The Voyages of s/v Lucky Bird

21 August 2019 | Straits Marina, Mackinaw City
06 August 2019 | Village of Brockport
30 July 2019
27 July 2019
21 June 2019 | Wickford Cove Marina
20 May 2019 | Antlantic Yacht Basin
13 May 2019 | Homer Smith Marina, final Salty Dawg Destination
21 April 2019 | Frenchtown, St. Thomas V.I. Easter Celebration
20 April 2019 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas VI
11 April 2019 | Nanny Cay Marine, Tortola, BVI
28 March 2019 | Green Cay Marina, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
25 March 2019
24 February 2019 | Jolly Harbor Marina, Antigua

We Dodged A Huge Bullet

03 September 2011 | Jefferson Beach Marina, Lake St. Clair, MI
Hot... Super Hot
We just learned that the Erie Canal is now closed indefinetly due to severe damage. Boats planning to go south via the canal are now having to shift to the Mississippi River, wow we just made it. Our passage through Governor Clinton's Ditch, A.K.A. The Erie Canal was uneventful and we used only 40 gallons of fuel from Catskill on the Hudson River to Lake Erie, some 360 miles, not bad if I do say so.

In around 1816, the then governor of New York had a vision to transform New York City into a center of commerce for the US and the world. His plan was to build a canal across his state creating a passageway for western commodities to reach the east coast markets from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River faster and less costly. He was laughed at until it was completed and became such a success. Additional canals were planned and built connecting the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. Quite and ambitious undertaking almost 200 years ago.

The canal has been modernized three times since its opening and today is operated by the State of New York. When you travel I90, the New York Thruway, you pass adjacent to and cross over the canal many times from Buffalo to Troy. It's really quite an experience with several towns along the way providing free dockage, showers, ah yes those showers, electricity, laundry and water. We took advantage of their generosity, planning our daily travels to terminate around 4:30 at one of those towns; then we would mingle with the locals, have a nice dinner, catch up on emails and say good night starting again the next morning. We met numerous bikers/campers along the canal, traveling the bike paths pitching their tents close to the boat docking area. They would bike along at over seven to eight miles per hour while we were powering long at 6.8 knots, so they would start out before us, stop for breakfast where we would catch and pass them and then down the way they would pass us, good fun, good exercise, nice people.

Once out of the canal it was time to re-step the mast and put our home back in sailing shape. We visited with my brother Perry, Joette and one of their sons Peter, then it was out onto the lake for some sailing except Mother Nature had different plans. We started out with 10 - 12 knots from the south, very nice sailing, then slowly the wind shifted to southwest to west and increased to over 15. So now it's right on our nose and getting pretty bumpy, so being cruisers we bailed out, found a harbor and dropped the hook, hoping for better luck the next day. Nope not to be. Now there was no wind. So off we charged under power.

True to form, Lake Erie once again tried our patience. About mid-night we started seeing lightening ahead of us. Within a hour it hit us with down pours and a lighten show worth talking about. I mean we have all experienced very close lightening strikes where the light and sound are coincident, but these strikes were brilliant, blindingly bright. So bright that when we closed our eyes, the images where there just as if we had looked directly at the sun. It was more than a little un-nerving thinking we were in the middle of the lake with a 60 foot piece of metal sticking up into the air. All ended well except the storms sucked up all the air and we had to continue powering arriving a Pelee Island around noon. We dropped the hook behind a small breakwater and called it done.

So after the trip past Detroit we anchored near Gross Point Yacht and today we've taken a slip in the Jefferson Beach Marina. We were offered the use of a car so we: refilled both propane tanks, went grocery shopping, bought filters for our Yanmar and just finished changing the engine and transmission oils, the fuel and oil filters. It also sounds mundane and it is, but so necessary. I replace the oil and filters every one hundred engine hours. My thinking being, this engine is now part of the family and we treat it appropriately.

Tomorrow we head for Lake Huron hoping the forecasted northerly winds will be sailable. I just looked at the GRIB files and it looks as thought the tropical depression down in the Gulf will contribute to shifting our winds around to the north and northeast....argg!! again right on our nose. This time we'll be a little more patient and wait and see. NE winds on Lake Huron are not good. so 'till then,

BTW, it looks as though hurricane Katia may be headed for the east coast. The GRIB files shows a slight shift to the north which will hopefully head it out to sea. Chow!!

Vessel Name: Lucky Bird
Vessel Make/Model: 1990 Moody 425 cc
Hailing Port: Kenosha, WI
Crew: Robert & Alice Smith
Alice and I have spent considerable time together on the water; cruising and racing on the waters of New England, the Caribbean and Lake Michigan.

Sailing is our passion and together we've been fortunate to experience the thrills, the camaraderie and the enjoyment boating provides. [...]

We seek the freedom, excitement and challenges of voyaging.

Lucky Bird's Photos - Main
This is our second journey south to the Caribbean. This time we've chosen to exit Lake Michigan and proceed south through the in-land waterway system to Mobile. We'll start around Labor Day and take our time exploring the history of middle America.
207 Photos
Created 28 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 12 July 2013
101 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Bob and Alice return to Lucky Bird after spending the summer in Addison.
31 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
Heading into the Windward Islands and further south
108 Photos
Created 22 February 2010
121 Photos
Created 11 June 2009