Monday, September 7, 2009

Where did the days go?

To our family and friends that have traveled with us it has been a pleasure sharing this experience. I may not have recorded the events and they would definitely meld into a memories if it was not for you guys. I also learned a little about blogs and tried the ideas out on you. There was a lot more to say about the experience and places but I hope it was not to short... or long. Please pardon the grammar, punctuation and whatever I forgot in english composition as I don't have a proof reader... but a good spell checker.

Sunday Sept 6th we departed Elk Rapids on calm waters and sad to see the closure of our trip so soon. Connie is ready for some dirt-dwelling but I could go on a while. I long to join our friends doing the Great Loop.

I just took off my swimsuit and have to make other selections appropriate for the occasion. Connie says "I feel like the boat is still rocking" but not sick... she was never sea sick during some heavy weather.

None of this stuff on our trip (discipline aboard tall ships in the past) kinda like water-boarding I guess!

"Motion torture included some or all of the following techniques. One, by tying a person by their ankle to the ship and dragging them through the water. Two, by tying a person to the figurehead at the bow during high winds where they are nearly drowned by surging water. Three, by tying a person under the crow's nest where they always have to keep themselves from crashing into the masts, the rigging, or back up into the crow's nest itself".

We were greeted by a flock of swans as we arrived at Northport Bay Boatyard and loaded the boat. It was a much larger project than I recalled reversing the process but about 2 hours of work got us on the road.

It has been 21 days out and I can only say this has been one of the busiest times of my life. It was restful at times but more realistically it was engaging. I mean that you were constantly seeing something new and meeting someone new. Old chores like laundry, shopping and transportation to and from destinations was by foot or bike. I actually lost a couple of pounds and Connie is "not sure".

We have decided to continue feeding the fruit flies as they won't leave the boat as we ready for travel back to Flint. They prefer the red wine to white and don't seem to mind bug sprays?

Of course the cost of the trip extends beyond the water. We fill the truck and I measure the mileage. All the steep terrain in the Northwestern part of Michigan drops the mileage to 8MPG!

Back... this photo looks about like the one 21 days ago with Lindsay behind the lens and me in the photo with Connie and of course her very much missed cat.

Before we part I will add a few details of our trip:

21 days out
To and from Northport by truck 550/8 mpg
Boat miles about 675/about 3 mpg (not bad for a boat) $471... this is 90 octane/avg $3.40
Boat travel days 9/about 75 miles per day average
Weather days we could not travel 6
Layover days for fun and recovery 5
Marina costs $540 Michigan has some of the BEST facilities in the states and likely the world!
Our favorite marina... hard to choose but leaning towards Elk Rapids
Blog... well I am slow but I probably spent 1-2 hrs per day writing and adding photos
WIFI at marinas sometimes good but Verizon BBcard usually better even on Beaver Island

Would we do it again... YOU BET! Will we do it again... let's hope so. The North Channel or Erie Canal is on the list. Our ambition to join Kurt and Kristen in the Bahamas as they too have an MC30 and were an inspiration to us on their recent trip.

Thank you Lindsay Jo, our daughter, for holding down the fort and keeping the cat alive for your mother... Mr Pete is a chore we know.

Thank you Sig and LuAnn for the company and adventure on the Lelenau Peninsula... we have great memories and wine now.

Now, mail to sort, hedges to trim, boat and dinghy to clean out... this list is LONG! I hope I still have a job so I can rest up for a while... that will be starting 0600 tomorrow.

No weather to check as it has dictated our schedule. This marine "graphical forecast" is great for planning. Scroll over the days and times to see the "predicted" wind and wave conditions. It is a computer generated model and I have found it to be very useful.

The buoy data is for now only interesting not critical information

Thanks for traveling with us,

Tom & Connie Jo
Cat's Away/Flint, MI
Next destination...WORK!

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