Friday, October 13, 2006

Havana Daydreamin', Oh, he's just dreamin' his life away...

Well, we made it to Havana, IL today, but Oh! What a trip. The wind was howling at about 30 mph, and the temperature was about 28 F when we headed out at 7:00 AM. With the wind from the west, and the river current running from the east most of the day, we hit a really serious chop that sent ice cold water spraying all over the boat and crew. We had to put on rain gear with down jackets underneath. Even with that we had to spell each other on deck; one on deck steering, the other below thawing.
We made it here around 3 and ran into the folks we had met a few days ago in Joliet.
Our second day in Peoria was interesting. We took a bus downtown to find an internet cafe. The folks at the Adams Street Cafe were wonderful. Free refills on coffee, great carrot cake and no pressure to leave as closing time approached. Thanks!
For dinner we went to Alexander's Steak House, right next to the marina. It was a very unusual place. While you could get almost anything, their specialty was steak. All kinds of steak from filet to NY strip, to sirloin, whatever. After munching on a really great salad bar, we went to the cooler to pick our own steaks. We took them over to the huge charcoal grill in the center of the restaurant, seasoned them to our taste and cooked them ourselves. It made for a really different dining experience. The steaks were great, and we had a good time. For any boaters traveling through the area, we would recommend spending a night at the Wharf Harbor Marina, and walking over to Alexander's for dinner. (They will cook your steak for you if you don't want to do it yourself.)
From here to the Mississippi, there are no marinas - 120 miles. We are stocking up on fuel and groceries here in Havana for the trip down to Grafton, our first stop on the Mississippi. We will have to anchor out 2 or 3 nights in a row. That means no electricity except what we get from our solar panels. If it's cold at night, we'll have to run the alcohol heater. It works great and throws a lot of heat, but in the process it generates a lot of water vapor which then condenses on any cool surface - like the ceiling. It is supposed to be warmer the next few days, so we hope we won't have to use it.

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