Tug-For-Two Log 1994-2003

A Prayer for Mariners

Dear Lord, do please keep me safe
in all my travels
May I see and feel your presence in all
I meet along the way
May you, dear Lord, live in my heart
Whether awake or in sleep

The Great Circle Journey

In the spring of 1994 we decided to charter a canal boat for an extended canal voyage. We contacted Collar City Charters in Troy, NY and arranged for a six-week charter, part of which Rich and Carol Moore would travel with us, then Ed and Barbara would be with us the final two weeks. We traveled across the country in our 5th wheel trailer and when we reached Hudson, OH, left the trailer in the driveway of Marilyn & Jim’s house.

On May 8, 1994, we left Hudson and drove to Troy, arriving there the following afternoon and had our first look at the canal boats. We took care of business with Collar City Charters (CCC), had a brief lesson on steering, docking, locking-thru, and engine maintenance and John hooked up the Fathometer he had brought along. We were allowed to put a lot of our gear on board even though we wouldn’t be taking the boat for another few days. We drove on to Donna’s in NY and picked up Rich and Carol at La Guardia Airport. The following morning we packed up the truck again and headed back to Troy, arriving early enough to buy some groceries and have dinner in Troy.

The next morning, May 14, we finished loading the boat with our gear and food and had an orientation class with Rob, one of the owners of CCC, and by noon we had cast off from the dock and were on our own.

To make a long story short, by the end of the six weeks we had so enjoyed the leisurely pace of canal boating that we decided to look at a few boats and perhaps consider traveling the intra-coastal waterways and navigating the Great Circle Route which encompasses America’s eastern waterways including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the New York State and Canadian Heritage Canals and the inland river systems. We drove Ed and Barbara to Essex, NY where they had left their RV, then took the ferry across Lake Champlain to Charlotte, VT. We enjoyed the sights of Vermont, New Hampshire and into Massachusetts, then into Connecticut, stopping at Mystic. The absolute best place in the country to eat seafood is the Seahorse Tavern in Noank, CT. The following morning we contacted a yacht broker, Rick Foster, who showed us a few local boats and furnished a list of boats we could look at in Maryland. We stopped at Donna’s again and spent 3 days before heading for Maryland.

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We saw boats at Cambridge, Baltimore, and Solomons Island in Maryland. We received a FAX from Rick telling us about a boat he thought we would like but it was in Norfolk, VA. We drove on down and met with a local broker, Jim Dennis, who showed us “Tug-of-War”, a 37 ft. Lord Nelson Victory Tug – love at first sight. We spent over an hour on board, had lunch, and then called Rick. Negotiations were started and on June 30, 1994, agreement was made at $100,000 and we would rename the boat “Tug For Two”.

Since the boat was located on the east coast and we lived on the west coast, and all the boating that we wanted to do was in the eastern waterways, we decided to leave California altogether so that more time could be spent using the boat. One of our (my) biggest concerns was what arrangements to make for mom since by that time we were aware that she needed to be close to someone who could help her and take an interest in her welfare.

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Upon returning to California, we discussed with mom what she would prefer doing, and she thought that she would like to go to Ohio so that she could be closer to Marilyn and her family. Evelyn was not really well and she didn’t want to become a further burden to her. As it turned out, Evelyn was terminally ill with cancer and had been hiding from all the family just how ill she really was. In October, in extreme pain, she was admitted to City of Hope and in just a few short days she passed away. After Evelyn’s funeral we went through the work of selling properties, getting Shirley’s mom resettled in a retirement assisted living facility in Akron, OH where she would be close to Marilyn and her family, sorting what to keep, what to get rid of and what to store – 40+ years of accumulated stuff. Mom went to Ohio first while we finished up in Arroyo Grande. Finally, all the properties were sold and/or in escrow, including our house. We moved out of the house and into the 5th wheel on March 1, 1995, staying in a local RV park, then finally on March 10, left Arroyo Grande behind us and drove south to park at Ed and Barbara’s, leaving there the following afternoon for points east, arriving in Ohio on March 18 so that I could be with mom for a few days before leaving again on the 24th to drive to Norfolk.

We settled the 5th wheel at a campground in Virginia Beach and began the work of cleaning up the boat (someone had left a window open allowing rain to get inside making a mess of the stove top, etc). We located a storage unit down the street and stowed boat furniture, outboard motor, the dinghy and other things that would be in the way while work was being done on the inside. Over the next few weeks John removed the old non-working air conditioning system, removed (and stored) the staircase in order to make access to the engine room easier and for the later installation of a generator and the autopilot system. The fuel tanks had to be drained, cleaned and the fuel filtered before returning to the tanks (a really messy job). In addition, the water tanks had to be thoroughly flushed, drained and sanitized (all kinds of icky stuff growing in there). The bottom was washed down and prepped for new bottom paint, the other exterior paint work was done and later we had someone do the exterior buffing and polishing; the interior cushions were all reupholstered, new drapes made, etc., etc, etc, etc.

Slowly, bit-by-bit, progress was being made on making the boat “habitable” for our purposes. In the middle of April we took Easter weekend off and drove down to Chincoteague, VA to a decoy festival. We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel and drove through very pretty country, small coastal villages – Oyster, Birdsnest, Wachateague, Friar’s Wharf, etc. and reached Chincoteague, found a motel room and then went to the decoy show. The next day, Easter Sunday, we drove to Assateague and walked around a large pond enjoying the animals and birds – deer, glossy ibis, egrets of different kinds, Canada geese, ducks and an otter who put on quite a show.

Work continued on the boat, always something else that needed to be seen to. On April 19th while we were working we heard a news bulleting about a bomb blast at the federal building in Oklahoma City. There was not much further news until we got back to the campground and then watching TV saw the devastation of a 9-story building that killed many, including children in a day-care center in the building.

Work continued, cleaning the rub rail, working on the stainless steel window trim, installation of electronics (radar, etc.), lazarette shelving, installation of a holding tank, engine work, draperies, bilge cleaning, painting of the lazarette, window gaskets, etc.

Finally, on May 16, the boat was lifted and placed in the water and a short time later we were on our way down the channel and out to Thimble Shoals to see the lighthouse there. As we returned to Cutty Sark the wind came up and it took four passes to get into the slip; a very nerve wracking experience. There was still work to be done before we could head out on our “shake-down” cruise”. The generator had to be set in place, a major undertaking, and then the hook-up process, refrigerator adjustments to the freon, stocking the boat with canned and paper goods and a new microwave, stowing everything, etc. We began looking into the possibility of changing the insurance coverage and getting quotes from various companies – very expensive stuff. We contacted Allstate Insurance, who had covered houses; cars, the RV and everything else for us for years and the agent began to investigate the possibility of obtaining boat coverage.

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We took a drive to New Bern, NC to look at a windlass and chain that was for sale. It was what John wanted so a deal was made with the owner. On our return to the boat John set the battery and tie-down of electrical wires in the cabin base cabinets, adjusted the auto-pilot while I cleaned windows. The installation of the holding tank was completed, and the drapes were hung. The completed cushions and bolsters were delivered and put in place. By the end of May we had firmed up coverage with Allstate Insurance and cancelled the former policy. The following days were busy with last minute adjustments and final move-in of the stored furniture, rugs, clothes, bedding, and tool pickup.

On the morning of June 10, 1995, we pulled out of the RV campground and headed back to Hudson to store the RV for the season and to see mom to reassure her everything was OK. The RV needed to be winterized in case the snow arrived before we did. Both the truck and the RV were stored at a campground in Streetsboro. On June 19, Marilyn and Jim drove us to Cleveland to catch the Amtrak train to take us back to Virginia. It was necessary for us to change trains at Washington DC. We went to Newport News, VA by train and then transferred to a bus to Norfolk and then took a taxi to the marina, arriving there after 9 P.M. the night of June 20.

After arriving back in Norfolk, final projects were completed; the refrigerator partitioned off, shelves installed. The refrigerator still wouldn’t cool properly so we called in an A/C installer who determined that the freon psi level was too high which affected the cooling. He released some freon to reduce the pressure, ice crystals formed on the backside of the evaporator! Some holes were plugged and a missing gasket replaced.

THE SHAKEDOWN CRUISE

On the morning of June 29 we pulled away from the dock at 0715 down the channel and into the bay. It was quite choppy and windy until we turned up into the Elizabeth River where we were protected from the wind. We crossed under the I-64 Bridge and turned into the Dismal Swamp Canal, reaching the Deep Creek Lock in time for the scheduled ll00 opening. We followed the canal to the Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor/Welcome Center where we were able to tie off to their dock and we obtained permission to stay the night and fill the water tanks. The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina and consists of 107,100 acres of mainly forested wetlands that have been ditched and harvested since 1763. George Washington first visited the swamp in 1763 and called it a glorious paradise. The five mile Washington Ditch was first excavated to Lake Drummond by slave labor under the direction of the land company of which Washington was a part. Since then, the Great Dismal has been ditched, roads built and timber harvested.

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The next morning we were on our way to our desired destination of Elizabeth City, NC, on the Pasquatank River tying up at the complimentary dock around noon. As we were walking to a grocery store a volunteer greeter stopped us and offered to drive us to the market, which saved us a round-trip walk

Two long-time residents of Elizabeth City, Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer, decided one Sunday morning after church in 1983, shortly after the completion of the docks, to have an impromptu wine and cheese party for the visiting boaters. Joe, who raised roses, stopped by his house and clipped 17 buds for the visiting “First Mates” while Fred rounded up wine, cheese, chips, dips and cups. Meeting at the dock Fred and Joe hosted the first party for those 17 boats and crew. Since then the “Rose Buddies” tradition has grown by word of mouth along the Intracoastal Waterway. We were one of the “honored guests” at a wine and cheese party held at the home of Fred Fearing, attended by all the boaters at the dock. The following morning we left Elizabeth City, heading southeast to the North River then headed north following the ICW through Coinjock into Currituck Sound and North Landing River. We turned into Blackwater Creek to drop anchor for the night. Lots of bugs and noises from the reeds – birds, frogs, other night sounds; a nice relaxing spot. We returned to Norfolk the following day, July 3rd, dropping anchor at Hospital Point for the night, returning to Little Creek, Cutty Sark Marina the next day. All in all, the shake down cruise was successful.

During the next two weeks we were busy “finishing up” all the little details on the boat, shopping, phone calls home, etc. and finally on July 19, 1995, at 12 noon, we pushed off from the Cutty Sark dock for the start of the “official” beginning of the Great Circle Route cruise.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

For the most part, traveling north on the bay itself was uneventful – lots of lighthouses to see and Tangier Island, a unique and picturesque area on the eastern side of the ICW in Virginia waters. It can be reached only by boat or ferry. People of Cornish descent live there. Lots of crab shacks and crab boats – Chesapeake dead rides. We passed through the “channel” but decided not to anchor or tie off anyplace and just turned around and backtracked through the island and crossed back over the bay to locate an anchorage for the night. As we entered Cockrell Creek a barge was exiting that smelled greatly of sewage. We learned that it was the menhaden fish factories in the town of Reedsville that were “cooking” and creating their own special aroma. Fortunately where we anchored only a mild aroma drifted up - omen of things to come.

The fifth day out as we were about 2-1/2 hours out of Solomons Island, MD the engine suddenly died and we set the anchor to reduce rolling while John determined what the problem was. The oil was ok; the fuel filter had some sediment and then discovered the motor mounts were loose. John tightened the motor mounts and changed the fuel filter and THEN realized that he hadn’t checked the fuel tank levels. The forward port tank was dry. After it was shut off and the lines from the other 3 tanks opened the engine started just fine, thank you. When John went forward to pull in the anchor he discovered that the engine had still been in gear and he had pulled out all 350 ft. of chain and we had to haul it all in again! Needless to say our planned destination of reaching Annapolis was scrapped and we anchored at Whitehall Bay. In addition John had hurt his right shoulder while climbing down into the engine room.

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The next day we finally reached Annapolis and our visit there was not a “winner”. We dropped off 6 rolls of exposed film to be developed and then located a marine hardware store for “necessities”, did laundry, and took a walk. We picked up the developed photos and when we looked through them discovered that most of them had been ruined. We returned to the photo shop to have the pictures reprinted.

In the morning, we discovered that ducks had roosted on the dinghy and made a terrible mess that was a major project to clean up. John needed to make another trip to the marine hardware for parts. While out we stopped at the photo shop – the pictures weren’t ready. Back to the boat to pull the sump pump – another trip to the marine store for a new pump – stopped at the photo shop; the photos still not done. We took what was completed and after a “discussion” with the clerk and owner the balance was to be ready in the morning. Back to the boat, the pump got installed backwards so it had to be redone. A very hot and humid day with nothing going right which did nothing for tempers – not a good one.

The next morning we made one more trip to the marine hardware and to the photo shop. We were told that the night clerk ruined the negatives so nothing was redone. We ended up with a refund on two full sets of prints and developing and two free rolls of film (whoopee!) and a big mess of pictures to sort out. We cut our losses and pulled away from the mooring, heading up the bay.

As we traveled we listened to one-half of a SOS call between USCG Baltimore Group and a vessel taking on water near Baltimore somewhere. The vessel, “Lucifer” eventually sank with two people on board and we never found out if the Coast Guard located them in time.

We finally entered the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and expected to make it clear through to stay at Delaware City. About one mile beyond Chesapeake City, traveling about 20 feet from the edge of the canal, the boat hit an underwater obstruction of some sort, which made quite a big bang. We slowed down and checked out the bilges and lazarette for leaking water – none to be found and the steering was OK so we continued on to Delaware City and pulled into a marina there for fuel and water. We decided to spend the night to give us time to check out the hull and prop, etc. John went into the water, tied off on a line because of current, and checked the prop, rudder, and keel and couldn’t locate anything obvious. The lift at the marina was only good at high water which would be after 12 noon the next day. We assumed that everything was all right to continue to Cape May the next day. We took advantage of the situation by buying a few groceries in town and making phone calls. Sleeping on the boat that night was next to impossible. The area was heavily infested with mosquitoes and other biting creatures. The air was very warm and humid and we had not put up our mosquito netting over doors and window openings and since we had no air conditioning, sleep just wasn’t an option. The bugs had a great time – both of us being a mass of red splotches in the morning.

The crossing of the Delaware Bay was slow going since we were running against the tide for the first 3-4 hours. The south end of the bay was windier and the water choppier. We had to make part of the crossing to Cape May in a trough situation so there was lots of rolling and things bouncing around inside the cabin. After we entered the Cape May Canal conditions improved and we found anchorage south of the USCG station. We stayed 3 days in the area catching up with laundry,
shopping, phone calls and working on the screening so that we wouldn’t have to endure another night fighting off hungry bugs.

The afternoon before we were to leave as we were preparing for our departure we were both in the cabin and heard a SPLASH and discovered that the pilothouse chair and pad had fallen overboard. John got into the dinghy and “rescued” both of them.

THE ICW – ATLANTIC COAST NORTH

When we left Cape May we filled with water at a marina dock and followed the ICW to Cold Spring Inlet and entered ocean waters setting course for Atlantic City where we entered the Absecon Inlet and anchored near Trump’s Castle about 3 p.m., and ate a late lunch at one of the casinos. A group sponsoring an island swim the following morning came by and asked to see the boat. Any time we were docked where there were other boats or people walking by we were more often than not asked about the boat and many asked to see inside.

