5/22/17 – 5/23/17: We arrived at the marina at 6:15AM, after a sleepless night for both of us. We were both anxious to start our journey, and neither of us slept well. As we were getting the boat prepared for the first leg of our journey (Black River Harbor, MI), our slip-neighbor, Bruce, popped his head of his boat. “I don’t have a bottle of champagne to christen you journey, but I do have this!” He handed us a miniature bottle of Heinz Ketchup. It was then we knew our journey would be full of unexpected surprises!
Leaving WashburnOf course, some unexpected surprises are not necessarily good. As we backed out of the slip to the fuel dock, the wind caught our bow, and we ended up on the fuel dock pointed in the wrong direction! Luckily, a fellow Taiwanese boat owner, Dave, who Pat had met the night before, was there to lend a (much appreciated) helping hand turning her around. With more tears, we said our goodbyes to Kate’s parents, aunt, and Karen, a friend (and employee) of the marina. We motored away.
Our trip to Black River Harbor was cold, and a little damp at times. And cold. Did we mention it was cold? We had 48 degree air temps, a 39 degree water temp, and a 10-15 knot wind to chill things down. Sprinkle in some showers… It was cold. We were both bundled up like the Michelin Tire Man (or like Ralphie’s kid brother from A Christmas Story). But with 10-15 knot winds from the stern quarter (South-West) we were able to keep Shanti moving between 4 and 6 knots. We made the 38 mile trip to Black River Harbor in 8 hours.
Black River Harbor
As we motored through the break-wall, we encountered another not-so-pleasant unexpected surprise. We had read online, and in books, to “bear right” after the entrance. I guess we didn’t “bear right” enough, because we came to an abrupt stop about 100 feet into the channel when our keel dug into the bottom, which was only 5-1/2 feet deep. After a little gentle persuasion (hard reverse), we broke free, backed out, and then did a proper “bear right”. We then had 11 feet all the way to the wall tie-up. We made it! The first leg was done, we were exhausted, and we slept for 10 hours that night.We decided to stay two nights, so we could take in all this beautiful park had to offer. We walked around the park area, and went inside the stone pavilion. We went past a display of an old restored fishing boat from the 1930s. It was named “Nancy Jean”, which we both thought was ironic, as that was the name of our boat when we bought her before renaming her to Shanti. We hiked the 3/4 mile trail to the falls, which were absolutely stunning after all the rainfall over the past week. After the hike, we ate lunch, before heading over to the beach, which had fogged in while we were eating. We watched the waves roll in for a while, and meandered back to the boat. We are glad we stayed an extra day. The park is gorgeous, the people are extremely friendly, and we were able to catch up on some much needed sleep.
We are now relaxing on our settees, contemplating the next leg of our journey, a 35 mile sail to Ontonagon, MI. The weather forecast says NE winds, which is the direction we are headed. Looks to be a long, hard day of tacking back and forth upwind to get there. So ends the first two days of our adventure. More to come soon…