Midnight late on May 2 but darn close to May 3, 2002
The first leg of my big adventure has begun, It started at 3:30 today in Grayling when I bummed a ride off 4 friends that were going to the pistons game in auburn hills tonight, “Parnelli” Mark Hartman his son Scott and his sidekick Larry “Wimpy” Raymond put me and my overpacked Arctic Cat bag into the van and we headed toward Auburn Hillls. We picked up Marks son Paul in flint but he couldnt find his way very well and we had to wait an hour for him. We got off at the great lakes crossing exit and Mark turned us the wrong way for the palace, after getting his bearings and getting back on course we came across my spot in heavy traffic where I was supposed to get out. The traffic was busy and I jumped out at a red light grabbed my bag and laptop and they drove off towards the palace leaving me standing there in pontiac at the corner of walton and perry only to find out I missed my bus by 5 minutes, so I flagged down MoYen, a local cab driver from russia who took me to downtown pontiac and dropped me at the phoenix center, a ride in a rickety old cab for only ten bucks but he told me he made me a good deal cause he didnt turn the meter on. Anyways there I stood for the second time in an hour looking like an arctic cat refugee, my bag must wiegh 80 pounds, but soon the 450 bus that heads straight down woodward into downtown detroit for only 1.50 and gives a whole new meaning to cruising woodward. The bus came at 8:15 p.m. and I got on. Its amazing the different type of people from all walks of life that you can meet on a inner big city bus ride. There was a young kid that got on with me who when we first talked was pretty down and out, he came running down from the phone he was on and was all happy that he found a job in Indy and hollering that life was great and was heading to get on a bus to his new life and job, he had just arrived in detroit this morning from florida but for some reason or another his family didnt want him. There was a lady sitting across from me with scabs all over her face and she was picking them, not a pretty sight, It was really entertaining listening to the lady bus driver who was black talking to another black lady, they were carrying on talking about everything, really fast and really loud and there expressions just had to make me smile, you know things like , you go girl, and constantly girl this and girl that and just plain laughing, I ended up talking to the one lady for a while, the bus was packed as we got closer to downtown detroit and I got up and asked the driver if we were getting close to the train station, she told me we werent even close to downtown and that we had already talked about where I was getting off and she was doing her job and would let me know when my stop came up. She was funny but stern. They must go thru alot of brakes on those busses cause they sure get going fast and them slam on them. Anyways we made it to the Detroit Train Station and I got off there and went across the street to the white castle, you know the one with the guard at the door and the really thick glass at the order window. I had to wait at the train station for a while and then a really nice amtrak shuttle bus came and and that brought me to where I sit right now which is in the Toldedo Train Station, They just said our train is about a half hour late. It was supposed to leave at 12:45 a.m. but we are up to 1:15. Thats about it so far so the adventure continues till………………
9:30 A:M Friday
Its a great sunny morning here just east of pittsburgh as I ride this train east, we have been thru cleavland and many other small stops in between, I slept pretty well in my seat and it was just getting daylight before we got into pittsburgh, the train ride is nice and smooth and you can hear the train whistle up in the distance as we come up to the crossings. The tracks have followed the river since pittsburgh, I dont know what river it is but its fast and white water in many spots. There is a nice lounge car that is all glass on the second level and you can sit there and watch the scenery which is where I am at. I saw a big trestle that we went by where there were concrete like caves underneath and you could see where there were blankets and boxes laid out where homeless people stay. I am sitting here right now with a bunch of kids from Milwaukee Wisconsin. They are here on a 7th & 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. There are 15 students and 6 adults in their group. They are excited about going to see all the sites and even get a private visit with Bob Dole. They got on the train yesterday at 3 in the afternoon, so all total for them its about a 24 hour ride. I am sitting here with Ricky Burton, Emily Reetz, Heather Rahn, Bethany Kuntz, Chrissy Turner and her mom Ginger, Justin Thomas, Katelynne Klein, Kelly Walls, Mike Tank, A.J. Wofford, Shannon Rahn, Sarah Harper, Maria Reetz, Jessica Weber, and Tiffany Burton they are all having a good time and look forward to getting off the train. Thats about it for now so…………………….
