Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014
We drove to St. Pete so we could close down the condo and bring a car load of stuff south. We had to do laundry, clean the refrigerator and pack cloths. We decided not to bring pictures, or valuable as there would be a lot of work going on in the next month.
Tuesday - Saturday, Aug. 26 - 30, 2014
These days went quickly. We were busy unpacking boxes, making lists and running errands. We had to have a dead palm removed from the backyard. The house was finally livable and beginning to come together by Saturday. The AC is great!
Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
The movers arrived by 9:00 with all of our storage items – furniture and lots of boxes. The AC people were there by 8:00 – got new unit and installed it by 2:00 in the afternoon. The house started to cool off – Dave spent time in our new bedroom that has its own AC unit. That room got cool quickly.
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014
We drove to Cape Coral in the am. and met with our contractor in the afternoon. House inspection wasn’t what we quite expected. There were a number of items that were not completed, partially completed or completed incorrectly. The major problem was that the AC wasn’t working. We called our AC person and he arrived by 5:00 on Sunday. The attic unit would need to be replaced due to construction damage. We spent the night at Hampton Inn, Cape Coral and were glad to get into air conditioning. The weather is hot and very humid.
Friday, Saturday, Aug 22 - 23, 2014
Drove south to FL. The weather cooperated so we didn’t drive in rain. Traffic wasn’t bad either. We arrived at the condo in St. Pete by noon on Saturday so were able to relax. Barb put more stuff into the car that would be needed in Cape Coral.
Monday / Thursday - Aug. 18 - 21, 2014
We got our car from the boat yard and started our countdown to haul out on Thursday. We had to go down to Traverse City to get supplies, met with boat yard mechanic aboard to discuss winter work, finished eating most of the food aboard, cleaned, packed and loaded the car. We were supposed to be hauled on Friday but the weather was turning again so we worked with the boatyard and were hauled of Thursday afternoon. Not sure how we did it but all work on our closedown list was completed that had to be done. Barb worked really fast. Thursday came and we got the last of the laundry done in the morning. We were droving out of North Port by 2:00 in the afternoon and heading south with our car loaded. Made it to Indiana before stopping for the night.
Sunday - Aug. 17, 2014
We were up early as there was a group of boats leaving about 7:00 a.m. We were a little later than we wanted and had difficulty getting out of the slip as the winds were from the north and pushed us against the dock as we backed out. Not too much damage. We were in the middle of the 7 boats heading west with Sweetwater behind us. They were heading towards Traverse City and will anchor off of Northport Marina tonight. We went 76 miles in 9.25 hours. The winds stayed out of the north which helped push us along and we had no waves to worry about. When we arrived at North Port we got a dock and didn’t have to be on the wall. This would make walking much easier as we had to put a lot into the car.
Sunday - Saturday, Aug. 10 - 16, 2014
We had hoped to get into the marina on Mackinac Island, but due to new weather reports and the change in the conditions we went on to Mackinaw City. We were safe in a slip by 11:30 a.m. and glad of it as the winds built from the South at 10-15 which made the island a lumpy place to be. The Straights Marina was about half full today which was the first for us. We did get a slip and hunkered down as the weather wasn’t looking good for a few days. We ended up staying a week here due to weather and wave conditions. During the week a number of looper boats came in. Takes Two, Sweetwater, Allez, JimKat, and more. We had a cocktail in the clubhouse one evening. Lots of nice folks to talk with – about 9 boats altogether. We sat out winds upwards of 30 mph during the week, rain showers off and on, and lots of waves outside the marina. All weather was from the south/southwest which really made for huge waves in the Grey’s Reef area. We told the Looper group that we wouldn’t attempt to leave in such weather. Some boats were anxious to head south so tried on Friday, but turned back due to waves in Grey’s Reef (west of Mackinaw Bridge). As we were staying so long we started to do storage preparation work during our week here. Cleaning and organizing different areas of the boat. Finally on Saturday it looked like Sunday would be day to go. So we finished a few projects and did check list for leaving the next day.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday - Aug. 7 - 9, 2014
We didn’t leave early as we wanted to get a pump out in DeTour before heading west to the Les Cheneaux Islands in northern Michigan. We spent about 30 minutes waiting for the gas dock to clear. Meanwhile the winds started picking up so docking was difficult. But we didn’t hit anyone or anything so that was good. We did 32 miles today and were at anchor by 2:00 in Government Bay. The Adrea, another GLCC boat that anchored off our port side at the Wilderness Rally came in and anchored beside us. There were a number of boats in this large bay so it wasn’t very quiet. This is a resort and vacation area, with many small runabouts. We were rocked a number of times because boaters didn’t slowdown in the anchorage and went close to us to see the boat. We stayed another two days and took out our kayaks to explore the shoreline. The Looper boat Sweetwater (with the Christensen’s aboard) came in on Friday. We saw they Looper flag so went over to say hi and they came over for cocktails and spent the evening talking about their trip and getting advice about the next leg south. On Saturday we took the dinghy over t Hessel to the wooden boat show. WOW! We say a ton of gorgeous wooden boats.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - Aug. 4 - 6, 2014
