Last week-end in August

Saturday morning, 8/27/16, we departed Detroit and within a few miles were in Lake Saint Clair.  As we were leaving the marina we were approached by the Coast Guard , who were actually wondering if we would be returning later that day, as they were blocking the Detroit River again for the hydro-plane boat races.  We advised them of our plans and also got information regarding a “cut” on the St. Clair River and whether or not we could cruise it, as it is in Canada.   They advised us that it was not a problem to follow that route, that it was quicker and also safer.   SO — we went to Canada once again.

ALERT ALERT ALERT  —–by about 1:00 PM we received radio transmission of severe weather heading our direction.   Thunderstorms, high winds, etc.  By about 2:30PM the sky was dark and we knew we would not be able to make our planned destination without being rained on and miserable.   We elected to stop in at Saint Clair City Marina after calling another marina whereby they suggested we go there as it was closer to where we were.   We tried and tried to hail them on the radio without success, so we just went there anyway.

We needed to wait for a bridge opening, which was within about 10 minutes.   SO – Hank says “just hold the boat right here while I get lines ready, etc..”

HOLD THE DANG BOAT —- I CAN’T EVEN GET IT IN GEAR!!   IT WON’T GO FORWARD, NOR WILL IT GO INTO REVERSE!          YIKES       Ever the quick thinking man on board took off from the fly bridge to the engine room  lickity-split and using a cable tie, put the loose bolt back for the gear engagement.  All gear positions  were back in operation  –   JUST in time for the bridge opening and for us to scoot up the Pine River.  We spotted a space along the North wall of the town docks and got Salt Lick tied to the wall.  We never did reach the marina office.   The phone number posted on the power box was “disconnected”!    So – what the heck, we stayed put for the night.   Within about 30 minutes, the heavy rains and thunder came rolling in.

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SNUGGED UP AGAINST THE WALL AT PEPPER JOE’S IN SAINT CLAIR, MICHIGAN

We had dinner at Pepper Joe’s and when the rains stopped took a short walk around the neighborhood.  While doing so we saw a big banner announcing a lighted boat parade for the evening.   So the need to scoot into this town for “safe harbor” resulted in a fun evening and a good old fashioned small town AMERICA parade!!    Just so you know, there were only 10 boats in this parade, but what fun the locals were having.   Well, yours truly and Hank too.   The parade is held every final Saturday in the month of August in honor of Bill Cedars who died a few years ago.   The story goes that he loved Pine River as well as St. Clair River and would take his 6 children out in all manners of boats to fish and play on the waters.  He co-owned a bar where now Pepper Joe’s stands and was also a volunteer fireman for many years.   Anyone can participate in the parade,,,,there is NO theme,   no fee to participate, just light up your boat and get in line.  They even open the bridge and stop all of the traffic for the boats to cruise thru to go our to the St. Clair River, where they turn around and come back (with the traffic stopped AGAIN) thru the bridge.

For those of you who have attended the Shellman Bluff St. Patrick’s Day parade, it is like that one —- you get to see it going and again coming!!

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WAITING FOR THE LIGHTED BOAT PARADE TO BEGIN – FRONT ROW SEAT

CLICK ON THE VIDEO TO SEE “OUR” VOTE FOR FIRST PLACE —- MR. CEDAR’S DAUGHTERS ARE THE JUDGES OF WHO WINS FIRST PLACE!!   Then everyone meets at a local bar and marina to party afterwards.   They were doing karaoke !!!!   This is Lady Liberty!

 

Sunday –  8/28/16

We cruised today for 8 hours and 45 minutes.  This was made so much more pleasant by eating our fill of TIM HORTON DOUGHNUTS that Hank bought this morning before leaving St. Clair.   NO lunch  — just a belly full of doughnuts.   oh gee

We had a few short miles to go to the opening of Lake Huron via  this St. Clair River.   There was some mild current going against us, but more so as the river narrowed and we reach the mouth of the river where it opens into Lake Huron.   By 10:00AM this morning we were in this 206 mile long Lake.  It is 183 miles wide.  Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes in surface area and is the 5th largest Lake in the World.  We are on our way to Lake Michigan.

The waters of both the St. Clair River and of Lake Huron are a beautiful dark teal blue color.  Not the deep Indigo blue of the Pacific, but a color chip near that!!   We were pleasantly surprised by the depth and width of the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers.  As we moved into Lake Huron, we waved goodbye to the Canadian shores we had been viewing on our starboard side.

This evening we are docked in Beach Harbor, Michigan.  Good night all.

1 Inland Sea down, 2 to go!!!!

August 24, 2016, Wed., we departed Lorain, OH and headed to Middle Bass Island.  Winds were 10 knots with seas 2-3 feet and mostly on our port side beam.  Salt Lick travels well, but the crew felt like they were in a wash tub part of the day!!