Its up to noon now and I have been playing who wants to be a millionaire with the school class, Now I have met the principal of the school, Darin Kindle, he says he has the best and greatest group of kids that a principal could ask for. You can tell by talking to him that he is proud of his students and even the man that runs the cafe on the train told him what a well behaved group he has. Their school is The Good Hope Christian Academy. The scenery has changed alot and now its really pretty mountains with lots of flowing streams everywhere you seem to look, cattle, trees, occasional junk piles, the water all looks pretty high but this is definetly a laid back and easy way to go cross country, the train is quite and the clickety clack of the tracks is kind of soothing if you want to take a nap. I only have one song saved on this laptop and its Fred Bear, its good background music to type by. It seems to be pretty nice and warm out, alot better than the cold , windy, rainy stuff we have had at home. I think I will go try to grab a nap…………….
Some info got garbled up here, so I’m not sure what the story is missing.
to look, cruised about 70 m.p.h. and the guy told me it has a top speed of 125 m.p.h. I got off at the station in Baltimore and hopped 3 different inner city busses, it was about a 90 minute ride to where I got off on a corner. I had to walk about a mile carrying my overloaded arctic cat bag and a guy was in his yard and offered me a ride, His name is Steve Krannebitter and his son Jeff was with him. He asked me what I could possibly have in that bag so heavy and I told him to try and pick it up, after that we thru my bag in his truck and he brought me down the road and lo and behold I ran into my buddy Bob Terry and Lenny Lobsinger also from grayling along with Ray Ingalls and his wife Jenny, they are also from grayling. All total it took me about 27 hours to get here. We are heading out to dinner tonight so thats about it for now. I will update again as soon as I can, I am trying to get the cell connection to work.
Saturday night May 4, 2002 Essex Maryland
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started in this eastern port,
Aboard this tiny ship,
The mate is not a mighty sailing man,
His name I know is Pete,
The Skippers brave & sure, (we hope)
3 Passengers set sail tommorow for
a really long tour,
The weather might get really rough,
We dont know what it will bring,
All we know is were heading out on
a really long outing,
The Skippers name is Andy,
With Pete & Lenny too,
My Buddy Bob,
No Ginger or Marianne,
But I’m sure this will be fun.
So anyways we are here on this 50 foot Ocean Yacht, and are heading out tommorow, This thing is as plush as you could imagine for a boat. It is more like a nice house with everything you need, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, dish washer, full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, nice big living room, 2 t.v.s , and some great couches, I only wish I could get the cell phone connection to work so I can do these updates from onboard. We head out I believe into Chesapeake Bay, I am not sure of the route yet…..
Yesterday as I rode the bus here it passed thru Greek Town in Baltimore, I really wanted to get off and gothere but I think I will go back there today.
Well its 6:30 saturday night.
Lenny and I hopped a bus this morning and went down to greektown and checked it out. The greeks are all getting ready for the big day which is tommorow and it is greek easter. We saw the church and they were getting things ready for service tonight. If I was a good greek boy I would be there tonight. From there we went onto downtown Baltimore and checked out the Inner Harbor area. Its a really nice area and was packed with people with lots of shops, Aquariam, museums, with the backdrop of lots of boats and activities. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe, and the ESPN Zone, they were both good to see too. After another inner city bus ride we made it back here to the marina. Captain Andy was here talking to Bob and he says we are shoving off at 7:00 a.m. So things should get interesting after this. I am going back down to my new friends Steve’s house to put this update on tonight. His wife Barb last night was a little leary about him inviting a stranger into their house. She asked me if I was a ax murderer but I assured her that I wasn’t. I also tried to reassure her by telling her my big heavy arctic cat bag that I was carrying did not have a body in it. She must have believed me because she and her son Jeffery came down here to check out the boat tonight. There is a really huge yacht parked across from us that looks really nice but it has big U.S. Marshall signs on it that say no tresspassing on it. It looks more like something you would see in a movie. Thats about it for today so Iam heading down to Steves to post this and hopefully I can make another new friend to get the next post on… who knows where we will end up so as the old song goes were gonna Head out on the Highway, Lookin for adventure… Pete
Sunday Morning May 5, 9:00 a.m.