Leaving Atlantic City we entered the ICW again following the markers north. The channel is well marked but shallow in many areas since we were traveling during low tide. We scraped low spots a time or two. At one point we managed to wander out of the channel and into low water and became “hung up” but stayed in power and slowly turned out of the shallows back into the main channel.

The area was very pretty – grassy, and lots of birds such as egrets, oystercatchers, gulls, and other shore birds, even 1 blue heron. As we entered the Little Egg Harbor area, the engine didn’t feel right so we anchored in deep water and John went over the side to see if the prop had been fouled with grass – it hadn’t. He then checked the transmission fluid, which was also OK, so we continued on determining that it was probably wind and/or current conditions in the area. At Little Egg Harbor the scenery changed to non-stop waterside communities until we reached Barnegat Bay where we anchored off Island Beach State Park along with 100 +/- other boats. This area was infested with biting greenhead flies, a very tenacious specie of fly. We were grateful that we had the mosquito screening we could put up, which helped to keep the fly population down inside the cabin. Thunderstorms were predicted for overnight so we prepared for weather. We had rain at times but the main storm was elsewhere and we were able to enjoy the show in the sky.

The next day we continued northward as storms were predicted again and we wanted to try to locate a more sheltered anchorage. As we traveled the sea chop became heavier and the winds stronger, estimated to be about 20 kts and 3-4 ft. seas. We reached the channel entrance for the Metedeconk River and found an anchorage on the lee side and dropped the anchor. The next morning it was still windy so we decided to make a short run to Beaverdam Creek to a marina where we could get water and groceries and possibly be more protected. We pulled in - no slips were available but we were allowed to tie off to their lift-dock and we filled the water tanks. Because of wind conditions we had to pull the boat around the end of the dock and then power out in reverse, which worked fine. We returned to our previous anchorage on the Metedeconk River.

We were up early the next morning to be able to be ready to leave on a slack tide to pass through the Point Pleasant Canal and out the Manasquan Inlet into the Atlantic for the final leg of ocean. The day was clear and the winds gusty. At a railroad bridge opening we had to wait a short time and when it opened, because of the number of boats waiting to travel in both directions, we weren’t able to get through without having to maneuver some, we then followed the channel to the inlet. We were almost out of the inlet before we realized how high the incoming swells were. It wasn’t really safe to turn around so John powered up and we rode the swells into the Atlantic Ocean—a real roller-coaster ride. Once outside it was quite rough, 5-7 ft. seas and 15 kt. Wind. We turned north. The angle of our course diminished a lot of the rocking and dipping but we still caught a lot of it. We plowed on through, reaching Sandy Hook, New Jersey and turning into Raritan Bay to the Atlantic Highlands by mid-afternoon and anchored inside the breakwater. Overall, the boat handled the rough seas very well but it was an experience that neither of us wanted to repeat.

The following morning we left Atlantic Highlands, passing Sandy Hook again and crossed over to New York Harbor. We went under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where we encountered heavy current, then passed Fort Hamilton and into the upper bay. Not a heavy traffic day but still lots to watch out for—pleasure boats, tugs, ferries, tour boats of all kinds, plus overhead numerous helicopters and other aircraft. As big as the area was we still felt crowded in at times; all the traffic seeming to want to pass through the same area at the same time, especially around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the lower tip of Manhattan. We finally headed up the East River and traffic lessened but there was more current. We went under the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges and watched the high rises on the Manhattan side of the river and the industrial areas on the Brooklyn side of the river glide by. We passed Roosevelt Island and then entered Hell Gate on low slack water. The currents were strong but not as rough as we had anticipated. We passed Rikers Island prison and Flushing Bay then went under the Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges into Long Island Sound, passing Stepping Stones lighthouse and then entered Manhasset Bay where we found a spot to anchor for the night. A family of swans came by to welcome us as well as to look for a handout of crackers. They were bold enough to come right up to the boat and take the crackers from our fingers. Another pair of swans showed up later.

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MANHASSETT BAY, NY – MYSTIC, CT

The next day, August 10, after checking out the available marinas we decided to dock at the Manhasset Bay Marina where we could be hooked up to water and power. We got in touch with Donna who came down later and we had dinner together then went to her house for a short visit. Two weeks later (over my objections) we left to go to Essex/Mystic, CT. The Sound was very choppy and windy and conditions worsened as the day progressed. We pulled into the harbor at New Haven, CT to anchor for the night. Strong gusty NW winds rocked us around most of the night. In the morning we left early and proceeded to Mystic. Again the seas were rough and windy, but clear skies. We entered the Mystic Harbor area mid-afternoon and looked for an anchorage—a very shallow area so ended up dockside at the Noank Shipyard Marina. In the morning we headed south again to the Connecticut River, to Old Saybrook and tied up at the River Landing Marina where we enjoyed comp dockage from Rick Foster. Later we had dinner and a pleasant evening at the home of Rick and Stephanie Foster.

The following day we left and entered the Sound where again it was windy and the water choppy making a hard ride. We came across a run of blue fish so we slowed down to troll. John caught two and released both of them. We continued on and anchored at Port Jefferson later in the afternoon. We were both tired from all the bouncing and rolling, even though the last two hours were somewhat calmer. We stayed the next day, the Sound being windy and choppy again. We put the dinghy in the water and rode up into “Conscience Bay” and beached the dinghy to take a walk. We picked up several floats that had washed ashore. The wind calmed down during the evening and remained calm all night. We returned to Manhasset Bay Marina the following morning.

HUDSON RIVER, CHAMPLAIN CANAL AND LAKE CHAMPLAIN

We left Manhasset Bay the morning of September 8, backtracking through the Sound, through Hell Gate and entered the Harlem River and up to the Hudson River. Once on the Hudson we turned north reaching Croton Point where we anchored in Haverstraw Bay, Harmon mid-afternoon. We took three days to travel up-river cruising past beautiful scenery, large homes, small riverfront towns, West Point and swimming squirrels, finally reaching Troy where we docked for 4 days catching up on laundry, visiting with Rob and Tim, owners of the dock. Tim loaned us his car so we could do a major grocery shopping and some other shopping – bought a down comforter since the nights were getting chillier. The bilges needed cleaning so we took care of that then on the morning of September 16 left the dock and went north through Troy Lock and on up the Hudson River/Champlain Canal passing through Locks 1-6. We tied off on the wall
of Lock 6 after exiting.

We continued north the next morning. As we traveled farther north we became aware of more patches of color in the trees. It was very quiet and peaceful, no traffic to contend with. At Lock 11 the locking line became wedged in the mid-ship cleat and John had to cut the line since we were dropping and the line had locked in. When we reached Whitehall we tied off on a wall in front of the museum. It was windy during the night and still somewhat windy in the morning and chilly but clear. We changed to the holding tank for lake use, cast off and went through Lock 12 and into Lake Champlain.

For the next eight days we moved up and down and across the lake, anchoring at Chimney Point, VT, Willsboro Bay, NY, Shelburne Bay, VT, Burlington, VT, Valcour Island, NY, and DAR State Park, VT. Most of the time the wind was brisk to strong, and the temperatures cooler and the nights became crispy making the purchase of the down comforter a blessing.

When we reached Whitehall again we stayed the night and in the morning started back to Troy Town Dock, locking C-11 through C-6, tying off on the wall behind C-5 for the night. We reached TTD the next afternoon, filled the fuel tanks and pumped-out. In another two days we were heading south again on the Hudson River. The visibility was poor so we used the radar for the first time when it counted – very helpful. The fog cleared up and visibility was fine after that. The second day out we had hoped to find an anchorage near Cold Spring, but ran into shallows so we continued on. Coming in to West Point we called the harbormaster and asked if there was any dockage available. We were allowed to dock at the South Dock, courtesy of USMA. The rest of the journey back to Manhasset Bay Marina was uneventful.

We prepped the boat for storage over the winter and had it hauled out of the water to be stored on the hard until spring 1996.

End of the cruising season for 1995

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1996

No official log was kept during 1996. I did not take any further trips on the boat and the following dates and places were taken from a daily journal I kept while John was away.

Sometime in May he left from Donna’s where he had been doing some work on the house and traveled back up the Hudson River to Troy. From there he started up the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. He returned to New York to fly back to Ohio because of Mom’s passing. After the funeral in California, John returned to New York and left Donna’s on July 6 to return to the boat. By July 14 he was at Lock 10 on the Erie Canal and on July 17 he was at Sylvan Beach, Oneida Lake. Four days later, he was back at Sylvan beach and on July 26 he was at Troy again and then returned to New York to attend the wedding of Donna and Raphael on August 10.

On August 18 he called to say he was at Kingston, NY on the Hudson. He had hit something and damaged the prop and had to be towed to the dock. It took a week to have the prop repaired and the boat back in the water. He reached Troy on August 31, staying there a few days before going up the Hudson/Champlain Canal reaching Whitehall on September 5th. By September 9th he was in the shipyard at Shelburne, VT having a broken motor mount repaired/replaced, then by September 17th he was at Burlington, VT from where he left Lake Champlain and entered the Richelieu River and Chambley Canal north to the St. Lawrence River and into Canada. On September 21 he was in Montreal and on September 25 he was at Ottawa. From Ottawa he entered the Rideau Canal. On the Rideau Canal the canal staff operate the lock gates manually by a hand winch “crab”. By early October he hand reached Kingston, Ontario where he crossed Lake Ontario and entered the Oswego Canal, NY to the Erie Canal and back to Troy, NY by October 9th. The boat was prepped for storage over the winter on blocks at Van Schaick Island Marina, Troy, NY.

End of season for 1996

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1997

The boat was put in the water on May 12 and moved to TTD and time spent going through everything to be sure all was in good shape for the coming season. Donna and Raphael drove up to Troy, arriving June 11. The next day John, Donna and Raphael took the boat upriver through the Federal Lock and up the Waterford Flight to the wall near Guard Gate #1, had lunch, then returned down the “Flight” to the Hudson River and headed north to Mechanicsville where they tied off at the city wall for the night.

The following morning they passed through locks 3, 4, 5 and 6 to Fort Edwards, tying off to the wall at the city park. Early the next morning, June 14, they returned to Troy. Donna and Raphael left to drive back home.
TROY, NY – ERIE CANAL

John departed from the TTD on June 17 and headed west on the Erie Canal reaching Lock 8 about 1730 where he tied off on the upper wall for the night. The next few days were spent much the same, traveling westward and tying off a wall at night. On June 20 he reach the west end of Lake Oneida and was greeted by a pair of Mallard ducks with baby ducklings. He went on until he reached Lock 26 where he tied off for the night. That day he traveled 70 miles, the longest single day of travel on the boat to that point. Moving on the next day cottonwood tree seeds blowing around very heavily and looked like light snow in areas where it accumulated. A dog swimming in the canal barked at him as he passed as if John didn’t belong in his canal! Tied off at the city wall in Fairport. The next few days he traveled through Pittsford, to Albion, and then on to Tonawanda where he passed over a culvert road, the only one in New York State. At Tonawanda, a hot and humid day, he walked over to a marina where he help rig a 50 ft. steel schooner. In all he stayed three full days at Tonawanda, filled with fuel the morning of June 27 and started up the Niagara River toward Buffalo. He went through the Black Rock Lock and canal to Lake Erie, traveled west about seventeen NM (nautical miles) to Port Colborne in Canada, reported in with Canadian Customs and spent the night at the Sugarloaf Marina.

WELLAND CANAL, CANADA – TRENT-SEVERN WATERWAY

The following morning, June 28th, he left the slip and went over to the waiting area for the Welland Canal. He waited until 1600 at which time the boats waiting were told that they could enter the canal in about 30 minutes but it would take approximately 12 hours to transit through. At that point John cancelled out on going that day. Since the authorities require two persons on board to transit down (three people on the up bound transit). John spoke with the dock master at Sugar Loaf Marina and he hired a young man to take the trip with him, $100.00. Early the next morning, June 29th, John called Canal Control to find out a time for passage and was told he could depart immediately. He started the transit at 0530 and finished about 1230 – 24 miles, 8 Locks, and 9 lift bridges – a nice trip. The charge for passing through the canal was $80.00 Canadian. He later learned that it would increase to $160.00 Canadian on August 1, 1997

June 30 - July 1 At Toronto, tied to a city wall on Toronto Island. (John’s log/journal) The wall is about a quarter mile long and completely full. July 1 is Canada Day and the whole city was one big party. I heard all kinds of music and saw lots of entertainment on the streets and great fireworks after 2200. The morning of July 2, after a quick trip to a market for milk and orange juice, left the dock and headed for Newcastle, a 38-mile trip. It was foggy all the way and needed to use radar the entire trip. Moved on the next day to Trenton. It was rather rough with a 15 kt wind that changed later to 25 kts and 4 ft. waves.

July 4 – Mile 1, Trent-Severn Waterway
Before leaving Trenton stopped at Bay Marina to pick up my air compressor for the peanut whistle. Reached Lock 7 at the village of Glen Ross – mile 13.82 - and stopped for the day to install the air compressor. The following day proceeded to Campbellford - mile 31 - a small town of about 4,500, tied off to the wall to stay the night. At about 2230 some kids untied the dock lines and that allowed the boat to drift out into the Trent River. No problem, got back to the wall and called police, then dropped anchor, retied the lines and went back to sleep.

July 6 - Passed through 6 locks with eight other boats – a tight squeeze. Saw turtles and Canada geese, stayed at Hastings, Lock 18 – mile 51.01. The next day went into Rice Lake and up the Ontonbee River 38 miles – no locks. Near Peterborough passed through Lock 19 with a family of ducks, spent the night tied off at the wall of Lock 20 – mile 89.5. In the morning passed through Lock 20, went to the museum at Lock 21, and then went up lift-Lock 21, a very different type. Altogether passed through 8 locks and stayed on the wall above Lock 29, Young’s Point – mile 104.5

July 10 – This morning started up the water way by going around a point into a lake about 3 miles long and then into an area called Hell Gate – a stretch between two lakes with hundreds of small islands. The route twisted and turned between and around many of them – very pretty. Reached the next lock, tied to a wall, went shopping and did the laundry. About 1600 the lock had a problem and could not pass any boats, which caused a backup of about 20 boats going one direction, and another 10 boats going the opposite direction. Buckhorn Lock 31 – mile 120.5

July 11 – Bobcaygeon Lock # 32 – Mile 138
Untied from the wall and went into the Lock which was working again. Headed to next Lock, about 18 miles. Pretty country and lots of herons. Two days previously in the Otonabee River, down below Peterborough I saw about 20 herons. After leaving the locks at Bobcaygeon I looked at the heat gauge and noticed that it read about 200o and rising, it should only be at 185o. I turned around and tied to the wall, by this time it read 225o. I went through the process of checking out the possible problem and discovered that the drive belt was very loose. I put on a new belt and that seemed to solve the problem. I then went into town to an auto supply store to get a new belt for a spare which would not be in until the next day. The lockmaster asked me to move the boat from one side of the canal to the other because I was in the way of boats entering the lock. In the process of moving the boat, someone who was helping me dropped one of the mooring lines and it got wrapped around the prop. After tying to the wall, the person who dropped the line happened to be a diver and had his scuba gear with him on his boat, so he dove down and unwrapped the line from the prop. “All’s well that ends well”. Picked up the spare belt the following day.

