Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cruising Down the River

Each fall our crew takes Speakeasy from its mooring in Monroe Harbor, through the Chicago Lock, and down the Chicago River to Canal Street Marina. This fall we had a beautiful day—sunny and warm. I was greeted by a sunrise while on the tender to pick up Speakeasy at her mooring in Monroe Harbor. Tender Captain Mayre bid me a safe trip and pleasant off season as I stepped onto Speakeasy's deck. 

Twenty minutes later, I had the mooring bridal and ball (can) cover aboard the swim platform and was headed to the pier at Columbia Yacht Club. After a quick wash of the cover, I began taking down the foresail when my crew arrived to assist. It was 8 am and we were scheduled to cross beneath the Lake Shore Drive lift bridge at 9, but first, we had to enter the Chicago Lock. The Lock divides the Lake Michigan-Huron basin from the Chicago River and, ultimately, the Mississippi River. 

Sunrise on the increasingly empty Monroe Harbor.

The river has amazing views of Chicago architecture including Jeanne Gang's Aqua building [http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_(skyscraper)]—the first skyscraper to have balconies that are safe for residents from wind gusts. 

Skyscrapers along the Chicago River including one designed by Jeanne Gang in the background. 

A new feature of the river cruise this season was a barge that partially sank in the middle of the South Branch. During our trip, salvage barges were on either side of the troubled barge. Boat traffic had to line up single file to pass near the east bank. 

Barges on the South Branch, one of them sunken.  
Helper barge on South Branch. 

Broken and sunken barge on South Branch. 

The last sloop around the barges on the South Branch.


Speakeasy was first in line at Canal Street Marina to be hauled out. Straps were place beneath her to hoist her up out of the river and over to land. Once overs land, Speakwasy was power washed and set on a trailer. 

Speakeasy getting a wash down at the Canal Street Marina. 

The trailer was pushed into place near other boats for the winter. Shortly thereafter, I prepared her for a cold winter by changing oil, conditioning fuel, and winterizing the engine and water systems. 

Speakeasy's winter resting place at Canal Street Marina. 

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