Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Last Blog on Ticaboo Travels

This will be my last Blog on Ticaboo Travels.  Ticaboo is now in Michigan with a great new owner Mark Becker and his wife Barbara.  Mark plans to use Ticaboo on the Great Lakes and smaller lakes in Michigan. Mark towed Ticaboo back to Jackson, Michigan from Page, Arizona without incident and Ticaboo will be stored for the 2016-17 winter indoors at a fair grounds.  I wish Mark safe travels on Ticaboo and hope he enjoys this wonderful Albin 25 as much as I have.  Mark, May the Four Winds Blow You Safely Home.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Back on the Great Lakes


After traveling over 4,000 miles and visiting relatives and friends in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin we arrived in St. Ignace, Michigan, on July 26th and launched Ticaboo in Lake Huron.

For those of you who haven't been following my posts on the Albin Cruisers website, I now have a First Mate aboard Ticaboo.  In December of 2011 I got married to Mary, who is an avid boater and has owned two sailboats including a 40' Hunter.  Mary has been a great help aboard and even served me hot tea, at the helm, one cool morning.  After single handling for most of my life, I am most grateful to have someone handle the lines when I'm docking.

I'll try and post some pictures each day of our travels, which will include Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, Mackinaw City, the Les Cheneaux Islands, St. Mary's River, Sault Ste. Marie, the North Channel (Ontario, Canada), etc.  We currently plan to be back in Arizona in mid-September, when the temperatures start to drop a little.

We have had a wonderful time thus far, with only a couple of trailer problems.  I had trouble with the lights on the trailer and was able to sought that out and I spun a bearing and had to replace a trailer wheel.  That's not really too bad for 4,000 miles.  Ticaboo has been running great and we motor-sailed through Gray's Passage, on route to Petoskey at 7.4 knots and 2600 rpm.  We are heavy!!!!

                      The 50' slip they put us in at the Petoskey Marina

                       That's me standing high above Ticaboo    

                      A view from the Charlevoix, MI marina.

                         My new First Mate, Mary, at our slip in Petoskey, MI.

                         It's not all work, Mary relaxing with a book, in Charlevoix, MI

Back on the GREAT LAKES

After driving some 4,000 miles and visiting relatives and friends in Colorado, Kansas, Wisconsin and Minnesota, we arrived at St. Ignace, Michigan on July 26th and launched Ticaboo, in Lake Huron.

For those of you have not been following my posts on the Albin Cruisers website, I now have a First Mate aboard.  I got married in December 2011 and my wife Mary is an avid boater.  Mary has owned two sailboats and she has already been a great help aboard.  Who would have ever thought I'd have a First Mate, who serves me hot tea at the helm, on a cool morning. 

We spent two nights in St. Ignace and had to sample some Whitefish, a specialty around the Great Lakes, that my wife and I love,.  We then moved on to Petoskey, MI and enjoyed everything except our "slip."  Our little 25' Albin was dwarfed by the "slip" and the huge "ships" around us.  If you look at the picture you can see we had to climb several rungs of the ladder to get to the walkway.

 We are now in Charle

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Lake Powell November 2011

Sunset from our campsite in Oak Canyon. The rocks along the shoreline of Lake Powell are primarily Navajo Sandstone. P.S. Sorry the pictures are in reverse order, take a look at the narrative below.
Me breaking up some wood to feed the campfire. Ticaboo is behind me, with Navajo Mountain in the background. The temperature today was around 60 degrees, just a perfect day to go boating.
Mary tending the campfire, before dinner, in Oak Canyon. Oak Canyon is approximately 60 miles uplake from the Glen Canyon Dam.
Snow capped Navajo Mountain, sits on the Utah/Arizona border. The mountain is entirely on the Navajo Nation and stands 10,300 ft. above sea level.
The morning view from our first campsite near Castle Rock.
Ticaboo launched from the Wahweap Marina on Nov. 14th for a week long trip on Lake Powell.
This is a very special trip because I have a first mate named Mary. We spent the first night at Castle Rock, which is between Wahweap & Warm Creek Bays.
Today we traveled, in beautiful weather from Castle Rock to Oak Canyon. Oak Canyon is very close to the Utah/Arizona state line and is at the base of, snow covered, Navajo Mountain. Tonight before dinner we built a campfire. After dinner we went out on the foredeck of Ticaboo and star gazed, at an unbelievable sky. Then we went inside and Mary skunked me at cribbage!
The attached pictures were taken over the past two days and we will continue to keep you posted on this Lake Powell trip, over the next week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ephraim Bay & Menominee Marina

Before leaving Door County and the Door County Peninsula, I took Ticaboo into Ephraim Bay to see the huge limestone caves, in the bluffs, around the bay.

