Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Everyone was up and moving around by 7 am. There was a haze over the water as the sun was coming up and the temperature was warm. Gale and Brian let the dinghy down, took Lucy to a sandbar, and explored the immediate area. Gale brought Brian back to the boat and Lin hopped on for a little ride. As they were motoring near the cliff face, an Asian Carp jumped 3 to 4 feet out of the water startling everyone aboard the dinghy! The fish was probably a 20-pounder but, fortunately, it did not end up in the boat!

About 10:30 am, we pulled up the anchor and headed back upstream to downtown Ottawa. The town is located on the Fox River which empties into the Illinois at Mile 240.3. The Fox River was extremely shallow; the boats we saw were mostly pontoons, houseboats or other flat bottom boats. We motored up the river for a short distance to see the old Fox River Aqueduct, which carried the old Illinois-Michigan Canal across the river. Finding that the Fox River was too shallow, we returned to the Illinois River where we decided to dock the Gemini at one of Ottawa’s courtesy docks and explore the town by foot. We were surprised to see another Gemini catamaran, Ally's Cat, at the same courtesy dock. We visited with the owners for a short time and then we were off to see Ottawa.

We were all hungry after a busy morning, so we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch at a sidewalk cafĂ© only about ½-block from the waterfront. The City of Ottawa is known for its murals that are painted on the sides of various buildings throughout the downtown area. The murals depict various scenes of Ottawa’s historic past. Two of our favorite murals were the famous Lincoln-Douglas debate that took place in Ottawa’s town square and the other was of Native American Indians hunting buffalo at Buffalo Rock along the Illinois River.

By 3 pm we were on the boat to make our way back to the Heritage Harbor Marina where Brian and Lin had left their car. It was time for them to get home and prepare for the week ahead. Around 4 pm, Brian and Lin were packed up and on their way down the road and Maureen and Gale were on the river headed back to Buffalo Rock for the night, arriving there at 5:30 pm. We were at the anchorage a little earlier tonight and found dozens of boats “hanging out.” Many of the boats were rafted up together into sets of six to ten boats side by side. The sandbar was full of beached boats, jet skis, tents, toys, dogs and people. It wasn’t long before all the boats cleared out of the anchorage and headed home at the end of this Labor Day Weekend.

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