Summer Island

We are anchored in Summer Cove, Summer Island. Rocky bottom, but we appear to be holding. We have a second anchor ready to deploy if need be.

With 70F crystal clear water, I had to go snorkeling! It was great!

I checked the anchor to see if I could find out HOW the heck it was holding. The very tip was in 1 inch of rock material. But otherwise, I have no idea how it held all afternoon! (I wish I had a GoPro underwater camera to show you what I mean.)

The boat has not moved off of the waypoint set hours ago.

Next time through, I’ll pass by this anchorage. I’d certainly not recommend it for a refuge from rough weather. But for this night of light airs, we’ll be fine.

Today’s passage:

About six hours underway. 32 nm.

Before leaving Manistique, we fueled up and pumped out. We’ll have some statistics soon!

Docktails in Manistique MI…

Here, captured in a sunset drenched photo, Dustin, Tanner, Jill, Mike, Shelly, Patty, and Ray (l-r) gathered for docktails tonight at Manistique’s marina picnic area. A passer by took the pic. Our vessels, Rhythm, Parrot Bay, and Shellerina were tied up nearby. Past loopers Jill and Dustin of Green Heart Adventures are land-yachting for now. But from a distance, they recognized a docktail session in-process and they had to come join us!!! Come to find, they had met Mike and Patty from years ago at this same port when ALL were looping afloat.

John and Gina of Alysana and Phil and Lisa of Director were in-port, but a 5:00a.m. (CT) start time 18 hours earlier this day meant they had to ‘hit the hay’ early. At least we got to meet and exchange cards before they turned in for the night!

With regards to the “docktails crew”, it was a good thing Shelly brought a notepad and pen! …as these Loopers had all been to places WE were heading in the next two weeks. We benefited greatly from tonight’s gathering of experience.

Manistique MI

Nice colors as we make the turn into Manistique!

It was a cold night though!

58 F We had to snuggle to keep warm!

The picture below shows the protected harbor of Manistique. Interestingly, you can see the contrast of the crystal clear waters of northern Lake Michigan with the muddier river-fed waters coming into this harbor from the north.

Crosshairs mark the marina location. Thankfully, it comes before the low fixed span of US Rte 2 also shown here.

Dredging operations resumed Tuesday after a long weekend break. So most any pleasure boat can confidently use this place.

International Shapes: Circle-Diamond-Circle = RAM, Restricted Ability to Maneuver. Offloading barges into dump trucks.

Shellerina enters Lake Michigan… aims for Beaver Island.

What a bridge looks like on radar right after passing it!

I took today off because the forecast was for calm seas.

But: It was a bumpy ride today… the PredictWind APP really lets us down.

We had some gear thrown around, and experienced some damaged equipment.

Long, tough passage honestly.

Not expected as sea state was predicted to be “calm”. But we hammered through 2-3 foot seas with many 4 footers. 45 degrees on starboard bow, some more broadside at times.

Finally secured at Beaver Island … on hook tonight.

New toy is fun too!

“The people you meet on the dock…”

There are countless people we would like to tell you about. The people we meet on the dock are fantastic, most everywhere.

But tonight we’ll keep it to two groups.

First, there are two couples from the Grant MI area who love boating, Brad & Brenda and Laura & Herb.

They also really love Mackinac Island. But when they went to Air B’n’B to find a place to stay, they found an option that matched up with their budget and sense of adventure!

They rented a boat, (complete with captain) who will take them out to this island, provide them with a slip, power, water, and leave them alone on his boat for two or three days. They can cook their own meals, or go out to eat, what ever they want… all for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room!

When the marina required that the boat be moved, the captain came back out to the island and moved the boat for them to the newly assigned slip. No problem.

They also found a forge / blacksmith on the island where they could design and make their own knives! This one was made from an old railroad spike.

OK!

Tonight’s ‘Group Two’ involves a 50+ foot ketch, Retriever, owned by the local Boy Scout ‘Michigan Crossroads Council.’

