Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turning the corner

Friday morning we're casting off from Mackinaw City to head south down Lake Michigan. Time to get going. Took care of a few chores while we were here.
We're going to try an overnight all the way to Holland. We can bail out anywhere along the way as there are plenty of easy access harbors. Our only concern is the cold...upper 40's Friday night. Weather reports are excellent for calm seas. Only problem is that we may have to motor a fair bit of the way.
Chris made up a batch of stew and a batch of chili so we'll eat easy & well. Always good stuff from her galley.
We'll be cruising under the Big Mac. Not a hamburger, the Mackinac Bridge! Should be a great view. I have a video in the works that includes this, stay tuned.
Spot should be active all the way.
Casting off around 7:30AM Friday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hookin Up

We stopped at Hammond Bay harbor of refuge Tuesday afternoon. It was howling overnight in Presque Isle but the trip to Hammond Bay was quiet. We had moderate wind to sail the first half of the trip but it died and we motored the rest of the way. Hammond is closed for the season so we got more free dockage. Yea!
But hookin up to the internet was impossible. Hammond Bay harbor is not close to anything. The smart phone would occasionally pick up some e-mails but then nothing. The place was empty and at night it got DARK. We forget how much light pollution there is anywhere near a city.

Wednesday we departed for Mackinaw City. We sailed fast in a stiff breeze with following seas for about half the morning. A very good ride. Then as we closed on Bois Blanc Island, the wind slacked off and the rain started. But we had enough breeze to continue sailing at an easier pace. We went from 7 knots early to 4 to 5 knots later in the morning. But it was a short trip so we still got in by 1pm. Gave us time to fuel up and pump out the holding tank and try to resolve connectivity issues. The wifi here isn't working so I have to use my Verizon tethering to connect.

We're trying to balance the "get there" pressure with some enjoyment of the locations. Sometimes the schedule push gets on our nerves. We'll feel much more relaxed once we get off the Lake by October.

The battery combiner has gone Tango Uniform. I removed it this afternoon & will ship it out to be replaced by a larger unit capable of handling my alternator output. Meanwhile I have to manually switch from start battery to house battery as appropriate. No big deal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Talk Like a Pirate!!!

In honor of "Talk Like A Pirate Day" we bring you the cutest pirate on the water. AAARRRGGG MATEY!

Video: Underway!!

Finally got the first video uploaded. Hope you enjoy...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Free is GOOD!

We pulled up stakes in Harrisville at 7:30am, headed for Presque Isle harbor. We needed to head east out of the harbor to find deep water. That was into steep 6' seas. We finally turned north and set sails. Under reefed main & reefed jib we easily made 6+ knots. The rolling beam seas were not too uncomfortable because the sails keep us from rolling. A slow moving power boat would have become a vomitorium.

When we rounded the corner at Alpena/Thunder Bay we were sloshing around from following seas and wind on the stern. So we fired up the motor & made tracks west. Kept the main up to steady the ride. The fish nets are heavy in this area. We had to keep a sharp lookout for the small flags and try to avoid them.

We planned on anchoring in Presque Isle harbor for one or two nights. But the bottom is weed covered and we couldn't get a bite. The fact that the wind was gusting well over 20 didn't help. Discretion and valor and all that meant it was time to take a dock for the night. We kept calling in to the harbor master with no answer. I'd heard it is very shallow on approach and wanted info. No response. So in we went. With the cross wind blowing 20+ we managed fine at docking. We had our choice as the marina is almost empty. Then we found out why...they are closed for the season! Another cruiser stopped by to help take a line and gave us the news. Water is shut off but the power is on!! Yea; free dockage AND free heat!

Rain in the forecast so we'll likely stay put Monday.

Still trying to upload video. Need a faster wifi connection. Or I'll start to use FTP for file uploads.