Middle Bass Island sits between North and South Bass Islands.   South Bass Island is the most popular and familiar as that is where Put-in-Bay is located.  We docked at a State Park marina called  – ta-da – Middle Bass Island State Park Marina.   A very nice facility with very few boats.  We elected to spend two nights here as the weather for Thurs. was predicted to have higher winds and rough seas.

BIRTHDAY   (Janet’s)  – AUGUST 25TH

We rode a ferry boat over to South Bass Island for most of the day.   This Island is very heavily dependent on tourism, which is limited to the warmer months of the year.   Lots of restaurants, shops (mostly souvenir), and multiple places to stay.  We enjoyed a great lunch, walked the town, ran some errands, and  visited a monument to Oliver Hazard Perry who  helped defeat the British in 1812.  It was a wonderful day and those margaritas sure did go down smoothly!!!     I really enjoyed and greatly appreciated the phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook greetings sent out with birthday wishes.

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OLIVER H PERRY MONUMENT
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312 FEET TALL — ELEVATOR TO TOP
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LOCATED INSIDE THE OLIVER PERRY MONUMENT ON THE FIRST LEVEL.

CLICK ON VIDEO BELOW FOR PANORAMA VIEW OF PUT-IN-BAY OVER TO MIDDLE ISLAND WHERE WE DOCKED!!

 

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FRIDAY   AUGUST 26, 2016

SALT LICK left the dock at 7:40 this AM and for eight hours and 15 minutes cruised through the rest of Lake Erie and up the Detroit River.  We went to Canada X2, but thankfully the Mounted Police did not notice.  This evening we are docked at RiverSide Marina, Detroit, Michigan.   This part of the river was closed from the South end, so we had to circle back around via another channel to get here.   We bypassed a sail boat race and before the blocked area for the hydro-plane boat races, was this fuel dock and marina.  The shipping channel was very quiet today with traffic.  One ship and one tow and barge.

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DETROIT SKY-LINE

Tomorrow we will cross over St. Clair Lake and cruise thru St.Clair River to reach Lake Huron.  One Great Lake down, and two more to go.

THE M.O.,BLOG EDITOR……

Hank (Managing Owner – per Coast Guard vessel documentation)  not only is the sometimes blog editor, he is the trouble shooting mechanic, the engine oil changer, the pump out guy aka the waste system manager, the line/dock director when we are docking, the navigator, my second pair of eyes on the waterways, and many other roles as we make this trip.  This boat is a floating self contained city.  Salt Lick has her own power system, generating system, water system, waste system, electrical system, heating and a/c system, and the list goes on and on.   Our duties are mostly shared, but I must confess that I have only been in the engine room ONCE.    Thank you Hank for all that you do!

One of my “new” friends, Jim Holler, says after reading the blogs, he didn’t know what Hank looked like.   OH MY —— well, IF he had more friends around the World, there would be more pictures of him, ha , ha…..SO —- here is Hank!!

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RELAXING ON SALT LICK

JOURNEY ON THE INLAND SEAS BEGINS…….

The past few days we have been cruising on the first of the Inland Seas  of our adventure.  Lake Erie is the most shallow of all the Great Lakes with depths of mostly 40- 60 feet.   This Lake will kick up a lot quicker than the others due to the shallow waters, so we are very cautious and alert to the weather.  As a result of this we did stay an extra night in Erie, PA as the winds were high.

Today is August 23, 2016     We by-passed Cleveland for Lorain, OH.   The cruising days are pretty much in a straight line and our auto – pilot is getting a work out.  BUT we are on constant watch and vigilance as we chug along at our top speed of about 9  miles and hour. YEP —- a little bit on the boring side at times.

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HELLO CLEVELAND — GOODBYE CLEVELAND!!!!!

We were met at the boat about 6:00PM this evening by Carole Andrews and Dick Mercer, along with their grand daughters Evelyn and Ginny.  They live near by and are a couple I met several years ago on a mission trip to Honduras.  Thanks to you both for making the effort to come see us and also for accepting and bringing us our mail delivery!!!!

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ME, DICK, CAROLE, EVELYN, AND GINNY

We all enjoyed a dinner here at the marina restaurant with a beautiful sunset over Lake Erie.  Thanks Carole and Dick.

Tomorrow the plan is to cruise to Put In Bay!

A small world

Fron Danville, Indiana to Dunkirk, NY!!!

We docked in Dunkirk our first night on Lake Erie…..docked next to us was this young gal named Madeline.   She is single – handling this sail boat along with 3 dogs!!!   A cocker named Missy, a corgi named Bear, and a 5 month old dobi named Blitz!!    While chatting away we find out this girl is from Danville, Indiana and has frequented the 36 Saloon on numerous occasions.  What a hoot!!!!   She is on her way to the Bahamas, via the Erie Canal.  WE wish her safe travels and happy adventures.

