Category Archive: Other Stuff

Green Turtle Bay

We’ve been at Green Turtle Bay Marina in Grand Rivers, KY for a week now. We hadn’t originally planned on staying here so long, but a combination of boat repairs, being worn out from the previous leg of our adventures, and the incredible beauty of this area have kept us here a while. Here are a few photographs of the property and the Grand Rivers area.

Category: Other Stuff

Green Turtle Bay

maria | October 9, 2013 | COMMENTS:1 Comment »

Just a quick update to let you know we made it through the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. We are at Green Turtle Bay marina where they have such luxuries as unlimited hot water, electricity, and land to walk around on! We are going out to breakfast. We’ll update the blog in a day or two.

Category: Other Stuff

Down the Mighty Mississippi (And Up the Ohio)

maria | October 4, 2013 | COMMENTS:1 Comment »

This will be a quick one.

We are back at the boat in Alton, IL. Tomorrow we will leave at first light for a 300 mile stretch of the rivers that does not offer much in the way of recreational facilities. We’ll do the entire stretch in 5 or 6 days. Until we reach Grand Rivers, KY we won’t have internet access, so we won’t be posting any blog updates.

We’ll talk at you next week.

Category: Other Stuff

A Cat Update

maria | September 26, 2013 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
Does Pudgy look stressed to you?

Does Pudgy look stressed to you?

Some of you were wondering how the cats are doing on our journey.The first couple of days were a little rough for them, but we are quite happy to say they have adapted well to the boat. We have NO personal space. Pudgy and Grace have taken over everything. In the picture below, you can see Grace lounging on the shelf Bruce has just finished installing.

So what do they do on a small boat with maybe 150 square feet of living space? While we are moving they mostly sleep. Pudgy generally prefers the bed, while Grace sits on a shelf or wedges herself into the tiniest of places.

In the evenings they like to come out into our enclosed cockpit, especially after dark. They do a lot of sniffing and pay attention to every sound. A few times we have had Asian carp thump the side of the boat, which really gets their attention!

Boating life has definitely not impacted their appetites. We are going through cat food – and cat litter! – at a brisk pace.

All in all we are quite happy with how they are doing.

Our new shelf. Grace took it over in about 5 minutes.

Our new shelf. Grace took it over in about 5 minutes.

Category: Other Stuff

Heatwave

maria | September 11, 2013 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
Sunset at Henry Harbor

Sunset at Henry Harbor

Remember how I said a cruiser’s plans are written in the sand at low tide? We originally planned to spend a few days tied up in Henry and visiting with Maria’s family in Princeton. Then we saw the weather forecast calling for 93, 95 and 97 degree days!

Our two lovely cats, Pudgy and Grace would have turned into cat jerky in that kind of heat on our little boat. Thanks to Maria’s cousin Dianna loaning us her car, we retreated to a motel to enjoy air conditioning and a queen sized bed for a few days.

It’s been a good time to catch up on job work, errand running, and TV watching. We’ve had a chance to meet baby Clara and welcome baby Everly to the world. We’ve also had some wonderful meals cooked by Dianna and Aunt Irene.

Obviously, this delay puts us behind where we were hoping to be, but that is way these things go. We’ve come up with plans B, C, D, E and F. G is waiting in the background. Little by little we will get there.

These geese spent the night near our boat and would leave at sunrise every morning.

Tied to the old lock wall at Henry Harbor

Tied to the old lock wall at Henry Harbor

Category: Other Stuff

In the Shadow of the Casino

maria | September 3, 2013 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
Stay classy, Hammond

Stay classy, Hammond

Our three days in Hammond were not nearly as productive as we hoped, but we did get a few things accomplished. We walked through a sketchy neighborhood with no sidewalks to a WalMart for groceries and a couple odds and ends. We cleaned and organized the boat some more. Washed some laundry. Refrained from eating at the buffet more than once ($48 for 2 people! We thought casinos were supposed to have cheap food.)

The most important thing is, we finished Lake Michigan. Emotionally, that was a big deal for us. Lake Michigan can be beautiful and quite charming, but it can also be a rough, scary place. We’ve seen both sides of the Lake and we were ready to be done with it.

The photo below shows the lake sky over Hammond on Labor Day. There was a small craft advisory that day with 5-10 foot waves. That is fall weather!