I talked at length this evening with two scouts, Jackson and Harold, who were stoked at their day on the water. After several days with nearly zero wind they finally got to do some real sailing! They were both very impressed at how fast this boat could go… if and when the wind shows up!!!

Jackson and Harold are two of a DOZEN scouts from Troop 1022 (Bloomfield Hills MI) who signed up for a one week sailing adventure aboard S/V Retriever. The boat has enough bunks for 15 or 16, (all occupied this week,) as there needs to be room for a licensed USCG Master (50 tons with Sailing Endorsement) AND certified adult scout leaders to accompany the 12 or 13 scouts.

Both the BSA and USCG have long lists of safety regulations for a vessel/program such as this. I commend the many volunteers and the local council for managing all this, and making a program like this even possible.

Writing from my own personal experience, the adult leaders get just as much of a thrill and education as the youth do in a Scouting program like this one.

None of us know of any other local BSA Council in this country who has a sailing yacht and and program like this.

… people you meet on the dock! That’s just tonight’s edition!

Tight Dock Landing at Mackinac Island!

During a lunch break from work, we took the boat a short way over to Mackinaw Island for one night. We had scored a much coveted slip in this popular harbor… albeit a tight fit for Shellerina! Watch the video:

Slips here need to be reserved weeks in advance.

Mackinaw Island, like Put In Bay, is definitely one of the top 2 or 3 tourist “hot spots” of the Great Lakes, and we got to experience them both … by boat!

No mechanical vehicles are allowed on this island. So horse-driven taxis, trolleys … and bicycles rule the island. (No electric bikes or scooters here).

Early this morning, I did see a fork lift truck on a ferry unloading provisions to feed all these people, but technically it wasn’t actually on the island! It was only on the Star Line Ferry itself!

Shelly wanted chowder! So, we had an elegant dinner at the 1852 Grill Room at The Island House last evening. The only menu on the island where chowder could be found!

Here is a view of the harbor after dinner with the arrow pointing to our boat.

Float Plan for the next few weeks… (western Lake Michigan).

Mackinac Island (1 night) a very popular place with zero vehicles. Horse drawn buggies rule the streets!

39 nm to Beaver Island.

34 nm to Manistique

44 nm to Washington Island.

Lots of options to Sturgeon Bay.

16 nm to Algoma

9 nm to Kewanee

32 nm to Two Rivers

6 nm to Manitwoc

20 nm to Sheboygan

25 nm to Port Washington

20 nm to McKinley Beach

Milwaukee WI

Racine WI where we will leave the boat for a week while we fly back to Harrison Maine (ORD-PWM) for Britta and Jake’s wedding.

These “hops” will change according to weather and work schedule and appointments.

The start and end of a near perfect cruising day…

Sunrise at Rogers City, and a near full moon setting at the same time to the west.

Great sea state / weather conditions! We are experimenting with only running at 1400 RPM, +/- 7.0 Knots.

Poe Reef Light – 2 nm SE of Bois Blanc Island.

Approaching Mackinaw City.

4 mile long Mackinac Bridge! We’ll pass beneath it in a few day to enter Lake Michigan, our third and final Great Lake this trip (Erie, Huron, Michigan).

Secured in Mackinaw City MI. Straights State Harbor Marina.

Of course, a “docktails” invite is the perfect finish to a successful cruising day. Several new friends were met tonight, as well as folks we met earlier. I cannot believe we all forgot to take a “team photo!?”

But at least we have some ”Looper Business Cards” to exchange!

One of tonight’s team members handed out these really well-done Michigan Harbor Guides, which are available for free at the Straights Harbor office, as well as on-line. Very nice to have!

We have been to so many great MI DNR funded marinas this past few weeks. I’m surprised that ALL of them did not have this great book to give out.

It has harbor reports for all these places:

Friends made along the way…

It was a very rainy day… but our Rogers City marina staff made the best of it and put on a nice “meet and greet” event which included some fantastic live music with local talent: Steph Ray (r) and her sister Nikki Ray (l). Fortunately, they had an open air gazebo/stage large enough to shelter everyone.