July 13 – Kirkfield Lock – Mile 169.5
Untied and proceeded to Fenelon Falls across Sturgeon Lake and 3 locks. The last one was another hydraulic lift lock similar to the one at Peterborough. This one had a steel structure to support the tank rails instead of concrete towers like Peterborough. Kirkfield Lock dropped me down 49 feet. This is the summit of the waterway and all Locks will be down after today. Stayed the night at Kirkfield Lock.

July 14 – After leaving the wall at Kirkfield I passed through swing bridges and then through 5 locks in 3.5 miles. About 1 mile beyond the last of the 5 locks I went through another swing bridge and into Lake Simcoe – very hazy – could not see over one-half mile. It was about an 18 mile run across the lake so I used the Loran and it got me to where I was going perfectly. Stayed the night at a marina in Orillia, which is about two miles off the route of the waterway – mile 200.

July 15 – Left Orillia and headed for Big Chute Marina Railway passing through very beautiful country; all granite rock and mountains with many different kinds of trees. Went through Lock 43, which is the tallest regular Lock in the system. It is a 47-foot drop. Went on to Big Chute, which is a drop of 57 feet. The marine railway is very impressive. Spent the night below the railway and had dinner with a couple on the dock.

July 16-17 – Spent the morning walking around and looking at the railway and then proceeded to the last lock in the system, Lock 45. Spent the night and next day at Lock 45.

July 18 – Left the wall and went through Lock 45, finishing the Trent/Severn Waterway. It is a very beautiful trip. Everybody with a boat should make the trip at least once. On the way to the town of Midland, a distance of about 8 miles, I ran into a heavy rainsquall that lasted 15-20 minutes.

July 19-20 – Left the wall and headed for the North Channel, small craft route. Returned to route where I left it the day before between mile 5 & 6. Went to mile 22 +/- and turned off into the Monument Channel to a cove near Bernadette Island, dropped anchor for the night.
Stayed at anchor the next day and night.

July 21 – Parry Sound, 5 miles off route at mile 55
Pulled anchor and headed north, having lunch on Frying Pan Island, mile 40. Reached Parry Sound and tied at the city dock for the night.

July 22 – After looking at the charts I noticed that the mile markers as shown on charts 2004 started a zero in the Port of Parry Sound. Each set of charts, 2002-03-04 have their own mile marks. Got lost one place – not quite lost – but I wasn’t sure exactly where I was. Got past that spot and started to look for a place to anchor for the night – North end of Hang Dog Channel. It was at the start of Hang Dog Channel where I got confused.

July 23 – Had a good day, didn’t even get lost or misplaced or confused. After looking at the charts I decided to stay at Bustard Island because after that there is about 25 miles of open water and it was late in the afternoon and a good time to hole up. Dropped anchor off Green Island down the Gun Barrel near mile 24.

July 24 – Headed for Killarney, about 40 miles mostly open water for the first half of the trip. Got confused again. Coming into Beaverstone Bay the terrain is very flat with no distinguishable features. The route into the bay had been changed the previous year so the charts I was using only led to confuse me. After many confused minutes I figured out where the new opening was and proceeded with the trip to Killarney staying at a marina for the night.

July 25 – Left dock and went across the channel a short distance to a fish processing plant and bought some fish – Splake – a cross between a speckled trout and a lake trout. Went on to Little Current, about 20 miles and tied to the city wall, staying the next day since it was rainy.

July 27 – Departed the wall at Little Current and headed for South Benjamin Island, about a three hour run. On the way the wind blew about 20 kts or more and the water was fairly choppy. Entered the harbor at South Benjamin Island and before the afternoon was over nineteen boats were at anchor. One boat was very close at time 20 ft. +/-. The wind was very squirrelly and boats drifted all directions. I think it was because of the bowl shape of the harbor. Stayed over another day.

July 29-31 – Heading north through very pretty country – anchored at Meldrum Bay and De Tour
Village – a 40-mile run from Meldrum Bay. Refueled, changed oil and cleaned up the boat and shopping.
SAULT STE. MARIE – VERMILLION, LAKE ERIE, OHIO

August 1 – Departed the marina at De Tour Village and headed toward Sault Ste. Marie. Anchored in a bay east of Neebish Island. The following morning went to Sault Ste. Marie and stayed at the Roberta Bondar Marina. Called in to Canadian Customs and received a new report-in number.

August 3 – Called Traffic Control for the locks about 0945 and was told to come over to Lock No. 3, Davis Lock, and it would open shortly. Going into the lock was quite different than others; it is 1020 ft. long and 75 ft. wide. It looked like an alley. After leaving the lock I headed for Whitefish Bay, MI. I saw or passed eight 1,000 ft. long ore carriers. Went to northeast side of Batchawana Island and dropped anchor for the night. I was going to stay at anchor for another day and night but the wind picked up and the water got very rough. I moved about 5 miles to another bay where I had better protection from the wind. Dropped anchor and spent the rest of the day cooking beans and washing windows.

August 5-7 – Went to Whitefish Harbor, about a three hour run. Anchored in the bay until a fisherman came by and I asked him about the use of slips, there were 3 open. He told me that it was a harbor of refuge and the slips were on a first come first served basis. I pulled into one that was vacant and stayed the night. By this time it was 1630 and too late to do anything else. The following day I walked to the lighthouse, about 1 mile and went to the Shipwreck Museum, saw a film on the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck and looked over the rest of the area. Left the slip at 1230 and headed toward Sault Ste. Marie, went through the lock and into Bondar Marina by 1730. The next day was clean-up day on the boat, got a hair cut and did shopping, then headed down stream toward Campement D’ours Island – anchored between Picture Island and Snapper Island for the night.

August 8 – After starting out I decided to return to an anchorage near Picture Island, staying in a bay near Killary Point. Worked on the whistle and went swimming.

August 9-10 – Weighed anchor heading for Whaleback Channel, a distance of about 58 miles, mostly in open water. Got in some good navigation practice, arrived at Longpoint Cove and found a good number of boats there although there was plenty of room to anchor. The following day I put the inflatable in the water to investigate the cove.

August 11 – Left Longpoint Cove towing the inflatable – towed well. Went to Dreamers Bay, just east of Little Detroit. Dropped anchor and went for a ride in the inflatable and a walk on shore. By the time I returned to the boat the wind had come up from the south, which was bad for where I was anchored so I decided to move to Shoepack Bay, a distance of about 2 miles, and found a nice hassle free spot.

August 12 – I was planning on staying at anchor at the west end of Shoepack Bay but the wind changed overnight, coming in from the east. I moved to the east end of the bay, dropping anchor but decided I didn’t like that either so moved to Oak Bay, north of Hotman Island, two other boats anchored there.

August 13 – Picked up anchor to head for Little Current. On my way out of Oak Bay I went around the wrong side of a small island and got into shallow water, 6-7 ft. from 45 ft. In stopping and backing down I cut the towline for the dinghy – lots of fun getting hooked again and staying in deep water. Went on to Little Current without further incident – stayed the night.

August 14-15 – Following a conversation with another boater I met on the dock at Little Current I decided to go up the end of Baie Fine to an area called The Pool. Baie Fine is the longest fresh water fiord in the world. Another interesting note is that Manitoulin Island where Little Current is located is the largest fresh water island in the world. Frances Langford has a cottage and keeps her boat at the north end of The Pool (I saw her boat at Lock 12 on the Erie Canal the previous year – a 110 ft. aluminum boat, very nice).

August 16 – Headed for Heywood Island after bailing about 10 gallons of rainwater from the dinghy. A nice trip going back out of the area. I got to an anchorage area on the north side of the island and had trouble finding a spot to anchor, but after a couple of tries I was able to get a hook. It was windy but the anchor held well. When the wind changed later in the evening I was in a good spot. Finally figured it out right, based on listening to the weather report.

August 17-22 - The next few days were spent hopping from one anchorage to another, stopping one night at Tobermory to make some phone calls, moved on to Flower Pot Island and Wingfield Basin, returning to Tobermory for two nights due to rain and bad weather.

August 23 – Left the dock heading south for Port Elgin, 52 NM. Very rough all the way – wind and waves hitting starboard rear quarter pushed me along about 7.5 kts @ 1800 RPM. Reached Port Elgin and stayed the night.

August 24 – Left the dock heading for Kincardine, about 18 miles, a nice easy trip. When I had almost reach the harbor opening I saw a sailboat, Old Meg, which seemed to be having trouble, there was no wind and as I found out later, his auxiliary engine was not working. It was a boat and owner I had met in Tobermory – I called him on the radio to ask if needed assistance – his answer was “yes, please”. I moved up along side and took him on the starboard hip. We both had our dock line ready so we hooked up slick as snot, just like we both knew what we were doing. Got to play real tugboat.
Tied to the dock for the night.

August 25 – Left Kincardine heading for Bayfield, about 37 NM – a quiet ride. Went for a walk in town after I arrived – a nice old city, started in 1832. Had dinner with people from two other boats and all came to Tug For Two for coffee and cookies – end of day.

August 26 – Departed from Bayfield heading for Sarnia, about 43 NM a nice quiet trip across the lake (Huron). Somewhere out in the middle of the trip I came upon the Wallace III, a sailboat that is owned by one of the couples I had had dinner with the previous night. I went close along side and they took pictures of the boat. Proceeded to Sarnia and went into Bridgeview Marina. As I was pulling into the dock I had to make a quick stop in which I over-revved the engine and broke the drive saver coupling between the propeller shaft and the transmission. End of trip until I get it out and then re-coupled.

August 27 - Stayed at Bayview Marina and worked on the boat. Had to realign the engine and put the coupling back together. Bought a Richardson chart book for Lake Erie
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August 28-29 – Left Sarnia heading downriver (St. Clair River which runs between Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair). The scenery is quite different – lots of chemical plants and refineries on both sides of the river and five or six different power plants. When I got farther south there were lots of houses. Got into Lake St. Clair and checked the fluid level in the gearbox and found that it was very low, almost not on the dipstick. I had a hunch that it was leaking faster from things I had noticed when I was working on the alignment. Went into St. Clair Shore, which is in Michigan and found a mechanic to look at it. He said he could fix it with no problems. (We’ll see).

Al Kaufmann got the problem fixed - $100.00.

August 30 – Departed Michigan Harbor Marina and headed for the Sandusky, Ohio area. Reached North Bass Island, about 68 miles, anchored for the night.

August 31 – Upped anchor heading for Vermillion an easy trip. I went out of the way and went by the harbor entrances from Sandusky to Vermillion just to see what they looked like. Reached Vermillion, tied to the wall, called Shirley and asked her to pick me up. End of summer cruise.

September 3 – Fueled the boat, 191 gallons, and tied up to slip at the Port of Vermillion.
September 10 – Moved the boat to Lorain where the boat was taken out of the water and put on blocks for the winter – no major problems that I am aware of.

End of boating season for 1997.

1998

March 15-April 1 - Performed miscellaneous work in preparation for boating season – installed a GPS (Sitex 99P Navigator) and a Standard Communications, LH5 hailer. Sanded and varnished the sole in the pilothouse and the steps leading down to the salon and to the forward stateroom.

May 11-12 – Had the boat put back into the water – everything seems to be OK.
Took the boat to Vermillion, about 8 miles west of Lorain and began final preparations for June 3 departure.

VERMILLION, LAKE ERIE, OHIO – SAULT STE. MARIE – TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN

June 3 – Aboard for this leg of the trip is Richard Moore as well as John Irvin, Captain.
Headed for Lake Erie Metro Park in Michigan, about 53 NM. Rough trip, the wind increased after we left. The boat ran well. It was nice to have a good 9-hour run for the first day of the new season. Arrived at the marina about 1530 had a drink and dinner – good day.

June 4 – Left marina traveling east about 1-1/2 miles down well-marked channel to the main part of the Detroit River. Turned north up river. After about 15 miles entered Lake St. Clair and proceeded across the lake into the St. Clair River going upstream into a 3-mile current. Traveled about 10 hours and made only 40 miles to Marine City, Michigan.

June 5 – Cut loose from the dock and headed for Port Huron, about 4 hours up river. In order to reach the River Street Marina, about 1-1/2 miles west up the Black River from the St. Clair River, we had to pass under two drawbridges to. Went to West Marine. Returned to boat, did some work, had dinner and went to bed.

June 6 – Left the marina at 0715 and downriver back to the St. Clair River, turning north we went under the Blue Water Bridge into Lake Huron. Headed northeast toward the town of Bayfield on the west coast of Ontario. Arrived about 1430. After securing a dock site we walked into town, about 1/3 mile. Bought some fresh baked bread, had dinner and walked back to the boat. Nice cool evening for sleeping.

June 7 – Had breakfast of cereal with bananas and toast (typical breakfast, most days). Left dock at 0745, down the channel and headed up-lake toward Kincardine. We were traveling into the wind and waves so the trip was rough. The boat is running great, no problems at all which makes you wonder when something will happen. Got to Kincardine at 1400 and walked around town some, returned to the boat, fixed dinner, went to bed.

June 8-9 – Up early, heading to Tobomory approximately 70 miles. Water not too rough. After a 62 mile shot across open water with no land in sight except for a little while at each end. I “hit” the buoy; my new GPS had guided me to within 1/10 of a mile. Reached Tobomory about 1600.

Slept in late then walked over to a small restaurant for breakfast. The rest of the day was a workday; wired new fuse panel in the pilothouse and wired in the compressor for the whistle, aft running light and other misc. wiring from the pilothouse fuse panel. After I got as much work out of Richard as possible we went back to the same restaurant where we had breakfast and enjoyed a local whitefish dinner, very good.

June 10 – Put on fresh water and headed for Wingfield basin, about 15 NM. Cruised around Flower Pot Island and then to WFB – the first time staying on the hook this trip – went well.

June 11 – Lifted anchor at 0700 – long day ahead. After we cleared the basin and went around the point it was a straight shot of about 48 NM to a buoy that got us into the small boat route going east-west along the north shore of Georgian Bay. We found the buoy dead center using the GPS, then traveled about another 4 miles to Henry’s World Famous Seafood Restaurant & Marina (Frying Pan Island) where we stayed the night and had a fabulous pike fish dinner. Good day.

June 12 – Left Henry’s and headed for Parry Sound. Nice part of the small craft route (SCR). Got to the swing bridge 15 minutes after the hour so had to wait 45 minutes for the next opening. Went into the city dock and tied up. The dock master let us use his pickup to go into town to do some laundry, grocery shopping and pick up some electrical items for the boat.

June 13 – Left the city dock and headed across Parry Sound. Two and a half hours later reached a portion of the SCR that had a lot of buoys to watch for and it got to be very foggy. I turned on the radar and with Rich’s help we didn’t have too much trouble finding our way. The fog cleared about 1-1/2 hours later and was clear for the rest of the day. Dropped anchor in a bay near Byng Inlet (mile 56).

June 14 – Left anchor and headed for Killarney. Took one of the alternate routes having been the other way last year. We got into a very narrow section with many buoys and turns. I got confused at one point and put the boat onto a big round boulder. I backed off without trouble. The only thing hurt was my pride. Got back into the open lake and headed toward Beaverstone Bay and Collins Inlet. We reached Killarney about 1500.

June 15 – Had a good breakfast at the Sportsman Inn restaurant next to the marina where we had stayed, Killarney Adventure Inn Marina (poor choice). Headed for Baie Fine and the Pool. Low overcast sky; could not see above the water more than 75-100 feet. Reached the Pool about 1430. Raining. There were 12 sailboats there all rafted together in one small area so space was not a problem. Went swimming, 68o – nice.