Its a beautiful calm sunny morning as we cruise here in Chesapeake Bay, with the constant roar of the twin 450 horsepower detroit diesels in the background. Captain Andy got here this morning about 8 and we fired up and headed out here into the bay. Andy says you could spend 20 years everyday around this bay and still never see it all. Its 160 miles long. Lenny is making us a biscuits and gravy breakfast. Our first dilemma was trying was trying to get the burners on the stove to come on. The captain came thru and had to show us the saftey switch on the stove. You couldnt ask for a better morning to be at sea, we are actually heading out of the bay into the Atlantic. Overall the average depth of the bay is 6 feet but it does have some spots where it hits 200 feet. Last night when I went down to Steve & Barbs to post my report Steve came home with a dozen steamed crabs. They had been trying to talk me into staying for crabs and I said I am not to fond of sea food but then I thought of how many times I tell Melissa she needs to try new things so I walked into the kitchen and Barb is spreading newspapers out all over the kitchen table, and I was wondering what she was doing, well Steve put a few crabs out on the table and started breaking, cracking, pulling, shaving and pounding on the crabs and it sure makes a mess. The biggest surprise to me was that I actually liked those maryland steamed crabs. Steve just kept tearing them apart and putting pieces in front of me. He said it was just like feeding a kid. You have to aquire the knack for figuring out how to eat the crabs right, but boy oh boy, a cold beer and that crab meat just hit the spot right. Thanks again to Steve & Barb and their kids for taking in a stranger and opening their home up to me like they did. It proves there are still good people in the world. Also Steve said he had gone to church and was telling somebody about me and he said the person said that, that was how those ax murderers work, they act nice and get into your house and then thats the end, but like Steve said he just knew that wasnt me.
Now Iam sitting up here on the bridge with Bob, Lenny, & Andy, Its still a beautiful day and calm, we have been crusing about 3 and a half hours and Andy has been educating us on boating out here in the big water. We are in the Delaware Bay right now. We have passed a couple big ships and barges. We also passed a nuclear plant that was spewing smoke like a big chimney. Its about 38 miles across the Delaware Bay and we come to the Cape Bay canal in New Jersey.
Its now 6:15 p.m. and we made it past Cape May into the mighty , but calm North Atlantic ocean, we headed north 48 miles and stopped for fuel in Atlantic City, I have been to atlantic city many times by car but it sure looks different from coming at it from the ocean. We pulled into a marina right by Trump Casino and fueled up. Only 370 gallons to fill up. After that we were off again and now after about 2 hours of still cruising north, New York City is just coming into view on the horizon. We will be coming right past the Statue of Liberty and The World Trade Center site. It already looks not quite right not seeing those twin towers up ahead. I lived in New Jersey for 9 months in 1980 and went to New York many times.. Andy says it doesnt get much better than this cruising on the ocean. The sun is still nice and bright and starting to lower itself into the western sky.
0700 hours Monday May 6, 2002
I am getting into the marine mode of talking now, Andy is teaching us alot and the proper lingo for being on board. Last night as we were making our way into the harbor in New York City the sun was just starting to set and we were at the base of the Statue of Liberty, we stopped the boat out front to take pictures of all of us there and we got some great ones of us out on the bow of the boat with a beautiful sunset in the background. You could see the vacant hole in the buildings where the Trade Center stood, still an erie sight. The sun was reflecting off the buildings and it was a great place to be. We ended up dropping the anchor in the Hudson River just north of the Empire State Building and just south of the George Washington Bridge right next to a big flying lit up American Flag on the Jersey shore. It was just about dark when we did that and I cooked us a gourmet dinner of frozen pizzas while Captain Andy tried to make the cellular connection work on my computer. It just doesnt seem like we will get the cellular link going but I will just have to updates when we stop for fuel. The darker it got the prettier New York City got, Its hard to imagine we spent the night within 6 miles of ten million people and it was quiet and alone as can be at our little corner. The Empire building was a lit up red, white, and blue at the top. You couldnt hear cars or anything and even the planes that flew overhead were way up there. There were alot of planes going overhead and the route they all followed seemed to be straight north up the hudson river along NYC. All total we covered about 250 miles on sunday so it was great day of smooth running. At 0500 Captain Andy was up and making coffee and went down into the engine compartment to make everything was oiled up and we set out at 0600. Andy is a great and knowledable captain, he was in the navy and logged twoand a half million miles underwater in a submarine and has captained ships of all sizes, he says he averages about 50,000 miles a year on boats and has run them all over the world. He has been teaching us about navitgating the waters, reading charts and longitude and latitude, and how to read the cool thing spinning around ontop of the bridge better known as the radar.