At that event we met up with fellow Loopers, Eric and Sharon of Just Passing Thru. This is the 3rd or 4th port we have been together in, so we decided to go out together for a nice Saturday evening dinner in town! Isaac of the marina staff shuttled us over and back, as there are no Uber, Lyft, or taxis in this town.

Earlier, during the entertainment, we were very skeptical that so much rain could just stop and the sun could break through as was forecasted.

But clear up it did!

After dinner, the sun was out in full strength, and the temps were perfect. So we pulled out some chairs onto the dock and continued the evening with an after-dinner “docktail”!

Eric introduced me to the smoothness of a good Kentucky Bourbon!

I guess I’m trainable!

Here is an index of their Great Loop Youtube content… all recommended!

Episode 1  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQC21phLpKs  “Before the Beginning”
Episode 2  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzqxWBmXzhI  “We’re off!”  Erie Canal, Locks, Batteries
Episode 3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvs8YgQ7u9I  Spencerport NY to Lake Erie
    In Episode 3: Briefly see our boat, Shellerina tied up behind them at the 2:39 mark, right before leaving Brockport!
Episode 4  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeenYbIMAa4  Dunkirk NY to Cleveland OH
Episode 5  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27NmlXFCjM8  Cleveland OH to Monroe MI – Rock n Roll Hall of Fame – Floating Gormet
Episode 6  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jweLNA_XaQI Monroe MI to Lexington MI – St Clair River current 
Episode 7   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wETtybA1B04  Lexington MI to Harrisville MI – maintenance along the way.

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Presque Isle, MI

This is the third Presque Isle I’ve been to in my life, (ME, PA, MI). Today we also passed the 1000 nautical mile mark for our trip on day #59 (1019.8nm).

Locally, this one is pronounced Presque EEL, which is French meaning “almost an island.”

Look at how clean this Lake Huron water is!

We had “ZA” delivered to our boat here!

Don’t you love it when the pepperoni “cups” up?!

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Three burgees!

The three AGLCA burgees of Jackpot, New Hope, and Shellerina all align nicely here at Harrisville (MI) Harbor of Refuge this afternoon. We could not have planned it better!

The burgee of Just Passin’ Thru is also in-port tonight. Eric and I will have to have a discussion with the harbor master about the proper place of honor for the American Flag on a yacht club’s flagpole!

Also in-port tonight: Dawg Haus 3, No Skulduggery, and Knot Normal. Yesterday we also met the Loopers aboard Kulana, R & R, and Saphire C. It has been a busy place!

Flag protocol aside, the staff of this state-run marina has been well above average: e.g, shuttle runs into town as time allows, hosing off the droppings on the new dock system, wiping the bugs off the power pedestals, helping every vessel into her slip, and most importantly being on top of their game on VHF-09 for incoming boats who need direction!!!

Treat yourself to the Top Notch Crew here in Harrisville.

Also, where does the American Flag go on a gaffed-rigged flag pole?

Https://www.usps.org/national/fecom/faq/flag/gaffpole.html

US Flag properly flown at Biscane National Park Visitor Center

US Flag properly flown at Edgewater Yacht Club Cleveland OH

Other examples of properly flown US Flags from gaff-rigged flagpoles:

Https://www.threeharbors.com/flags.html

Https://www.blackrockct.com/black-rock-yacht-club-flagpole-black-rock-ct/

Https://www.piyc.net/files/library/whyistheburgee.pdf

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Harrisville, MI

Update July 21, 2021: AGLCA takes over marina clubhouse at Harrisville MI

The boys and girls each posed for team photos this evening as we took over the [very nice] marina clubhouse here at Harrisville (MI) Marina for a couple hours.

Gemini with Hal and Laurie.

