08/13/2010, Marquette, MI
Day 3 and 4 - 8/9/10 and 8/10/10
Left Ontonagon for Houghton/Hancock at around 10:00 am. Very hot humid day. From the entrance to the Keweenaw waterway to the Houghton Lift bridge was about 10 miles.
About a ½ a mile away from the bridge I hailed the bridge on the radio and the lift operator said he would open the bridge when we were a little closer. We get closer but the bridge doesn't open, so we circled around and around waiting for the bridge to open. I hail the bridge again and ask if there is a problem - yep, there is, the ridge won't open due to technical problems. He tells us to keep circling and will try again. After about a ½ hour of this the operator told us he had someone coming to try and fix the problem. Could be an hour or so and suggested we tie up to the wall and wait. So we did that, with a little difficulty due to the all the power boats zooming up and down the river leaving sizeable wake behind them, causing us to be push against the wall. Anyway, we managed to tie up and then wait. An hour or so later one of the bridge operators walks down and talks to us, telling us that they can't fix the bridge and need to have someone come all the way from Lansing Michigan and try and fix the problem. We stayed overnight at the wall and they finally were able to open the bridge at about noon the next day. Passed under the bridge and stayed the night at the Houghton County Marina.
Day 5 - 8/11/10
Left Houghton for Big Bay, MI. Left at 10:15 am and arrived at the entrance to Big Bay at around 5:00 pm. Based on the charts and cruising guide books the entrance to Big Bay Harbor Dock is supposed to be 11 feet - not! Lots of silting and grounded in 2 feet straight down the middle of the entrance. After several attempts to back up to no avail Bill put one of the anchors with line in the dingy and rowed to the breakwall then dropped the anchor. Bill then rowed back to the boat and pulled the boat off the sand bar. Bill then gets back in the dingy to go retrieve the anchor and line. A few hairy moments getting the boat very close to the break wall and the potential of fouling the anchorline in the prop we were able to right ourselves with the help of a 12 year old boy standing on top of the breakwall. After that we decided we weren't going to try again and left to go to Marquette. Finally arrived at Marquette and the Presque Isle Marina at 11:00 pm. Pitch black with no moon, strictly on instruments only. Arrived safe and sound. Just another routine day of cruising!!!
Day 6 and 7 - 8/12/10 and 8/13/10
Called a taxi to take us into downtown Marquette, had breakfast in town and went to the library. My ex-husband, Keith, lives in Marquette so he picked us up in town and brought us back to the marina. Went back into down in the evening to go grocery shopping for the next several days.
The plan was to leave this morning to go to our next leg; Munising, Grand Marais, White Fish Point, then Sault Ste. Marie to go through the lock but due to weather and possibility of 7 foot waves we have decided to wait out the weather in the safety of the Presque Isle Marina until probably Monday. My son, Chris, drove up to Marquette from Minneapolis and plans on going with us through the Soo lock then have his Dad pick him up in Sault Ste. Marie. It was good seeing him this morning and hearing all about his 2 month backpacking trip around Europe and Eastern Europe.
08/09/2010, Ontonagon, Michigan
Day One - 8/7/10
Arrived Presque Isle Bay, Stockton Island, Apostles Islands, WI at 4:15 pm. We left Silver Bay at 10:00 this morning. Not much wind, motor sailed the entire way. Uneventful crossing, which is a good thing. Plan is to head out at about 6:00 tomorrow morning to head to Ontonagon, about 60 miles away.
Arrived Presque Isle Bay - anchored between a sailboat and a powerboat with our a Danforth anchor with the new line (rope). Discovered it does not have much holding power with line instead of chain. Ended up needing to change our position and put out the anchor with chain, unfortunately this was during a downpour of rain. Some thunder and lightening, nothing drastic. Neither one of us got much sleep, both of us getting up off and on all night checking our position to make sure we were not dragging. Think it was more psychological than a need since we have had no problems with the anchor with chain since with about 80 feet of chain our it weighs a lot.
Day Two - 8/8/10
Left for Ontonagon Village Marina, Ontonagon, MI at 6:10 am. Arrived at Marina at around 3:00 pm. Channel coming in was good depths, about 20 feet.........then you get to the entrance to the marina, 5-6 foot depths with pilings sticking out just above the water line on both sides. Entrance is well marked but very shallow.
Once we were settled in to our slip we dingyed across the river to the town. Stopped at a couple of bars, met some nice people at the Dry Dock Bar. Had mini tacos and a basket of fries at another Bar (great dinner!) then headed back to the boat. Early night since neither one of us got much sleep the night before. Will head back into town tomorrow morning for breakfast and wifi to post this.
08/07/2010, LAKE SUPERIOR
We are taking off for the first leg of our Adventure in about an hour. First stop - Apostle Islands.
We will miss Silver Bay and all the friends we have made in the past 6 years. One couldn't ask for better friends, so many people here have willingly gone out of their way to volunteer to help us in so many ways. Thank you!!!!
To our family and friend - it is not good-bye, it is see you later.
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.