1421 hours Monday
We pulled into the marina at Troy, New York about one hour ago, Troy is just north of Albany and we have gone about 130 miles north of NYC. We came all the way up the hudson river and there was some nice scenery along the way. We passed West Point Military Academy and its built into the rocks on the river and is all granite, and the Vanderbilt Estate. There were alot of unique and different shaped really old light houses too along the way. Lots of boats out fishing today to and we saw alot of people that had caught really big striped bass. We are full of fuel again (only another 385 gallons) and are ready to head out again. We have to get supplies for the boat so Bob & Lenny headed to the hardware store and I am at the Troy County Library on there computer. I couldnt get to one yesterday, so if you dont see an update its because I couldnt get on line yet. I bet Ohio Mike wishes he was here with us. And like my friend Captain Ed Bilderback in Alaska says, Over & Out. ~Pete.
Tuesday May 7, 1255 hours
Captain Andy fired up the motors at 0530 this morning and he already had us pushed off by the time I jumped out of bed. We went just north of Troy to a lock we had to pass thru, just north of that we turned into the Erie Canal System. So far we have been thru 8 locks and have been raised by the locks a total of 225 feet. We are in the base of the Adriandok mountains and the Erie Canal is only a few hundred feet wide. We are keeping pace with 3 other boats that we all fit into the lock and go thru at once. The locks are about 40 feet wide by 300 feet long. Some have brought us up 8 feet and a few have brought us up 35 feet. Its amazing the amount of water those things move thru them and when you pull into a dock you better have all hands on deck and be ready to secure your boat to the walls or ropes to keep in position till the water you get up to the top and watch to make sure you dont scrape the wall or the boat next to you. The captain says the boat that has been next to us all morning, is a 72′ sunseeker and costs about 2.6 milion dollars, so they probably wouldnt like to get bumped. The first 5 locks were all with in maybe 3 miles and now they are spread out a little more, we are somewhere a little north of Schenectady, NY.
We just passed thru our 12th lock and are heading to #13 about 10 miles. We have lifted up a total of 278 feet so far. Yesterday when we got into Troy we got a hose hooked up and washed the boat down to get the salt off of it. We have gone from salt water to fresh water and you could see the salt marks on the windows outside. Then Bob and I took a taxi ride across town to get a new element for the hot water heater. There are so many things to check on and make sure things keep going well on board, its a big learning experience and on the other hand you really have to watch the water out in the river for floating logs, tires, branches etc.
We just pulled into St. Johnsville, Ny at lock number 16. All total we covered 75 miles and 15 locks with lifts from 6.5 feeet to 43 feet. We have raised a total of 302 feet. The mountains are bigger up this way and its just been hurry up and get thru the lock. We lost 2 of the 4 boats we were cruising with about 8 locks ago and it was just us and the sunseeker. Now we are tied up with the sunseeker here at this lock and I just got a tour of it. Unbelieveable inside, first class everything, 3 b.r. with 3 baths, and polished cherrywood everywhere inside with electronics that look like they should be on a 747. We had to stop because the locks close at 1700. Lasagna is on the menu for tonight. I tried my luck at fishing this morning and as usual I didnt catch anything. Thats about it for now.
0810 hours Wednesday May 8, 2002
Last night I got the update posted by using the emergency phone at the marina and unplugging their line and plugging into the laptop. I got connected easily but it started raining right away and I was sitting in a little plastic chair outside trying to balance this thing on my lap, so anyways I got the update on and went back into the boat and tried to dry out the laptop, it must be o.k. cause its going o.k. right now. That little town we stayed at was about the size of grayling but I think there is more that goes on in frederic. There wasnt anything open and we couldnt even get anything on t.v. We got to sleep in this morning all the way to 0545 and didnt fire up till 0625. The locks dont open till 7 and we were the first one in lock 16 which was great great but now its 0815 and we are on hold at lock 17 because they are having mechanical problems. We have already been here a half hour. I have tried my luck at fishing a couple times again this morning but still nothing. We already are having our first mutiny on board, It seems that the sunseeker has asked for assistance when we get into the big locks. You have to have 3 people on board to go thru the big locks and they only have 2 and we have 4 so one of us has to spend a day on their boat helping out. I think it should be me because I am already familar with the lay out of their boat. We will have to wait to see if its Pete, Lenny, or Bob that ends up on that task. We dont know how long we are going to be stuck at this lock.
