Illinois Yacht Club Welcomes Loopers

Leaving an anchorage is similar to leaving an RV park- instead of cranking up the jack stands, we just pull up the anchor and go.   Leave no trace- no chance of leaving anything behind, as it is all self-contained on the boat.   Loving the added feature of electric windlass on our boat- just step on the up-button and the electric winch pulls the anchor and chain into the anchor locker!

Each boat pulled anchor and slowly pivoted out of the narrow island channel behind the southern point of Twin Sisters Island,   maneuvering around debris and large branches or logs that had drifted in around us overnight.

The Illinois river had flowed west from Chicago across Illinois, and at Ottawa we started angling south.    As we approached Peoria the river widens into lakes (similar to Pepin Lake on the Mississippi south of Minneapolis).    The river is wide but gets very shallow- Outside the channel markers it looked to be only a few feet deep.




At this point our chart plotter turned yellow- no map detail.   Mmmm..  our c-chip is limited to the Great lakes charts!   Didn’t think of that.   The three captains spent time on our boat with tech tips and mapping ideas- one offered an upgrade chip he wasn’t using and Dave spoke with Navionics tech to try to download upgrades.    The end result- we need to purchase a $100 map chip for the inland rivers.    Or just use our smaller Garmin with its 4inch screen compared to the Raymarine chart plotter with its color 10 inch screen.    (This terminology may not be 100%  correct but you get the idea)

This little chip is the culprit- we don’t have one for the inland rivers!


Our screen should look something like this:  instead it is blank!




The Illinois Valley Yacht club (IVY club) is on the north edge of town, so we pulled in for the night before actually entering Peoria.  This is a private club that accepts transients.  It was established in 1907 so has a lot of local history.  Over the years it has survived several flooding situations and today is very nice marina.

The end of season is near; and they have reduced hours, limited staff and amenities are closed (bar, restaurant and pool are closed).    Took the opportunity to do laundry, although it was a long walk from the end of the docks all the way around the u-shaped harbor to the club house.   Note to self- bring plenty of quarters-  I put the clothes in the drier and was short 2 quarters!   Walk all the way back to the boat; get more quarters.  Got smarter and biked back this trip!


Moon Shadow went directly to the fuel dock.   The water is so high, the walkway from the fuel dock to shore is flooded.  The attendant had to motor out across the 15 feet moat to get to the fuel station!   Filled with fuel and did a $5 pump out.  Later found out that our next marina offered free pump outs at Tall Timbers!  Live and learn.  So far pump outs have ranged from free to $20 dollars- go figure.



Each evening Dave goes down in the engine compartment and does his check list- check the oil, visual engine inspection and prepare for the next day’s travels.

Colleen makes a plan for lunch on the go and usually pre-preps boiled eggs, pasta salad, ham sandwiches and snacks for easy underway meals.


We visited with other boaters at the Yacht Club bar, then made plans for heading to Tall Timbers Marina the following day.

Peoria  Illinois- in a few days we will be the most western tip of our trip south to the gulf.

Must share the important facts along the way,  traveling at this speed leaves time for looking up trivia.


Destination :IVY CLUB (Illinois Yacht Club)

Distance: 35.2 miles 4 hours

left island at 8:30 arrived IVY club at 12:30





About mnsailors

Our blog will highlight our travels along America's Great Loop. We sold our sailboat on Lake Superior for a Trawler to do America's Great Loop in 2016.
This entry was posted in America's Great Loop Adventure, Illinois River, Moon Shadow Log and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Illinois Yacht Club Welcomes Loopers

  1. Mark says:

    Hello, I started reading your blog a couple days ago and spent the whole day reading beginning to end. Great adventure. Wish I was there. Planning to sell my house and do the same Great Loop. I have a question on your map chip. Did you find one from Navionics for inland waters. I think yours is a Gold chip and now replaced by +. I don’t see a inland waters region on their web site. What did you do?


  2. Deb says:

    Had to chuckle at, what seems to be the dilemma of the day, spend $100. for extra chip , or use 4″ screen vs. luxury of larger screen. Wouldn’t Albert have lots to say…. ie, read your paper charts, Colleen get the marked rope measurer and rain gear, stay on bow deck lookout…. :). Still sounds like a lot of fun adventuring


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