Locking Through on the Mississippi

When we reserved our houseboat, S&S sent us our deposit receipt as well as an information DVD. We watched the DVD with great interest.

One of the activities shown in the DVD that we knew we wanted to do was go through a lock. The DVD showed the smiling passenger— all wearing bathing suits due to the warm sunny day— holding onto ropes that kept the houseboat next to the lock wall while the water rose. When the gates opened, the passengers let go of the ropes and the boat glided away from the wall and upstream.

Our experience locking up was a bit different. The day was sunny with a stiff northward breeze. Due to a combination of strong winds, choppy waves, and a novice captain, the kids and I had difficulty catching and holding on to the ropes tossed down to us. We banged hard against the lock wall multiple times (one sending Harrison sprawling to the floor) while the water rose and the lock workers kept tossing us new ropes when we had to let go of the ropes we were holding due to the movement of the boat.  We earned the lock master’s nickname for rental houseboats: Ricochet Rentals.

This locking up occurred on our second day of the rental. We were happy to put some distance and a few days between us and the lock.

Of course, to return to our starting point, we had to go back through the lock.

On the day we locked down, the sun was out, the water was calm, and Mike was more experienced in handling the

brick

houseboat. The ropes were passed down to us, and the kids had no difficulty holding the boat alongside the lock wall (I think they were even smiling like the people in the DVD). The water flowed out of the lock, we dropped about eight feet, the gates opened, and we moved on down river.

It sure was a good feeling to meet this challenge again with much more success.

 

Steady as she goes...

Steady as she goes...

The only people picture from our first lock experience

The only people picture from our first lock experience

I think we are in at this point

I think we are in at this point

Harrison holds the rear on our second attempt

Harrison holds the rear on our second attempt

Storybird holds the front

Storybird holds the front

The darker portion is the amount of height the lock covers

The darker portion is the amount of height the lock covers

Blurry, but relieved!

Blurry, but relieved!

Lock gates closing

Lock gates opening

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