07/31/2010, Silver Bay, MN
JULY 23TH - We are now officially liveaboards. Finished cleaning the apartment - everything either given away, stored away, thrown away or brought to the boat.
JULY 24TH - This weekend is "Silver-Beaver Bay Days". In the past for Bay Days the marina has tried to have a lighted-boat parade with not much success. Usually only a couple of people put Christmas lights on their boats and parade around the marina. This year the organizers decided to do it without the parading around, just lighting up the boats. A friend of Bill's gave us a slew of LED Christmas lights. After decorating "Walk A-Bout" we decorated "Pachanga", Dan and Pam's boat, they both looked great. The LED lights look much better than regular Xmas lights, very crisp and clear. Pictures don't really reflect how pretty the marina looked. People could see the lights on the masts of the sailboats from the highway so lots more people this year than previous years. Big party night at the marina.
JULY 27TH - Bill went back to the Cities for an appointment, will be back tomorrow. I spent the day on a couple of sewing projects.
JULY 30TH - Bill and I took a drive up to Grand Marais, figured we would get off the boat for a few hours. Latest estimate as to when we will be leaving Silver Bay is next weekend (August 6 or 7).
07/20/2010, Silver Bay Marina
Ya know you have a good friend when you ask him for help on a project (knowing you have not a clue how to proceed) and he volunteers his time and tools to take over the project completely. That be my buddy "Karma Sutra Danny "he is now my revered Sensei of all things mechanical, a man that shows no fear in the proper mounting of a Perkins 4.108 engine. That engine got mounted more times by Danny than a new porn star during her first week on the job!!
I knew I had a good Sensei when he announced that he was getting "dizzy" as he held on to one bolt with his feet in the air as the blood rushed to his head.
Even more amazing was the fact that no beer passed either one of our lips during almost 90% of the process. My personal best on all things considered.
Sensei--- New parts are due to the Marina by Friday. Are ya ready for Part II??
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.
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.
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.