We made it thru lock 17 and 18 and stopped off in Ilion, NY to tie up because lock 19 is the real one with the problem. We got here about 1100 and figured it was better to moor up at a good spot instead of heading up to the jam up the canal. The problem at the lock happened when a boat came in to fast when the doors were opening and created a big wake that pushed hard on the door and blew the teeth of the gear that turns it open. Bob, Lenny and I went into town to get groceries and as we came out I stopped a guy in the parking lot in his truck and asked him if he would give us a ride back to the dock, he said jump in so we didnt have to carry all that stuff back. Another nice helping person. There is a little dockside cafe where we are tied up and Bob and I went up and ordered chili dogs, there were a few police officers there getting lunch too and we were talking with them and they were filling us in on the town. The lady called our order and Bob and I came back to the boat, Bob looked in the bag and said hey what did we order, there was a burger and onion rings in the bag , so I started walking with it back to the cafe and I could see the police cheif walking toward me, he told me it was the first time he was going to arrest anybody for stealing his lunch. I talked him into letting me trade back for our chili dogs and I got away without getting arrested. Ilion, NY is the home of Remington Firearms and they have a museum at their factory that Lenny and I went thru. Its pretty interesting seeing all the different styles of guns they have built over the years. They started out in about 1820 and at their peak employed about 12,000 people, now they have 1,500 employees. When we got back from that tour it was time to push off for lock 19, they have it operating now, only with one door opening and there is a big line of boats there. So today we certainly havent made the time like we did yesterday and anywhere we end up on the other side of lock 19 will be good for us.
We made it past lock 19 and into 20, there was a big distance to number 20 and the lockmaster there was kind of a jerk, we got hollered at because we got there 10 minutes early. The speed limit on the canal is ten mph and everybody is in a hurry to try to make up for all the time we had to spend waiting. That guy made us wait extra and we should have made it thru in 10 minutes and it took about 35. I could see lock rage brewing in some of the other boat owners. They are planning on keeping the locks open later tonight to try to help the boats pass thru, they are supposed to close at 5 but we will have to wait to see how much later, its 18 miles between 20 and 21.
Lock 20 was our last lock of going up which put us up a total of 420 feet, now we have been thur locks 21 and 22 and have dropped about 60 feet in those two. We just hit Lake Onieda which is 30 miles long. Andy has the hammer down and hopefully we can make it across here tonight for the next lock in the morning. The lake is like glass and the radar screen is clear, he says the boat has slowed down now a couple knots from what we were cruising in the ocean because the boat is more bouyant in salt water than in the fresh water. Its amazing how fast a 12 hour day passes you by out here. Its now about 1945 and we made it across the lake and are tied up for the night. All total we covered about 83 miles today so it didnt turn out that bad.
Thursday May 9, 1305 hours
We were up early as usual but never left the dock till 1000. We are heading up the Oswego Canal now and only have a few more locks to go and thats as far as we are going today. The end of the Oswego Canal puts us at the east end of Lake Ontario and the Captain says the Great Lakes are nothing to mess with. They are calling for 6 to 8 foot waves out there today and we have about a 120 mile run to do on it. So we are just taking our time getting there. Andy cooked us a good breakfast this morning of french toast and bacon and the only other thing of interest is that Lenny and I got to watch Jerry Springer , a judge show and Jenny Jones. Last night update was posted from behind the bar at this restaurant next to where we moored the boat. The lady was nice enough to let me hook in the laptop into her phone line so I could get the story posted. A guy that was sitting on the other side of the bar from where I was standing asked me what kind of beer salesman I was.
