Hickman Ky to New Madrid, Mo: Mississippi river Mile Marker 890

Boy, was it a chilly morning. We had to turn on the heat. Weather map says 39 degrees this morning. Anyways we had a quiet day motoring down the river yesterday. We enjoyed the beautiful landscape that surrounds us with Missouri on one side of us and Kentucky on the other side.  We are continually amazed at the number of sandy shorelines on the Illinois River and the Mississippi.  And on the lower Mississippi, the sandy beaches are huge.  So far, the lower Mississippi is much wider and deeper than the upper Mississippi.  So the tows present no issue as we pass them.   We see the same type of anchorages on the inside curves of the river, which provide us with a sandy shore and low currents.

In the center of the river, the typical river current is 3-5 mph.  With this type of current, we can throttle our engine back to about 5.5 mph through the water speed to get a speed over ground of 8-10 mph.  When we do this, our diesel mileage increases to almost 15 miles per gallon.  So our total 50 gallons allows us to travel nearly 750 miles; up from our normal 300 miles.  This is a subtle point no one understands about sail boats traveling these rivers.  And of course, since our fuel tanks are so small, we can easily anchor off of any town with a gas station and dingy in with our two 5 gallon jugs to get another 150 miles of fuel.  So we are rarely concerned about fuel.

Here is a typical picture of us traveling down the river taken just prior to us getting to Hickman.  We love to enjoy the sun and scenery as Otto pilots us down the river!!


Okay a few interesting tidbits of information. The waters that flow from the head of the Missouri to the mouth of the Mississippi is the longest stretch of river in the North America 3877 miles. Did you know that it takes 90 days for a single drop of water to travel down the Mississippi?

Q) Why didn’t the scarecrow eat dinner? Q) Why did the vampire get fired from the blood bank? I will give you time to think about the answers and put them at the end of the blog…

This is the shoreline of the Missouri. Looks like the Army Corp added gravel along the shoreline to shore up the levy and/or stop erosion.


Look how long this tow is. Her name is Angela K. She was pushing 4 wide and 7 long barges. Total 28 barges.  The longest we saw today was 8 barges long by 4 wide.  This would be about 1700 feet long. Do you know how much cargo is moved on the Mississippi? 620 million tons moved on the inland waterways system in 1995, 321 million tons moved on the Mississippi River. The Ohio River tonnage 236 million while the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway saw 119 million ton.


This is a tank barge it is used for transportation of liquid commodities such as chemical, acids, compressed gas, and lets not forget fertilizer, and petroleum. I thought this was a fun fact: One barge can carry up to five times its own weight.


Yesterday, I posted I thought this was Einstein when actually it is apparently Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. Thanks Matt for reaching out to me.


I was looking at photos the other day when I came across this one of George and Bryce kayaking. George fell into the lake. I think he really wanted to swim.  He probably had a premonition of traveling on the water.


I thought this pretty neat. It shows the winding of the river. Doesn’t it look like a snake?  We are at the blue dot. 


This is the nice sandy Kentucky shoreline.  These sandy beaches are one of the things we love about the river.  We are anchored at Mile Marker 890 just across from the New Madrid.  We are on the inside curve of the river, inside the red buoys. An inside curve of the river is our favorite place to anchor as it is most often a sandy shore with little current. In spite of the current being 3-5 mph in the center of the river, on the inside curves the current drops to 0.5 mph. The water temp is cooling down at 64.9 degrees. Brrrr You really can’t see it too well, but there is a tiny fishing boat with a tent up on the beach. Sure hope they stayed warm last night.


Answer to jokes

Q) Why did the vampire get fired from the blood bank?

A) He was caught drinking on the job…..Laughing out loud LOL

Q) Why didn’t the scarecrow eat dinner?

A) He was already stuffed…Laughing out loud LOL

We appreciate you following our blog. ThanksRed rose

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