June 16 – Put the dinghy in the water and took pictures of the boat and Richard. Put the dinghy back in place and headed for Little Current. About 5 miles from Little Current at East Mary’s Island I screwed up again by cutting it a little too close and hit a shoal that extended out abut a quarter of a mile from the island. It showed on the chart, which I had in front of me. I just didn’t give the island enough clearance. Proceeded into Little Current and made arrangements to have the boat hauled the next day to check the bottom. Got fuel, 30 gallons. Tied to the city dock. Only 3 other boats are on the wall since the season hasn’t started yet.

June 17 - Had the boat lifted out and looked at the bottom. I put a good gash in the keel 1-1/2” deep for about 18” but did not hurt the hull. The boat was put back into the water. Observation: “If you can’t be good, it’s nice to be lucky”. Tied back onto the wall for the night.

June 18 - Waited for a 60-amp breaker that was sent from West Marine in California. It arrived about 1130. The terminal of the existing Lectrasan breaker broke off. Richard installed the new breaker – good to have an electrician on board. Tried to call Shirley since she was to leave home to got to NY to stay with Donna and Rafael on the morning of the 19th. I was unable to reach her so called Marilyn and found out that the new one was born on Monday (June 15), 9 day’s early. Talked with Donna, Rafael and Shirley. New baby’s name is Joshua – everyone is doing fine.

June 19 – Left the dock to go to Harbor Vue Marina, about 3 miles east. We made the 0800 bridge opening. Had to buy some caulking I could not get in town. I had called the night before so I knew hey had what I wanted. We picked it up and got back to the bridge for the 0900 opening. We then headed for Hotham Island to a spot where I had anchored last year. Reached there about 1430. and dropped the hook. A few days’ earlier Richard started to teach me how to play cribbage. While we were in Little Current I bought a cribbage board, so each evening and some afternoons we play cribbage.

June 20 – Headed for Long Point Cove. We traveled through the Whaleback Channel where it would be easy to spend a week but we took three hours (maybe some other time). Reached Long Point Cove at 1400. Dropped the hook.

12%20dutch%20door%20pg18.jpg

June 21 – When we left the cove anchorage we were into open lake again. We headed for Moffit Bay, about 60 NM. We had a following sea and wind so averaged over 8.5 kts for the day. Got to Moffit Bay about 1530. Dropped anchor in about 15 ft. water.

June 22 – Went up the St. Joseph Channel to Sault Ste. Marie. Took our time and cruised around Picture Island and cove. Went under the Twyning Island Bridge into McGregor Bay and then into the St. Mary’s River where we were traveling with the big boys again (ore carriers). Saw three or four before we reached the Soo Locks. We went through the locks and into Lake Superior. After returning through the locks we went to the Roberta Bondar Marina on the Canadian side where we spent the night.

June 23 – After breakfast on board we went to a nearby bank and cashed in our left over Canadian money then went to a market and bought some food. After returning to the boat we headed for De Tour Village, back in the U.S. (Michigan) after 19 days in Canada. When we got into the harbor I put on 176 gal. of fuel, which gave me an average of 1.6 gph for the trip. Better than average, possibly because most of the trip was run at 1800 rpm or less. After we got in our slip we talked with other boaters, had dinner and went to bed.

June 24– Left the marina, headed south into Lake Huron. We were in the lower part of the St. Mary’s River and heading for Mackinac Island. Had a good run as wind and waves were on our stern. Got to the island about 1400 and found out that we had to wait for a slip. It seems that there was sailboat racing the previous 4 or 5 days and they were having an awards ceremony that didn’t get over until about 1530. The wait gave us a chance to play some more cribbage (good game, lots of fun). Went into town and walked around and acted like tourists. Went back to boat and had dinner (peameal bacon, eggs and potatoes). Had rain during the afternoon and night.

June 25 - Went into town after breakfast on the boat. After checking out the Visitor’s Center we decided to take a carriage ride to see some of the sights and part of the island. When the carriage ride was over (about 1-1/4 hours) we got tickets to go up to the fort and some other homes and blacksmith shop, all included on the same ticket. Very interesting. No cars are allowed on the island, so everything is done by horsepower – trash pickup, UPS, all food and materials from the docks into different parts of the island. Lots of horse droppings in the streets. Good day.

June 26 – Left the slip and headed for the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Michigan, about 5 miles. The bridge over the straits is very impressive. After passing under the bridge we entered Lake Michigan – now I have been in all five of the Great Lakes. The weather is not good for traveling the direction we are going – it is right into the wind and seas. After we went around a lighthouse, about 12 miles west of the bridge, we turned south toward Charlevoix, traveling a little better but still rough. Got to the inlet to Charlevoix, turned west and had to wait for a bridge to open. Once past the bridge we got a slip at the city dock for the night - 8 hour run.

June 27 – After leaving our slip we took a short cruise around the area – nice homes, big boats. Had to wait for the bridge to open at 1000. After passing the bridge and shore inlet channel we got back into the open lake and headed for Traverse City, MI, where Richard has a flight back to Cleveland on the 29th. Couldn’t get a slip at the city marina – filled up for a week to 10 days – so had to stay at the Harbor West Yacht Club where we paid $45.00/night.

June 28 - Staying one more night – got a taxi and went part way into town to a laundry. Came back to the boat and played cards and talking with people who stopped by the boat. Had dinner, went to bed. Rained during the night – thunder and lightning.

June 29-30 – Had breakfast on board. Richard had a cab coming at 1030 to take him to the airport. This is the end of our trip together for now. I had a great time and enjoyed spending almost a month with a good friend. I had a great trip and I think Richard enjoyed it as much as I did. After the cab picked up Richard I went back to the boat and waited for the wind to die down so I could get out of the slip. After waiting about an hour, the wind didn’t change so I untied the dock lines and found that the wind blew the stern a good direction and I was able to back out of the slip with no trouble. Went out into the bay and cruised around until I found a place to drop anchor, about 1530. Read for the rest of the afternoon – had dinner, turned in.

Stayed on the hook all day. Played around with the anchor mode of the GPS trying to learn how to use it. Also I caught up on this log as I had been playing too much cribbage, too much talk, and too much relaxing and fell behind. It is now 1745. but I am up-to-date. Fixed dinner, read and went to bed.

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN – ILLINOIS RIVER – MISSISSIPPI RIVER

July 1 – Lifted anchor after having toast and coffee. Cruised down around the end of the bay and then headed north for Northport. Arrived about 1400 – I was lucky and got a spot on the wall. Went into town, short walk did some grocery shopping and looked into some of the shops. Back to the boat and barbecued some chicken, made phone calls, went to bed.

July 2 – Walked into town to call Rich to see if I had won the lottery. Rich bought 10 numbers before he flew back to California. We didn’t win. Went back to the boat and left the dock to go to South Manitou Island. When I got close to the tip of the peninsula I decided to go back over to Charlevoix and down the lake to East Jordan to spend the night. Reached East Jordan and then went back up lake part way and dropped the hook, 1500.

July 3 – Stayed in bed and read for about 2 hours. Decided to go back to Charlevoix to get a haircut. Dropped hook in the harbor about 1130, sat around about an hour to see how the anchor was holding and how I stayed in relation to other boats. It looked good. Put the dinghy in the water and went to the dinghy dock. Walked around town and found a barbershop, “Harbor Barber”. After my haircut, went to a bookshop and bought two books. Back at the boat I barbecued some chicken, read and went to bed.

July 4 - Got up about 0745. – looked out at the other boats in the harbor and it appeared that I had dragged anchor. I put the dinghy on board, had a quick breakfast and pulled anchor. As I was pulling anchor I found that I had a small log with my anchor chain strapped around it. I am sure that is why I was dragging anchor. I’m going to head down Lake Charlevoix to Boyne City and see what is down there. Michigan is a beautiful state, as least what I have seen so far. Got back to Charlevoix about 1430 and dropped the anchor for the night. Worked on the outboard motor for a while. It needs a new fuel filter, I think. Can’t find one so I cleaned out the old one until I can buy a new one. Fixed dinner, did the dishes, read and went to bed.

July 5 – Pulled anchor shortly before 0800 so that I could make the 0800 bridge opening. Got out of opening and headed for Lighthouse Point at the tip of Leelanau Peninsula. The water was dead flat calm. Turned towards South Manitou Island. Got into the bay, cruised by the lighthouse and found a place to drop anchor. Nice place to stay.

July 6 – Woke up to a hard rain about 0800 so I stayed in bed and read. When I got up I baked some blueberry muffins – pretty good if I say so myself. After pulling anchor I headed for Frankfort, about 26 NM. The trip to Frankfort was a little rough going into wind and waves only averaged about 6.5 kts. After getting into a marina slip I went to a laundry and didn’t get back until about 1800. Decided to eat out. After dinner I went back to the boat and talked to people on the dock for a while and went to bed. Decided to go to Door Peninsula near Green Bay, Wisconsin, about 50 miles west across the lake.

July 7 – Untied from the dock after making coffee, will have the rest of breakfast on the way across the lake. Passed the lighthouse at Frankfort at 0815. Going across the lake was pretty nice, not too rough, light wind. Arrived at Sturgeon Bay light at 1650. Barbecued a piece of salmon for dinner, read, went to bed.

July 8 – I have not and am not going to change my clocks to Central Time until I get to Chicago because I am going back to the east shore and that is Eastern Time. Got out of bed at 0730, had a bowl of cereal and went for a walk. Got a can of carburetor cleaner for the outboard engine, it is not running right. After getting back to the boat I called Donna to see how Joshua is doing – doing well. Also called Rich to tell him we did not win the lottery again. I am tied to a wall at a small boat ramp. A gal came by this morning to tell me I cannot stay overnight. She said that I must be broken down, because that makes it all right to stay overnight. I told her I was broken down but should have it fixed by noon. Left at 1050 to make the 1100 bridge opening. Took my time and went to Horseshoe Island, about 25 miles. Went swimming, fixed a steak, and went to bed.

July 9 – Pulled up the hook and headed north into Ephraim Bay. Tied up to the old Anderson Dock that has been there since 1850. Walked into town and had breakfast at the Edgewater Dining Room – very poor, almost bad. Called John, talked with Lisa, Shawn and Zachary, John not at home. Motored up to Ellison Bay, about 10 miles north. Dropped anchor at 1400. I went swimming and then just sitting and reading on the rear deck. I noticed it was getting dark and there was thunder and lightning. Suddenly the wind was blowing 30-40 miles/hr. and the anchor was dragging very fast. To make a long story short, I finally got my anchor up and went out into the middle of the bay until the blow was over. I went into a marina for the night. Later, at the marina, I found out that the wind blew at 50 mph and the bottom in the bay is solid rock making it impossible for the anchor to set.

July 10 – Left the dock and headed for Fayette, a state park about 40 miles north. Had a good trip. It was a little rough for about an hour but settled down for the rest of the trip. Got into Snail Harbor about 1400. It would be a very well protected harbor from almost any wind. Worked on the log and dried things out from the day before. I had left the rear doors and hatch open and didn’t have time to close them while trying to stay off the rocks.

July 11 – Up at 0730 and went for a 1-1/2 mile walk around part of the park. Came back to the boat and worked on the log and had a bowl of cereal. Walked back into the historic town site. This was an iron smelter back between 1860 and 1890. They shipped iron ore here from Escanaba, a town about 25 miles west of here. They did the smelting here because of the wood supply to make charcoal, which was the fuel for the furnace. Came back to the boat and went to the north end of Washington Island to Washington Harbor, arrived about 1640 dropped anchor and stayed the night.

July 12 – Up about 0800 and had a bowl of cereal. A fellow came by in his aluminum boat and asked to look at the boat. We talked for about an hour. After he left I got to thinking about where to go. The wind was blowing pretty well by now and I didn’t like the holding of the anchor. Headed south and decided to go down the east side of the peninsula and go to Baileys Harbor. This was a bad decision because the wind changed to a southeast wind, which was blowing right into Baileys Harbor so I went on to Sturgeon Bay. It took seven hours right into the wind and waves. I was beat by the time I tied to a free city dock. Had dinner (tuna salad), read and went to bed.

July 13 - After getting up and listening to the radio weather report I decided to stay on the wall at Sturgeon Bay, it sounded too windy. I changed the oil and filter for the boat engine and cleaned the strainers. Read and took it easy.

July 14 – I got up about 0630 walked over to the My Sisters Restaurant and had breakfast, went back to the boat, cleaned up a little, worked on the log and got away from the dock in time to make the 0800 opening. Went east down the channel towards the opening into Lake Michigan, headed for Portage Lake on the east side of the lake, about 56 miles. Nice trip going across. Had a rain shower just before I arrived at the harbor entrance. Went into Portage Lake and found a place to anchor

July 15 - Very windy out on the lake, wind from the southwest. Decided to stay at anchor. Worked on the chain holder on the anchor winch. Fixed Navy beans and ham hocks. Went swimming, 76o water. Put a route list into the GPS. Good slow day.

July 16 – Pulled anchor and headed for Ludington. Had a nice cruise. Had to go around Point Big Sable, which is Ludington State Park. The landscape north and south of the point looks just like a seashore with sandy beaches and sand dunes, lots of people on the beach. Went into the harbor at Ludington and tied to the city dock, went shopping. When I got back to the boat, filled the water tanks and moved out into the harbor to anchor. Read, had dinner and went to bed.

July 17 – Weighed anchor at 0700 to go back to the city dock and called a heating contractor in Hudson, OH. After pulling anchor I could see that there was a sailboat at the dock, so I dropped anchor and had breakfast and worked on the log. When I got ready to leave I could see that I could not get to the dock and make a phone call. Headed for White Lake. Arrived there about 1430 cruised around the lake to look at the scenery and to find a place to anchor. Dropped anchor about 1530 for the night.

July 18 - Stayed at anchor. Did miscellaneous cleanup, put the dinghy in the water and worked on the outboard. Got it running better but not quite right. Met a couple who live in a house near where I was anchored, Bruce and Cherie. Went in and looked at their house and they looked the boat over. Made a hamburger for dinner, read and went to bed.

July 19 - Decided to go south about 10 miles to White Lake to find a phone. Wanted to make a number of calls. One call was to find out where to get the charts to go south of Cairo where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi River. I found a place near Lockport, IL where I can pick them up when Shirley comes to Lockport or they can drop ship them to a marina about 50 miles downriver from Lockport. Stayed at the marina that had the phone. Made stew for dinner. Very hot, 78o at 2200.

July 20 – Made more phone calls for fuel prices and slip cost in Chicago. Did some fiddling around on the boat and then headed for Grand Haven, about 10 miles south to get fuel and stay for a couple of days. Put on 185 gals of fuel. Had dinner out for a change. Tied to a wall along the south side of the channel. It seemed like a good idea at the time. About 2200 thunderstorms started coming in from the west across the like and right down the channel where the boat was tied. It turned out to be a rough night. No damage to the boat, I just lost a little sleep.

July 21 - Slept late having been up part of the night tending fenders protecting the boat from being damaged against the wall. After breakfast I moved the boat into a slip at the Grand Haven Municipal Marina then took a ride on two different trolley type busses around town. Had dinner out again. Called Craig and John and watched a water fountain show. It is put on each evening during the summer – water, colored lights and music, very nice.