Our start wasn’t so early as we needed to get a little fuel before we left. We traveled downriver and had good currents (2.5 knots) all the way to DeTour where we turned east and went to anchor at Harbour Island just north of Drummond Island. We like this anchorage as it is protected from most winds. We were able to anchor further inside the bay which helped give more protection from winds that came out of SW. We spent two more days here – watching boats pass after checking in at Drummond Island from Canada. We took our kayaks out and explored the island shoreline – couldn’t get all the way around due to the size of the island. A Boy Scout boat out of Detroit came in and anchored – interesting to watch this double mast sailing vessel and the troop that was aboard. They swam from the boat in the afternoon. So Dave had to give it a go also – way too cold for Barb. On Wednesday Takes Two came in and anchored – a DeFever 49 pilot house. The Wallace’s came over for cocktails that evening. We met them while in the North Channel earlier in July.
Sunday,August 3, 2014
We spent the a.m. going to the grocery store and liquor store. Both were bike rides and we had to go to the grocery store twice due to the amount of food we needed – only have backpacks to carry food in. So we got our exercise with a two mile one way ride. We went to the American Locks in the afternoon (after it rained) to see the locks and the museum. Quite an interesting place. We had to ride our bikes due to distance. We watched a freighter lock through and found it much different from how we lock through with Hallelujah.
Saturday - August 2, 2014
We were up early again as we were traveling 50 miles to Saulte Ste. Marie by way of the St. Joseph Channel. This is a pretty run. We again had an uneventful travel day. We didn’t pass any ships on the Saint Mary’s River but did have a current we had to fight. We arrived by 2:00, called customs to check into the US and had to wait an hour on the boat before they arrived. We spent the afternoon cleaning the boat and doing laundry. A couple of GLCC boats came and a couple of looper boats. Docks were pretty full by 5:00 so we were glad we arrived early and got a good dock.
Friday - August 1, 2014
We left early this am to head west to Thessalon for pump out and dock for the night. The trip over was uneventful – weather good, no waves. We went 45 miles in 5.5 hours. After docking, we found an internet connection by the office so checked emails. Two boats from the GLCC Wilderness Rally came in about 4:00. We walked to the grocery store with them – didn’t know this town had a decent store. The evening was interesting as the town was full with Thesalon Days events. There was a huge Canadian baseball tournament going on, rides and games at the marina along with live music and a fireworks display at 10:00 p,m,
Saturday - Thursday, July 26 - 31, 2014
We wanted to get to Turnbull anchorage early for the start of the GLCC Wilderness Rally. So we headed out early for the 27 mile run west through the Whales Back channel. We hoped to get a good anchorage. We arrived by 11:00 a.m. to find only two boats here – we were earlyJ 8 other boats came in during the afternoon. But we had swing room rights so they stayed away from us. No cocktails tonight as it rained. Sunday we had cold windy weather from west so we bounced around some. There was a cocktail party on shore so we went in. We thought this was the pre-rally cocktail, but we are a day off – that is Monday. More boats came in today. On Monday, the winds again built from the west but the pre Rally Beer exchange went on as planned. More boats arrived on Monday so the anchorage is beginning to fill up. There were 25 boats registered for the Rally. We heard tonight that Lady J hit a rock and was taking on water. They lost a stabilizer which caused s breach of their hull. With rescue teams and extra pumps they were towed to Little Current and hauled out. We were hoping to finally meet them here. At the beer exchange we met a few couples who winter in FL and talked about having a small get together in Cape Coral of Port Charlotte. Tuesday was the first day of the Rally with lots of activities. Barb ventured over to Rangatira to meet with fellow quilters, while there was a book exchange on shore and a kite building contest. At 11:30 everyone scurried back to boats to pack picnic lunch and a dinghy ride to Sanford Island. The opening cocktail party was cancelled due to rain. On Wednesday there were dinghy races (no kayak races as none showed up), kite flying and a cocktail on host boats (Hallelujah was a host boat so we have 8 aboard. We stayed inside because it was cold. There were some more activities today but it was cold and rain threatened most of the day. Venetia from Fairy Tale was concerned so came over to make sure we were ok. We did go in for dinner – chili dump and awards. The chili was spicy hot. There were some very interesting side dishes (Barb asked for recipes). Prices were awarded for the many activities of which we didn’t participate, but we still had a great time. We all said our goodbyes and have phone numbers for people in FL so we can plan a get together during the winter. That will be fun!
