now realize the journey is about over. We should reach Lake Pepin tomorrow, Monday.


August 23, 2004

After checking the engine and finding the alternator OK I started engine about 0700 hours. We slept in today since it looks like we will make Lake Pepin and Lake City today. The anchor was up about 0730 hours and Samana was underway again.

We entered Lake Pepin about 1445 hours and set sails with a partial jib, full mizzen and one reef in the main. I shut the engine down about 1515 hours after setting the sails and insuring ourselves that the sail set was good. There were white caps on the lake and a following wind. We tried wing on wing first. Then we did a run with the wind off the starboard stern and finished with the wind off the port stern.

We rounded the point off Lake City, dropped sails, and anchored near the swim beach about 1715 hours. Samana was now in Lake Pepin having completed over 2010 miles from Tarpon Springs, Florida to Lake City, Minnesota. During this journey the sails have been set only four times. The first was in the Gulf of Mexico, the second for about seven hours on Kentucky Lake, the third with the jib only on the river above Alton, Iowa, and the fourth and final time on Lake Pepin. The diesel performed its job well. The starter and alternator were another story. The field strip, cleaning, greasing, and reassemble of the starter should last for a long time. The alternator and the alternator bracket need replacement to solve the many problems of the alternator experienced throughout the journey.

The tea kettle was filled with water and put on the propane stove. Jean and I enjoyed a cup of hot tea while reminiscing about the planning and completion of journey. Jean previously asked about how I planned for lock passage and still kept a schedule. My answer was planning is just planning and the rest happens with adjustments. The upriver speed was planned at five miles per hour with 12 hour days. The actual bank speed after St. Louis was closer to 6.5 miles per hour and I extended the days to 14 hours to keep on schedule. The breakdowns, lock delays, and other unexpected events are the unknowns when planning a journey such as the one just completed by Samana. The summer of 2004 was for moving Samana from Florida to Lake Pepin with time out the last week June, all of July, and a couple of days in August while I attended two college classes and worked the air show at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I completed all the goals of summer. The crew changes, logistics, car shuttles, and outfitting are now all memories.  I received positive comments from the various crew members that helped in the delivery of Samana. I am truly indebted and honored to have had such willing and helpful voluntary crew aboard Samana. Each part of the journey was different so all took away a unique experience.

As for me I am ready to go again. I start teaching a Pepin Area Schools next week. The outfitting of Samana and upgrade of systems are in the planning stages for another voyage. The next time will not be a delivery with a tight schedule but a much more leisurely trip with time out for exploration along the way.

Stay tuned for the continuation of the Captains Log for Samana.

 

Revised: 09 January 2008

© 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; Arthur L. Howard