We are fueled up and tied up here at Oswego marina right at the mouth to Lake Ontario, its blowing hard out and is supposed to keep it up all night. The Oswego library is only a couple blocks from here so I am going to check it out to do an update at. Andy said the last time he came thru here it was the same thing , he had to wait for the lake to calm down. We went thru 8 locks today and only traveled about 24 miles Dinner tonight is steaks on the George Foreman Grill. . I also found out that Ohio Mike really does wish he was here because he called today and you can tell he had a tear in his eye……. If anybody reading this has the time, give Cathy a call for me on Friday at the Sledheads number and tell her Happy Mothers Day for me, She puts up with alot with me being gone all the time especially with our little Dennis the Menance AKA Haley, and Melissa .The number is 989-Dig Snow (989-344-7669).Thanks for checking in. Captain Andy, Pete, Bob & Lenny
Friday May 10 1400 hours
Here Bob, Lenny and I sit at the laundromat in Rochester , NY. We kind of slept in this morning because we werent planning on leaving, at about 0800 the Captain looked at me and said You better go take your dramamine. We headed out of Oswego and the water wasnt to bad only 2 to 3 footers , but as we kept cruising they kept getting bigger and had turned to 6 to 8. We were really rocking and rollin and by the time we made it inot Rochester it looked like a tornado had been thru the back deck and a mirror had broke off its hinge and fell onto the forward bed. Andy said its the biggest water he has been in in quite a while. He said the only time we had to worry is if we saw him putting on a life jacket, so it was no problem. All 3 of us are sitting here waiting on our clothes kind of weaving like we are still on board. The tiny shipped was tossed and thats no joke little buddy. The wind is howling now so hard at the marina that the cables on the sailboats are whistleing. It seems like we have been in NY for a long time considering we got here the first day we set out. I checked the statistics on on my page and there have been 5700 hits on this since the first of the months so I figure thats about 600 people looking at this everyday. Thats about it for now, it looks llike my computer is moving on me, . Thanks for checking in. Pete
Saturday May 11, 1120 hours
What a beautiful sunrise over Lake Ontario this morning. We set out about 0545 and it was nice and calm and the sun was just coming up over the lake, I counted 11 people with tri pods and cameras along the outlet and beach taking pictures of the sunrise. It was smooth running all the way to the west end of the lake and off in the distance about 40 miles north you could see the Toronto skyline, it looked like an island off in the distance, just like it was floating there, you could see the CN tower come into view in and out of the haze. One thing that I thought was interesting is that in lake ontario we have been cruising in about 330 feet of water and the 150 miles that we covered on the atlantic we were in only in 60 feet of water. Andy said that you have to go about 60 miles east of shore on the atlantic to hit the deep water. We are now in Canadian waters and are in what is known as the Welland Canal. We had to check in with customs and have to check out again when we head out. This is big freightor territory and the locks we are going into now are about 4 times as big as what we were in before. Where the locks we were in before would hold about 6 boats our size, they would hold about 30of them here. There are 8 locks in this system, and we have all had our share of locks and are glad they are almost done. The 30 or so locks we went thru on the erie canal cost about $40. but in canada you get a better deal, 8 locks for $130, U.S. good deal eh!! We lost track of the Sunseeker 2 days ago after we got hit by the bad weather, this is where they would have needed help so nobody got to ride with them. I talked to my short friend Denny in Rockford, Mi yesterday and the first thing he asked me is why were we at the laundry when we have it on board. The answer is that the washer is small and we havent tried it and all the marinas have laundries at them so it was just easier. The dishwasher hasnt been tried out either, I think becuase nobody knows how to use it, but the trash compacter and the garbage disposal work great. Andy whipped us up some great chili last night and we all were asleep early.
Waiting here at lock number 8 for a ship to come through. Things were going smoothly but then came a delay at locks number 4,5,6, & 7. They are kind of one giant long continuos lock that keeps stepping you up about 75 feet at a time in 4 different chambers. They sure move alot of water in a hurry. I dont think I will ever want to visit the Soo locks again for a long time. Lake Erie lays just ahead of us on the other side of number 8.
After making it thru the locks with another delay for a freighter we pulled into Port Colborne, Ontario and filled up with fuel. The guy at the fuel dock said that the sunseeker was in here this morning for fuel so it looks like they made better time than us. This is just west of Niagra Falls and are finally out of New York, It seems like NY went on forever. Another 11 hours on the water just flew by. Now my next big obstacle is to find a computer to put this update on because my service doesnt connect in Canada. I keep looking at this and thinking I use the word we to much, I try to cut down on it but it is a we trip. Hopefully the Captain will have US pushing off early in the a.m. Thanks for checking in. Pete, Lenny, Bob & Captain Andy Davison………EH!!