July 22 – After getting a good night of sleep I got up, fooled around on the boat for a while and then went to the market, took the trolley bus one way and walked back, about 3/4-mile. Took the boat up into Spring Lake, just a short distance from the marina, 2 miles +/-. Went into the lake a ways and dropped the hook for the night. Fried chicken for dinner and had corn on the cob that I bought at a farmer’s market at the parking lot at the marina.

July 23 - Laid at anchor until about 1300 when it got very windy and I noticed I was dragging anchor – only had about 2:1 scope, so I moved about 1 mile to a less windy area where I spent the night.

July 24 – Up about 0815, read a while and made coffee, took a shower. Suddenly I realized that I had to hurry to make a bridge opening at 0930. After I made the bridge opening I went to the wall where I had had trouble the night of the 20th. Took some pictures of a Martin house to show Richard, it was made to look like the Corps of Engineers insignia. Left about 1100 for Holland, about 18 miles down the coast. On the way I went into Pigeon Lake just for a look-see. Reached Lake Macatawa (Holland) about 1400 and found a place to anchor for the night.

July 25 - Stayed at anchor for the day. When I first got up I smelled something funny. After a while I decided it was a dill pickle smell and I couldn’t think of anything on the boat that would cause such an odor, then I remembered a note on the charts, “H.J.Heinz”. I noticed then that I was only about a half mile from a pickle factory – end of mystery. Did some testing of the electrical system – I think that there is an alternator problem.

July 26 – Up about 0800 had breakfast and then decided to go across the lake to a marina where I was able to make a phone call to Shirley, put on water and dump trash. I then went to the far end (west end) of the lake near the inlet to Big Lake and dropped the hook. Read a while and made a list of phone calls to make in the morning. I have decided to get a new alternator. Tuna salad for dinner.

July 27- August 1 – Pulled the hook and went into Eldean Shipyard, about a half mile. I spoke to Rodger Eldean about getting a price for a new alternator. While he was getting the price I called West Marine and talked with a product advisor about my options and what it would take to fit the space and get the right pulley to fit the Cummins drive belt. After making at least 4 calls to Balmar Alternators and 5 calls to West Marine I finally got a unit on order, should arrive in 2 days. Also ordered #2 wire and connectors to wire in the new unit (system). Also ordered vents and blower to get better ventilation in the engine compartment. Did not leave the marina until about 3:30 p.m. Should have all the materials by Thursday (30th).

July 28 -Today is a wait day for the miscellaneous parts I have ordered. Did the wiring for the new blower and figured out how to run wire for the new alternator. I have to run a #2 wire from the alternator to each battery. I also went over the Illinois River charts to figure out the bridges. Had dinner, read and went to bed.

July 29 - Another wait day. Put the dinghy in the water; stayed at anchor. The alternator came in today but all that I could do with it was to check out if it fit and that the pulley was right. Need new wire before I can install it.

July 30 - New wire, vents and blower came in about 1200. Went back to the boat and started alternator installation. Worked until about 1900. Went into the Piper Restaurant next to the marina, nice restaurant. Had to move the boat in the middle of the night. Wind changed and I did not leave enough room to allow for a 180o + wind change.

July 31 - After breakfast I finished the alternator hookup. When that was done I cut the hole for the new vents and installed the new blower. Took most of the day. Went into the restaurant for dinner again.

August 1 - Finished work on the alternator, vent and blower. I bought some Marine-Tex epoxy and put it around the coolant fill neck on top of the heat exchanger. Put away miscellaneous wire and parts, took until about 1700. I am always amazed how many tools and materials it takes to do a job. Fixed Spanish rice for dinner.

August 2 – Up about 0630. After breakfast I headed for Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. I had to pass two ports along the way because of being in Holland for 9 days with the work I had to do. Passed Saugatuck and South Haven. Had an easy trip to St. Joe. Everything I installed seems to work fine. Got into a slip about 1400, got on a free city trolley bus and went to a market. After returning I had dinner with a couple who had a boat tied next to me – Doug and Grace and their cat. Friendly people.

August 3 – I headed for Chicago, 51 miles across the lake. Arrived about 1430, cruised around part of the main harbor. I went into Monroe Harbor and got a mooring. People working here are friendly and nice. Worked on the log and went over bridge height on the charts again. Tomorrow I will call about bridge openings. I think I have only one to worry about if I drop the mast. Had dinner on board, read and went to bed.

August 4 - Called the tender to pick me up from the boat. After getting on shore I walked over to the Navy Pier, a large tourist area. I got a ticket for a bus trolley and took a tour of the city. Went to the top of the Sears building, had lunch at Harry Cary’s restaurant. Just walked around downtown area. Chicago is a nice looking city.

August 5 – Got up at 0600, had breakfast and then lowered the mast and antennas so I could pass through downtown Chicago. There are 55 bridges in the first 30 miles of the Chicago River. Went through the lock and down through the city until I got to the Amtrak bridge which needed to be opened. Upon asking for an opening I was told it would be about 5 minutes, then I had to wait for over 1-1/2 hours. It turned out that I was waiting at the wrong bridge. The bridge where I was waiting was high enough to get under I decided, 1-1/2 hours later. The bridge I had to have opened was around a curve about a mile away. After making the bridge mistake, about 20 miles down the channel I had to wait about 2 hours to get by heavy barge traffic in the Lamont area, about 5 miles above the town of Lockport. After getting by the blocked channel I then had to wait about 2-1/2 hours to get through the Lockport Lock. By this time it is about 2015. When I left the lock I headed for Joliet, about 5 miles below the Lockport Lock. On arriving there, the Jefferson Street Bridge tender suggested that I could tie to the city wall next to the bridge. By this time I was totally bushed so it sounded like a good idea to me. This day was a very long (15 hours) and trying day with the bridge mix-up and the other two holdups and the heavy barge traffic. Slept well.

August 6-9 – Up about 0830, fooled around with the boat for a while and talked with another boat, Sea Eagle, that had made part of the trip the day before with me. They are going to a lake in Tennessee for a new home. I went from there to the Harbor Side Marina at mile 273. When I got there I called Shirley who had come to Joliet to stay for a few days to get information about the Goodale family. She came down to the boat about 1700 to pick me up. Stayed with her in Joliet for 3 days, 4 nights – got back to the boat late Sunday afternoon.

August 10 – Left the Harbor Side Marine to the Dresden Lock, which was 2.5 miles from the marina. It was open and ready to go down. Went downriver to the next lock, about 27 miles, Marseilles Lock, and had to wait about 20 minutes for the lock to be ready. Went about 10 miles further to mile 235 where I anchored behind an island about 4 miles above Starved Rock Lock.

August 11 – Mile 225
Raised anchor and headed for the Starved Rock Lock, upon arriving there I found out that it would be about a 3-hour wait. Tied to a mooring cell and had another boat side-tie to me while we waited for the lock to be ready. Went down with three other pleasure boats and half a raft of barges. After leaving the lock had a nice trip down river to mile 195 where I dropped anchor behind another island a little out of the main river.

August 12 – Headed down river towards the town of Peoria. Did not go through any locks, just a nice easy trip down river. Temperature in the mid 80’s. Passed some barge traffic along the way. After getting to Peoria I went for a walk around town. Went to a Sears store and bought a couple of tools. As I was walking around I found out that there was going to be an annual event in the evening called the “Taste of Peoria”. It is a street event where all the restaurants in town set up booths and serve their specialty. Most of the dishes cost $2.00 or $3.00. Had a good meal, including a beer for $15.00. Went back to the boat at a free city tie-up and talked to people on other boats.

August 13 – Mile 162.5
Left the dock and went a short distance and tied to an old tugboat that is being used as a restaurant, to get some water. I had talked to a maintenance man who worked on the tug and he told me to come over. There wasn’t any water on the free dock where I had tied up. After filling the tanks with water I headed down stream to the Peoria Lock, went through the lock and down to mile 106.9 to an area called Bath Chute where I dropped anchor. Had dinner, read and went to bed.

August 14 - Pulled anchor while a heron watched from about 30 feet away. Started down river toward the La Grange Lock, about 26 miles. After going through the lock, a 5 ft. drop, (the last lock on the Illinois River) I went toward mile 38 where I planned to drop anchor for the night. Passed quite a number of barge tows. Found the spot I had picked out on the chart to stop and it
looked good so stayed for the night.

August 15 – Weighed anchor and started down river, no barge traffic today, maybe because it is a Saturday. A lot of small boats on the river. When I got to mile 7 I went into a dock at the Pere Marquette State Park, went through their visitor’s center and made some phone calls. Upon leaving the dock at the park I was 7 miles from the Mississippi River. When I got onto the “Big” river I headed for Alton, which is another 18 miles south. I reached the Alton Marina and found out that they were having a Luau - I went to it and had some good food and entertainment.

August 16 - Stayed at the marina for the day and night. Did some laundry. Went for a walk to the Alton Belle Casino boat. After getting bored I walked into downtown and got something to eat.

August 17 – Got up, had breakfast and readied to leave the dock. I called the Alton Lock, which is 2 miles from the marina, and I was told that their small lock was out of order and I had to wait about 1-1/2 hours to lock through. I stayed in the marina a while longer and then I was able to get through the lock with no delay. The next lock was 15 miles further down river at the south end of the Chain of Rocks canal, which is about 10 miles long. This is the last lock down bound on the Mississippi down to the Gulf of Mexico. Went on down to Hoppie’s Marine Service where I planned to stay the night and put on fuel and did some shopping. Hoppie’s is at mile 158.5. Put on 114 gals of fuel.

August 18 – Up about 0800. After breakfast I borrowed a car from the marina and drove about 5 miles into town and did some shopping. When I got back to the boat I started down river again heading to where the Kaskaskia River comes into the Mississippi. There is a lock there that goes up the Kaskaskia River at mile 117.3. Tied to the lower lock for the night. It is pretty hot, hottest day of the trip, 95o at 1700 with very little breeze.

August 19 – After breakfast I went out to undo dock lines and noticed a strong flow of water going by the boat. The lock people had opened the floodgate at the dam. The night before I tied the boat with the stern into the current so I could take advantage of the breeze blowing toward the bow as the water came, so did all kinds of debris, which got into the prop and rudder. After about an hour I was able to get the mess all clear and was ready to leave – nice way to start the day. It took me about 5-1/2 hours to go 70 miles down river, average of 12.25 mph. The boat didn’t know it could go that fast. Got to mile 48 where I anchored in a small harbor off the river. The Mississippi River is a very impressive waterway. It is not a slow, easy flowing stream. It rolls and boils and swirls in every direction possible. It would not be a river to be on if it was in flood stage.

OHIO RIVER, CUMBERLAND & TENNESSEE RIVERS

August 20 – Mile 48 – Cape Girardeau, MO
Left anchorage about 0800 and headed down river. Had a little bit of barge traffic but not too much. For the first 48 miles I averaged 12 mph, probably the last time this boat will go that far in such a short time span. When I reached the Ohio River and started up stream things slowed down to about 6.5 mph. Where the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River and about 5 miles up the Ohio, there was a lot of barge traffic, probably the most I have seen yet. After passing Lock 53, which has a wing dam that was down I went to mile 957 and dropped the hook for the night. Went 72 miles today.

August 21-24 – Raised anchor and headed upriver for a change. Upriver is what I will be doing for a while. I went by two locks today, #52 and #53. These are the last locks on the Ohio River. These locks have Weir dams that they can raise and lower, they were both down so I just went on through. After getting over the dams I headed for Paducah, Kentucky where the Tennessee River meets the Ohio River. Went up the Tennessee River to the Kentucky Lock where I had to wait about 3 hours to get through. After leaving the lock I went through a short canal to Green Turtle Bay Marina.
I am going to stay in this area for a few days. I am waiting for mail from Shirley and it will not get here until Monday or Tuesday.

August 25 – Did some miscellaneous work on the boat in the morning then departed from the marina about 1230. Headed up river toward Cheatham Dam. Stopped at Rottgering Marine at mile 43 and talked with them abut staying in their yard during the winter. After leaving I went up Eddy Creek near the Eddy Creek Marina on the Cumberland River and dropped hook to stay for the night.

August 26 - Spent the day doing nothing – at anchor near the Eddy Creek Marina.

August 27 – Pulled anchor and went in to the Eddy Creek Marina to see what kind of deal I could make on storage for the winter and to get water. I couldn’t find anybody to talk with so I got water and left. Headed for Kenstate Park on the Tennessee River about mile 48, which is about 35 miles from here. Arrived about 1700 and went to the marina, got some ice and asked some questions about the Blues Festival to be held this weekend. Went to the amphitheater and dropped anchor. I was the 3rd boat in and dropped a bow and stern anchor so I could keep the stern pointed toward the shore, also so I would not swing because it was expected to be about 300 boats in this small area.

August 28 -I put the dinghy in the water and went over to the marina for some milk. When I got back to the boat I did some clean up and sat on the rear deck and watched other boats try to drop anchor and get into position to watch the Blues Fest. A lot of people on boats who don’t have a lot of experience anchoring and on top of that trying to drop bow and stern anchors it makes a good show to watch. A lot of boats came in and the party started. It didn’t quiet down until about 2-3 o’clock in the morning. Some boats kept it going all night.

August 29 - A good day to do nothing. The party got started again by 1000. Lots of visitors came aboard to look inside. Had 4 ski boats tied up along side – just a bunch of Kentucky “good old boys”. This is Kenstate Hot August Blues Fest – the ninth year and about 350 boats. Party quieted down about midnight tonight.

August 30 - Another good day to do nothing. Music started about 1000; the party seemed to start about the same time. About 1300 a gal came aboard and after looking around a while she asked if I wanted to sell the boat. I told her no, but I will in about a year or so. We talked for a while and she asked to go for a ride on Monday. Boats started to leave and by early evening there were only about 12-15 boats left. Had dinner and went to bed about midnight. Still had 3 boats tied alongside.

August 31 – Laura and her girlfriend and I went for a ride up river to another marina to ask about leaving the boat for the winter. Laura seems to be very interested in the boat. After leaving Harbor Hill Marina we went back to where the festival had been held, also where Laura’s boat was. After she got on her boat I headed down river and went into Graffiti Cove to look around at the graffiti. This was an old quarry back before the dam was built and the area was flooded. Then I went into Pisgah Cove nearby and anchored for the night. Mile 30 Tennessee River

September 1 – After the long weekend I worked on cleaning up the boat in the morning. Went down river about 8 miles to the Kentucky Bay Marina to see Laura and her father and stay the night. Laura called and said she couldn’t make it. I wonder if she changed her mind or if she really couldn’t make it?

September 2 – Had breakfast and did a little cleanup. Went up to the marina office and got the keys to their courtesy car and went into town, about 6 miles away. Got a haircut, bought a fan and went to a market for some groceries. After returning I talked with two other boat owners for about and hour or so. One of the fellows has a 1977 41-ft. Grand Banks. He has been boating for about 20 years; he bought his boat when it was new. He has done the circle trip a number of times with all kinds of side trips. After leaving the marina I went to Eddy Creek, about 18 miles – Mile 47 on the Cumberland River. Dropped hook for the night. Had fresh market catfish for dinner.

September 3 – Went for a swim then raised anchor heading up river (Cumberland River) for Nashville. Took my time and got to mile 90.5 which is at a small island that I could get behind and anchor for the night. Barbequed chicken for dinner. There are crane barges with a rock barge for each, placing riprap on the south bank on the mainland. In the evening, about 2200 the cook came over to the boat and asked me if I would like have a catfish lunch tomorrow. Naturally I said yes. So I went to bed and dreamed of catfish.