This looks like a fall sky to us

This looks like a fall sky to us

Category: Other Stuff

Still in Ludington

maria | August 20, 2013 | COMMENTS:4 Comments »

There’s this saying about cruisers (people who travel on boats): “A cruiser’s plans are written in the sand at low tide.” We originally “planned” to set sail August 15. Yeah, that just wasn’t going to happen. Too much boat work, too much work work, too much cottage work. (Did we mention that in addition to everything else, we are trying to sell a cottage near Baldwin, MI?)

So, we thought we would try for August 17 or 18. Nope.

Then we decided Tuesday the 20th (today), since Bruce is done with his online classes for the week. But the forecast looks like this:

Gentlemen (and women) don't sail to weather.

Gentlemen (and women) don’t sail to weather.

For those of you who aren’t boaters, this is the makings of a miserable day. We want to go South. The wind and waves are coming from the South. If we left today, we would be bouncing all over the place, getting wet, getting sick, and beating ourselves and our boat up for no good reason.

If there is one rule Bruce and Maria have for this trip it’s NO SCHEDULE. At least not when it comes to moving the boat. So, we are still at our very nice marina in Ludington, getting work done, sleeping in a real bed at the cottage, and trying not to get impatient.

Besides, it’s not such a bad place to be stuck.

Harborview Marina Ludington. The view is okay.

Harborview Marina Ludington. The view is okay.

 

Category: Other Stuff

Preppin’

maria | August 14, 2013 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
This isn't the boat. This is a picture of the clutter inside our brains.

This isn’t the boat. This is a picture of the clutter inside our brains.

Every journey starts this way. We all know this, but we’re still surprised when it happens to us!

Right now we are in the middle of all the last minute crap important tasks we need to finish before casting off for points south. We both work, so our time is split among jobs, boat prep and trying to stay sane. Sanity is the first thing to go!

We’ll get through all of this, we’ll start our trip, and everything will be great. In the meantime, can somebody blow up this picture and find my grocery list?

Category: Other Stuff

Happy Boat-aversary

maria | August 13, 2013 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
Improbable Gets Her Name

Improbable Gets Her Name

Today, August 12, is the three year anniversary of our purchase of Improbable. At the time, she was called “Celtic Piper” and had been sitting in a dirt yard for over a year. As new boat owners, we had NO IDEA what we were getting into. In the past three years we have:

  • Cleaned a really filthy boat
  • Figured out how to dock the darn thing.
  • Buffed, waxed and buffed some more.
  • Sanded copper bottom paint. We still taste pennies when we eat.
  • Replaced the engine, transmission and fuel tank. SURPRISE!
  • Paid someone else to remove the old holding tank. Best boat money we’ve ever spent!
  • Crossed Lake Michigan twice.
  • Decided there is too much of our money, sweat, blood (literally!) and tears embedded into the fiberglass to part with her now.

Improbable is far from perfect. Her sails are pretty worn out. The “standing headroom” in the bow is just high enough to ensure Bruce hits his head every day. We’re still finding dog hair from the previous owners’ yellow lab.

We’ve put way more money into her than we will ever see again, but we’re just getting her to the point where we feel like she’s “our” boat. That’s why she is moving to Fort Myers with us, and not sitting in a dirt yard waiting for new owners.

Category: Other Stuff

What is a Canoodle Yacht?

maria | August 6, 2013 | COMMENTS:4 Comments »

Many cruisers name their blogs after their boat. Our boat is named Improbable, but our website is Canoodle Yacht. This is because we do not take ourselves, or boating, very seriously.

Technically “canoodle” means cuddle, snuggle, insert your favorite cute word here, but to us it represents meandering on a boat until it isn’t fun anymore. So, here is a rundown of what makes a boat a Canoodle Yacht:

  • A Canoodle Yacht has ropes on it. Sure they might have names – sheets, halyards, rode, etc – but they are all made of ordinary rope.
  • A Canoodle Yacht has a bathroom. Since we don’t actually dangle our butts overboard to take care of business anymore (Maria has gone a full year without any butt dangling!), there’s no point in calling the bathroom a head.
  • A Canoodle Yacht has a kitchen. Okay, OUR Canoodle Yacht has a single butane burner, a sink, and a Coleman 12 volt cooler, but it’s a kitchen not a galley. It’s not even galley style like the kitchen in Maria’s old house.
  • Canoodle Yachts don’t hurry. They avoid schedules whenever possible. The only exception is the need to hurry to a store when the beer runs out.

We tried our best to sum up the philosophy of the Canoodle Yacht when we chose the port of call for Improbable.

 

Here, Now

Here, Now

Category: Other Stuff