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07/10/2010, Apostle Island and Silver Bay

I arrived back in Minneapolis from my California trip on June 29th with my sister Sharron who is visiting from Australia. We spent the following day grocery shopping to provision Walk A-Bout for our trip over to the Apostle Islands.

Bill, Sharron and I drove up to Silver Bay on Thursday July 1st. Several others from the Marina were heading over on the same day, with the plan to meet at the Rocky Island dock. We are the only sailboat of the group so we are always the last to arrive. About half way across we were hit by black flies, the ankle biting type. We proceeded to kill as many as we could but kind of a hopeless cause. About a ½ hour before we arrive the wind changes, blowing 20 plus knots. Sharron was starting to get seasick and as we pull up we were slammed against the doc. Even with lots of help docking and extra fenders out we decided this was not a good situation so we said good-bye to our friends with the plan to look for a safe anchorage............the engine won't start!! With help from Jim on "Destiny" they are able to get the engine started again. We ended up at Raspberry Bay on mainland Wisconsin. This bay is good for pretty much all wind directions except when blowing from the north. We settled in for the evening, grilling steaks off the stern on our new Magma grill. About a dozen other boats also anchored there, nice location so we stayed for 2 nights. We decided to set off a couple of fireworks - most of the other boaters appreciated it but of course there is always that one old curmudgeon - threatened to call the Coast Guard on us.

From Raspberry Bay we headed to Madeline Island. We went on the north side of Madeline Island and anchored for the night at Big Bay. The next day we decided we wanted to stay a night at a dock so we headed for the Madeline Island Yacht Club. I am at the helm, Sharron in the cockpit and Bill is down below. Just as Sharron and I comment about how the flies aren't so bad we were hit by gnats, billions of them. After about 10 minutes of this I am yelling at Bill "get up here - you need to share this experience with me and be as miserable as I am". By the time we arrive at the Madeline Island Yacht Club the pesky critters disappeared. We got a slip for the night, did a pump out of the holding tank, took showers and headed into town to have a couple of drinks at Tom's Burned Down Bar then to the Beach Club for dinner.

Left Madeline Island on Tuesday and headed back to Silver Bay. Stayed on the boat until Friday, did some clean-up (washing off all the dead flies and gnats) and a couple of projects. Oh the joy of sailing!!

We will go back to Silver Bay on Friday July 16th and return to the apartment on Sunday or Monday. This is the big Silver Bay fishing tournament weekend. Marina is always full and a good party weekend. Bill, with Dan's help from "Pachanga", plan on working on getting the radiator repaired, install the new filter system and remove the starter.

Countdown: 21 days until "Walk A-Bout" will be our new home.

Small Milestone
06/27/2010, Sliver Bay Marina

It's pretty difficult to screw this up but we wanted it to be a sign of good faith for anytime the Coast Guard would board us in the future. The most challenging part was the 4 hour drive to get back to the boat from the cities. Stowed the next batch of "stuff "we are bringing with us. I believe now we could get Walk A-Bout certified as a Marine Library, but that is a different story all together.

Friends of ours Jim & Henry gave our dingy motor a once going over and tell me its working pretty good, thank guys. Still working on a solution for the flange head on our Perkins Engine, we have lived with this problem for the past 5 years now trying to fix it. Procrastination is catching up with me, I have been told that it should screw off by the Trans Atlantic Diesels people and that that part can be replaced with a new flange and larger radiator cap --- yeah, more investigation on that. Still want a new water/fuel separator --- looking at the Racor brand and a couple of generic ones, once that is installed we will have checked off all our needs regarding the engine.

Checked the forecast for the 4th of July. The 10 day "tease" is looking really good at the moment. If Sharron gets that lucky on her stay with us I might have to buy her an extra case of Coors Light!!!

06/25/2010, Denver Airport

I have a 2 hour layover at the Denver airport waiting for my flight to Ontario California. Positive - they have a café that has wifi, allows smoking, hot tea to drink, great view of the snow covered mountains and nice people to chat with, so I am a happy camper. Chatted to a couple of guys that were excited to be going to their first Gay Pride parade in San Francisco, unfortunately their flight is delayed due to Frisco being fogged in but I think they decided to start the party anyway, having several Mimosa's while they wait.

Sitting here, I just received a phone call from Overton's, the Avon life raft that I ordered has been discontinued for the American market, strange. Will need to look for another brand I guess. They did ship the EPIRB that I ordered. For the non-sailors an EPIRB is basically an emergency beacon that will relay our position if we should need to abandon ship, one piece of equipment I hope to never need to use.

Thoughts on flying - I have no fear of flying but I do have several other fears related to flying, a couple of which I experienced on the flight here:

1. Sitting next to a person who decides it is acceptable to take ½ of my seat as well as their own.
2. Having a 4 year old constantly kicking the seat in front of them, the one I am sitting in.