Presently docked in Erie. PA.   Will await ugly weather to pass on by.

HUGS TO N. TONAWANDA FRIENDS

Friday, August 19, 2016 we said farewell to the Erie Canal and to all of the new and old friends I met while in North Tonawanda.  Walter Frantz stopped by early that morning with coffee and and egg bagel so that he could meet Hank.  He stayed and assisted with lines for our departure.   Thanks Walter!!   So nice to have met you.   (sorry no photo of Walter)

Hugs and a big time shout out to Dana and Marci Holler.   Perhaps one day our paths will cross.  Your kindness and warm welcoming gestures to include me in family gatherings and boat rides was above and beyond.

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MARCI AND DANA HOLLER

My thanks to Mr. Jim Holler – Dad of the Holler clan.  So enjoyed meeting you and thank you for sharing your boat house, stories of your life, your beautiful old boat Matapan, and the tour of the Tonawandas.  When you come to GA to see your cousin in Savannah, you best call us!!!

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JIM HOLLER ON SALT LICK

And as previously mentioned, Lisa McCarthy —- kudos to you for the ride to West Marine.!!!

Lastly, big HUGS to long time friends Jeff and Pat Francis, who along with grand daughter, Julianna, drove up for lunch and another visit.   Love you guys !!!!!!

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PAT AND JEFF FRANCIS WITH THE LOVELY MS. JULIANNA!

At the very end of the Erie Canal sits these boat houses built back in the 1930’s.  The aqua blue one is Dan Holler’s boat house, and the gray one belongs to Mr. Jim Holler.

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ONCE AROUND IS NEVER ENOUGH…..

Walter F. stopped by late this morning to bring me an electric circuit voltage meter to use to test the power posts on the docks we encounter.  Remember, he helped me last week when the power post we were using “died”.  The dock master was here yesterday with electrical repairmen, but when Walter and I tested the outlets….they did not seem to be functioning properly.   I will stay plugged in where I am for the time being.  How very kind of him and so helpful.  Thanks Walter.

Ice  and grocery store errands were completed and then off I rode on my bike to the Herschel Carrousel Museum, where “once around is never enough”!

The Herschel Company began in 1872 making steam engines.  In the early 19oo’s, Mr. Herschell designed the first steam driven carrousel.  This was a ride and entertainment venue for ADULTS, not for children, as it was deemed too dangerous to ride.  As we all know, that idea would soon be lost on the adults!!   The exhibits showed the “band box” area where the Wurlitzer organ company made the music scrolls, such as ones for the player pianos, to create the music for the carrousels.  There is a large inventory of what they call the master music rolls from which other smaller music rolls are made.  Still in place and often with actual carvers on hand doing demonstrations, is the wood carving area where all of the horses and other animals were carved.  All by hand from the blocks of wood.  In the beginning Mr. Herschell wanted other animals, such as pigs, chickens, zebras, etc. carved for the rides.  For some reason those critters were not chosen very frequently, as the patrons preferred to ride the “horses”!   So by the mid 1920’s to early 1930’s, the exotics were no longer made and placed in the catalogues.   Towns and cities would order the specific kinds of horses and animals and chariot styles to be made for their carrousel and  once made , the carrousel was shipped via trains to their towns.   This company also developed those small trains that many of us rode on as children in community parks and gathering places.

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I was told that the side of the carrousel horse that you see as you climb onto the carrousel is called the ROMANCE side.   These sides of the horses were carved more elaborately and were painted with jewels and brighter colors than what you will find on the opposite side of the carrousel horse.   So this manufacturer was being prudent with his workers and the costs of construction to no doubt improve his profit margins.  As time went on, the horses ears were carved differently.  Initially the horses ears were always in an upright position .  But soon they were being broken off as people would hang on to them or used them to help pull themselves up onto the horse. To prevent these broken ears and complaints from the customers, the horses ears were carved as flowing backwards in a more angry pose.

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Example of the ROMANCE SIDE OF THE HORSE AND WITH EARS FLOWING BACKWARDS.

OK—– YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING………I COULDN’T RESIST!!!!!

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A RIDE ON THIS ONE HUNDRED YEAR OLD CARROUSEL    

 

I have always wanted a carrousel horse, along with a carved cigar store  Indian.  I got the cigar Indian, thanks to friends,  Hal and Sandy.   Perhaps one day I will come across one of these beauties.

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Tomorrow friends Jeff and Pat Francis , along with their granddaughter, Julianna, will drive up for lunch.   Then in the evening will be another band concert here at the harbor.  If the weather is good, I am thinking the Holler clan will also show up.

Hank will return on Thursday. We will regroup with sites and headings set for the Great Lakes!!