September 4 – I read for a while in the morning and did some clean up. It was interesting watching the cranes with dragline buckets place the riprap along the banks. About 1200 a johnboat pulled up along side. It was the cook off the Ms Amy towboat with my lunch. He brought me deep fried catfish, French fries, potatoes, hush puppies and cole slaw. Best hush puppies I ever had. This is typical southern hospitality. When I was finished with lunch I raised anchor and headed up river. Got to the town of Cumberland and the ferryboat operator let me tie to one of their boats that wasn’t in use. He told me I could stay for as long as I wanted to. Had dinner, read and went to bed. Mile 104.

September 5-9 – Cumberland River – Mile 104
Untied from the ferryboat and headed up river toward Clarksville, about 22 miles, to see if I can find a place to tie up for a few days and wait for the lock to get back into operation. Got to Clarksville and couldn’t find anything to tie to except a dock used for a tour boat that I had seen down river and knew it would not be back to its dock for a few days. I tied up and got some water. While I was sitting there a young couple I met last weekend at the Bluesfest suggested that I go up river another 5-6 miles to a boat club that sometimes takes transit boats. I went up to the club dock and made plans to stay 3 nights.

Clarksville Boat Club – Mile 132.5.
Stayed at the Clarksville Boat Club for 5 days, four full days. Spent Labor Day with Larry and Stacy at a beach near an island in the river above the dam. They have a trailer type boat. There were 50 or 60 people there including their kids. Up until Monday noon it has been hot and humid for the past three weeks. From Monday evening on the heat has been broken. The people here at this club have been very friendly.

September 10 – Left the boat club about 0900 and headed up river, 7.5-8 mph. Arrived at the lock about 1100. There was a U.S. Coast Guard buoy-tending barge with tugboat waiting to get through the lock, they noticed that I was looking for a place to tie up or drop an anchor. One of the seamen said I could tie next to them, and then I was asked to come aboard for lunch. While eating we were called into the lock. After getting back on board and pulling away I followed the tender into the lock and again tied to them for the ride up. After leaving the lock I decided to go up to Nashville, about 42 miles. Arrived at the city dock at the waterfront and tied off about 1830.

September 11–12 - Stayed at Nashville for two days. Went to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday night. Had dinner at the Opry Hotel. Took a paddlewheel boat from the waterfront at Nashville to Opryland and back. Got to ride in the wheelhouse both directions.

September 13 – After leaving the dock I headed for Old Hickory Lock at mile 216. Had to wait about 1-1/2 hours to get into the lock. After leaving the lock I went into Anchor High Marina for the night. Mile 216.5

September 14 – Got up and took a shower. I went to breakfast with one of the dock people from the marina. Monday is the one day a week that they are closed so he had the day off. After breakfast he took me to a market. When I got back to the boat I headed up river to the Cherokee Marina at mile 240 and stayed the night.

September 15 – Did some work on the boat until about 1200 then went up river about 8 miles just to see a little more of the Cumberland before I start down river tomorrow. On the trip up river I noticed that the engine was running a little hot. I did some checking and decided that I had to change the main drive belt. Didn’t do it until I got back to the dock so I don’t know if that solved the problem or not but I will find out in the morning. Had dinner at the steak house that is part of the marina. Good steak, good price.

September 16 – Departed and headed down river, going with the current I am making about 9 mph (7.8 kts) at 1800 rpm’s. I didn’t have a problem with the engine overheating so changing the drive belt took care of the problem. Got through Old Hickory Lock without a wait. Arrived in Nashville about 1530.

September 17 – Left Nashville and headed for the Clarksville Boat Club at mile 132.5. Had to pass through the Cheatham Lock, which is at mile 148.7. The Clarksville Boat Club is a Tennessee “Good Old Boy’s” yacht club. Most of the guys I have met seem to be financially comfortable and super friendly. Most of the boats are between 30 and 45 ft. – about 20 boats. Nice place to stay, $20.00 per night.

September 18 – Left the boat club at 1100 and headed for Dover Island at mile 191. Nothing special happened along the way. Dropped the hook at about 1445. Barbecued a steak for dinner.

September 19 – Departed Dover Island, mile 91 and headed down river for Eddy Creek Marina. Nice easy trip. Met a boat along the way that had side tied to me waiting for a lock to open on the Illinois River about 30 days ago. Got to the marina about 1400. Put on 180 gals. of fuel, 90.9 cents/gal. Making a total for the year of 685 gallons.

September 20 – Stayed at Eddy Creek Marine, mile 46.5 and worked on the boat - end of the year type of things. There was a light rain for a while – the first rain in about 6 weeks.

September 21 –For the next 4 days I worked on the cap rail – sanded and scraped to bare wood and then gave it three coats of Cetol.

September 25 – I left the marina and headed down Eddy Creek back towards the Cumberland River. I am going to Rottgering Marine where the creek meets the river. This is where I am going to have the boat taken out of the water for the winter. Shirley drove down from Ohio to pick me up. We went into town and bought some OSB board so I could take the doors off the boat and take them home. I filled the door openings with the OSB board. I finished winterizing the boat and we headed for home – Peninsula, Ohio.

End of boating season 1998

1999

EDDYVILLE, KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE RIVER to MILE 504.4 – FLORENCE, ALABAMA

Returned to Rottgering Marine near Eddyville, Kentucky on Thursday morning, April 8, 1999. Did miscellaneous work on the boat until April 14 when it was put in the water. On the morning of April 15 I took the boat to Eddy Creek Marina where I stayed until April 28. During this time I refinished the doorframe, rub rail, handrail and rear steps. I also rehung the doors that I had taken home and worked on over the winter. I stayed at a motel in Eddyville from April 7 to April 13. From the night of the 14th until I left Eddy Creek Marina I slept on the boat. I started my trip south up the Tennessee River on the morning of April 28.

April 28 – Paid my slip fee and said goodbyes and finally got under way. When I got back to the river I headed right’ down river towards the Barkley Canal, near the prison, which is just around the bend from where it meets the river. I screwed up and got out of the channel and got into some 4 ft. water. First lesson or reminder for this new season is to always locate the next two buoys from where you are so that you know where to head for. The boat ran well and all systems seemed to be working properly. When going through the Barkley Canal you are in the Tennessee River at mile 25. I went up river to Ginger Cove at mile 53 and dropped the hook for the night. A good 47mile run for the first day, putting 6 hours on the engine. The boat did better than the skipper.

April 29 – Ginger Cove, TN – Mile 53
Pulled the anchor and got under way about 0915. heading for the main part of the river and then headed for Birdsong anchorage at mile 103-TN. It is very cloudy and windy. The wind is at my stern so am picking up about a half mile or so per hour. I use the term miles per hour (mph) because on the rivers all markings and conversation is in miles. The Tennessee River from Kentucky Dam, mile 23, to about mile 100 is about 1 mile to 1-1/2 mile wide. On most of the day marker pilings there are osprey nests and all the nests have birds in them, but no young yet. Got to Birdsong Creek about 3:30 p.m.

April 30 – Birdsong Anchorage
I have decided to stay put for the day. I want to rub out the green paint and wax it so I can put the hemp fender on. The paint is in bad condition and needs to be painted but that will have to wait a while. Also, there is a pearl farm near the marina that I want to go see. Worked on the boat most of the day so did not go anywhere. Ran the generator for about 3 hours to bring the batteries to full charge.

May 1 – Birdsong Anchorage
In the morning after having a cup of coffee I polished the wax on the green strip between the rub rail and handrail that I didn’t finish yesterday. When I left the anchorage I went up the creek to the Birdsong Marina to see the fresh water pearl farm and make a phone call. By the time I got back to the river it was about 1100. Went up river to Jeter Towhead at mile 153. Arrived about 1600 and anchored for the night. A beautiful trip up the river – lots of fishermen and miscellaneous boats, 75o and pretty scenery.

May 2 – Jeter Towhead
Pulled anchor and headed up river. Looks like a nice day. Nothing exciting happened other than a lot of nice scenery and lots of other boats. Got to Pickwick Lock about 1530 and had no trouble with the 43 ft. up lock. Left the lock at 1605. After checking in my Tennessee River Guide I decided to stay at Lower Anderson Creek on the north side of the lake. Barbecued chicken for dinner. Caught a catfish about 16”, and released it.

May 3 – Lower Anderson Creek
Got underway and headed for Tenn-Tom Pickwick Marina. This is a very nice marina. It was finished about a year ago. Went in the office and talked to Jim Starke, the manager about leaving the boat there this summer. While talking with him he offered the marina courtesy car to do some shopping, about two miles away. I took him up on his offer and did enough shopping to last until Chattanooga. When I got back from the market I went over to Aqua Marina, which is about two miles away to talk with them about their cost for staying at their marina. I left Aqua Marina and headed for Eastport Marina at mile 225, about 12 miles. There is a package there for me from West Marine. I also talked the manager there about their cost for a stay of about 3-1/2 months. I then went up river to an anchorage at mile 230 (Ross Branch). After getting there and dropping the anchor I spoke with a couple on another boat about who were just staying for the afternoon. They came on board and we talked for about an hour. They are both airline pilots for Fed-Ex. After they left I cooked bacon and eggs for dinner.

May 4 – Ross Branch – Mile 229.8
Pulled anchor and headed for Wilson Lock. Before getting there I noticed a marina as I was going by the town of Florence, Alabama. It is a new marina and not listed in Quimby’s. I went in and decided to put down a deposit to stay there this summer. I can walk to the bus station and there is an airport nearby, $240.00/month for a covered slip. After leaving the marina I went up to the lock. It has the third largest lift of any lock I have been in, 93 ft. The sky was getting very dark and the wind was getting fairly strong. I found what looked like a good anchorage in the Tennessee River guide, Six Mile Creek; it turned out to be a good anchorage. Had a good night, it rained some.

May 5 – Six Mile Creek – Mile 266
Departed from the anchorage and headed for the next lock, about 10 miles up river. Got to the lock, Joe Wheeler Lock, and went right on up. When I reached mile 304 I had to have a railroad bridge raised. I had decided to stay at Limestone Creek at mile 306, went up the creek about half a mile and stayed the night. At about 2130 a thunderstorm started and lasted until about 0030. During this time there was continuous lightning and thunder, constant flashes of light and sounds of thunder. Never had I seen such a show of nature in all my life.

May 6 – Limestone Creek – Mile 306
Slept in a little since I was unable to get to sleep until after midnight because of all the noise of the thunder. Started up river. Nice weather and lots of nice scenery. I was going to stay at Painted Rock River, mile 343, but about an hour before I got there I heard on the weather report that there was flooding upstream from where I was due to all the rain the night before so I decided to go through the next lock, which is at mile 348.5, and stay at a cove near the Lock. Got anchored about 1730 – had a good night.

May 7 – Mill Hollow Cove – Mile 349
Did morning chores and then pulled anchor and headed for Guntersville at mile 359 up river. I went for a walk into town and made a couple of phone calls. It is a nice warm day but overcast. Had a good trip up the river to Jones Creek at mile 388. It is a little tricky getting into the anchorage area but the channel is well marked, set the hook and called it a day.

May 8 – Jones Creek – Mile 388
Weighed anchor and headed out toward the river. It has a very twisty channel, but well marked; had difficulty getting over the bar at the river and rubbed the bottom a little but got into the river without any trouble. Reached the Nickajack Lock, mile 425, about 1400. After leaving the lock I went to Bennett Lake at mile 432, about a quarter mile off the river and dropped the hook for the night. Good anchorage.

May 9 – Bennett Lake - Mile 432
Pulled anchor and headed for Chattanooga, Tennessee, at mile 464. These 32 miles of river is one of the most beautiful stretches of water I have been on. Got to Chattanooga about 3:30 p.m. After taking care of business at the marina office (Ross Landing) I walked up to the aquarium and made some phone calls then got on the free shuttle bus and rode it to the end of the line. The end of the line is the old Chattanooga Train Station that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo ran from. I then went back toward the river and ate at a rib place called Sticky Fingers – good ribs.

May 10 – Ross Landing, Chattanooga, TN
Left the boat at the marina for the day. I went to the I-Max Theater and saw a film on the underwater area off the San Luis Obispo Coast in California. This is the first modern 3-D film I have seen. It is unbelievable how real it is – like you are right in the middle of it – very good. After the film I went to the aquarium for the rest of the day. This is the largest fresh water aquarium in the world. Had dinner and returned to the boat.

May 11 – Ross Landing
Before leaving the marina I went to Look Out Mountain and rode the incline railway to the top. I got there by city bus. The railway rises 1,420 ft. in about a mile of run. Good view of the city. Also, there was a Civil War Battle fought there. Got back on the bus and headed for the boat. Left the marina about 1400 and headed for the next lock at mile 471, Chickamauga. Had to wait about 2-1/2 hours. After getting through the Lock went to Small Cove near mile 472.5 on the north side of the lake.

May 12 – Small Cove – Mile 472.5
Read for a while after getting up and then did some miscellaneous things around the boat; finally pulled anchor and headed up river. After looking at the chart book and also the Tennessee River Guide, I decided to go to Opossum Creek at mile 489.8 to spend the night. Passed a nuclear power plant along the way. It is the second one I have seen since I passed Pickwick Lock. I have also passed a few coal fired steam plants, so the TVA has three methods to produce power along this river. Got to the anchorage about 1430 and dropped the hook for the night.

May 13 – Opossum River – Mile 489.8
I decided to make today a layover day. I have a few items to work on. The bilge has a bad smell. I let a lot of river water into the bilge and pumped it dry and came to the conclusion that when the shower sump overflows it gets into the bilge and the soapy water causes a scum which smells bad. Also did some minor plumbing with a couple of 3/4-inch hoses. Then I got around to replacing 31 deck plugs that conceal the screws that hold the teak decking in place. I have been putting this off for a long time – all of last year. While I was doing all of this work I was also cooking some Navy beans and ham hocks. Good day.

May 14 – Opossum River – Mile 489.8
Weighed anchor and headed up river to Richland Creek and the to Dayton, which is the town, where the Scopes evolution trial was held at in 1925. When I got to the town, about three miles up the creek off the main river, I couldn’t find a place to tie up. I set the anchor and had some lunch. I went back near where the creek takes off from the river and dropped the hook for the night.

May 15 – Richland Creek – Mile 504.4
Well today is turn around day. This is as far up the Tennessee River as I will be going on this trip.
After going down river about two miles I saw a heron rookery on a small island in the river. There were young herons in the nests. They appeared to be about 18” tall. On the ground under the heron’s nest were Canada geese and mallard ducks. On a mile marker piling, about 100 ft. away, there was an osprey nest with birds in it. And then about a mile down river I saw a family of 5 young Canada geese with their parents. Got to the Chickamauga Marina about 1230. Got tied up and put all my dirty laundry in a bag then went to the washroom. They had one washer and dryer and I had two loads of wash. Since I had a lot of time to kill I took a shower and then talked to some people working on their boats and made some phone calls. Went back to the boat, had dinner, went to bed.

