Date: 16/12/2018
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Day 67 Sunday July 17 Olmsted

OlmstedShallow water was the big news today on the river. Our plan was to anchor at the Angelo Towhead at Cairo. A towhead is an island in the river with a channel that can't be used by tows. This one is blocked by dams at the upper end. We arrived on schedule at 11:30 and tried to get in where Mrs. Hoppie and the guide books said to go but it started to get shallow and we bailed out. Then we got on the wrong side of the last Mississippi buoy and it was shallow again. Fortunately we didn't run aground and got back on the river. Our next place of refuge was at Olmsted where a new lock is being built. Other Loopers had anchored there. We headed up the Ohio at 7.5 mph as compared to the 12.5 mph we had become used to. However, the water in the Ohio was much cleaner and there is no swirling water so it is more pleasant. The lockmaster told us exactly where to anchor and we dropped the hook. This location will save us 3 hours tomorrow. We noticed tow boats pushed up against the shore of the river on both sides. There was a lot of radio traffic and it seems that the Ohio is shallow and a tow ran aground. The Coast Guard ordered the river to become one way only, so the tows have to wait. A drag line is being used to dredge beside the barge. We just heard that another tow ran hard aground a mile or two further up the river and hit so hard that the strings of barges nearly split apart. There are two locks on the Ohio but the wickets are down so we can go right over the dams. If this continues in the morning it will save us a lot of time. I was able to test the satellite TV antennae for the first time and it works pretty well except when big swells come by. Tomorrow we leave at 5:30AM for Kenlake. It will be our last day on the Loop if we can get through the locks. Even if we are delayed at Kentucky Dam till darkness we can still finish the trip as we know the way at night to Kenlake. Lat 37.19 Long 89.05

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