Lock 53 On the Ohio River

We anchored out in a the Ohio River just off of Mound city last night. It was a peaceful night for being on the river. We woke to find that our mast had a few Irish pendants. The plastic wrapped on the ends decided to unravel. Bryce decided it was time to duck tape the ends. With that mentioned he climbed on top of the mast and scooted to the end.  You can see the Irish pendant in the photo.

Finally, Bryce finished his morning to do list and we started on our way to the lock. Cruising up the river we noticed the pipe line layer.  In this picture, a baby tow is helping to lift the anchor of the pipeline layer.

So we made it to lock 53 at 1:00 pm. We were told it would be around 1/2 hour. And to hang tight with the power boaters.  They would get us through the locks together. Olmstead lock 53 & 52 are under construction they are building a new set of locks & 52 is 23.5 miles from 53 and they are going to combine the two locks in 2020 to create one.


This is as you can guess another view of them building the lock. Finally they called us on the VHF and said they were ready to escort all of us through the safety zone. Why a safety zone you might ask? While building the new dam, which is in front of lock 53 you have to be escorted through. However, when we made it to the locks we waited another 3 hours. We had a total of a 5 1/2 hour wait. 

Was Bryce bored? Oh… no This is the first time since we started this trip that the water was remotely clean enough to step into let long submerge our bodies in. The difference between the two rivers is the sediment. The Mississippi was so dark I couldn’t see my toes. 


Finally, in the locks..Hooray๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿป although the skies look clear and bright sunset was about to settle in. Once out we must find a place to anchor.  This was an unusual lock.. Round caissons rather than flat concrete.


As the lock goes up we received a better up close view of the dam. Trying to figure out how they can hold those two barges in place right up on the dam.  It’s about 7 feet tall.


Here is a view of part of the dam.  This is probably the alternate route during high water.


2 thoughts on “Lock 53 On the Ohio River

  1. Looks like you are heading for the Tenn Tom, right? None of your river adventures would be possible in the spring, unless you wanted to surf. Returning the boat in the spring or too early to tell?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Dave.
      Yes, we are now in Kentucky Lake. After seeing the difference in water depth you are right spring would not be possible. We will be returning through the Erie Canal. We are from Michigan.


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