08/20/2010, Grand Marais, MI
Well, we had one good weather day. Made it to Grand Marais, MI yesterday and here we sit. We might make it out of here on Sunday. Rain off and on all day and high winds all day. The boat is getting pushed against the dock wall and we are not happy campers. My son has decided to jump ship - he called his Dad and asked him to drive here from Marquette tomorrow to get him, I would too if I was him! Looks like what was supposed to be 4 days from Marquette to Sault Ste. Marie is turning into a minimum of 10 days.
Grand Marais is a nice little resort town with a small grocery store and 2 bars. It does, however, have the world famous Pickle Barrel House museum. That was our excitement for the day. It actually was a cute little house apparently built for William Donahey who wrote 'Teenie Weenie' comic strip from 1914 to the 1970's. It looks just like two huge pickle barrels.
We did discover today while doing some research on the internet concerning the Soo Locks that the Canadian lock is closed and will not reopen until next year. According to both our cruising guidebooks the Canadian lock is the preferred lock for recreational boats since the American side is primarily for commercial traffic. Looks like we will be playing boat-tag with the big boys!
That's all the news from exciting Grand Marais.
08/16/2010, MURRAY BAY, GRAND ISLAND, MUNISING, MI
We are sitting in Murray Bay waiting for the wind to die down. Arrived Saturday August 14th and have been unable to leave due to the high winds and seas. High meaning, Lake Superior winds gusting up to 40 knots and waves to 17 feet!! Luckily we are not out there and are safely tucked in this little bay with great protection and good holding (so far, cross our fingers). We have both cell phone and wifi connections which makes it a little less boring while we sit and wait. It looks like we could be here another 2-3 days.
My son, Chris, is with us. He just purchased a new iphone so he is playing with that downloading a bunch of free applications. We ran our Honda generator for the first time yesterday to charge the battery bank. Works great and is not too noisy. Even if it was, we would be the only ones to hear it since we are alone in this anchorage. When we arrived on Saturday both Chris and Bill went for a swim. Water temp was 72 which is warm for Lake Superior.
We are anchored near a wreck - believe it is about a 120 foot schooner. Yesterday there was 3 glass bottom boat tours that showed up to see it along with a dive boat. Believe it will be too windy today for anyone to show up.
Looks like it will be a movie day, staying below out of the wind as much as possible.
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).