Oct 12, 2011

Heading Downriver again...

If the weather holds (I don't care about cold, just rain/snow at this time of year), and it looks like it will, I'll be taking another quick trip on the Mississippi.  Going from Minneapolis to Red Wing, roughly 70 miles.  At the pace of my boat and the lesser currents of autumn, I'm banking on 7 miles per hour for a ten hour trip.   Spreading it over two days I'll find a nice slough to drop anchor for the night and have a nice little wavy night's sleep.  Jill and the kids will meet me in Red Wing -- or any other landing before that point if something doesn't work out according to plan.

I had been saying I didn't do as much boat camping as I'd wanted to this year, and Jill was so supportive of a last little jaunt.  She's awesome!

I'll be boating alone, but filing a travel plan as well as reporting in via social networks.  And the GPS will be on the whole time, I'm sure.  Really looking forward to it!  Me and my boat..

Oct 9, 2011

The River

Mine is a small boat. Ok, a Tiny Boat. But I feel like this when I'm on any river:

View Larger Map

You can see that the towboat is pushing hard, but sliding a bit to port (left) so that he can overcompensate on the turn.

The science museum of Minnesota has a towboat/barge simulator that looks like a fun video game. I mean, it's just driving a slow boat down a river right? The moment a kid steps up to it they're excited, but by the first river bend they're shoving those barges up on the beach.

So I step up, never having played, and simply apply my "slow boat, takes a long time to respond, think about the *next* bend" logic and I took the barge and boat through downtown and on to the end of the simulation. I was quite proud of myself.

It would be months later that I would apply these rules in the real world with my boat on the river in some more "technical" (read: crazy wind, currents, and waves) waters and I really understood the intensity of the river.

So now when I see this picture in google maps of this tow pushing sideways up a bend, it just makes me really appreciate what's going on so much more. And makes me want to make another voyage...