May 16 – Chickamauga Marina – Mile 471.5
After leaving the marina I went a short distance across the lake to the lock, waited a short time and went down. This is the first down locking I have made for a long time. I got to Chattanooga about 1200. Tied to the city dock where there were about 20 boats. On Friday and Saturday nights the city had an activity called The River Roast. The main activity was a rib cook off. Lots of people come eat ribs and party for the weekend. I went into town, made some phone calls and went to the Recover and Towing Museum. Chattanooga is where the first wrecker (tow truck) was built back in 1916. After the museum and a little more sightseeing I had dinner and returned to the boat.

May 17 – Chattanooga City Dock – Mile 464
After getting up I had breakfast then walked about 8 blocks into town to a market and made a phone call. Pulled away from the dock at 0920. and headed down river. Got to the Nickajack Lock at 1230. Went through with waiting. Continued on down river until I got to Jones Creek where I decided to anchor for the night. After dropping the anchor I sat on the rear deck and had a beer. While sitting there I saw a bald eagle swoop down and take a fish from the water. This was a nice good lunch.

May 18 – Jones Creek – Mile 388
Headed down river – did not see many other boats on the water. Got to the Guntersville Lock about 1230. It was raining very hard but it didn’t make any difference to the lock operation. Continued on to mile 320 where Indian Creek comes into the main river. This is where I decided to stay for the night.

May 19 – Indian Creek – Mile 320
This creek is very narrow, maybe about 150 ft. wide, but it was a nice quiet place to anchor. Last night just after the sun went down a lot of bugs came out and then the birds had a feast. I saw kingfishers, cardinals, grackles and some other birds fly out of the bushes on each side of the creek and get the bugs – a good show. After pulling up anchor I started down river. Nothing much happened until I got to Wheeler Lock at mile 175. There were two barges in front of me with RV’s on them waiting to go through the lock. By the time a barge coming out of the locks got clear and
the RV barges got in and through it took about 2-1/2 hours. After I finally got through I headed for the next lock, Wilson Lock, at mile 259. This is the 93 ft. high lock. Then I had to wait another 2-1/2 hours. By the time I cleared the lock it was after 1800. The marina at Florence was about 3 miles below the locks and by the time I got in and tied up I had put in about 12 hours – 5 hours waiting and 7 hours traveling. Had dinner and went to bed.

May 20 Thurs. – Florence Marina - Mile 259
I left the boat at Florence Marina and went to Eddy Creek Marina to pick up my truck. Drove home on Saturday.

Summer lay-up.

FLORENCE, ALABAMA – TENN-TOM WATERWAY – TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA

Arrived back to the boat on September 30. Took my time doing miscellaneous work on the boat, did some shopping and visited with other boat owners.

October 4 – Florence Harbor Marina
Put on fuel at Florence Harbor and headed down river to Pickwick, Tenn-Tom Marina – about a 40 mile run. Had a good trip. It got very windy and a little rough but I was going almost straight into it so it was not too bad. Arrived at about 1530.

October 5 – Pickwick Tenn-Tom Marina
Decided to stay the day and do a couple of things. I changed the faucet on the galley sink. I also drained the water from the water tanks and refilled them. After adding 3/4-cup of bleach to each tank I pumped it through the system and let it sit until the next morning. Had a nice day doing not too much.

October 6 – Pickwick Tenn-Tom Marina – Mile 450
I drained the water from the tanks, flushed them and refilled with fresh water. I borrowed the marinas courtesy car and went to the market for a few items. Left the marina at 1015 and headed for Visitor’s Cove near Montgomery Lock. Arrived bout 1500 and set anchor.

October 7 – Visitor’s Cove – Mile 412.2
Pulled anchor at 0815 so I could get to the lock with two sailboats that had anchored in the same cove. As it turned out, there were 6 boats in the lock. This lock has a drop of 84 ft. When all the boats left the lock we stayed close together because there are 3 locks that are about 45 minutes apart. At mile 394 the two sailboats that I had anchored with the night before stopped at a marina to pick up some mail. Before they stopped they told me about a music festival at the town of Aberdeen, Mississippi at mile 357. By the end of the day I covered 46 miles and went through 6 locks. I did not have to wait at any of the locks so that made a big difference. Got to mile 366.3 where my Rumses book showed an anchorage. I dropped anchor and had bacon and eggs for dinner.

October 8 – Tenn-Tom Waterway – Mile 366.3
Got up, took a shower and put away the fenders and lines from going through the locks the day before. After breakfast of Coco Puffs I wired a buzzer to my proximity alarm on the radar. I could hardly hear the sound that is standard on the set, now it will wake the dead. After putting away my mess, I raised the anchor and headed for Aberdeen and the Blue Bluff River Festival, about 7 miles down river. Arrived and side tied to a trawler from Holland, Michigan.

October 9 – Blue Bluff River Festival, Aberdeen, MS
Stayed tied to Boat of Us, the trawler from Michigan. The festival had different musical groups scheduled all day long from 1000 until 2200. At 1300 I went on a bus tour of Aberdeen.

October 10 – Blue Bluff River Festival
Today the festival has scheduled church services from 0930 to 1500. – 6 different denominations. I went to the Methodist service at 0900. Later in the afternoon a fellow with a jet ski boat took me for a tour of the area. While we were cruising around I saw the two sailboats that had told me about the festival. They had gotten held up because of the rain and didn’t make it to the festival. They side tied to me. There was a small houseboat traveling with them. The boat names are, Wind Walker and Imagine, the sailboats and E & Me, the houseboat.

October 11 – Blue Bluff – Mile 358
Untied from Boat of Us at 0800 and headed for the lock with the two sailboats and the houseboat. The lock was within a half mile and by the time we got there another boat showed up so 5 of us down locked together. Had a nice ride to the next lock and then on down to the Columbus cut-off at mile 338 and made a side trip into the town of Columbia – not much to see. Continued to mile 318 and went into the old river to anchor for the night. The sailboats and houseboat showed up a little later and stayed the night also.

October 12 – Mile 318
Hoisted anchor leaving behind the three boats that came into the anchorage after me last night. I went down stream for about 12 miles to the Tom Bevill Lock, back into Alabama. That is where the main Visitor’s Center is for the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Tied to a dock at the center and spent some time going through and seeing their displays. There is also an old steam powered snag boat, the Montgomery that the Corps of Engineers used to keep trees and stumps out of the waterway. It was built in 1926 and used until 1982. The boat is 180 ft x 34.6 x 4 ft. deep. It is a stern paddle wheel powered boat. After leaving the center I passed through the lock and went down river to mile 270 and anchored for the night.

October 13 – Sunter Landing – Mile 270
This anchorage is a small cove off the river about 4 miles above the Howard Heflin Lock. Pulled anchor about 0815 and headed for the lock. I had to wait about 15 minutes to get into the lock. After leaving I had a good run down stream. I saw some turkeys and lots of heron and great egrets. Also a turkey flew across the river about 20 ft. in front of the boat. Went into Demopolis Marina to stay the night. Borrowed their courtesy car and did some shopping. Lots of people came by to see the boat so I had plenty of company for the evening. Went to the marina restaurant for dinner. I also filled the water tanks.

October 14 – Demopolis Marina 0 Mile 216
Got up early, 0600, so that I could get into the lock at 0700. All the boats going south today and leaving early because it is about 125 miles to the next marina or it is about 90 miles to a decent place to anchor. It took me 10 hours to get 90 miles. Had a good trip, the fog was clear by the time I left the lock at 0750. Passed 4 or 5 tow barges and one sailboat in 90 miles. Arrived at Okatuppa Creek at 1800 and dropped the hook. Even though it was an easy run with no strain I was pooped by the time I anchored.

October 15 – Okatuppa Creek – Mile 123
After getting up I had breakfast and headed down stream. The weather was nice and there was little traffic. I got to the Coffeeville Lock at mile 116.6. This is the last big lock I will be going through for a long time – maybe never.

October 16 – Southern RR Bridge – Mile 89.9
After raising the hook and getting going I had a nice run down to mile 39 where the Tensaw River goes east off of the waterway. This is a good-sized river. I went down it for about a mile and found a good spot to anchor. Cooked a pot of green chili stew for dinner.

October 17– Tensaw River off of Mile 39, Tenn-Tom Waterway
In the morning I started looking for an electrical problem of some type because for the last 2 or 3 days I have had some of my electronics go off or shudder when I stopped the engine, or shifted forward or backwards – all of which would cause the engine to vibrate. After looking I found that the main lead from the master switch to the starter was shorting out against the engine block. I put a short length of hose around it to make it safe. After putting on a band-aid on the electrical cable I headed toward Mobile. The scenery changed from woodlands to marsh or mud flats the closer I got to Mobile. Had a good trip. Mobile is a very active seaport with lots of sea going ships and barge and tow traffic. I passed mile “0” of the Tenn-Tom waterway at 1615. This is a point where the Mobile flows over the Bankhead Tunnel. Went another 10 miles to a channel that goes into the Dog River and tied up at the Grand Mariner Marina.

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October 18 – Grand Mariner Marina, Mobile, AL
After getting going (my body, not the boat) I removed the burned wire between the switch and starter and headed for E & B Marine’s store. As I was walking down the dock to get keys for the marina courtesy car I noticed another boater working on his engines, which happened to be the same as mine. He asked me if I knew how to change the drive belt so I helped him take it off. We then went into town together because he had to go to Cummins to get new belts. He took me to E & B Marine. When I got back I started to replace the cable.

October 19 – Grand mariner Marina, Mobile
Finished wiring problem, tightened meter mounting brackets, the bottom bolt on starboard bracket was loose. A shrimp boat came to the fuel dock to get fuel and to sell shrimp. I bought 3 lbs. for $3.00/lb. Cooked a pound for dinner – I sautéed them with green peppers and onions and canned tomatoes served over rice – “pretty good”.

October 20 – Grand Mariner Marina, Mobile
Stayed in port since small craft warnings were up. “Discretion is the better part of valor”.

October 21 – Grand Mariner Marina, Mobile
Departed from the dock about 0800. I got about a mile from the marina and noticed that the voltage regulator was not working. I turned around and went back into the marina where I did some testing and checking of wires and connections and was unable to find a problem – everything seemed to work so I departed again and went about 3 miles before the same problem started again. Went back to the marina and called the manufacturer’s service desk. I talked to a fellow named Dave. After talking with him and doing some tests he recommended, I came to the conclusion that the regulator got damaged when I burned the main battery cable. I ordered a new regulator from E & B Marine – they will have it in tomorrow.

October 22 – Grand Mariner Marina, Mobile
I was able to get a ride into town with Bryan and his wife. We went shopping and they ran a few errands they had to take care of. I got the new regulator. Got back to the boat and hooked it up and found that I had the same problem. So to make a long story short, I finally found a bad in-line fuse connector. After changing it with a new one it seemed to solve the problem so now I have a $180.00 spare part (regulator). Cooked some oysters for dinner and went to bed happy that I was ready to leave the following day.

October 23 – Grand Mariner Marina, Mobile
Got away from the dock early because the wind was to get stronger later in the day. I had about 22NM of open water to cross before I got into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Made the run to the protected waters in 2-1/2 hours. It wasn’t too bad because the wind was from behind most of the way. I then proceeded to mile 163 and went into Ingram Bayou and set the anchor for the night. There area about 5 or 6 other boats up this bayou. It is about a mile long and a quarter to half mile wide so there is plenty of room for all. Regulator worked fine all day so I must have fixed the problem.

October 24 – Ingram Bayou – Mile 163 GICWW
It felt good to have gotten in a good day yesterday. After getting up and taking my time I pulled the anchor and headed east toward Pensacola, Florida and points east. I had a good run. Very interesting waterway – some areas have homes on both sides of the route and other areas wilderness. Made about 6 phone calls, talked about 3 hours in total. Anchored in open water about a quarter mile from the beach - not too bad but not the best, Navarre Beach, mile 204 ICWW. Slept well.

October 25 –Navarre Beach – Mile 204 GICWW
Not the smoothest night but for open water not too bad, but it was the best I could find without going another mile or more. After getting going I headed east again. I saw some more dolphins today. A couple of them swam in front of the boat for a while. I also saw jellyfish – they were pretty good sized, about 8”-10” in diameter. A nice trip with the same but different scenery along the way. A found a place to anchor, again in open water but the weatherman is saying that there will be no wind. This is Wheeler Point, near mile 250. Fixed chili-mac for dinner.
P.S. – After I dropped the anchor, 4 or 5 dolphins circled and jumped around the boat for a while. A couple got to within 25 ft. of the boat – great fun watching them.

October 26 – Wheeler Point – Mile 250 GICWW
Again I anchored in open water and it was very good – no wind to light wind. After pulling the anchor I had to go about 2.5 NM to the waterway and then under the 33-81-highway bridge. After traveling 4 NM I went into the ditch, which is a cut canal about 18 miles long. Part of the way was cut through sand dunes with pines and oaks – very pretty. After the ditch I went through a bay to Panama City and on to the Dupont Bridge at mile 290. Just before the bridge I turned south into Pearl Bayou, mile 290, where I anchored for the night. There were dolphins jumping in here also. I saw lots of dolphins today as I came across the bays, none in the ditch. After I got settled two boats came into the bayou that had passed me earlier in the day. I had talked to them about making the passage across the gulf. I have to spend a day changing oil and filters so I might not be able o go with them, but perhaps I can.

October 27 – Pearl Bayou – Mile 290 GICWW
Pulled anchor and headed east after breakfast. Had a good ride through East Bay and the ditch going toward Apalachicola. Dropped the hook in Saul Creek at mile 345.

October 28 – Saul Creek – Mile 346 GICWW
Woke up a few minutes before 0700. and it was very dark. It took me a while to figure out that I had set the clock back the day before (change of time zones) so it was like 0600. After pulling the hook I headed for Apalachicola, about 6 NM down river. Arrived there about 0900 and tied up at the Miller Oil Co. dock – put on 182 gal. of fuel. I moved over to the Apalachicola Inn & Marina and tied up for the night. Changed engine oil and filter, checked anodes, cleaned the bilge and in general went over all the maintenance items. Cleaned all raw water strainers. Everything seems in good condition, ready for my trip across the gulf. It looks like the weather might not cooperate for a few days. Went out to dinner for a change instead of cooking.

October 29 – Apalachicola Inn and Marina
Got out of the bunk and had breakfast, after which I spoke to some of the other skippers about the weather and how long we might get to stay and enjoy Apalachicola because of the wind. It seems it might be as long as Wednesday or Thursday of next week. I then walked down the dock to a restaurant, Boss Oyster, had a beer and half-dozen oysters on the half shell for lunch. After lunch walked around town and to the John Gorrie Museum. Dr. John Gorrie invented the first ice machine in 1851. He got a U.S. Patent for his machine. For dinner I went back to Boss Oyster and had a dozen oysters and crab cakes. End of a good day.

October 30 – Apalachicola Inn and Marina
After getting my body going I talked again with people about the weather. The general opinion hasn’t seemed to have changed, except to maybe get worse. There is a hurricane down south that might come up this way. I went into town to the market for about a week’s supply I am going up river to Saul Creek to spend a few days and wait to see what the weather is going to do.

October 31 – Saul Creek – Mile 346 GICWW
Got up and turned the clocks back 1 hour to be Standard time. Ran the engine about 2 hours to charge the batteries seeing that I am going to stay here until at least until tomorrow. Fried shrimp with onions and peppers over rice for dinner – a tough way to live. Saul Creek, mile 346 ICWW

November 1 – Saul Creek – Mile 346 GICWW
Stayed in bed and read for a while. I am not going anywhere today. It is predicted to rain today and tonight. Read most of the day and did a little cleanup of the inside of the boat. It started to rain about 1100 and rained until 1400, fairly heavy at times. Had shrimp salad for dinner.

