Upper Mississippi - by Tim Powell

Well Duh !....if I need gas I'll just pull in and get some! Do You Think So ??

So you are on your way, finally! Initial supplys of groceries, fuel, spare batteries, etc.(see checklists in xxxxxxx section) are on board and in their place. The weather is fair, and you shouldn't need to make a stop for at least two more days. All Is Well With The World.

Items that may need replenishment:

Fuels: Not all marinas have diesel fuel. Most will have oil. Some will have cooking and heating fuels such as propane, alcohol, or Coleman fuel, but these may be harder to find. Some marinas, especially if you buy many gallons of fuel, or pay a fee for overnight transient docking, will loan you transportation or take you to the nearest store.

In the off season, when marinas are closed, you will need to arrange for fuel to be brought to you, at a ramp or public dock. Some Oil companies will send their trucks, if you buy at least 50 gallons. Friends & kinfolks might be willing to help, especially if you give them a short ride on your boat. You will be wise to always have a couple of 5 gallon portable tanks onboard.
Drinking Water: Marinas, campgrounds, and parks usually have drinking water, if they are open. Iodine tablets and other water purification for campers may need to be resorted to, so try and have some aboard. At worse, you can boil any freshwater for 20 minutes and it should be safe.

Groceries & Batteries: Not all marinas have groceries. Most will have small batteries, snacks and coke machines. Some will have basic supplies such as coffee, sugar, salt, assorted can goods. Apples, bananas, sun tan lotion, mosquito repellents, soaps (biofriendly), toilet paper, portable toilet chemicals....these may be harder to find. If you don't smoke, you had better remember the Matches!

Some marinas, especially if you buy many gallons of fuel, or pay a fee for overnight transient docking, will loan you transportation or take you to the nearest store. In emergencys, or months when marinas are closed, kind-hearted souls at fishing ramps might help you out. If they do, pay them a small fee, take them for a boat ride, they will help a stranger again!

Fish Bait, Anchor, Line, Tarps: Sooner or later, you're gonna donate an anchor to Neptunes depths. Marinas can generally find an anchor and line to sell you, some will have fish bait, very few will stock tarps. Intown boat dealers, as well as Wallmart type discount centers, will usually have anchors, line, and tarps. Fish bait can be begged or paid for from local fishermen, collected from under rocks and onshore logs, etc... a whole 'nother subject.

Medicines, Money, Your Spirit: For medicine, whether prescription or off the counter, you will usually need to plan on a trip into town, or at least an overnight wait for the marina operators to bring it from town.. Unless the marina has year-round livaboards, it probably won't provide wire or banking services to restock your money. These also will require a trip into town.
Most voyagers like to talk to their family at least every few days. This uplifts your spirit as nothing else can do. Knowing "all is well" at home makes your guilt for having so much fun less of a burden. A prepaid calling card with a preset amount of calling time can be purchased before you leave. Most marinas have pay phones. The calling card would be the cheapist and most convenient way, with the most expensive being a ship-to-shore radio call. Be sure to carry letter writing materials with you, as well as stamps.

For those "socked in" weather conditions, you need a good book. If your voyage takes you by major marinas, some of them take part in an inter-marina library system, and have books they will loan you, that you may drop off at a different marina on your voyage after reading it.