Cashelmara with Chris and Mary

Dawg Haus 3 with Barry and Vanessa

New Hope with Sonny and Brenda

No Skulduggery with Bob and Sally

Just Passin Thru with Eric and Sharon

Shellerina with Ray and Shelly

Jackpot with Jack and JoAnn

Good WX for tomorrow means most of us take off for the next ports!

A couple of upgrades…

A new YAGI antenna for tapping into “free” marina WiFi. We are tied up 450 feet away from the marina office. One bar was unusable on our Internet router and all our devices (very common for campgrounds and marinas). But this directional YAGI antenna, which arrived today gave us solid full bars here on the boat’s network at the far side of the marina’s dock system. Zoom meetings, IP phone calls, and browsing, are all working great this afternoon.

Here you can see the metered LTE T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless SIM Cards are configured as Priority 2 “hot and ready” standby in case the marina WiFi fails.

Lake Huron…

We cleared the bridges and exited the Black River back onto St Clair River north to Lake Huron for the first time. It was too cloudy to really see the famous blue waters that Lake Huron is known for. Plan A was to make Sanilac MI. But it was just bumpy enough to shorten our afternoon trip and make Lexington MI instead.

Here a couple cargo ships show up on AIS and one of them on radar… big target! We could “see” cargo ships as far off as 8 miles on radar.

Radar and mast are back up!

The warranty repair is finally returned to us and is now installed, temporarily at least. Many thanks to a passer by named “Mark” who offers his assistance. I think he said he was Scott’s brother! (Yes, Scott, our passer by photographer last night!)

Both are great guys. Both helped us out!

THANKS!

This shows the empty river.

This shows two radar echo/targets, one approaching on my Starboard Bow, another (which you cannot see in frame…) a boat who came up from behind us. They are just forward of our starboard beam (+/- 45 degrees).

This Quantum2 just arrived today. The doppler feature is nor working yet, like it was, but I’ll keep fighting with it!

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Port Huron Team Photos

Shelly, Ray, Colleen, Tony, Kathy, Bruce of Shellerina, Lady Kadey, and Escape in Port Huron MI. Great dinner together at http://www.vintagetavern.net

We were able to negotiate down a 60+ minute wait for dinner (party of six) to “zero wait” by suggesting the 3 boys take one table, and the 3 girls at another table. The hostess, Barbie, agreed!

So we all got fed in a timely manner, and all the girls and boys were perfectly happy with this special arrangement! LOL

Sweetheart “Jill” our waitress, even kept our checks straight for the three couples across two tables. (We think she is a mathematics grad student during the academic year.)

Back on the dock…

A passer by, named “Scott”, agreed to take our second “team photo” only if we included him on the Blog post. “OK, Deal.”
So, here is Scott! Thank Cap!

The staff at River Street Marina gas been GREAT! They even shuttled me into town to the local grocery store on the marina’s golf cart! (No arrests were made.)

A repeat performance with the golf cart is planned for tomorrow as we are expecting some Rx meds being delivered to the local CVS pharmacy.

Arriving Port Huron…

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Bruce and Kathy of Escape came by to visit us here in Riverside Marina (Desmonds Marine) in Port Huron MI. At least two hours of “chin waggin'” followed with both couples getting to know each other!

We both use the NEBO app to keep track of other boats and Loopers underway. The first map is an example of one report I get from NEBO every day we are underway. The second is a point in time snapshot of boaters and Loopers in our “network” who are nearby!

This Blog has a menu item: “Where is Shellerina right now?” That link is also powered by NEBO! It will help you follow us!

We are expecting several packages here on our stop … fingers crossed! Coordinating deliveries is one of the biggest challenges of this Loop. Wish us luck.

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St Clair!

The people we meet along the way, are the best part of this Loop Adventure. There is no better example of this than last evening here at the St Clair Boat Harbor.

I bet at least two of this group (Jodi and Rob) end up starting their planning for their Loop trip. It was great to have this group of fellow boaters become part of OUR loop.

