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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tawas and Bay City to home...

The Flint Power Squadron, along with the Saginaw Power Squadron, planned a Rendezvous in Tawas Municipal Harbor. We did not plan to attend, but our run home, landed us in Tawas for the Rendezvous. We were pleased to find some friends and make some new friends.
Tawas has a Blues festival and Jim and I love the Blues - especially by the Bay!
 
Almost home, better give the boat a bath.
 
As we cruised up the Saginaw River, back to Skipper Buds to put the boat up, we passed by the Edson, a WWII destroyer, destined for Bay City. It was towed from Pennsylvania. That must have been quite a challenge!
               After renovation, we should be able to tour this ship on the Bay City waterfront.
Great to be home.
 

 
 


Presque Isle....as Rick Perry said...oops....

There is a reason to post ASAP. It is easy to become confused traveling port to port. The lighthouse you saw in the Cheboygan writeup is really in Presque Isle. Note that in your head.
This is the old lighthouse in Presque Isle. The lighthouse in the Cheboygan blog is the newer lighthouse in Presque Isle. Got that?
Never know what you are going to see in any harbor.
As we left, we saw this freighter.

The sailor in me, can't help but notice the change in wind patterns.
                                                          On to the next harbor.
 

 

Cheboygan - great stop...except for the cost of repairs!

Cheboygan is the home of the Coast Guard ship, Mackinaw. The Mackinaw brings up the rear on the Port Huron Mackinac Race.  As we entered the Cheboygan River, we passed the Mackinaw, with the guys on board.

We were also looking for our friends, who previously kept their boat at Wheeler's Landing, where we have a slip. They decided to cruise to some new places by being closer to the North Channel. One More Day, is a 50 Foot Cruisers and has a beautiful blue hull.

Over the last few weeks, we noticed our head system was not working as well as in the past. The last thing any boat owner wants is to have "head trouble". We called Walstroms and they were helpful and ready to assist.
Joe at Walstroms seems to have seen it all. He and Tim were extremely helpful. They are located near town and we really enjoyed the local restaurants. Boatworks was fabulous!
 
 
Sometimes the boys get to go with us. We rode to the lighthouse, with a BALL.

The photographer has to go to great lengths to get a photo of herself and BooBoo.
 
The lighthouse is well maintained and charming!

Walking into the back room, I almost had a heart attack. This replica looks so real! He looks exactly like his photograph - the last lighthouse keeper!

Fabulous view, though I almost died going up and down the grated stairs. Don't look down and hang onto the rail with both hands behind you. I would have taken a picture, but then I would have to take on hand off the handrail behind me.

The reward of the day is a romp in the water. Balls and sticks are where it's at!




 

 
Parts needed to be ordered, so we decided to make the best of the situation. Our friends on One More Day told us about the great bike trails, so we unloaded our bikes and took off for parts unknown. The trails were beautiful and we followed the trail to Mullett Lake.

If you follow the chain of Lakes, you can take your boat (smaller than ours) through Mullett Lake, Crooked Lake and almost to Lake Michigan. The trip would take a good part of a day and we are thinking our pontoon boat would be perfect for the trip. We could stay at a hotel at the west end and then cruise back the next day. There are locks along the way. We have done that! 117 times!

Our friends from Sault St. Marie stopped by to visit. They are a great couple and Tim is a childhood friend of Jim's. Spending time with them is always good for a few stories of boyhood in Columbiaville. Fishing was their main sport as boys.
 
 

Mackinac Island - haven't missed a year in....30 years?

The day was long. Originally the plan was to cruise to Drummond Island so Bama Belle could check in.  On Crawdad, we both have Nexus cards, so a phone call is all we need. Once on the water, we were able to call Mackinac and were pleased to find out Customs has a phone installed on the Office Wall, so we proceeded to Mackinac.

The good news is Herself, a Grand Banks 32 cruised with us to Mackinac. Dave and Suzanne purchased their Grand Banks last year and are new cruisers, in love with the new life and their gorgeous boat. We met at Meldrum Bay and immediately connected and enjoyed dinner at the Meldrum Inn.

                                                Don't they look like they are having a blast?

They allow Labradors and Pomeranians on the porch, don't they? Buddy was ...cooperating....as usual....

