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Swing Set

Aug 8, 201202:20 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Wilson Lock and Florence Harbor Marina

We didn't get any more visitors in our little cove last night, so the water was calm and quiet, and we got a good nights sleep. We got up early and had a quick breakfast with plans to weigh anchor by 8 a.m.


While Rosie was straightening up the galley from breakfast, I took Holly outside for a picture of her new haircut. It took five tries before she would face the camera. The key word here was "treat." Gets her to perk her ears up every time.

As soon as I got out of the cove we were in, I called the lock and was told that the chamber was full and we should come on down.

Here, we are approaching Wilson Lock from the upstream side. The tower is a tourist attraction, and there are some big hotels at the base of it. We waited a few minutes because the lockmaster had stepped over to the auxiliary lock for something or other, but soon enough they signaled us in. This is one of the tallest locks in the world, but the ride was just as gentle as any we've had.

In no time, they were opening the huge gates and spitting us out. Just a short ride down the canal, and we were at Florence Harbor Marina.

Eva, the owner, hailed us on the radio and recognized our boat as soon as we told her who we were. She directed us to a nice slip and came over to help tie us up. One of her employees brought a package for us that we had shipped from Glenndinning Products. It's the parts we need to fix our engine synchronizer. We got the air conditioning cranking away, and then we went to pay for our slip and get the keys for the courtesy car. There was a snag, as the battery in the courtesy car was dead. We tried to help get it going, but Eva eventually just gave us the keys to her new car, and off we went.

Our first stop was lunch. Mickey D's, hadn't been there for ages, but it was quick and passable and we were again on our way. We stopped at the tractor supply, because they could fill our propane tank. While we were waiting for the tank to be filled, I started shopping around and found some good prices on the oil we need for the next oil change. I also bought a new grease gun, because for the life of me I cannot find my other one. I have a feeling I left it at the Duck Club back in St. Louis.

Turned out they couldn't fill our tank because, "The big tank wasn't working," whatever that means, but they told us about a location where we could get the tank filled, and it wasn't too far away.

Next it was Wal-Mart, where we got four cases of Bud Light, two new pillows and new pillow cases, plus some other junk we didn't really need. When we got back out to the parking lot, I tried to get us into a vehicle that wasn't the one we came in. Same brand, same color, but not the same car. We eventually found it and got on our way.

Next stop was a credit union that is associated with the place we bank at in St. Louis. We got cash, but could have gotten it at the tractor supply or at Wal-Mart, but I wanted to make sure our system will work, so we got the cash where a person is supposed to get cash, at a bank.

Then it was on to a Save-a-Lot grocery store. We've never been in a Save-a-Lot. It's like an Aldi's but they provide grocery bags. They actually have pretty good prices if you don't mind off-brands. We don't. It all looks the same in the end.

The directions we had for the Clark Gas Company were good ones, and six bucks later we had our propane tank filled up. On the way there, we had passed a place called Champy's Chicken, and we stopped in to get some chicken to go. It was 2 p.m., and the place was packed. That is a good sign. Instead of getting chicken to go, I got worried about the groceries in the car getting hot, so we decided to go back there tomorrow after Rosie sees the doctor in the afternoon.

The last stop was the gas station to put some fuel in Eva's car, which she said later was not necessary. When we got back to the marina, Eva was getting the marina courtesy car jump-started, and then she was headed for Auto Zone to have the battery checked. She asked if we needed anything, but we were anxious to get our groceries packed away on the boat.

Rosie found a place for all of the groceries, and I found good places for the 12.5 gallons of oil we bought. The next oil change isn't for another 80 hours, but now we're ready.

We have free WiFi here in our slip, so we're going to take advantage of it and order a pizza to go at the marina restaurant, The Barge Inn, and then come back to the air-conditioned comfort of the boat and watch a Netflix movie. We may be in heaven.

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