St Clair Dockmaster, “Nick”, made a big impression on Shelly. Thanks for your customer service. We have been impressed by the marinas run by municipalities or the Michigan Dept of Natural Resources; they really seem to have their ‘stuff’ together.

Clean, organized, efficient reservation and payment processing.

Here’s a good dock landing in tight quarters (with lots of spectators).

Next stop: Detroit Michigan

We got an early start this morning for Detroit… the last day on Lake Erie!

We’ll be “touching” Canadian waters a bit today. You can see the international border out here in the middle of the lake. It shows up as a big black line in the water. <wink>

Huge flocks of herring gull and cormorant were out here in the middle of nowhere feeding. We enter the channel and clear the first navigational aid as a southbound freighter exits in the opposite direction.

We are now starting up the Detroit River (Amherstburg Channel) … bucking a 2K current.

A couple of our Looper friends overtake us on their approach to Detroit.

Detroit skyline

Windsor skyline

On the east side of the Detroit River is the Canadian city of Windsor ON.

Even with the border closed, there was a lot of traffic on the bridge just south of these cites, mostly trucks; it looked like a second bridge across this river was just starting construction.

There is also a lot of commercial freighter traffic on this river!

The lighthouse below marks the entrance to our modest sized, state park marina.

Just shy of an 8-hour day underway.

Fireworks afloat: Put-in-Bay OH

Here is the Grand Banks yacht, Simmer Down (Jupiter FL) in the foreground of the fireworks pics. It appears to have a nice Hinkley “Picnic Boat” as its tender! The owner and I exchanged compliments on our choice of US Union Jack flags on our bows earlier today.

Here you can see the fireworks barge getting into position earlier in the evening.

You can also see his US Union Jack flag flying on his bow.

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New Ensign for the 4th of July!

Every year I replace our flag for our nation’s birthday.

It was also time for a new US Union Jack on the bow.

The old ones were getting a little ratty!

Happy 35th anniversary to my sister Jeanne and her husband Marty. They were married on the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, 35 years ago today.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Team Photos!

A very special “Thank You” to Tim Gibb of Table Six.

Tim and Debbie are the AGLCA Harbor Hosts for Cleveland; Tim shuttled us over to the Hall of Fame, Home Depot, grocery stores, etc. along with Rick and Christie of Inked Mermaid. All of us are Mainship 390 owners, so needless to say we enjoyed touring each other’s craft and comparing upgrade and cruising stories.

Christie, Rick, Ray, Shelly, Tim, and Debbie.

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Finally! We are underway again.

Our PredictWind app is the most helpful tool in passage planning. It shows current wind conditions and those coming up hours or days ahead of time.

For the first time in days waves are less than 2-4 feet, winds under 12mph, and this day will be only getting better as it progresses! Tomorrow is looking good too. So we are only staying one night at Geneva OH.

Our departure from Wolverine Park Marina on video…

Special thanks to Teresa, a sweetheart and local history buff who runs the place with her husband Eric. Also Neil and Ed, two TowBoatUS captains based out of this marina who are generous with their knowledge of weather and waters of Lake Erie.

Clean, hot showers, and laundry that actually works! Solid docks.

If you need to be holed up for five nights like us, this is the place you wanna be!

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Fellow Loopers … all from Great South Bay, Long Island!

Hal and Laurie Goldschlag of Gemini, and Chris and Mary Kelleher (w/ 4-legged crew member “Skipper”) of Cashelmara… joined us for a tour of the historic Maritime Museum here on the waterfront of Erie PA.

Worth of mention: Cashelmara is Gaelic for “House of Mary” and a favorite book by that title inspired the boat’s name!

