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Author Topic:   Key West to Chicago by Whaler
KellyHicks posted 02-14-2007 06:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for KellyHicks   Send Email to KellyHicks  
I am considering making a trip from Key West to Chicago spring of 2007 with my 305 Conquest. I am not looking for any passengers, but if anyone would like to make the trip as part of a Whaler trip, respond to this thread. I have made the trip 2 times already, so you won't really need any knowledge or research (I have it all already)
The trip is called 1/2 the circle tour.
I am looking for any interested parties willing to do part or all the trip.March 15th would be the earliest we could leave Key West, and April Fools day is about the last day I could comfortably make the trip.My slip opens up in Chicago April 1st weather permitting.
For anyone interested here is the legs of the trip involved:
1-Key West to Marco Island or Sanibel Island (get fuel)open water gulf trip.
2-Sanibel Island to Tampa via the intercoastal waterway...there is numerous opportunities to jump out in the gulf on calm days, but for the sakes of trip planning lets plan intercoastal.
3-Tampa to Suwannee River via the Gulf...90 mile gulf trip...Anything north of suwannee is shallow and rocky, I'd rather avoid this unless traveling with someone who has been there.
4-Suwannee River to Carrabelle Florida...back into the intercoastal after a 90 mile gulf trip
5-Carrabelle to Mobile Bay via the Intercoastal...once again calm days present opportunities to jump out in the Gulf, but for planning sake let's stay in the Intercoastal Waterway.
6-Mobile Bay to the dirty dozen locks of the Tennessee TomBigbee Waterway...yep 12 locks, the last of which dumps you out in Lake Pickwick.
7-Lake Pickwick to Kentucky Lock and dam...210 miles of freedom with numerous marinas, courtesy cars, general hospitality, and restaurants....but most of all no locks!
8-After locking out of Kentucky lake a small journey south on the ohio river downstream...WEEEEEEEEE...then at Cairo, Illinois up the Mighty Missippippi River. Cairo has a good spot to anchor out, but there is no stopping place for a cruiser (nor would you want to)
9-Missippippi to Illinois River near Grafton IL ... Ooops forgot to mention we were at the mercy of Lockmasters again since KY Dam...anyhow once you enter the Illinois River you are in my backyard...we continue on to perhaps Tall timbers marina on this leg.
10-Going to see Starved Rock State Park this day, lockmasters and barge traffic permitting...then all the sudden the most inhabitable lock on the whole river...Lockport Lock and dam in Lockport Illinois. I have boated on the IL River for 20+ years and never ever been locked through here until after dark and a minimum of 3 hour wait, and 5 hours would be the average.
11-Lockport IL-Chicago via the Illinois river and sanitary ship canal...easy trip here...almost if not all is a NO-WAKE-ZONE...I highly recommend you turn your vhf radio off if you get on plane the next 40 miles or so.
12-Chicago to Northpoint Marina...believe it or not, we will have spent the night in the city of chicago for free...possibly been to the house of is Marina/Bar options available...but I tie up within a mile or 2 of the last lock and dam we will encounter...expect a friendly visit from the chicago police water patrol to find out your me...they will find you if u are tied up for free. After all you are in downtown chicago near skyscrapers.After your visit...sleep well...the water is fenced off from the land.
13-Yes we just left Chicago on a 40 mile journey to Northpoint Marina...water will be cold but you could possibly catch coho salmon with small jointed green rapalas trolled on a flatline behing the boat (orange works sometimes too)...Last trip North the water was 38 degrees and we caught 3 midget (keeper) Coho Salmon in the trip.
14-thats about it...any interested party's contact me.
-Kelly Hicks
Buckda posted 02-16-2007 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Kelly -

I'd be interested in the reverse trip, however, the time commitment is significant for my current situation.


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