November 2 – Saul Creek – Mile 346 GICWW
After breakfast I decided to go up the Apalachicola River a ways while I am waiting out the weather. It is still very windy and rough out in the gulf. I pulled anchor and went about 1-1/2 miles down Saul Creek to the Apalachicola River, which is the Waterway at this point and then started up river. It is more of the same scenery that is in Saul Creek; only the river is a little wider. I saw two eagles and an osprey. The osprey had a fish in its claws. I got to mile 35 and bumped bottom – decided to turn around. Went back to mile 28 and went up a side creek about 100 yards and

November 3 – Apalachicola River – Mile 28
Pulled anchor and headed down river. The depth of water where I anchored last night was 4-1/2 ft., with a 4 or 5 kt current which was good because I didn’t swing any and the water depth under the boat stayed constant. This was a nice trip to have made but the water is very thin in a lot of places. Got back to the ICW about 1230. Went down toward the town of Apalachicola to get into an area where my cell phone will work. Called Shirley to let her know I am still afloat. Went back to Saul Creek for a couple of days to wait for good weather.

November 4 – Saul Creek
I read for a while in the morning and then got up and had breakfast. I played around with the wiring for the battery charger. After 5 years I finally got it right. When I was finished with that I put the inflatable in the water and filled it with air, in case I need it going across to Tarpon Springs. Cooked some ham and Navy beans. Now I will have some chicken and beans to eat on my crossing. Worked on miscellaneous items until 1700 and had dinner. I am thinking about going across the pond tomorrow – the weather sounds good.

November 5 –Saul Creek
Pulled anchor early. After listening to the weather it sounded like it might be a good day to make the crossing to Tarpon Springs. Left the creek and headed for the Apalachicola Inn to put on some water so that I can be as heavy as possible. Heard Harmony and Moderation II talking on the VHF radio – they also decided to make the crossing. I went under the bridge at 1045 and got to the gulf side of Government Cut at 1145. It was kind of rough, maybe 4 ft. seas. About 1230 a commercial fishing boat was coming back in. They had been out about 10 miles farther and told us that it is rougher out there. That was enough for me because I didn’t want to fight what I was already in for the next 22 or so hours, let alone it being worse. Turned around – discretion again being the better part of valor. Stayed at the Apalachicola Inn & Marina and went to the Sea Food Festival. Saw a manatee today from a distance.

November 6 –Apalachicola River Inn and Marina
Spent the morning cleaning the salt off the boat and in general doing nothing on the dock. Went over to the festival in the afternoon. I spoke with a couple of delivery captains I have decided to try to go across to Tarpon Springs tomorrow.

November 7 – Apalachicola River Inn and Marina
Got up, washed all dishes, pots and pans and put them away. I didn’t put them away the other day and when it got rough they moved all over the counters. Went to the Gibson House for breakfast. I then returned to the marina to pay my dock fee and found out that they doubled their rate for this weekend because of the festival. Buyer beware! There were no signs or notices anywhere to let people know. Untied and left the slip, went under the bridge at 1025. I traveled across Apalachicola Bay to the Government Cut and got to the gulf at 1120. Started toward day marker #4 near the north end of Anciote Key, which is 138 NM. I had already traveled about 7-1/3 NM. Nice day, clear skies, light breeze, calm seas. Everything remained the same until about 1530 when the water got a little choppy, but still not too bad – boat running great except the autopilot stopped working so I had to steer by hand – something I have not done for 5 years, at least not over a long distance.

November 8 – Middle of passage: Apalachicola - Tarpon Springs
By midnight the sea had waves about 4 ft., taking them on the port bow quarter. Boat is running good except no autopilot. A fair number of boats are making the same passage that I am; maybe 8 – 10 boats spread over 50 miles or so. I could tell by listening to the VHF radio. I spoke a number of them through the night including a sailboat, Sabrina; I had met in Saul Creek. It was nice to talk with someone you knew out in the middle of nowhere as you traveled along. I arrived at the day marker #4 at 0750, right dead nuts where I was aiming. Good GPS. Travel time from Government Cut to marker #4 was 20 hours. Went over to the lee side of Anciote Key, dropped the hook and went to sleep for about 3 hours. After getting up I went into the Tarpon Springs Municipal Marina. Spent the afternoon making calls about and working on my auto pilot problem. Came to the conclusion that the pump motor is bad. I got one on order and UPS will deliver it in 2 – 3 days. I was in a slip next to Sabrina – Jack & Sher Vast-Binder from Detroit, Michigan.

November 9 – Tarpon Springs Municipal Marina
Worked on removing the auto pilot pump motor. I had to cut a hole, 8” x 8”, through the inboard partition of the stern anchor rode storage Locker to get access to the rear of the motor. After removing the bolts that hold the motor to the pump I found a leaky seal, which might have caused the pump motor to go bad. I called the company to send a new seal ring. After taking a shower I went to the Hella Greek restaurant for dinner and had pan-fried squid – very good.

November 10 – Tarpon Springs Municipal Marina
After stowing things back into the lazarette I went across the river to the Landing Marina to speak with them about leaving the boat there until the middle of February 2000. I then went over toward Clearwater on a sight seeing tour. I found a place to anchor for the night near the Clearwater municipal Marina. Barbecued a steak for dinner. Saw a manatee today from a distance.

November 11 – Mandalay Channel – Near Clearwater Beach
Made a call or two about my new pump motor and caught up on the log. Pulled anchor and headed for the Clearwater Bay Marina to check out what their storage slip is like. Did not like it as well as The Landing, so The Landing is where I will leave the boat until the middle of February for sure. I then went to the Clearwater Municipal Marina to stay for the night. I will do some laundry this afternoon and go shopping tomorrow morning.

November 12 – Clearwater Municipal Marina
I took my time and went up to the main marina building where there is a restaurant and had breakfast. I then got my hair cut and beard trimmed. I walked around a while and got on a bus to go to the grocery store; went back to the boat and put things away. I left dock about 1200 and headed for some place farther south to anchor for the night. On the way I found the Sabrina and anchored the night with them. Went over to their boat for dinner. After getting back, about 8:30 p.m., I had a fall when I stepped down into the salon from the rear deck. I slipped on the step and crashed into one of the salon chairs sideways, right under my right armpit. It hurt like hell and I had trouble breathing for a while. But luckily I didn’t break anything on my body or the chair. I only had one glass of wine for dinner, about an hour before – I just plain slipped.

November 13 – Woke up this morning very sore but I was able to pull the inflatable onto the boat and put in its proper place. I then ate some breakfast and pulled anchor and went over to Sabrina to say goodbye to Jack and Sher and wish them bon-voyage. I headed north toward Tarpon Springs, made a few phone calls along the way. Just before I was to go under the Clearwater Causeway Bridge I looked to my right and saw the sailboat Imagine. This is a boat I had met and anchored with a couple of nights up on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. I pulled over and got their attention. To make a long story short, I ended up side tying to them for the night. Bill and Charlotte are from Lake Superior somewhere. I had a chicken so Charlotte cooked it for dinner with salad and squash – very good. Good night. My rib area is a little sore but did not have trouble sleeping.

November 14 – When I first woke up at 0700 it was very foggy. Made coffee and had a bowl of cereal. About 0945 the fog began to lift. Imagine pulled anchor and headed south about 10:00 a.m. I might meet them in the Bahamas in March. I headed north to Tarpon Springs to pick up my pump motor for the autopilot and then go over to The Landing where I am going to leave the boat until February. Got there and tied up about 1330. Cooked some beans with smoked turkey neck and cornbread for dinner.

November 15 – Went up to the marina office and signed the contract for my stay here. Then I went to the emergency hospital to see about my ribs. After 8 hours I found out that I fractured one or two ribs. No big problem, it will just take time to heal.

November 16 – Changed oil and filter in the generator and moved the boat into the slip and did all the miscellaneous items that are necessary to close up the boat for a long period of time.

End of boating season for 1999
2000

TARPON SPRINGS - PALM BEACH

February 2 – Got to the Landing Marina and spent the next few days getting the boat ready for the season. I spent a day changing the hydraulic pump on the steering system. Carl Becker arrived at the boat on Tuesday, February 8. We are going to go south to Fort Myers, across the Okeechobee Canal and then to Key West.

February 10 – The Landing at Tarpon Springs
Left the slip and went down river to the Fay Fuel dock and put on 87.5 gallons of diesel. We then started down river and then south on the GICW to Egmont Key that is near mile 100, dropped anchor and stayed the night.

February 11 – Egmont Key
Following a good night at anchor, we got under way and headed south. Not too much traffic. Nice clear water and quite a few dolphins and lots of different birds; osprey, oyster catcher’s, pelicans, a flamingo, and all the other sea birds you normally see on the water. Had a filter problem and had to change both primary and secondary filters – no big problem, just the time it took to do it. Got to the Venice Crows Nest Marina about 1500.

February 12 – Venice Crows Nest Marina – Mile 52+/- ICW
We took our time getting away from the dock. Had a nice easy trip going south. We had a little problem about 1300 – we got out of the marked channel after making a hard 90o turn and got hung on a sandbar for a period of time. We finally rocked and powered ourselves off. Got to a real nice anchorage at Pelican Bay. There were about 40 boats with lots of room between. We anchored about 50 yards from a Lord Nelson 37’ Victory Tug.

February 13 – Pelican Bay Anchorage – Mile 25+/- ICW
Pulled anchor about 1000 and headed south toward Fort Myers. Today being a Sunday there is a lot of boat traffic – more boats than I have seen since being in Toronto or on the Hudson River on a Sunday afternoon. We traveled about 40 SM and got to a marina about 1600. Went to the Chart House for dinner.

February 14 – Fort Myers – Mile 135 Okeechobee Waterway
Spent the day at the slip. Carl and I went to the Edison and Ford winter homes, which are next to each other up on McGregor Avenue. There is a nice museum there and plants and trees from all over the world.

February 15 – Fort Myers Yacht Basin
In the morning Carl and I both took a shower and did some clean up around the boat. We then took off and started east up the Caloosahatchee River. At mile 42 we went through the Franklin Lock, about a 4 ft. lift. We then continued east to the town of La Belle, about mile 103. We dropped the hook for the night, and then we put the inflatable in the water and went to the town dock and went for a walk.

February 16 – La Belle – Mile 103
Lifted anchor and headed east toward Okeechobee Lake. At mile 94 and mile 78 we went through a lock, each one about an 8 ft. rise. The 2nd Lock was right at the lake. After leaving the Lock and going about a half mile I made a mistake and told Carl to turn to Port and we went about 4 miles up the wrong canal before I got my act together and figured out that we were not in the right place. It turned out to be a good error because we saw 5 or 6 alligators and 2 or 3 different birds that I hadn’t seen before. After turning around, we headed for Clewiston, and the Roland Martins Marina. I had to pick up some fuel filters that I had shipped to me there by Defender Industries. The marina was full so we tied off to a Corps of Engineers barge for the night. Went into town for dinner at the Clewiston Inn, a 62-year-old hotel that belonged to the U.S. Sugar Corp. Very good.

February 17 – Clewiston
We cut loose from the barge we had tied to for the night after having a leisurely breakfast and headed east across the lake. At 1205 we arrived at the Port Mayaca Lock with a green light looking at us. We locked through and traveled about a half mile to a railroad lift bridge. Just before we got there it closed for a train to cross and then something broke and we had to wait for 3 hours for it to open. After about 30 minutes of waiting we dropped the anchor. At the time the bridge was going up we were in the process of pulling the anchor so we could reset for the night. As soon as I started the engine I looked up and saw the bridge going up. Good timing! Just by accident.

February 18 – Okeechobee Waterway – Mile 19
Raised anchor after a quiet night – no breeze or current. Had to travel down stream about 4 miles to the last lock for us. It is a 14 ft. drop. After leaving the lock we headed for the ICW, which is 15 miles, that is also the end of the Okeechobee WW (east end mile 0). We arrived at the ICW at 1130. Before getting there, we passed Jim Longshore going home to Florence Alabama. He had a new boat he bought at the Miami boat show. After arriving at the ICW we went south toward North Palm Beach, another 33 miles. Arrived around 1530. and got a slip for 2 nights.

February 19 – Palm Harbor Marina
We left the boat at the slip and walked a couple of blocks into the downtown portion of West Palm Beach and had breakfast. Walked through a country street market that takes place each Saturday morning. Carl is going to leave today; some friends from Orlando are coming down to pick him up. Carl left around 1400. I took the time after he left to take out the compressor that provides air for the whistle. Showered and went into town for dinner.

February 20 – Palm Harbor Marina
In the morning I made some muffins in my new toaster oven. It worked very well. It’s the first time the muffins I made are not burned on the bottom. After breakfast did laundry and walked about 3/4-mile to a market. I left the slip about 1300. and headed back north about 4 miles, just south of Peanut Island and dropped the hook. Fried some fish for dinner.

February 21 – Lake Worth, about Mile 1019 ICW
Stayed at anchor all day and did miscellaneous clean up type of things on the boat. Fried chicken for dinner.

February 22 – Lake Worth, about Mile 1019 ICW
I was up about 0600 to use the head when I noticed I had dragged anchor and was closer to a boat that was at anchor and closer than I liked. I started the engine and moved a little farther north and redropped the anchor then went back to bed and read for an hour or so. After getting up I had breakfast and wrapped the whistle compressor so I could UPS it to the manufacturer to be repaired. Weighed anchor and went back to the Palm Harbor Marina so I could ship the compressor to Hadley Co. After shipping the package I called about boat insurance to go to the Bahamas. Returned to the anchorage.

February 23 – Lake Worth
Got under way after taking my time and headed north. I went up the Loxahatchee River at Jupiter Inlet. I just went a short distance. I couldn’t find a good place to anchor where there was enough water to anchor with peace of mind. I went back to the ICW and headed to Manatee Pocket near where the Okeechobee Waterway meets the ICW. Got there about 3:00 p.m. and found my way in. It isn’t too hard if you watch the buoys and markers. Very thin water in here also, but I found a spot where a group of sailboats anchored so figured there would be enough water for me to anchor also. There are boats here from Portsmouth, MA; Rochester, NY; Kingston, Ont.; Clifford, MD; Hartwood, VA; Toronto, Ont. and one from PA.

February 24 – Manatee Pocket
After getting up I read a while and then did some miscellaneous work on the boat – nothing important. Spent the day doing nothing but taking it easy.

February 25 – Manatee Pocket
Put the inflatable in the water and did a little sight seeing. After using the outboard a while it didn’t seem to be running quite right. I decided it might be the fuel filter. Lucky for me there was an OMC Evinrude dealer nearby. Put a new filter in and it ran perfectly. Did a little more cruising around, returned to the boat and fixed bacon and eggs with hash browns for dinner.

February 26 – Manatee Pocket
After breakfast I made some phone calls. Took the inflatable into the dock and at a outboard repair shop bought a bottle of gear grease, oil for the fuel mix and a spare filter. Walked over to a market and a seafood shop. After getting back to the boat I changed the gear grease and oiled miscellaneous spots on the outboard. I changed the zincs in the main engine and the generator. Went up near the outboard shop to a restaurant for dinner.

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