08-28-09 Dolton, IL

[Rick] There was no blog for 08-27-09 since the day consisted of rain and very cold winds. It was awful...

We got up and made our way to Dolton, IL and the Marine Services Corp marina. This marina is on the Calumet River and about 20 miles closer to the problem area. We also figured that there would be other loopers there, and we were correct. There are at least 6 looper boats here, although the personnel form two of them have gone home. One of the great things about this marina is the price. Only .90 per foot, so we are here for about $24 per night. Several of the other loopers here have been in contact with the Coast Guard and indicate that testing is still underway and NO DECISION will be rendered until at least next Friday. So, we and the rest of the group are trying to negotiate a better rate with a tow company. Most of think $600 is profiteering and out of line. But, the tow company says it is the minimum charge. Any approved tow company can now do the job. So, we may be here for several days. That being the case, we have scheduled some maintenance for Monday.

There was one different moment on the way up the Calumet River. The O'Brien Lock is about 10 miles from Lake Michigan. The lock is 1000 feet long. The odd thing is that there are not lines, ropes, cleats to tie to to secure your boat. There are some bollards on the top of the wall, but way too far from the boat to catch. There are some ladders, 250 feet apart, to grab. We found that most boats do not secure, but just float in the middle, since the rise or fall is 2 feet or less. After the Trent Severn and the Erie, in which you must secure your boat, it was strange to not be tied at all, and more importantly, no place to tie.

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