25 May, 2014

May 25, 2014

Wow!  Hard to believe that we’re finally on our way.  We have a beautiful day to depart Charlevoix, Michigan.  Temperature at 1000 is 65 degrees, skies are sunny, and the glass is rising.  Out on Lake Michigan, the seas are less than one foot, and the air temperature is 47 degrees.  Water temperature is 35 degrees, but we’re not planning on a swim today.  Instead, we be smilin’ in our toasty pilothouse.  We’ll cover some familiar territory today, up the west coast of Michigan, with a planned overnight in Mackinaw city.  From there, we’ll veer south from our usual summer course to head down the east coast of Michigan to Presque Isle, before jumping across Lake Huron to Tobermory, Ontario on Tuesday.  Weather and seas look very promising for those runs.

It’s been quite a winter.  One of the coldest and snowiest(?) in recent history.  Besides moving a shitton (lots) of snow from the driveway with my trusty John Deere all-wheel drive tractor, MDO (my darlin’ One, the Admiral, Suzanne) and I spent a lot of hours sprucing our plus-sized girl up for The Life.  If you have a dream, pursue it.  Don’t make excuses about why you can’t, do it now.  Tick, Tick, Tick.  But I digress.  The girl got her bottom painted, as well as 5 coats of varnish on her brightwork.  100 or so hours (but who’s counting?) of wheeling, polishing and waxing, and she’s feelin’ like a natural woman.  Some woodworking projects by MJT (yours truly)  will make her galley a lot more user friendly  We made some additions that will make her feel a lot more sure of herself on the big water too.  She got a brand new, P.C. based navigation system (Rose Point), and a secondary radar (Koden) to back up her primary (Furuno) systems.  Positive engine room ventilation will help her digest her fuel more efficiently on cooler air.  Some other cool (I think) modifications, but we’ll talk later.  The constant supervision, cool heads, and strong hands of the boys at Boat Works of Charlevoix helped make it all happen.  Alas, or Friday departure date was not meant to be.  After I moved one of the 3 computers onboard, I got the Blue Screen of Death on the monitor.  Not just the usual BSOD, but one replete with an olive branch and a white dove.  Repair disc-no joy.  2 hours on the interweb, lotsa forums-still no soap.  #@!&***.  Call to the Computer Center, Inc., in East Jordan, Michigan.  No easy fix available over the phone.  Yes, we’re super busy, maybe get to it next week.  Extra Benjamins will move us to the front of the line (those pesky dead presidents do come in handy sometimes).  2 hours later the emergency room calls with the verdict-hard drive cacked.  No, they don’t have one, but can disassemble an external and use that- Ca-ching$!  After 31 hours, 2 terabytes of files are loaded.  Reboot.  Voila!  Back to hacienda.  Moral of the story:  Don’t ever start a voyage on Friday-REAL bad luck.  Positive side, we were still at home, and could fix it.  We got to go out to dinner with our good buds from Scottsdale, Andy and Jody (who will meet us in 3 weeks for a few days of rappin’ and libations on the St. Lawrence Seaway).  Also gave us a chance to further spruce up la casa for our friends Dick and Jan ( yes, we do have fun with Dick and Jan) who will use the joint as theirs while we are gone.

So…We’re about to round the abandoned lighthouse at Waugoshance Point.  The breeze has picked up, 15 knots out of the S.W., and the waves are piling up as the water shoals up to 16 feet or so.  Air temperature is 46 degrees, and MDO is fast asleep on the back porch, which is a balmy 72 degrees.  Mackinaw bridge is in sight, although 15 miles away.  We’ll be under it in 2 hours, such is Life at 8 knots.  …..Later

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