August 10, 2014
SUNDAY: After saying goodbyes about 6:30 AM, we departed, with Sandy & George (Rosalee) following. The river has fallen even more here, leaving water at the narrow marina entrance channel so shallow that SeaDream’s two depth finders both went blank after displaying less than 2 feet of water underneath us. We experienced the “barge effect”, where a boat pushes water ahead in a narrow channel, lowering the water level astern.
The “lock gods” smiled, letting us enter the day’s first lock immediately and the second lock with little delay. The downstream current was welcome, pushing us at 9-11 knots through St. Louis quickly, toward legendary Hoppie’s Marina, operated by….. Hoppie and Fern with daughter Debbie! Docking in the three knot current was exciting but went smoothly. Founded by Hoppie’s father in the 1940’s, this “oldest on the river” marina is several very old barges anchored along the river. Fern and Debbie give sage advice on navigating the river and its few anchoring spots. All are wonderful folks, long-experienced and treasured by every Great Looper. Note: barge traffic at St. Louis totally dominates the river…. recreational boats there are rare.
This evening, Sandy and George treated us to a fun and tasty Italian dinner by way of a short taxi ride.. their thanks for us leading the way. Oh, and Louie liked walking Hoppie’s barge and ramping up to real land! We slept well, knowing the barge was unlikely to move, at least not sideways.
|Passing Saint Louis again.|
|Fern and daughter Debbie at Hoppie's.|
|SeaDream at Hoppie's Marina.|
|Evening at Hoppie's Marina.|