While we’re waiting out some weather (and waiting for Randy to write his next update), I’ve been looking at all the pictures I’ve taken and have come to the conclusion that I love sunrises and sunsets. So I thought I’d share some of them with you.
Sunday found us heading off to Lake Lauzon to spend a glorious time with our friends the Seidlers from New Mexico…Alberquerque at that. Army has been coming up this way since 1948…I won’t go into the details of our meeting…suffice it to say that we have been steadfast friends some 25+ years….have been joyously greeted with new additions to the family including new grandchildren, new wives and husbands…..and although we have not been able to cross paths each and every year since our chance meeting with Army….each year we have grown closer and maintained a unique relationship that just about everyone we know would crave. We are family, that’s bottom line. Army is some 94+ years young, and except for maybe some hearing issues…is the same guy I met some time ago.
So, in the a.m., after some clothes washing, a trip to the local grocery store to do some provisioning….and getting the boat ready, we’ll be off, anchoring out somewhere to watch bald eagles nests, and get away from the so called civilization of the north. Can’t wait. Really. Some quality quiet time…..time to catch up on some boat chores and reading time.
For those of you who haven’t acquainted yourselves with the North Channel…you have to get up here. Enjoy the friendly people, the warm waters….relatively speaking…the breathtaking beauty….the friendly atmosphere…..it’s all here. No light pollution…the calls of the loon to send shivers down your spine….the friendly folks who live here year round who will help/assist at a moment’s notice…..get up here! It is better than any of your friends, including me can describe.
We departed Port Austin, which has great facilities by the way, and a very protected harbour, early Monday morn. Everything started out great…nice winds, clipping along under full sail at about 5 knots SOG….and then the wind died. Time to motor…..it’s a rather significant crossing to East Tawas, and just no wind to sail.
We arrived in East Tawas to no fanfare, quite unlike our last trip there. I’m not sure how many of you know the story, but when we sailed Kewalo from Blind River to Windsor, we stopped in East Tawas…..and we had the U.S. Coast guard, the local police, and the state DNR…who carry guns I might add…big guns…all chasing us. We had inadvertently ventured onto a high powered boat race…yes, high powered as in 120 mph down the back stretch. We did not know that there were races in the bay, and as we slowly crossed the bay headed to the state docks…..they had to shut the races down while we were chased off the race course…lol…..we were fortunate in that the DNR got to us first, and gently nudged us out of the way, having a good chuckle about the whole mess. But, enough of the that.
We walked into town….by the way, East Tawas has what must be the longest dock in the world….google earth it and check it out….and Beth was fortunate enough to find a dentist who repaired her tooth. What a relief! Toothaches suck! A crown is in the future…..$$$ ouch. Maybe we can get that done in Mexico….300 U.S. bucks will get that done, and the folks at the condo we stayed in all had great reviews on dental work done. We decided to stay two days in East Tawas, it was time for a break and it’s a nice little town with good food and good shopping. Our dock neighbour loaned us her van to go to Wal Mart to resupply, I wanted to buy a snubber to put on the dinghy line, I had left ours at home somehow….and we needed some food replenishing. What a great person Gay is….she rescues dogs…and apparently people as well, because it really rained while we were in Wal Mart, and we would have been soaked right through.
We left East Tawas and headed to Harrisville….yup, another motor sail. The wind gods are overlooking us this year. We met all the boats that had passed us in the St. Clair river, heading back down the lake having completed the Port Huron to Mackinac race. It was a pretty sight to see. The winds picked up huge when we were about 10 miles from Harrisville…and they were right on the nose….geesh! But, we arrived safe and sound, and Beth is doing so much better with her motion thing….the ear plug, ginger candies and forced labour on a pitching and yawing small sailboat seems to be working<grin> We bountied up on our “liquor” supply here, town is a nice little walk away…and I prepped the pork chops for dinner. I warmed up the grill…..and promptly dropped one of the chops in the drink…so….time to split a chop. I can now testify as to how quickly old dead pig sinks to the bottom of a lake.
Harrisville to Pres Q’ile, and we actually sailed for 3 hours…another day the wind gods forgot about us. Pres Q’ile is one of my favorite harbours, deep, clean well kept. A restaurant right at the foot of the docks…don’t order the prime rib……and a great jump off point to the north channel. Some good history with old light houses and such.