Thursday / Friday, July 24-25, 2014
We need to move, so we decided to return to Oak Bay at Hotham Island as the winds were to build out of the west. When we arrived there was only one other boat in this anchorage – so we were able to get snugged in behind an island so the W NW winds were not so bad. Three of the looper boats we met in Little Current came in during the afternoon. On Friday we took the kayaks out to get exercise and found the Hotham Island channel to be rather rough. WE sure had exercise with winds and waves!
Tuesday / Wednesday, July 22 - 23, 2014
Out timing isn’t great but the winds are to switch to the northwest so we need to move. We decided Little Current would be best or strong winds that are predicted. So we traveled 22 miles back to Little Current and were put on the city wall. We did laundry and grocery run. Met a few loopers but no cocktail hour on boats. The winds were strong. We also ran into old friends on Mind Sweeper – they came aboard for a while. We stayed an extra day due to winds and did some much needed house cleaning while we had shore power.
Friday / Saturday / Sunday / Monday, July 18 - 21, 2014
We are in need of a pump out and also need to start west for GLCC Wilderness Rally. So after figuring out miles and timing we head west to Little Current and our swing bridge. Of course we were 10 minutes off on timing so had to wait 50 minutes for next bridge. We will never figure this out right. We got fast pump out in Little Current and headed north to another new anchorage – Eagle Island. This is the largest anchorage in the North Channel and there were lots of boats here. We had hoped to stop at the Benjamin’s but the winds were not from a good direction. We actually go the anchor to set the first time! Lady J was sitting here at anchor but we didn’t get to talk with them. We will see them at the GLCC Rally soon. Saturday two boats we knew came in during the afternoon so we went over to say hi. The Old Grouch is a looper boat we have met a couple of times – home port is Parry Sound, ON. JimKat is a DeFever 46 from Ohio. We had cocktails aboard their boat and talked about what to expect on Lake MI for their trip south. On Sunday we took the kayaks out for a little exercise. The Old Grouch came over for cocktails in the evening. We did some cleaning and engine room work on Monday.
Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday, Thursday, July 14 - 17, 2014
Winds were down, waves were down so it is time to move. We had to wait till boats behind us left but we were only going 8 miles to a new anchorage – Keyhole anchorage in Collins Inlet. This was another great new anchorage – we hope to return to next year. We did have difficulty setting the anchor and finding a place to actually put anchor down with enough swing room, but we were finally settled by 5:00 and cocktail hour. We watched a moose browsing the shore grasses. At first Dave thought it was a fake moose, but it wasn’t. On Tuesday it was cold out so we stayed aboard and in cabin. On Wednesday we ventured out with the Dinghy to explore the nearby islands and another anchorage close by. We also re-anchored Hallelujah after a number of the boats left so we had more swing room with more scope. On Thursday we took the dinghy down to Mill’s Lake – about 5 miles one way. The passage is narrow and also shallow so there is no way to get Hallelujah into this lake to anchor. But the ride was interesting.
Saturday / Sunday, July 12 / 13, 2014
We had hoped to sit out south winds at this anchorage for a few days, but that wasn’t to be. We talked with Lady J in the a.m. and verified the weather report – winds switching to West and increasing to 20 knots / gust to 35 knots. We both leave this anchorage just after noon. Dave decides we should try for Killarney and get a dock. This would be a better harbor than Little Current and a little closer. So we went 24 miles and were able to get a great dock at the Sportsman Inn. We were tucked up just off shore. We walked the whole town – about three blocks long and relaxed on board as the winds started to pick up. On Sunday the winds were really strong (we registered 25 mph and this was sheltered area. Heard winds were up to 35 mph in areas close to us. Glad we moved! We did some housekeeping, and got fish for dinner from the fish shack. Winds subsided during the evening. Talked with the boaters docked behind us and they didn’t have a good night as their boat rocked because of current running in the channel.
