09-16-09 Diversion Canal – Cape Girardeau, MO

[Rick] The great migration from Hoppie’s Marina in Kimmswick, MO to the Green Turtle Bay Marina in Tennessee began this morning at 0700. Nine boats, of all sizes and types left in convoy for the 110 mile trip to the Diversion Canal in Cape Girardeau, MO. The Diversion canal funnels the rainwater runoff from the city back to the Mississippi. Once again it was kind of slow, by our standards, since we have agreed to stay with the trawler, Meander, and the sedan, Still Busy. With the current we averaged about 11 mph for the day. For Meander, this was the fastest she has ever been through the water. Here is the view Betsy and I had all day as we made the trip.

Along the way, we passed Cape Girardeau, MO. We had visited this town before when travelling on the legendary Delta Queen (on her final cruise, in fact), and unfortunately, there is no place to stop and tie here. They do have some beautiful murals on the levee walls. I remember this as the hometown of its most famous citizen, Rush Limbaugh (this is for you, bro Steve). There is a huge picture of Rush on the levee wall, along with many historic scenes of the town on a long mural.

Arriving at the Diversion Canal, we had to raft up for everyone to get in. This process involves the boats being tied to each other, with several anchors deployed. The canal has no current, so that is a big help. We managed some pictures of the raft up. Being the next-to-smallest boat, we always get to raft up on the outside of the bigger boats, and we do not put out an anchor.

Once we got tied up and settled, Jimmy on Riff Raff deployed his dingy to take the dogs from Pookie II to the shore for the daily business meeting. Jimmy, then, took Betsy and Beamer to the shore to attend the same meeting. The meeting adjourned with no tangible output and Jimmy brought everyone back to the boats.

Tomorrow, we leave at first light for Paducah, KY. 90 miles and 2 locks away.

Betsy adds: Regarding the dogs: Jimmy’s dinghy is tiny and he has a 2.5 horsepower motor. He carried Evan from Pookie II along with his two medium sized dogs all the way across the Mississippi to the opposite shore where there was a sandy beach to step off onto. But the current was fierce and it was quite a chore for him. So when he came back to get Beamer and me, I said let’s just go to the bank where the canal meets the river…there was a large rocky area there at the conversion of the waters, and it looked like if I could get off the dinghy onto the rocks I’d be able to make it up a hill with Beamer to an area with greenery. We carried Beamer in her softsider carrying case…remember she is a psycho dog that doesn’t get along too well with other people and I felt this was the best way to handle her in the dinghy. At first I put one foot off the dinghy and sank ankle deep into the mud (I had on my shower Crocs). So Jimmy took me a little closer to the rocks and I stepped out again and then lifted Beamer, in her case, off the dinghy. Once I got my footing Jimmy left to go all the way across the mighty and swift Mississippi to pick up Evan and his dogs. I let Beamer out of her case and we worked our way up the rocks until the ground was a little more firm. Problem was my Crocs were full of mud so even on rock or firm ground I was very unsure of my footing as I was slipping inside the shoes.

Beamer pee’d plenty, but would not do the serious business. Finally Jimmy got Evan and his dogs back across the river and back to their boat, then came to get us. I had put Beam back into the case and handed her into the dinghy, then carefully climbed back in myself. Once back to the raft-up, Evan was there with hose ready to wash the mud off my feet before I stepped onto the boats. As I write this, poor Beamer is banned to the back of our boat because Mississippi Mud is still caked to the bottom of her feet. Tomorrow we will work on training Beamer to “go” on the boat like some of the other dogs do. We made a feeble attempt at this last year, but now it is going to be a necessity, because I’m not dinghying her to shore again!!

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