After several delays, IT is finally back in the water and resting snugly in her slip at Grand Haven, Michigan. Jeff and Sebastian made the trip solo from Chattanooga to get IT ready for our 2011 cruising season. Due to Nate’s injury, I stayed home with the birds for this trip giving Nate some extra time to heal before the long car ride.
Everyone is finally healthy and we all head back up to IT driving our RV, Miss Daisy, fully loaded with all of our boat stuff.
We are all happy to be back aboard Idyll Time, especially Sebastian. He really likes his boat. It is a very strange and sad to not have Daisy with us this year. She is truly missed.
We have a busy two weeks of maintenance and routine boat chores getting IT ready to go. The one major repair was installing a new exhaust elbow on the generator. The old one had started to leak so Jeff replaced it with a new stainless steel version which should last much longer than the original cast iron one. Our engine room is also equipped with an automatic fire suppression system. Each year the fire cylinder must be inspected and tagged by an authorized company. It was weighed and passed inspection for another year. IT is now bright and shiny after a wax and wash of the exterior hull and some minor gel coat repairs. Several days are required polishing the stainless steel and cleaning the interior teak with Murphy’s oil soap. Jeff spent several hours down in the engine room changing the three impellers and coolant for the engine. Many trips were made to the grocery store restocking our ship stores. It is hard to estimate grocery needs for the next five months. We finish all of our chores during the Memorial Day holiday and IT is now ready to go. We don’t dare move from the slip during this busy holiday as every local boater is out on the water during this time. It has been unusually cold and windy this spring and now everyone is enjoying this warm weekend. From our slip we watch a constant parade of boats motoring through the harbor.
Our cruising plans for 2011 are starting to solidify. We hope to first head west across Lake Michigan and explore the Door County and Green Bay Peninsula. We have yet to visit this side of the lake and have been told that it offers some excellent cruising grounds. In July, we hope to enter Lake Superior for a month of exploring the upper peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. We will then head back to Lake Michigan in August for more cruising along the eastern Lake Michigan shoreline.