Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Locks

Door closed behind uswith water leaking in the cracks. We have been lowered all the way down from where you see the color change on the walls.

I never thought i would see kayaks in a lock.

Erie Canal

So this morning the mast was taken down and I was on my way at 10:15. I am now in about 67 miles today (11 hours). I took a lot of rained giving everything extraordinary color. You will be seeing them over the next few days. I went through 15 lift bridges and two locks. The lock are not nearly as intimidating as I thought they would be, plus every one is very helpful. Tomorrow will be more locks...they take up more time than the bridges. Time for bed....

First day on the Erie Canal

Rolland (brother in law) helped me on my boat get to Tonawanda NY to get the mast taken down. We traveled through the night taking 36 hours to get to Buffalo. It was a little tricky navigating since it was "pea soup" out side, (as the locals call it). Yesterday was Rolland's departure back to put-in-bay where Deb and the girls are. So today is the start of my adventure across NY in the canal. We did one lock already...I am glad to just know how it goes before I do this on my own. The guy here at the Marina is doing a good dubey by getting me going today rather than waiting for Monday and regular business hours. It's pretty crazy, the first fixed bridge is about 25 yards this point is the very last point a sailboat can go with the mast...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

more pics

Detroit River

Going through the Detroit River (or is it called the St Claire River). Regardless, there was nothing boring about it. First half was awesome...the current just whips you right along giving you good mileage for the day. One bummer was I got grounded x2. The first time was when leaving Algonac, MI. It was a must have taken me about an hour to get out. Then it happened again when getting out of the way of a freighter. That one was easy to get out.

The last two days of travel have been very divers. The river had all kinds of things to watch, houses, industrial stuff, parks, swamp...(you'll see in the pictures). We made it through the maze of fishers intertwined in the channel of the St Claire lake, and then through the last leg that leads to Lake Erie. The very last part of the channel was awesome...this very long canal lined with the green and red lights. The picture I took doesn't give the feel of what it was like at all.

We ended up finding a marina on the west side of Lake Erie and now are at Marina at Put-In Bay. Its an island in Lake Erie. Tomorrow is the big stretch across the rest of the lake if all goes well.

A late entry...

So June 22 was my birthday. I am now 27 years old. My birthday included traveling from Hammond harbor to Harrisville Marina. We traveled our normal 60-80 miles that day (i don't remember how far that particular trek was). I finshed your book Jenn (by Wally Lamb). Once we reached our destination i was bombarded with homemade cards and some candy from my nieces Jannelle and Bianca. Then we went to the local Restaurant and had a nice meal and rehydrate with lots of water. I checked my messages on the phone to find a couple of Happy Birthday wishes; the best one was being serenaded with the Happy Birthday song by my sister Marcia and her family in Vermont. It was a good day!

Mackinac Pictures

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge was great. I kept having this sensation that I was not going to make it under since my perception is way off from under the bridge. "Precipice" made it...since they are are taller than me...I of coarse was fine. The bridge is 100 something feet under it.

So, we made it to Mackinaw City around 2 or 3 in te afternoon and decided to just get some fuel and keep going. We stayed at Hammond Bay Harbor...we were the only ones there. And here we are already on our way at 0530 to Harrisville. The water this morning is glass so we are making good motor time. Plus I can do things inside the boat and not have to worry about "jack" the tiller pilot getting set off by waves. Also I can haul out my computer here without worry of it getting wet or damaged by waves splashing on deck or getting knocked over while being jossled by the waves.

Yesterday was much warmer than all the rest so far. I could strip down to a single layer of clothing instead of 3. It was much need for me. I do not like being cold.

I am getting a little bit better at handling the boat at docking areas and stuff like that. I have had a few experiances where I have the wind working against me and I am there so close with about 10 people watching or trying to help with no avail. I get so frustrated...why does every one have to be there when I suck. But of coarse the one time I do it all by myself (get close enough to jump to the deck, steer the tiller and not hit the dock and then actually jump) one is there to praise me and tell me how cool and talented I am. I think I will get over this...I guess you just have to look like a fool until you learn how to do it better.

My battery to the computer is about to die, more pictures later...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A few Pics.

Going away party at the "Black Rose"

Few of the girls from Saint's. Yow!!

Michelle, Steve and Jenn....


"Precipice" on Lake Michigan

The dunes of Lake Michigan

On the road...well

We have been going now for a few days...enough days for everything that is weak to break. The tiller pilot takes more battery power than what my current battery charger can charge over night. So my entire day was going to be spent at the tiller...Rolland volunteered to switch boats for a while so I could rest up and get a few hours of sleep...and warm up too. It was a cold day, the Catalina does not provide a lot of wind protection. So here we are now in Charlevoix spending a day to regenerate and fix a few things (much needed for me). So now I have 2 batteries...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eve of the Launch

So, tomorrow is the big day. All of our friends and family will be coming to wave good bye as we leave from our homes in Grand Rapids. The house looks better than i can every remember. After all these months of fixing up the kitchen...dang it looks good.

Let me clarify what is all going on. Deb (sister) Rolland (brother-in-law) and their 2 kids, Jannelle (10) and Bianca (8) have their boat (Precipice). I have my boat (Dances with Wind). We are leaving from Muskegon. We will being going up Lake Michigan, back down the other side in Lake Huron and into Lake Erie. Niagara Falls area is out splitting point. I take the mast down and head to the East Coast where I will be working via Erie Canal. Precipice goes up the St. Lawrence Seaway and up into Canada.

(picture: bird flying in Virgin Islands)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Last day of work...maybe

So here i last day at St. Mary's. But i might have to work thursday for my standby. I am the admit assignment...almost got that guy from ER who they intubated...uh...found some advanced directives, pulled the tube and went somewhere else. Poor guy. Things are going smooth. No last minute admits or transfers, hopefully it stays this way for the last 1.5 hours. Going to miss this place. Thanks for the cookies Suz.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So it's Final...I signed on the dotted line

It's official...I took a job in New York and leaving on the 14th of June. I will be going through the Great Lakes to the locks of the Erie Canal and down the Hudson River. Should only take 3 weeks, nothing like traveling at the speed of...5miles an hour. I may even get Hannah my old college roommate to join me on the last leg of the trip.