05/10/2010, Bloomington Minnesota
You always know that when you commit to a Plan A or B ----- It is only a matter of time before "Plan C "will rear its ugly head!!! Actually let's call this our "First Choice" in the beginning we talked first about heading down the ICW as our route of choice to get to the Caribbean and then over the years it morphed its way into entering through Chicago and finally exiting Mobile Alabama. Plan A.
Now after several months (2 weeks really) of deep consideration (and one small oil slick) we have decided to avoid the Gulf of Mexico all together. Go figure. If anyone needs to have a detailed plan with waypoints of all locks, marinas & fuel stations from Chicago of Mobile just e-mails us and we will send you the spread sheet!
Today we are constructing a new sail plan. This will have us taking off from Silver Bay mid August, across Lake Superior, through the lock to Lake Huron, motor through Detroit to Lake Erie, drop the mast and enter the Erie Canal. Step the mast back up near the Hudson River then making our way down to Norfolk VA and the beginning of the ICW.
It was 17 degrees this week in Silver Bay --- Yes we want Walk A-Bout back in the water but that first crossing back to our slip will be a bone chilling experience.
I wish I could say that I am writing this from somewhere warm and sunny, but unfortunately that is not the case. I am siting in an apartment in cold, not the right word - frigid, that's better - snowy Minnesota just counting the days (months) until winter ends and we can be back on Walk A-Bout again.
We have been planning our cruising life for 10 years now, finally in year number 10. Depending on work obligations we have two options for leaving Minnesota.
Plan A - September 1 head across Lake Superior, through the lock to Lake Huron, down Lake Michigan, lower the mast, enter Illinois River through Chicago, then to the Mississippi River for a short while then Tenn-Tom waterway out Mobile Bay (put mast back up) to the Gulf. Sail down to the Florida Keys, up to Miami then across to the Bahamas. From there - unknown. Hopefully head south then Panama Canal, the South Pacific and Australia.
Plan B - October have the boat shipped to Florida. We then join Walk A-Bout around the first of December. Then continue Plan A.