Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're home 9/4/08

Hello All

I just realized that I have not posted a blog since we got home a few days ago. The trip from Alton to Green Turtle Bay was fairly uneventful. The weather was HOT and steamy; the days were LONG. Alton to Hoppie's is only about 35 miles but the next 2 days to the headwaters of the Cumberland were around 100 miles each - with amazing numbers of tows and commercial traffic. We saw one tow boat with 36 barges. The Mississippi and Ohio waters were swift and dirty. Not a lot of fun except that each mile brought us closer to home. The lock on the Cumberland was a breeze compared to the ones on the Illinois and the Mississippi.

We're glad to be home and are gradually getting caught up with our family, friends and clients.
I'll put pictures on this and the last post when I can get to the laptop.

See you out there somewhere . . .
Rob and Ann

Friday, August 29, 2008

We're on the Mississippi 8/29/08

Hello All:

We are in Alton, IL on the Mississippi River; Alton is a suburb of St. Louis. Turns out the Illinois is not so nice. There is very low water in the Peoria area and south of there. There are no marinas in Peoria that have enough water for us to get into. We would definitely recommend anchoring.

We hurried to Alton as we lost a very dear friend and we needed to rent a car and drive home and on the north Georgia. We returned to the boat today and are preparing to leave tomorrow and will dock at Hoppie's tomorrow night. There is a hurricane threat on the Gulf coast so we will hurry to reach Green Turtle Bay before the remains of it reach there. WE WILL CROSS OUR WAKE AT GREEN TURTLE BAY !!!!!

Our plan is to leave the boat at Green Turtle until around October 10th and then move on to Joe Wheeler and on to Florida in November.

We are still with Larry and Lola aboard "Lola Marie" and are looking forward to seeing many of you either in Nashville or in Alabama.

See you out there somewhere . . .
Ann & Rob

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're heading home 8/21/08

Hello All

We are rapidly moving south and hope to be home by the end of the month. We traveled the whole length of Lake Michigan in 6 days as the weather was good and the water was relatively calm (for Lake Michigan) and are now a couple of days south of Chicago. We stopped in Hollard for an afternoon and visited with Barry and Cheryl Lilly. They very kindly hauled us around to several locations for reprovisioning.

The next day we joined Larry and Lola aboard "Lola Marie" in St. Joe. They are beginning their second loop and we will be traveling with them to Green Turtle Bay.

We left St. Joe and were in Chicago in just a few hours. We did not stop as we have been in Chicago many times. We did travel through downtown though and what a awesome sight!!! We would recommend that route to any boat that is able to get under the bridges. The next 35 miles has been described as pure hell - and rightly so. All the way to Joliet, where we tied up on a city park wall, was crowded with barges and tows with very narrow passages. It is all very industrial, very ugly and stinks! And unfortunately, you can't go quickly.

After that the Illinois River is fairly nice. We are beginning to see wildlife again. It is good to get back on the rivers - easy navigation and calm waters.

We send our love to all those loopers that we have traveled with over the last few months. We probably won't see you before we meet at Joe Wheeler in October. If you have time to do the Cumberland River, please give us a call. We'll be glad to do whatever we can to make your visit to Nashville memorable.

See you out there somewhere - or in Nashville - or at Wheeler . . . .
Ann & Rob


Monday, August 18, 2008

Moving down Lake Michigan 8/18/08

Hello All:

Just a short note to let you know that we are moving quickly down Lake Michigan. The one picture I am posting is the sun coming up early one morning on the lake. We traveled to Charlevoix, Frankfort, Muskegon and are in Holland now. We are waiting a little later this morning hoping that the water settles down a little. The waves have been manageable - mostly under 3 feet - maybe an occasional 4. Today they are saying 2-4 feet, meaning an occasional 5 but lowering to 1-3 later. We have been traveling faster and eating up the fuel but. . . . Oh well . . . .

