Chris and Bud's Excellent Adventure

Vessel Name: sidebandit
Vessel Make/Model: OP 75
Hailing Port: Rochester, NY
Crew: Bud, Chris, Bob, and Mike, and JC
About: Two Sailors, an Uncle, and a Pilot, and a guy from th U.
Extra: Somewhere near Peoria we pick up JC. He's a licensed captian from Miami (who went to Miami University, the U).
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale
23 October 2011 | Marco Island
22 October 2011 | Clearwater
21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico
20 October 2011 | Pensacola
19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS
18 October 2011 | Columbus, MS
17 October 2011 | Grand Harbor Tennessee
16 October 2011 | Green Turtel Bay
15 October 2011 | Hobbie's Marina
14 October 2011 | Grafton
14 October 2011 | Peroria, IL
12 October 2011 | Seneca, IL
12 October 2011 | Hammond, IN
10 October 2011
10 October 2011 | Chicago
08 October 2011 | Betsie Bay, Frankfort, MI
07 October 2011 | Mackinaw City
Recent Blog Posts
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale

Day Twenty (d)one

Day 21 Monday October, 24 We push away from the dock on what is supposed to be our last day of the trip at 9:00. It has rained overnight, but appears it will be yet another delightful day for us. (I'm not really fan of the word delightful, but I've grown tired of writing beautiful and perfect and [...]

23 October 2011 | Marco Island

Day 20 Final Stop

Day 20 Sunday October 23 Up early, because it's what we do now, but instead of leaving in the dark, we have a delicious and relaxing breakfast aboard the boat while we await the tide. After cleaning up, we're underway at 9:45.

22 October 2011 | Clearwater

Day 18 Part Two

Day 18 (continued) Saturday, October 22 .....Only serves to make us stronger. The second sunrise of our Day 18 looks a lot like the sunset did. As the sun is rising we get word from the Coast Guard that Tow Boat US has dispatched two boats and that they should get to us around 8:00. At 8:30 they arrive. After [...]

21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico

Crossing the Gulf?

Day 18 Friday, October 21 We're up before the sun again and we follow a barge out the channel to the Gulf. By the time we actually enter the Gulf, the sun is rising. We get to the open water and pick up the pace.

20 October 2011 | Pensacola

Day 17 Leaving the River System

Day 17 Thursday October 20 We're up and ready to leave by 5:00, but again commercial traffic at our first lock keeps us at the dock. It's cold, 36 degrees, and foggy. So foggy you can't see the opposite shore. You can barely see the bow from the stern. But if you look up, there are stars everywhere. [...]

19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS

Bobby's Fish Camp

Day 16 Wednesday, October 19 Up at 5:00 and talking with the Lockmaster at Columbus Lock. He's got an upbound tug in the lock, so our 5:30 gets pushed out a little. After a relaxing cup of coffee we push away from the dock at 5:45 and head for our first dark lock in.

Days 1-4

07 October 2011 | Mackinaw City
Chris/ Clear and warm
Day 1A Monday October 3rd. Spend the day repairing, prepping, and loading the boat, Then we meet Mike and Bob, our crewmates for the next three to four weeks. Later we have a glass of wine with the two of them and our fantastic and beautiful wives.

Day 1. After getting to the boat at 6:00 am on Tuesday morning we make final preparations and leave. Cleared the piers at 8:15. It’s cloudy and cool, with small swells. By the time we get to the Welland at 11:45, it’s sunny, warm, and the seas are flat.

We check in to customs and wait to get into the canal. We clear the first lock at 12:15 and the last lock at 5:15. Five and a half hours, fastest I’ve ever heard it done. Get into Buffalo at 7:00. We top off the fuel with 565 gallons. We tie up at Mike’s home port and meet his wife Jennifer. Then off to his house to meet his boys Michael and Sammy, and Bob’s wife Joanne. Mike stays home with the family, Bud and I head off to dinner with Joanne and Bob.

Day 2. On to Toledo Michigan at the west end of Lake Erie. We depart Buffalo at 7:45, it’s sunny and 60ish, with fairly flat seas, just some small rollers. Bob and Mike, who are trawler and sailboat owners on Lake Erie, are amazed at how fast we get to points they’re used to taking all day to get to.

We arrive at Toledo Beach Marina at 5:30 and fuel up with 890 gallons of diesel. Tim a manager of the marina offers us his car to get to dinner. After I get a guided tour of the facilities from Ted the ‘master wood craftsman’ we go to Tim’s Hatteras for a beverage. Then it’s off to dinner with Tim and his ‘friend’ (she’s half his age if that) at the Harbor Inn and Ale. A little scary as Tim just keeps drinking and brags about knowing every sheriff in the county.