The Menominee Marina is large with 265 slips and all of the facilities are beautiful.

The old Menominee city water plant has been completely renovated, into a first class boater's lounge.

This is a picture of the entrance hallway in the boater's lounge. Art, artifacts and photographs decorate the walls.

This is one of the "bathroom suites" with sink, toilet and shower all in one private room. If you can look behind the photographer, you can see the shower and toilet. Sorry about the flash.

This is a view of the card room. The windows to the right look out onto the marina. A telescope is provided, in the card room, for boat watching.

This is something I haven't seen in any other boating facility. This is a map table with a complete set of charts of the Great Lakes and some excellent cruising guides. There are rolled and flat charts in the drawers and cabinets under the table.

This is one of the sitting areas, with a beautiful salt water aquarium, boating magazines and comfortable couches & chairs.

This is the eating area, with coffee, tea, juice and hot oatmeal. There is a suggested donation and a donation box if you want to help keep the drinks & food available. The lighthouse in the background is made of cut, stained, glass.

This is a view of the sitting area, taken from the vicinity of the fish tank. Notice the boat models, T.V., furnishings and art. This is such a nice place to meet other boaters and discuss your adventures and get some local knowledge of the waters nearby.

Yesterday morning I left Fish Creek, Wisconsin, at 6:30 a.m. for Menominee, Michigan which is on the west coast of Green Bay. The winds were to increase all day, with waves to nine feet, so I wanted to get a very early start, for the 2.5 hr. crossing of Green Bay. I missed the worst of the winds but I still encountered some waves in the 5-6 ft. category.
When I arrived at Menominee Marina I couldn't believe my eyes. This marina should be rated in the top three in the United States (I've seen lots of marinas and actually evaluated marinas, as part of my work with the Corps of Engineers). The pictures I've attached will show you what I'm talking about. This is a municipal marina, run by a Board of Directors, who contract out the day to day operation of the marina and what a job they have done.
The boater's lounge was created, in what was the cities water plant. The building is approximately 4000 sq. ft. and contains: Bathroom suites with shower, toilet and sink in one private room. These bathrooms are much nicer than those in most homes. The living room is huge with sitting areas, computer tables, giant fish tank, book shelves, a chart table, and T.V. There is a card room with a dozen tables, a refreshment lounge with free coffee, juice and hot oatmeal and there are several tables, where you can sit down to eat or have a cup of coffee.
The art work in the boater's lounge is beautiful, with cut glass, paintings, photographs and artifacts. The pictures above paint a thousand words. The marina itself is first class also, with 230 slips and a fuel dock. Even the dock hands were very nice uniforms including white shirts, navy shorts and applets on the shoulder.
Prior to leaving Door County I took one short trip to Ephraim Bay, a place I hadn't visited previously. The bay is large, with the small town of Ephraim located on the east end of the bay. There are several high limestone bluffs around the bay and I took a picture of several caves, that had formed in the limestone.
If all goes well tomorrow and the forecast is correct, I should be able to continue north to Cedar River Marina. The facility at Cedar River is called a "marina of last resort." Along the Michigan coast of Lake Michigan, the Dept. of Natural Resources, wanted a marina every 25 miles, so if the weather got bad, or someone needed assistance, they wouldn't have to travel more than 12.5 miles to a marina. A number of boaters have told me that Cedar River is beautiful but very under utilized. There's no city at Cedar River and the best food is at the British Petroleum Station. It should be interesting.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fish Creek & Peninsula State Park

People like to party up here in Wisconsin. This is a typical scene on all the marinas in Door County. I don't drink but folk up here DO, anytime, anywhere! This party was on the Alibi Marina in Fish Creek.

The Wisconsin Peninsula State Park, south entrance, is just outside of Fish Creek.

This is a view, from the Sunset Bike Trail, of Green Bay and the islands that dot the bay.

The historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, is along the Sunset Bike Trail.

The Sunset Bike Trail winds through some heavily wooded areas and along the west shoreline of the Door County Peninsula. This is a two way trail that keeps you on your toes, as some riders don't heed the "Keep Single File And To The Right" signs along the trail.
Ticaboo tied to the seawall at Alibi Marina, in Fish Creek. Again, there are some fantastic power and sail boats, at all the marinas, on the peninsula.

This is a view of Horseshoe Island. The opening in the "horseshoe" faces to the south, so the island offers excellent protection from a north wind. The island was privately owned, at one time, but is now a part of the Wisconsin Peninsula State Park. The water is four feet deep almost to the beach. Some boaters tied a stern line to a cedar tree, on the island and dropped an anchor off the bow. I used a Lake Powell anchoring technique and put the bow up on the beach, with two lines off my stern cleats.

I'm back to civilization after several nights anchored out in Nicolet Bay. On my last night in Nicolet Bay the wind shifted to the north, which is the only direction Nicolet Bay isn't protected from. Everyone had told me, that if the wind shifted to the north don't stay in Nicolet Bay, move to Horseshoe Island.
I was awakened at 3 a.m. by the rolling of Ticaboo, as the wind shifted to the north. I immediately readied Ticaboo for the short one mile passage from Nicolet Bay to Horseshoe Island. As I was pulling my two anchors, the water was getting very choppy.
When I arrived at Horseshoe Island I got a very pleasant surprise and found the water almost four feet deep, right up to the beach. Before leaving Arizona I had sorted through everything on board Ticaboo. I debated if I should take my anchoring gear, I use on Lake Powell (sledge hammer, four 36" spikes and two lines I run off my stern cleats to the beach). I decided to keep this gear aboard. Horseshoe Island was the perfect place to use this gear and with the sun just rising I anchored to the beach.
Horseshoe Island is very small but as everyone had told me it offered excellent protection from a north wind. After a week on the hook, I was ready to get to a marina and town and have some good restaurant food and ice cream. I had cell phone service on Horseshoe Island and called Alibi Marina, in Fish Creek, on the Door County Peninsula and arranged for a slip. At around noon I headed out for a short ride, south, down the west coast of the peninsula, to Fish Creek.
All the boaters had told me that Fish Creek is the center of activity on the peninsula and it is. This is a quaint little town but bustling with traffic and tourism. Fish Creek is also at the south end of the Wisconsin Peninsula State Park. Yesterday afternoon, I walked the mile, to the State Park entrance and rented another bicycle and did a 10 mile bike ride. The trail went along the peninsula shoreline and into thick wooded areas, where the trees shaded me from the sun but not the humidity.
Tonight I am going to the American Folklore Theatre, in the State Park, to see two spoofs, on men, in northern Wisconsin. The early show is called Lumberjacks In Love and is about four burly lumberjacks and one mail order bride. The late show is called Guys & Does and is a "hunting" musical. The entire state of Wisconsin literally closes down the first few weeks of hunting season and I have heard a hilarious story of how the Navy pulled a contract, from a boat builder, when they showed up unannounced, to inspect a rush job and found the establishment shut down, with a sign on the door "Gone Hunting."
Seriously, this is a huge boat building area and many of the mine sweepers, the Navy uses, are built here on Green Bay. The Staten Island ferries, used in New York, are also built here in Green Bay. It would seem like a Twilight Zone episode to see a ferry with Staten Island, on the side, in big letters, doing sea trails, in Green Bay. You might think you had been transported several hundred miles, in an instant, and would start looking around for the Statue of Liberty.
Ticaboo is doing fine and has been a great summer "floating condo" for me. As mentioned, by other Albin 25 owners, everyone at the marinas wants to know what kind of boat it is. When I give a very short tour of Ticaboo and people find out I'm a single-handler, I get invitations to come aboard their boats and sometimes an invitation to go out to dinner with them. I've met dozens of very nice, interesting people. Everyone has interesting boating stories and I've met several people who are about half-way around the "Great Loop." From what they have told me, they go right into downtown Chicago and go through the Navy Lock and eventually end up southbound, on the Mississippi River. I've only met one northbound boat, on the loop, and they were headed to the North Channel and the Trent Severn waterway.
I hope you enjoy today's pictures.