OK – I have actually a few minutes to sit down and write something! This boating business is keeping me very busy. You wouldn’t think that it would, but I really haven’t had time!
So, everything is going really well on this trip. I think the boat is well set up – we have all the amenities of home. We are very comfortable living on it and have established a good routine starting with coffee in the morning. At home, we have the coffee on the automatic timer, but that would not be very practical on the boat, so Dennis gets up really early (usually 5:30) and wanders around the anchorage or marina until he hears me stirring. Then I make a lot of noise, so he quickly makes my coffee. It is an excellent way to start my day and I would highly recommend it to fellow boaters.
It we are travelling then we have learned to “batten down the hatches” and secure everything. You never know what will happen on the water, so it is best to be prepared. We learned that the hard way (of course!). Trying to get down below in rough water is very unpleasant because it is so hard to hang on to things. We have to lock all the cupboards, lockers, and drawers (easy – just press the button on each), close all the windows – I guess sailors would say hatches), put all the dishes safely away, and bring the important things up in the cockpit. The important things include the life jackets, radio, hats, water, saltine crackers, blanket (for me), and cushions.
We are also getting better at docking the boat which is the most nerve wracking thing of the day. Anything can go wrong in a few minutes. Dennis, I have to say, is an excellent driver (if that is the right word) and I once in a while can actually accurately throw the lines to the dock handlers. When it is windy though, like in Drummond Island, it is a challenge.
Now, on the day we left Gore Bay, we had very calm weather and motored the entire day but about two hours before we reached Drummond Island, the wind came up and we had a bit of a rough time. Nothing disastrous happened, just a lot of pounding into the waves. Anyway, by the time we reached Drummond, the wind was really howling. We had to dock because we had to clear Customs. Luckily, this very nice couple helped us, otherwise it would have been terrible!
Once we cleared Customs, we immediately went for a walk and beelined over to the Bruce Roberts steel boat – Dennis’ dreamboat! Our recreation then, consists of looking at other boats…
Anyway, the trip has been lots of fun! We have learned to pack our food properly, so we have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The best idea though was to buy frozen bread from The Mad Hatter Cafe in Parry Sound and keep it in the freezer until we need a loaf to bake. Their bread is excellent! That is the one thing on the trip that is not good – buying decent bread so this has solved the problem.
The other really good thing is my iphone. I can access the internet from almost anywhere which I am enjoying. I check the weather and the news, update various things, and keep in touch. Now that we are in the US, it is a bit more expensive ($1.00 per MG) so I just check once a day and then use the wireless at a marina.
I am getting lots of exercise too! I have started jogging (every few days). I am not very fast but can go 8 km so that helps a lot. When we are at an anchorage, I swim or kayak around. That helps too but it is the jogging that really makes a difference. I haven’t even ridden my bike once!
So, this trip has been great! We are now on Beaver Island and will head over to Petoskey tomorrow and then work our way back into the North Channel.
For entertainment today, we are all going to watch Dennis climb the mast to put up the wind meter. Hopefully it will go smoothly!