Have you had dinner at the Grand Hotel lately? Charlie and Lorrie did not want to miss dinner at the Grand, so Jim and I agreed to go with them. We took a carriage up to the Hotel, as Lorrie was having great difficulty walking, because of her double knee replacement 11 weeks before. Coats and ties are required and dresses and pantsuits for women. Oops! A call to the Hotel confirmed, they could lend the guys coats and ties!
 
Here is Jim with his size 52 jacket. This jacket fit a lot better than the 40 short, he tried on earlier and the tie - covered with carriages - how appropriate!

Charlie was having a difficult time with the tie he borrowed. Maybe Charlie didn't wear a tie every day in his Bait Shop?
 
Always an amazing sight, though, isn't it?

The Mackinac Island Harbor looks amazing different thant it has during most of my visits - after Mackinac Races. What! You can't walk across the Harbor over the boats? Fort Michilimackinac is on the Hill in the Center of the Photo.
 
What would cruising be without the visit to the engine room to check the oil level. Crawdad's Lehman 135's are amazing and just keep on going!
 

 

 

Meldrum Bay, a favorite.

Jim and I love Meldrum Bay. The marina is a friendly place and the only restaurant in town (maybe it's a small village) is wonderful! A couple from California bought the Meldrum Bay Inn sight unseen and have created a friendly, welcoming Inn and a restaurant that draws us back each year.

The wind was howling and we were not excited about docking anywhere.  Bama Belle was short-handed with Lorrie's knees still in healing and our plan was to go in first to make sure Charlie and Lorrie were OK, but the depth was too shallow for us and Bama Belle draws a bit less water, so the staff at Meldrum Bay safely landed Charlie and we followed.
 
The boys love hanging out on the love seat.
 
Bama Belle cruised next to us. Just like old times!

Nothing prettier than a sunset on Meldrum Bay.

 
 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gore Bay - out of jail card!

Sun's up and the wind is....where? Hallelujah! We are off to Meldrum Bay, another of our favorite spots. Bama Belle is with us and we expect a much quieter day. (Hope!!!)
Sailing School. Looks like a couple of ruffians. My kind of boys!

Gore Bay is described by Jim as Columbiaville 55 years ago.  Agreed! As the boys and I walked, early this morning, we met two young men with long pants, short sleeved shirts and fishing poles, smiling and laughing! Did this remind me of Jim fishing with his cousin Rodney or Mike! Yes!
Jim and I were in the engine room and when I popped my head up, this is what greeted me.

The grocery store is a bit larger than Killarney, packed with merchandise to the ceiling. Non branded products are common on the shelf and packaging can be significantly different than in the US. A pharmacy, clothing shop, nick nack shop (why do we EVER need one!), a LCBO (booze shop) and Shell gas station.

Oh, boy! A flea market!


Two days is more than enough and we are glad the winds have subsided.

Good morning world!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Benjamin Island - not to be missed on any year.

One of our favorites - have anchored here three years in a row. Won't miss the Benjamins next year either!
The rock formations at the Benjamins differ from many other areas. The smooth stones are expansive and easy to climb.

Charlie and Lori

Bama Belle and Crawdad rafted together on one anchor.

Is their anything more beautiful than this lush green moss?

Charlie took us fishing between the islands. It was not our day.....  

Lori and Charlie

Bud and his Dad, cruising the rocks, looking for....the best spot.

Gal pals.

Trying not to bore you with too many sunsets, but they are so incredibly colorful!








Kagawong, Bridal Falls, what fun!

Charlie Crawford from Bama Belle was a great companion boat on our Loop. We met in Marco Island and cruised together to the Keys. Bama Belle was with us for a month at Marathon Marina and Boat Yard. Good times! Charlie cruised to the Bahamas and then up the coast. Timing wasn't just right and he wanted sufficient time to enjoy Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Bama Belle was up on the hard at Brewerton NY for the winter. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with each other.

Charlie has cruised with friends and relatives. During the time we met, he was cruising with a Collingwood resident, Lori. We have thoroughly enjoyed her company as well as good old Charlie. Charlie owned a bait shop in Mobile and is a fabulous fisherman. Lori had double knee replacement 8 weeks ago and is crewing with Charlie! What a spirit!
Check out the pulpit.....bow of a boat look familiar?




Two wild and crazy guys in the falls!

Amazing what a bunch of old people will do for fun!

BooBoo is beside himself! Why would anyone want to leave their dogs at home?