In addition to the great social exchange hanging out with new friends, I picked up:

  • Key naval battles of the War of 1812 were fought near here.
  • Erie PA was a key strategic asset due to the harbor formed by Presque Isle.
  • “Don’t give up the ship!” was the battle cry of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, on a huge flag that he flew from his flagship(s), including the Niagara aboard which he and his crew defeated the British fleet here in September 13, 1813.
  • There were a number of conflicting influences that led to the war.
  • The British technically won the war of 1812 defending their British Colonies of North America, known as Canada today. There was some reference to the US being bankrupted by this war, but I could not get any detail on that.
  • The United States could also declare victory, as they did not lose any territory to the British in the resulting Treaty of Ghent. In that treaty, the British also conceded to stop several hostile activities against the “new” United States, essentially and finally recognizing US sovereignty, 38 years after July 4, 1776.
  • One end result: The US-Canada border is the oldest undisputed international border in the world today.
  • Perhaps the biggest losers in the War of 1812 were the Native Americans. The British agreed to stop funding them with arms to resist US expansionism. This essentially contributed to their loss of more territory and control.

At her berth in Erie PA…

Here you can see our boat in her slip in Erie PA.

Here you can see the new thru-hull fitting that Ron helped me install a couple nights ago after dinner. First the inside view, the second pic shows the outside view (starboard side).

Tonight, as you can see, I got the hose connected from the anchor locker. This system was leaking water on to our carpet by our bed! So, it is great to have this permanently fixed.

The white tape over the port side thru-hull fitting will be removed as soon as we are certain no more water comes into our boat through the new starboard side fitting. That port fitting is where the seawater return is for the forward A/C unit. (That unit is temporarily decommissioned to ensure it is not a contributing factor to the wet carpet mystery.)

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Busy work day…

Here is a pic of my work space. My “trademark” seascape background, and the boat’s Internet combine to make me productive from anywhere.

These two cell tower antennas give me 4G TLE bandwidth everywhere we go for Zoom meetings, IP Phone calls, Outlook, MS Team calls, whatever I need to do my job!

Anyway Thursday was a busy work day, and I like that!

Dunkirk NY to Erie PA

Large wind farm near Dunkirk NY. Turning slowly… (good for boaters!)

Impressive Dredging operation at the entrance to Erie PA.

We also had a great dinner with Ron and Karen of Knot Ready, a Mainship 390 just like ours! We even recruited Ron’s help to do a new thru-hull fitting (above the waterline) install on the starboard bow after dinner. It was great to compare notes on our very similar yachts. It is for the drain to our anchor rode locker. Water was leaking in underway, so we temporarily covered it up. With Ron’s help, we are one step closer to that being fixed!

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Early start to Erie PA aborted…

We got up early and then pushed off at 6:30 a.m. for a 4-hour trip. The wind was only 10 or 11 knots, (out of the north) but the waves were 2+ feet and would be broadside for the whole trip. It would have been a long and uncomfortable passage had we kept going.

We turned back in, and were secured at the slip by 7:30am.

4 weeks today since we pushed off on this trip.

89.03 engine hours (1578.83)

Trip odometer (GPS) 537.5 nm

Home-made pizza tonight.

We are not starvin’ on this trip! The chef has been very good!

First intro to the Great Lakes!

If you look carefully on the horizon in front of this sailboat, you’ll see a wind farm. None of the wind turbines were turning this noontime as we exited the Niagara River and introduced our boat to Lake Erie. And that fact was just fine by us!

This lake has a reputation for unpredictably kicking up a storm. But, fortunately for us, this lake has only small ripples upon it now. It has actually become calmer as the afternoon progressed! Atypical.

Today’s destination is Dunkirk, about a 40 mile run dock to dock.

ETA 4:15 at the fuel dock.

It is back to work tomorrow! I’ll be working from the boat slip at the marina in this town.

We fueled up, almost making it to Full. We took the last of their diesel fuel. They only carry 1000 gallons, we got the last 73 or so.

(534.7 nautical miles on this trip so far.)

Last day on the Erie Canal…

We are finally underway again after six days and nights at West Canal Marina Park.

We found a marina for tonight with laundry on-site! How exciting!

Here is the last sign on the Erie Canal: I-190 Bridge over the Niagara River.