Here I am at the Port Colborne hospital……only to use their library computer to post this days events, the nurses said they never saw me but they were pretty nice to me…. this is my first ever update from out of the country too, so here goes………..Pete
Sunday May 12 0955 hours
The Captain set us out on course early as usual this morning, so far we have traveled about 110 miles west this morning. It is raining , and very foggy but thank goodness the wind is from the east so its not to rough out here. The auto pilot is on and Andy & Lenny are both up on the bridge wrapped up in blankets and watching the radar close and watching for logs or debris. You get a funny feeling being out here surrounded by fog and cant hardly see a couple hundred feet in front of the boat. I loolked at our location on the chart and we are right in the middle of Lake Erie.
Still cruising, the fog has changed and is thicker, cant even see 50 feet but our able Captain pushes on and says that this crossing isnt for the faint of heart or the inexperiened and he is on the bridge wrapped in an electric blanket now on some of the swells we come into it just blasts the water all the way over the top and is pretty wild looking. The amazing thing is the good feeling that we know the Captain knows what he is doing. We still have 100 miles till we hit the west end of the lake………the fog horn on the boat is sounding every 30 seconds
The fog has lifted some and you can see about a mile all around now, we have been going solid since this morning and are now only about 20 miles from the Detroit River.
We made it to the Detroit River and thru the big lake, as you first come into the river we came up on BobLo Island. I have fond memories of my grandma taking me there when I was a kid. You would get on one of to BobLo Boats in downtown Detroit and go to the island. It was an amusement park with a rides and I can remember being plenty scared on some of them. There was a nice big park with huge trees in the middle. The old dock is still there and it looks like a ghost town where the amusement park was but the far end of the island is being developed into big new homes. When we were still out in the big lake Andy wanted to come down below to get something to eat so Bob and I stayed upstairs on lookout. It shouldnt have been much of a problem because the boat was on auto pilot. Well I was at the wheel and I was looking at the compass and then I saw a island off in the distance and then a bouy that looked familiar and then a ship that we had just passed and the compass course didnt seem right. We were doing a big circle, somehow just as Andy went down below the auto pilot decided to go on strike. I hollered for Andy and he came and got us back on course. I can see how people can go out into the waters and lose there way. Always believe your compass.
We are at Keans Marina here just a little past downtown Detroit. We caught the guy just as he was leaving for fuel and we were on fumes. We ran about 250 miles altogether today. Thats about it for today and onward again in the morning. Thanks for checking in. Pete….
Monday May 13 0945 hours
We were up early but cooked up a nice breakfast and were waiting for the marina to open. We are still tied up to the dock here right next to the Detroit River and the entrance to Lake St. Clair. The engines were losing some rpm’s yesterday so the Captain said the fuel filters should be changed and thats what is happening right now. Its kind of hazy out and I can see the old Ren Cen which I think is the GM building now come in and out of view. We should be heading out of here shortly. It seems nice and calm out but it looks like another day when the radar will be real handy……
We pulled out of detroit about 2 hours ago, it took a while to get the air bled out of the fuel line on the starboard engine, anyways it really is pretty nice out and visibility has been good, Captain Andy says he will be glad to get back where it’s warm. We made it thru Lake St. Claire no problem and are cruising north in the St. Claire River and coming up to Port Huron. Unfortunately this is where my leg of the Big Adventure ends. Its also the end for Captain Andy but it was just a regular old 9 days at work to him. I am taking him to the airport in Flint and he’s heading for home to his next job which is going to Fort Lauderdale and running a boat up to Boston. This has surely been a great ride and experience. Bob’s wife Pam is getting on here in Port Huron and they are heading on North to Mackinaw and down Lake Michigan to Lake Charlevoix and to the marina where Bob is going to keep his new boat parked in Boyne City. He is going to keep me updated on the last leg of the trip which shouldnt take more than another couple days. I sure would like to ride it to the end but I suppose I should get back to my family and to work. We have met and talked to alot of people along the way and learned about the waters of the U.S. that I never even knew existed. Captain Andy was a perfect match and a great guy to spend this time with, he fit right in with Bob, Lenny and myself. Now if I can only get Andy to let me be his helper on some of his future trips.
We just pulled into Black River Marine here in Port Huron, Pam and her sister Debbie which is Lennys wife and Nick and Justin their boys were here to meet us. This is where the crew changes, darn it. I am heading out of here shortly with Pams van to take Andy to the airport and I am heading back to good old Grayling.