Friday, July 11, 2014
We left Gore Bay and decided to go to McGregor Bay which was a 54 mile run past Little Current (so we had to wait for a swing bridge unless we timed it correctly). While Dave thought he had it timed correctly – it didn’t happen. So we ended up waiting 45 minutes for the 12:00 Bridge. McGregor Bay is a beautiful area with a tricky approach with lots of rock shoals and small islands. We were here in 2009 but didn’t remember the anchorage area very well. It turned out not to be as big as we thought – we had difficulty finding a place to anchor and then the weeds were really thick so the anchor didn’t hold the first two tries. We didn’t leave the boat today because we were concerned about the anchor. Did talk with couple from Lady J – anchored near us. They were able to get within 15 feet of a deer on shore feeding. We watched from the boat – really neat. The pictures give a good idea of the navigation that we experienced going into the North East Passage of McGregor Bay. Entering McGregor Bay area, we passed tall bluffs of rock and trees, then we had to pass through a very narrow channel between two rocks missing underwater rocks (we made it fine), then pass close to many small islands as we wound our way north towards the East West Passage and the anchorage.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
We needed a pump out and some wine! So we left Hotham Island and motored south to Gore Bay (20 mile run). We got a lot done in half a day – pump out, Dave did Laundry while Barb ran to Liquor store for wine and Grocery store for provisions. We also washed down the front deck to clean up mud from the past week of anchoring. We also found internet here so face talked with family – lots of fun – and checked email.
Tuesday / Wednesday, July 8 / 9, 2014
We were up at 3:30 with the boat rocking so much that we needed to sit in the main cabin. We left Aiken Island at 7:00 am and moved 15 miles to Hotham Island Oak Bay anchorage. This is a very well protected anchorage and one of our favorites. We found it almost empty. It rained on the way over, but fortunately we didn’t have to set the anchor in rain the multiple times we tried. For some reason the anchor isn’t setting correctly this summer. We are not sure why it isn’t holding but usually after many tries it goes down correctly. We spent an extra day here as the weather continues to be cold, windy and some rain.
Monday, July 7, 2014
The winds started to shift so we needed to move – headed north east to try a new anchorage – Aiken Island. We wanted to be adventuresome this summer with some different anchorages. This was supposed to be a protected anchorage for winds from NW to N. Didn’t turn out that way as the waved wrapped around the island point and into the bay – thus we rocked most of the night. We ventured to Moiles Harbour by dinghy which was much better anchorage except that there were already 5 boats here and not enough room for us.
Saturday / Sunday, July 5 / 6, 2014
We entered Canada today with a big bang! Yes we literally hit a steel wall in Meldrum and dented the starboard rub rail and put a small dent into the side of the hull. Not the best move we have ever made – another repair for this winter. We then moved on to a lovely bay – Vidal Bay and anchored for two nights while winds blew from Southwest and it rained. This is another nice anchorage with sand bottom. There is a small river here but unfortunately we didn’t venture off the boat – way to wet and cold.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Another nice day to travel and we need to leave Mackinaw City as marina space is reserved for the 4th. We move further east to Harbour Island which is north of Drummond Island the farthest point east before entering Canada. This is a nice anchorage when winds are right. We had a quiet night. The weather while sunny isn’t warm, only in the 60’s during the day and 40- 50’s at night. The water temp is also down in lower 50’s. No swimming off the boat today. We passed more light houses today which included: Round Island Passage light, Round Island light, Bois Blanc Island Light, Martin Reef Light, Spectacle Reef light, DeTout Reef light, Frying Pan Island Light, and Pipe Island Light.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Weather cleared so we moved to Mackinaw City today. A long run of 78 miles. Just out of Traverse Bay we saw a looper boat heading west (Just Pokin) – contacted them on the radio and talked for a few minutes. We crossed from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron today as we motored under the Mackinac Bridge. Not much exciting on AIS as there were relatively few ships in the Grey’s Reef passage, so we just kept trucking for 9.5 hours. We passed a number of light houses – some way off in the distance while others were close by. The list includes South Fox Island, Grey’s Reef, White Shoal, Waugoshance (an abandoned light house in the Grey’s Reef area, St. Helen Island, McGulpin’s Point, and Mackinac Point Lighthouse which is on Lake Huron. The two pictures are of the light houses at either end of Grey’s Reef which is a well-marked channel between two very large reef areas that ships use to traverse the northern end of Lake Michigan. We can travel just outside the buoyed area but we don’t venture far as the boulders are huge and near the surface.
