We left Sinbad’s, and continued up the Detroit River into Lake St. Clair to Jefferson Beach Marina, which is about a 20 minute drive to our house. We planned to leave the boat there for a few days while we off load things and cleaned and put away for the winter. The winter storage spot we had picked was in Algonac, Michigan, about a 4 hour cruise and about an hour’s drive from our house.
Our lovely neighbor, Nancy, came to pick us up and take us to the house. We treated her to a lunch at our favorite water front restaurant in this area, Mike’s on the Water. We took the bare minimum home with us on that first trip, saving the bulk of things until we could return with the truck. Over the next 3 or 4 days, we cleaned the boat thoroughly, brought all the linens to the house for cleaning, cleaned out the refrigerator….all the things you want to do before putting her away until next April.
On the last night at this marina, we invited my son, Travis, and his wife, Lisa, and three grandchildren to the boat. They had not seen it yet, and were so excited to see where we had been living for the past few months. We served them dinner, and let them explore and ask all their questions. Travis’ main question was, “You mean you have a boat, you travel around in a boat, and you don’t have even ONE fishing pole on board??” Yep, that’s the truth! I hope we can host them on board next Spring or Summer for a few days to explore some part of the Georgian Bay in Canada.
For the trip to Algonac, the only family member that was available was Ella, my 11 year old granddaughter. She got to come along and actually drive the boat for a bit! We travel pretty slowly, so she did get bored fairly quickly. Fortunately, she is a real book worm and always has a book with her.
We had timed this last leg of our trip perfectly. We had beautiful, sunny, clear weather going the entire 4 hours until we were actually pulling into the slip at Sassy’s Marina. Suddenly, the wind picked up, and the rain started. As we were securing the boat, there was some fairly significant lightning and thunder. Wow, talk about perfect timing!
Next, we have several days before the marina actually picks the boat out of the water and puts her indoors for her heated winter storage. Dan has some maintenance he wants to do. Also, he wants to make sure all the water is out of the water system and the engines. Even though the storage will be heated, there’s always a possibility of electrical failure, followed by emergency generator failure. We have lived with Murphy’s Law!
It feels really good to be home, to have the Kittiwake secured for the winter. Since we are one of the last boats going into storage, we will be one of the first out of storage. That suits us fine – we will be in Key West, living in our 5th wheel camper from mid-January to end of March. If they pull her out in early April,, that will give us plenty of time to get her back in order, provisioned, and ready to cruise in Canada next season. We are figuring that it will still be too cold in Canada until sometime in May. Here’s to being home in our ‘dirt house’ for a while!
It’s been quite a year. Dan and I never even thought of this boat life until about 3 years ago. We first heard about America’s Great Loop from a couple we met in Key West. It sounded pretty cool, but we had no idea if we had the resources to do such a thing. Turns out, if you have skills to fix most anything, like Dan does, you can buy a pretty nice, but older boat. The Kittiwake is perfect for us. It had been well maintained for most of her life. We have put some ‘boat bucks’ in her, to make her better and more up to date. There are still things we want to do. But, we are very comfortable on her. One thing we have found in this boat life: you can be docked next to an old house boat, or a million dollar+ boat – folks are all so welcoming and inclusive. We have made some terrific friends. We will continue with this life, during the late Spring and Summer seasons, as long as we are able. Being 69 and 71, there will come a time that we just won’t be able to handle the physical requirements. Hopefully, we have a few years to go yet.
Of course, losing Max in July was really hard for us. We miss him so much! We are simply dog people – life, we feel, is just so much better with a dog, regardless of the extra effort it takes to have one along on the boat. So, since we have been home, we have been searching for our next fur baby. And, we have found one. We have decided to adopt another American Bulldog mix and to call him ‘Tug’ short for Tugboat. He has been in the shelter and now at a foster home for a while. He’s a real love bug, and we get him tomorrow, Monday, October 22. Can’t wait! We wanted to get our new pup when we will be home for a while, so that he can get used to us and visa versa. Life with a dog goes on!
So, I’m signing off until next season.