Day 3. We have an 8:00 departure in flat seas on another sunny and warm day. We head back east a ways to the Detroit River. As we are over 20 meters, we are only allowed to do 10.4 knots, so the trip is slow. But it affords us a good view of the home of the Tigers, who will play later in the day at Yankee Stadium.

At 11:30 we’re out of the River and into Lake St. Clair where the pace picks up to 25 knots. At 12:45 we’re into the St Clair River and its warm enough to sit on the fly bridge in shorts, no shirt. As we near the end of the St. Clair River and approach Lake Huron, we go by the yacht Rena, which was in Rochester the week before last. She looks just as impressive from the deck of a75 footer as she did from the parking lot at RYC.

It’s still sunny and warm with no wind at 3:30 as we enter Lake Huron. The lake is like glass. We make great time to Harbor Beach, MI. We have been on the phone with the marina several times, asking about fuel and depth. “No problem, plenty of both.” We get in at 5:15. As we make our way through the harbor to the marina, we’re kicking up mud for a quarter mile. When we finally make to the marina, there is a 50 ft Egg Harbor at the fuel dock. That’s trouble. He’s not going anywhere and he’s used all but the last 150 gallons of diesel. We don’t want the bottom of tank in our engines, so it’s no fuel for us.

As it’s now 6:30 and two hours to the next fuel, which is already closed, we decide to spend the night. Bud manages to pivot all 75 feet of boat around the gas dock and into the forty foot slip next to it in 5’ 9” of water, kicking up silt the whole time. We’ve go the generator off so we don’t take in the silt, and we have to leave it off, as we’re sitting on the bottom. There’s only one fifty amp outlet, so we have power issues to deal with.

But it’s off to dinner and then back to the boat for the ALDS game five. Go Tigers. Can’t get much better than watching your team beat the Yankees in the Bronx while you’re sitting in the lounge of your OP75, in Lake Huron.

Day 4. Friday. We dredge our way out of Harbor Beach at day break and clear the break walls at 7:30, just behind the Egg Harbor 50, who it turns out is making the same trip to Lauderdale we are. Now it’s a race to the fuel. It’s another beautiful, warm, sunny, windless, calm day on Lake Huron and we make great time to Mackinaw City, in the Mackinaw Straits between Lakes Huron and Michigan. And we blow by the Egg Harbor, and arrive at 2:30. We’ve been watching the Sabres on TV while traveling and fueling.

We fuel up, and even with a hose going into each tank, it takes nearly two hours to take the 1176 gallons we need. Then we move to our dock for the night. It’s the other gas dock, which had no diesel pump. You don’t just put this boat anywhere. There is a pump out at this dock, so I get started. I’ve never pumped out a 135 gallon holding tank, so for the first half hour I don’t think much of it. As we approach 45 minutes I begin to wonder and Mike and Bud begin investigating. Opps. Not going to put into print what the issue was. We’ll take the fifth, and you figure it out.

Then it’s off to enjoy Mackinaw City, a great meal, and a walk to burn it off. We’ve got a full day in front of us tomorrow as we finally start heading in the right direction, hoping for the weather to hold.

Not sure how all this blogging works, but feel free to write an email: sideband35@yahoo.com
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sidebandit's Photos - Main
Ft Lauderdale and the River Boat Show
53 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Marco to Lauderdale
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, and Marco Island
47 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
Day 18 and 19 going to Clearwater.
62 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The Bay, the Gulf, and Florida
38 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The riverfront of Mobile, AL
88 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Clear sailing, so to speak, to Mobile
33 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Leaving Bobbie's Fish Camp and Heading For Mobile.
23 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
From Demopolis to Bobbie's
34 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Lunch and a tug tour
19 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
The early part of a day that started slowly.
73 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
A day that could have been much longer.
117 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee River is in lake mode again.
41 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee becomes a lake again.
32 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Now it's a River.
53 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The first half is lake like.
29 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Off the Ohio and into the Tennessee
20 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
78 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Leaving Hobbies Early And Heading For The Ohio
18 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Beyond St. Louis to Hobbie's
16 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
40 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
75 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
73 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our one cloudy day so far.
87 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
The second part of the day, after leaving the Calumet
85 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our first day off the Great Lakes
54 Photos
Created 16 October 2011
Leaving Chitown and heading for the Calumet
28 Photos
Created 12 October 2011
Leaving Frankfort, Arriving Chicago, Burnham Marina, and Chicago
115 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Leaving Mackinaw City to Frankfort
102 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
69 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Mid River and Detroit
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
23 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Pictures of The Wellend,
53 Photos
Created 9 October 2011

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