Saturday - Wednesday, June 27 - July 2, 2914
We are laid over in Northport due to weather, some storms but not as bad as found in the southern part of Lake Michigan. We continue to do small projects on the boat, and relax. We tried to bike out to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse ( a ten mile one way trip) , but only got about half way (6.5 mile of the 10) – we will have to work on building biking distance. Of course it didn’t help that it was in the upper 70’s with 70% humidity. We are also walking around this small town and have been to the grocery store multiple times. Just a small update – the starboard engine has purred since Ludington so our plan is working. We will be leaving the boat here for the winter so we biked to the boat yard and talked to them about work on fuel lines and some other stuff. We thought we could get away with no boat work this winter, but that isn’t going to happen. The picture suggests that the weather is great – but it rained Wednesday a.m. and the temp is only 53 degrees. We didn’t want to sit at anchor in Beaver Island and freeze. Hopefully tomorrow we will leave and have a few days of good weather.
Friday, June 27, 2014
We were up early and out of the harbor for the 68 mile run to Northport hoping to get a slip in the marina. Again trying to beat weather and get more miles behind us – so no stop in Leland this year. The weather was clear with very little wind or waves. We saw three ships as we passed through the Manitou passage along with small pleasure craft traveling north and south. We didn’t luck out at the marina, so we are on the wall with a long walk to shore and lots of people walking by the boat. We passed 5 lighthouses today: Point Betsie, Manning Memorial (at Empire, MI), South Manitou Island, North Manitou Shoal, and Grand Traverse Bay. Three are pictured here. All are maintained by private Conservancy groups but not all are working 24-7 twelve months of the year.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
We turned on engines (all ok), go to the gas dock for fuel – hopefully our last large bill this summer – filled tanks and took off. Of course there was fog – plenty of it for the first couple of hours. We used the horn a number of times to warn fishing boats that we were near them – but never saw them visually. There were Coast Guard warnings for small pleasure craft to stay off the lake but that doesn’t seem to stop fishing. North of Manistee the fog lifted so we could see clearly what was ahead. We had little wind again today. We docked in Frankfort and were able to sit on the back deck for cocktails. Met a couple from Vermont heading to Muskegon for the summer. They sure had traveled a long way quickly leaving Burlington June 1. We only passed three light houses today: Big Sable , Manistee and Frankfort. As we couldn’t see Big Sable or Manistee there are no pictures of them. Still reading the history of these light houses online. It is very interesting. They work automatically now, but in the 1800’s were manned. The stories tell of walking out to the lighthouses on metal walkways built high above the lake so that the crashing waved didn’t wash them off the channel walls.
Monday - Wednesday, June 23 - 25, 2014
We laid over in Ludington but no mechanic was available to look at fuel issue – real bummer. We made some alterations to how we would run the starboard engine for the summer. It works fine off the aft tank so we will use the side tank for storage and transfer fuel to the aft. Hope this works! We did laundry, walked around town and Barb got one coat of varnish on the swim platform. We had rain and strong winds one day. We also listened for and watched the MI / WI car ferry (Badger) come in and out of the arbor in the fog. The weather was supposed to turn nice on Thursday so we prepared to move north.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
We were up but the fog held us back from traveling north until later in the morning. We got a call from friends who were behind us and wondered if we were in the soup today. They were also traveling north but wouldn’t catch up to us. We did leave White Lake when the fog lifted, but just about Little Sable Lighthouse, we were again closed in. Traveling with radar, horn and no visibility isn’t fun. We saw boats on radar passing within one half mile but never saw or heard them with eyes and ears. We arrived in Ludington with lots of starboard engine problems and called a marine repair company for help. We passed three more lighthouses today – Little Sable Point, Pentwater, and Ludington. Again all built in the 1800’s and now working automatically. Little Sable is the tallest so far at 100 feet. We toured this lighthouse last September with looper friends. It is nice to see that different lighthouse organizations are working to maintain historical structures as the federal government has given all lighthouses to states for maintenance.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
There was little wind and no rain so we decided to head north to White Lake. Hey, we were finally moving. We left Holland in fog on Lake Michigan which varied from a quarter mile visibility to zero. We ran with radar the whole way north. In returning to White Lake we passed 4 light houses along the way: Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon and White River (White Lake) . Pictured here are two of them – Holland and White River. The history of these light houses is very interesting. They were originally built in the 1800’s, all very different and most have been moved or rebuilt over time. While the first three continue to work automatically, the White River Lighthouse is now a museum open to the public. We anchored just inside the channel for the night and had a peaceful evening – though we didn’t sit out due to cold temperatures.