Here you can see we traversed the last few miles of the western Erie Canal, then look a left to head south on the Niagara River towards Buffalo and Lake Erie.

Tomorrow, we’ll get an early start for Dunkirk NY on the south shore of our first Great Lake.

We are scoring with Instacart!

We have been 3x impressed with Instacart.com.

They have a great and easy to navigate website; you pick your vendor where you want to shop, select all your items and in about an hour they deliver to our boat! (Or home or camper or what have you!)

Thank you today to Beth, Kylitha on Monday’s order, and Laura for last Friday’s order… which was our first Instacart order. Great service.

You might want to give this a try where you live!

The HEAD is down.

So, living on a boat! What a life! It’s all such a great life!

Well, in the name of honesty and journalistic integrity, we have to report that its not all fun and games. There are weather events, and systems that fail. Like the the HEAD!

There are a number of head pics that we definitely don’t want to publish. But, I guess this one is benign enough.

We have a Jabsco Electric Head “maintenance kit” coming in… shipped to this marina. It is expected Thursday. We were hoping for “next day” but it looks like we’ll be here a bit longer than we planned, in order to get the parts.

At first, several hours were expended trying to find a pro who could fix this for us. But it eventually became clear, it was going to be necessary for ME to become the expert who will fix this system.

Every marina in metro Buffalo has a two to three week backlog of service orders ahead of us. We cannot wait here for two weeks or more! So I gotta fix this thing!

More to follow.

Thursday 6/17/2021 Status Report (2:00pm):

Parts arrived (UPS delivery issues experienced there… long story.)

Head is rebuilt and working!

But there is a leak to chase down before we can declare total victory.

At least it is better to remove a Head with clean test water in it than… well… what I had to deal with last evening! LOL

Thursday 6/17/2021 Status Report (9:00pm)

After a second Uber trip to the local hardware store to secure nuts and bolts the correct size to improve the flange connection of the electric motor to the pump and macerator housing (for a better seal than original design), Ray declares, “What are the chances for a leak now? ZERO!?!”

Seriously, there is NO WAY this sucker is going to leak now!

I would like to thank my Admiral Shelly, and Uber Drivers: Ahmed, Antoine, Taylor, William, and Kannan, as well as the sales associate and warehouse shippers at Defender.com who made our Head rebuild job a success! We really could not have done it without you! I also have to thank Jabsco’s “Mike” in their USA Beverly MA center for his telephone support today!

Back in business!

One key to happiness in life:

“Take nothing for granted!”

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Lockport NY

This double lock has two chambers, 3 Gates, (the ominous 50 foot high middle gate is shared between the two. If Lock 17 doesn’t intimidate you, this one will when looking up from the bottom.

Both are old but remarkable engineering accomplishments.

Lockport’s twin locks have a combined lift is just shy of 50 feet. (Lock 17 was 40.5 feet with its single chamber.)

In a busy port, we had a more complex transit than we were accustomed to. But we just followed the excursion boat Lockview through the slightly more complicated process.

We enter the lower chamber.

The lower chamber floods.

Once the lower chamber is flooded, the gates open and we enter next to the boats going down. Then they move to the lower chamber which will be going down while we are going up.

Once our upper chamber is finished flooding, the gates open and we are free to continue westward … 50 feet higher than we were 20 minutes ago, and 540 feet higher than we were 3 weeks ago!

These are our final locks on the Erie Canal.

A little west, the excursion boat Lockview which we followed into and out of the locks today, asked that we slow and allow them to turn around to head back to Lockport with their 40 or so passengers.

We stopped for the night with John and Christine of YOLO here at the West Canal Marina Park facilities, operated by Niagara County, near Tonawanda NY. (This marina is just over the town line in Pendleton NY.)

There are only 5.37 miles of Erie Canal remaining for us to the west. Then we enter the Niagara River in Tonawanda. After about 10 miles of the Niagara River we’ll be in Buffalo on Lake Erie with Ontario Canada on the north shore, and four US states to the south and west: NY, PA, OH, and MI.