To Buckhorn Island (Day 46)

Over 1,000 miles. That’s how far the Mainship Many Moons, with cat on board, has traveled since leaving Keweenaw Bay on July 30. That’s just 1/6 of the entire Great Loop (which totals 6,000 miles) but it’s a milestone nonetheless … and an improbable milestone in some ways.

As you know by now if you have been following, Jeff is a Type-1 diabetic who has (improbably) maintained a healthy and active lifestyle until age 60. I’m a retired Navy captain, used to “running my own ship,” who has (improbably) put aside my own priorities and lifestyle to support his.

I agreed to help get it started and go as far as Chicago. We are now hundreds of miles past that and heading to the Mississippi.

Loopers – those who undertake The Great Loop — are varied in many ways, but we have some things in common. We agree to take a risk, whether conscious or not. And we are resilient and flexible … or become so!

Jeff and I fit those two parameters, although we show it in very different ways. And today, we got our reward: a long-but-relaxing cruise followed by a gorgeous and peaceful anchorage.

This was a record length for us in one day, at 75 miles. (Our very first leg, on Lake Superior, was 70 miles but felt much more rigorous.) We fell in with two other Looper boats, Wind Shift and Das Boot. Their crews are starting to feel like old friends. Photos and captions tell the story.

Discussions continue among Loopers about “the 1s” and “the 2s.” I’ve decided to use the common maritime vernacular, “port” and “starboard.” Here, I’ve told the tug captain that we are passing on his port (left) side.
Holding our boat to the bolllard before descending in La Grange Lock, our 8th and last on the Illinois. My “boat haircut” needs work after six weeks under way! (Cosmetic concerns are reduced on a boat. 😉 )
These are grain storage facilities, according to the chart. Odd that they are round.
Loren on Das Boot (traveling alone with his dog) leaves La Grange Lock behind us.
Passing under yet another RR bridge. So many on this river! Products moving across America…
This modern double-highway across the Illinois represented the westernmost point of our trip.
After we set anchor at Buckhorn Island, all our boats faced in different directions — a consequence of wind, current, and our different orientations related to the island.
Many Moons at anchor at Buckhorn Island. Photo taken from my paddle board.
Boo the Boating Cat loves being at anchor because she can get out on the gun whale. That’s Wind Shift, our friends from Edgewater MD, behind her.
Post-sunset at Buckhorn Island. That’s the solar panels on Many Moon‘s fly bridge stern, in foreground.
Mike from Wind Shift took this photo at 0430 as a barge passed by Many Moons, anchored closest to the channel. The bright light is the barge’s search light. Many Moons is on the right, our interior night lights visible through the white cover over the windshield.

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