To: ALL Interested Parties
SMELLIN da ROSES, Part 1-z.
Friday, 30 August. We woke up at the usual time and upon looking outside the boat realized that we were not going to be leaving at our usual 8:30 to 9:00 AM time due to thick fog. Finally left the George F. Moore Municipal Marina in St. Clair in time to make the 10:30 AM draw bridge opening about a quarter mile from the docks. Everything looked fine in the marina basin. However, after going through the bridge and out into the river we were quickly in pea soup fog, with less than 150 yards visibility ahead. Fortunately we had both set up our computer navigation and turned on the radar before leaving. So we turned on our navigation lights and took our time as we went down the river following the shoreline about 100 yards off. The fog lifted bit by bit as we traveled South and by 11:00 AM we were able to throttle up to our normal RPM (actually a little faster speed because of the 4 knot current pushing us along).
We arrived at the Algonac Harbor Club at about Noon and got settled in for the Labor Day weekend. Would you believe the marina is having a BIG party on Sunday with the BBQ costing only $5.00 per person and another $5.00 for beer (soda's included in the food fee). The theme is a Halloween party and John said he was going as an INS agent!
Saturday (8/31). We spent a bit of a frustrating day with the computers. It seems that after getting back into the good old USA, the parameters for dialing up America Online in Canada no longer worked. After spending several hours talking to Verizon Wireless, the Two J's were back on line with both their Macintosh and IBM, however Howard continues to have problems and needed to refragment and compact documents in order to make things work and possibly have another session with Verizon. Judy and Maggie did several loads of wash while John and Howard washed their boats. Relaxed and had a very good dinner at the restaurant here.
Sunday (9/1). Walked to a nautical gift shop near the marina which was having a going out of business sale - not much to offer. John and Judy then took a shuttle bus to an arts and crafts fair in the Algonac town park on the river front - about 100 exhibitors with lots of paintings, pottery, jewelry and a few unusual things (Howard and Maggie had walked there on Sat.). Had a good time and Judy bought some opal earrings and a beaded bracelet.
From Noon to 5:00 PM was the BBQ (hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and cole slaw) at the marina. Events were scheduled all during the day with several in between the BBQ such as the cardboard boat race for children in the marina basin (you have never seen so much duct tape in your life) - some novel designs. Remember Algonac was the former home of Chris Craft boats. There were also tug of war contests, best Halloween costumes, a 50 / 50 drawing and door prize drawings. After dinner was the judging of the best decorated boat.
Monday (9/2). Today was another short but scenic cruise from Algonac down the St. Clair middle channel and across the top of the lake to Metro Beach Metropark Marina near Mt. Clemens, MI (one of Michigan's safe harbors) - just 16 miles. This is a first come first serve marina with slips, having a single 30 AMP electric and water, with a fee of only $20.00 per slip overnight. There were thousands of people out for the Labor Day weekend and/or family picnics in the park, which featured two swimming pools - one with two elaborate water slides, a huge beach area, gift shop, food court, numerous rest rooms, two boardwalks along the lake, and several harbor master offices. There were so many different languages being spoken (Spanish, Polish, etc. that you sometimes wondered if you were really back in the USA). We arrived at about 1:30 PM and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon and took advantage of the 50 percent sale at the gift shop to purchase T-shirts at Two Each for only $13.50. After the boaters and everyone else left, we were able to use an additional 30 AMP service and run full electric aboard our boats.
Tuesday (9/3). From Metro Beach, we had a leisurely cruise of 35 miles down the Detroit River to Wyandotte, Michigan. This is the town where John's cousins Kim and Rosemary Gill live (Kim is the Tug Boat Captain on the Great Lakes). We learned that we missed seeing Kim in Sarnia by only two days (he arrived after we left). Rosemary and Anthony (a nephew Kim and Rosemary are guardians of) came and picked us up so John could get a badly needed haircut and buy a loaf of bread, soda's, etc. We all went back to the marina to show Rosemary and Anthony the boats and then John and Judy went to dinner with them while Howard and Maggie decided to try the bill of fare at the marina restaurant (lobster!!!). After dinner all went back to the boats and Barb and Mike Meisner (Rosemary's sister and her husband) came down to see the boats. It was good to see them all, however Kim was missed - again.
Wednesday (9/4). Left Wyandotte at about 8:30 AM for our final day of cruising this season. Another beautiful day cruising, down the Detroit River and across the Western corner of Lake Erie to Toledo Beach Marina in LaSalle, Michigan. The trip took just a little over three hours to go the 36 statute mile distance. Once again, the waters were calm, with Lake Erie less than a foot wave height, a slight Westerly wind and clear skys.
Now comes the work of cleaning the boats and packing up them up for the season and seeing them hauled and put in inside storage for the Winter. This will take several days to complete - perhaps as much as a week and then we'll both be on our way home (Howard and Maggie = Florida and John and Judy = Hatboro) using 4-wheel vehicles - not nearly as much fun as we have had this boating season. It will be strange driving without having to look at the computer screen, charts and reading guide books to get from one place to another - road maps will seem too simple, super highways, high speeds and traffic lights scary. Oh well, back to reality.
If you have enjoyed our logs, let us know because we've got lots of stories to tell and pictures and slides to bore you to death.
TWO J's V -- John and Judy Gill
MARGE'S BARGE -- Howard and Maggie Daniels
P.S. Some statistics will follow as soon as they have been compiled. Since we have used up the alphabet, it will be called Smell da Roses 1 - statistics.