Sunrise – love the colours
We were up at the crack of dawn, and headed north. No wind…nada….nothing, the entire crossing. 12 hours of the engine droning….flat lake…which by the way, I am not complaining about, much better than our last crossing 3 years ago.
Blind River marina is not what it used to be. The docks are showing disrepair, the fuel pumps are all tore apart, the washrooms were not clean, the shower area…only a couple of the showers work……and if it hadn’t been for the restaurant in the complex staff doing clean up…we would not have had a key to get in for a shower. The marina staff girl left….we hadn’t signed in or anything. There is not much water in here….5’…..and not very many boats. I am hoping we can get a pump out, but I rather doubt that will happen either. Disappointing to say the least.
Looks like we’ll be here a couple of days before venturing off to begin our anchoring vacation….spend some time with friends and family, get some fishing in…….busy times. Computer is about to sign off, battery dying….more later.
July 13,2014 And here we are in Port Austin. Leaving Sarnia was great….we rode up the back current on the Canadian side under the Bluewater Bridges…a nice light 5+ knots per hour…and then….1.7 knots, like right now, Kewalo’s 12.7 hp Yanmar diesel just screaming at full rpms. Quite a difference from our ride going the opposite direction 3 years ago when we were surfing under the bridges at over 11 knots. One heck of a current. We had met a Canadian couple from Toronto, Dave and Heather, who own a Pacific Seacraft 34. What a pretty sailboat! They had left just before us and had texted that there would be no sailing that day….. .
Sarnia Bay Marina
Out into Lake Huron we “sped”….and were greeted by no wind, no waves, no sailing……on we go with the motor for another day. We finished off at Lexington…a nice little Michigan town. When we were there 3 years ago, it appeared to be fading away, but this visit showed us new growth, stores, bars……and we were quite happy to stock up with some American priced alcohol….yippee! There was a great outdoor concert at the marina, a grand way to celebrate my upcoming birthday, and there was a very large crowed dancing and enjoying the band.
We departed Lexington early the next morning, and headed for Harbour Beach…with it’s large power plant dominating the harbour. We pretty much motor sailed the whole way once again……ol’ mom nature not quite ready to give us the ride we are looking for. We took the courtesy van into town for dinner, and though the clouds looked ominous..I was under the mistaken impression that it would not rain for a wee bit. Wrong! Hatch open, portlights open…rain in boat. LOL! Lesson learned. The fireworks were cancelled due to the weather…which really turned rotten later, lightning, thunder and a huge amount of rain in a very short time. We departed the Harbour Beach marina at about 9 a.m., the weather clear enough for us to venture out. And venture out we did..no sooner out of the harbour and we had the fore and staysails up and snapping, pulling us along at a nice 5 knots. Then up with the main…..and trying to hold a course conducive to getting around the thumb…but we all know how well Bayfields point……and it turned into a long day. The winds increased to 23 mph, and there was a lot of tacking and gybing involved to try and hold a good course. We had to drop the fore and stay..it was just plain old overpowering Kewalo trying to get around the thumb. After a long day beating back and forth, we finally arrived in Port Austin shortly after 4 p.m. Port Austin is a very nice harbour, and while fueling and getting a pump out, a Jenneau 47 pulled in beside us……man, what a pretty boat! Beth then did some laundry, I prepped a couple of ribeyes for supper….and poor Beth fractured a tooth while eating. Not a great testament to my barbequing skills…but take it from me, the steak was tender and delicious. While eating, a Tayana 55 pulled in….man, another beauty! Another cool night is in store…might have to have a blanket tonight! Makes for good sleeping. So, off to East Tawas tomorrow, where we hope to get Beth into a dentist for some repair work…..hoping to
We left with the sunrise, pulling the dinghy (no time to wait for the dinghy davits)
Lake St. Clair was smooth as glass all the way to the mouth of the St. Clair River. No sails up today.
Slow sail up the St. Clair River. Lots of sailboats passing us (not sailing either). We imagine they are on their way to Port Huron (across the river from Sarnia) for the Port Huron to Mackinac race that starts in a couple of days.