Into the Remoteness of a Riversystem – Part II

Wakeuptime on the Mississippi: Leaving at the crack of dawn
Long distances between anchorages deep enough for sailboats require unusual cruising times. Everyday we leave at Sunrise to have at lease some time of the day left in case the planned anchorage did not work out.

I am jealous. The sun has not even made its way above the eastern bank and life starts  at the rusty barges at Hoppies Marina. Great Laker, Truant, Water Music, Whish, four boat crews are getting ready to leave at the crack of dawn. We all have a long way to go and as the first navigation lights start dancing on the river I quickly brew a coffee and then Paulinchen leaves the dock too.

None of us commited to travel together. As it is not needed to do so. As a single hand sailor who likes independence, I like to travel on my own. But if it happens and if the crews fit together, I like to stay with others too. It is part of the cruising world: You meet and you travel together until one stays for a while and the others leave. But it is never a decision. It just happens. Weiterlesen

Between the Banks – Part I

Railroad bridge over Mississippi at St.Louis with freight train on it
Like many big citys St. Louis has many bridges. Fortunately from here on the controlled height is over 52 feet and all of them are high enough to pass with Paulinchens mast up

Reaching the Mississippi I expected a change in the way of traveling. Not only, that the River was supposed to be faster in current. It was more the mental change I was curious about: The Illinois River was to the way to get here, and what now?

Only a few rivers in the world have influenced music, legends and world class literature in the way the Mississippi has done it and I wondered how this happened. Whatever was in front of me it must be more than just water floating down between two banks from somewhere in Wisconsin to somewhere at New Orleans. Back more than a century ago, at a time when railway and steamship companies tried to get ahead of each other, Mark Twain has put his impressions about this river in a book. „Life on the Mississippi“ is both: A memoir about his time as a steamboat pilot and one of the first guidebooks to cruise it as he described detailed how to navigate the constantly changing river. Weiterlesen