Otherwise an uneventful flight, which is good.

Bill is heading up to the boat today for our Coast Guard inspection tomorrow morning. If we pass inspection we will get a sticker to put on the mast. It is good to have one incase we get stopped by the Coast Guard in the future.

So far, still enjoying my "retirement", in actuality it feels like I am on vacation and still need to go back to work.

My son Chris had last minute change in plans, instead of going to school in Lebabon this summer he decided to go backpacking in Turkey, Greece and eastern Europe. He should be home late July.

Time to sign off, looking forward to seeing my Mom and Sister here shortly.

She Still Floats!!!!
06/10/2010, Silver Bay Marina, Silver Bay MN

At last the bottom paint is on and Walk A-Bout is back in the water. Note to self: Islands are fun to visit and anchor off of, but they are not fun to sleep on, especially in the parking lot of a marina waiting for bottom paint to arrive. Trust me I have never been so happy to get off an island as was the case here. Whew!!!

Mind you I did assimilate with the local population quite well, depositing many brain cells at Tom's Burnt Down Bar and meeting many interesting individuals. Mary, Leroy, Chuck, Costello, Stella, Greg, Jess, Tom, Tommy --- Hopefully I did not leave a lasting impression. (or pictures  )

Today we made our way back to Silver Bay, now it is time to wash off the gravel and begin to stow the 8,000lbs of gear we perceive we will need for our trip.

06/06/2010, Madeline Island Yacht Club

Friday was my last day at work.........liberating and scary at the same time. Thank you to everyone for the cake, presents and Happy Hour. I very much enjoyed working with all of you, especially the old and current AR Team - you know who you are.

This blog allows you to post comments - would love for you all to keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

Bill and I have switched places. He spent the week here on the boat, I arrived yesterday and Bill left this morning to head back to the apartment. Bill will come back here on Tuesday. HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY TO MARIAH!!!

We bottom painted yesterday, looks really good, now we need to wash and wax the remainder. Boat should, cross our fingers, go back in the water tomorrow. I am remaining here to do last minute touch-up painting, check off the list of things the Madeline Island Yacht Club guys are supposed to do and take pictures.

If we have a good weather window on Wednesday and work is completed on the boat Bill will "sail" Walk A-Bout to Silver Bay on Wednesday and I will drive over to meet him. I put "sail" in quotes since he will more than likely motor the majority of the way. Much easier when you are single handling to motor than try and mess with the sails by yourself. It should take about 6 hours from Madeline Island to Silver Bay.

Brought my sewing machine up and hope to get some sewing projects done. Right now the boat is a complete mess, with stuff all over the place, we need to utilize every nook and cranny or we will have no where to sit. At this point it looks like we will need to tow a trailer behind us for all our junk!!

06/07/2010 | Clara
You go girl! I am thrilled for you guys and have spent many moments imagining all of your upcoming adventures.

Here is a good quote for you both -
"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
-Erica Jong
06/08/2010 | S/V PACHANGA
Congtrats! Pam and I wish we could be there with you, see you soon!
07/01/2010 | Dan L

Best wishes, and thanks for everything. Have a great time. Will watch the posts. Later
07/22/2010 | Peter Eshenaur
Sounds like you will be having a lot of good times exploring the high seas. I'm looking forward to reading this blog more often and wish you all safe travels. PS-Accounts Payable had a union labor dispute and walked off the job, so we don't have to deal with them anymore... Don't I wish... ;)
Island Time
06/01/2010, Gravel parking lot

So Memorial Weekend has come and gone and Walk A-Bout still remains in a dusty gravel parking lot among many others. To step back a couple of days she was to receive a fresh coat of bottom paint the prior week and be in the water waiting for us to rig the sails and stow a multitude of items purchased for her in the off season. We then received an e-mail from the marina telling us that the paint shipment was damaged and UPS would not even delivery it. (My guess is the back of a trailer is now ready anti fouling water) Nevertheless the new cans were to arrive the Friday before the holiday weekend but the marina did not have the time/staff to do the job on that day.

Well hec, we can do a little sanding and slap on some paint not a problem. Pieces of cake just roll up our sleeves and have at it!! Unfortunately when we arrived on Saturday we were told the paint had yet to arrive - earliest was to be Tuesday because of the Holiday, "Island Time "the woman informed us from across the counter.

Hhhhmmmm Island Time. I guess we have been living too long always expecting to have what we want today available for us yesterday. Hhhhmmmm Island Time, wait Island Time=Beer Time??? I think I can adjust. 

By the way never sand off bottom paint in a yellow tacky Hawaiian shirt, unless that was the look you wanted.

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