Originally Posted by beksy
I am an Aussie cruiser. I am intending to motor up the mississippi to avoid the hurricane season in the caribbean. I am having trouble getting information on currents in the river. Most general information available is on motoring down the mississippi and not up. Has anyone done the trip up the river in their own boat?, can anybody point me towards where I might find relevant information?
Thanx, beksy, sv ragin cajun
I am not sure why you would want to motor up the Mississippi particularly in a sailboat. As pointed out the river is very commercial, dirty (not called the big muddy for nothing) and will require you to take the mast down if you intend to go all the way to Chicago. There is certainly the "great loop," so named because it is a big circle around the eastern U.S. I expect you would have a lot more fun on the Atlantic coast and using the Intracostal Waterway. There are frequent places to stop, lots of nice people and towns brimming with U.S. history.
I used to work for a company that ran grain barges on the Mississippi. The current is so strong that the towboats were refueled and re-crewed without stopping. Yes, there were also economic reasons - getting the tow into its destination faster - but the current was a big factor.
Should you have your heart set on the Mississippi I would suggest you go the other way - that is, up the Atlantic to NYC, up the Hudson River, one of the Erie Canal branches and through the Great Lakes. You will avoid hundreds of miles of adverse current (the only places being the Hudson, Detroit, and St. Clair Rivers - maybe 210 NM total of adverse current.) Then you can do the Tom Sawyer thing and drift down the Mississippi slowly. I would point out that the Hudson is sill a slog, the current peaks so high that the northbound barge traffic anchors and waits for the current to turn rather than burning fuel to continue upstream.
As far as avoiding Hurricanes, most insurance companies put the line at the Georgia - Florida border. Thus you don't have to go very far North. BTW the entire Gulf of Mexico is pretty much in the exclusion zone for boat insurance during hurricane season.
Hope this helps.