We spent yesterday afternoon with Cheryl and Barry Lilly (finished the loop last year) and had a great time. They hauled us around to reprovision. We should be good until we get home with the exception of fresh stuff. We are heading for St. Joe tonight to meet Larry and Lola aboard "Lola Marie". They are beginning their second loop and have been waiting for us to arrive before they leave, (St. Joe being their home port).

I think we will cross to Chicago tomorrow from St. Joe. Don't think we'll stop - we've been to Chicago many times and want to get started on the rivers ASAP.

See you out there somewhere . . . .
Ann & Rob

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Charlevoix, Michigan 8/14/08

Hello All -
We are in Charlevoix, a beautiful little town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. We had a very nice cruise today - little wind and very manageable waves. We left the three boats we have been traveling with early this morning and will miss them. This is the first time we have been alone in quite a while. Of course, we immediately ran into several other loopers in this marina.
Note my picture of the flag as we crossed back into US waters and the quarantine flag that you have to fly between the time you cross into or out of foreign waters and pass customs. The bridge is the Mackinaw bridge in the very early morning light. The other picture is of the "MoJo Group" as we came to be called at our almost last supper together. From the left are David & Gretta aboard "Grettitude", Jeanette & Charlie aboard "Highlander", Rick aboard "MoJo". Of course, Rob and I and on the far right is Randy Cady, our Captain and Fearless Leader.

We plan to continue south as fast as we can. If the weather stays good and the winds are Ok, we should be in Chicago in about a week. It's 375 miles from Mackinaw to Chicago. We did over 50 miles today. We are hoping to catch up with Larry and Lola on "Lola Marie". They are leaving St. Joe in a few days - on their second loop.

See you out there somewhere. . . .

Rob & Ann

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008 St. Ignace, Michigan

Hello All

I know that some of you are wondering what has happened to us. We have not had Internet service or even phone service for days. We had a fabulous time on Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Four boats went together and hired a captain to get us through safely, quickly and still see the highlights. We more than accomplished our goals - and the cost was less that one prop repair per boat. While we were in the North Channel, we heard of four boats that had major problems - including a couple that actually sank. Some of you may know Joe and Mary Beth aboard the sailboat "Pot O Gold" - they ran aground and had to be rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard - they are on Drummond Island for repairs and may not be able to complete the loop this year - depending on how quickly repairs can be done.
This area is fairly easy to navigate but requires constant attention to details (mostly rocks) and miss one channel marker and you hit rocks.

We spent a couple of nights in Little Current, an anchorage in Baie Fine and a couple of nights anchored in the Benjamin Islands. Then on to Gore Bay, Meldrum Bay, Drummond Island (where we went through US Customs) and now St. Ignace - which is just across the bay from Mackinac Island. We're planning to leave tomorrow morning - down Lake Michigan- turning south at last.
I have so many wonderful pictures that I cannot post them all. I did get one on here that is a blur and can't figure out how to get it it is there - please ignore. This blogsite definitely has it's difficulties.
We're moving South on Lake Michigan tomorrow morning. We'll be in Chicago in about a week - weather permitting.

See you out there somewhere . . .
Ann & Rob

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Killarney Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dear Ones: We are in Killarney which is at the western end of the Georgian Bay. Pictures don't begin to do justice to the beauty of this area. It is absolutely beyond description!

We left Thursday am, having delayed a day due to rain, and traveled to Parry Sound, some on the small craft route and some outside. A wonderful, if somewhat windy and rough, day with a stop at the world famous Henry's for lunch. You can get to Henry's only by boat or float plane, of which there were several docked. Friday, we traveled to Byng Inlet, Saturday to Collins Inlet and Mill Lake. We anchored out in a beautiful secluded lake. Today, we made the short run to Killarney, a delightful little fishing (and boat tourism) village.

Note the picture of the barrel - it was the original "light house" marking the entrance to Pointe au Barel Station. The residents simply lit a fire in the barrel - now replaced with a beautiful lighthouse.

See you out there somewhere . . . .

Ann & Rob