Plans…. I’m not good at making them and have little faith that they will actually turn out anything like I’d hoped. We often get asked “so what’s your plan?”. I find that question hard to answer and I generally start with “well, the plan is….” and end with “so we really aren’t sure.” In a nutshell, the plan is to leave here this Thursday, make our way through Lake Erie, un-step the mast, transit the Erie Canal, step the mast, sail down the Hudson into New York Harbor and sail around the Statue of Liberty. I will be hopping off the boat and returning to MN for a couple of weeks to work and Shane will continue on down the coast where we “plan” to spend some time in New Bern, NC finishing up more boat projects that we just didn’t have time to complete here. There are obviously many details that have been omitted in that plan, but you get the picture. We plan to be to New York in three weeks. We plan to have fabulous weather. We plan to have many great memories. Mostly, we plan to keep the boat upright and share the adventure with anyone interested in hearing about it.
Our preparations leading up to this adventure have been slow… big surprise. Shane continues to work Monday-Friday until early evening and then tries to complete the most necessary projects to get us out of here. First priority, the electrical. I know he thought that re-wiring would be a pain in the butt, however I don’t think that he realized that it was quite so literal. In order to get to the wiring and string it from one place on the boat to another, he needs to contort himself into the worst positions and implement some pretty creative tools to fish the wires.
On to the dingy. He patched the hole (the one that he added to the bottom of the dingy while dragging it in for it’s maiden voyage). So a dingy ride up and down the river was definitely in order (work and play balance, you know). Shane took off for a bit on his own and then zipped in to pick up Loki and I. We had a great time but as we cruised around, one of the panels started to slowly deflate. Bad patch? Nope, bad valve. After several tries, we still have no resolution to that problem but it will have to wait until later. We don’t plan to use it anytime soon and we have too much to do before we leave.
Solar panels? Check! Panels mounted, wires run, that’s it. They are finally out of the back of the van but that is simply another project that we will just have to finish later.
We checked several little random projects off the list one by one until we had all the very essential tasks completed. We decided to wrap up some of the projects as we travel through Lake Erie as we’re sure that there will be weather days where we just simply won’t want to travel.
And then the Hydrovane self steering, arrived. The anticipation for this piece of equipment has been off the charts and Shane didn’t waste much time trying to sneak in a few bits of the installation before we set off. But alas, the weather had other ideas and Shane’s grey cloud made it very clear that this project would be better suited for another day. So all of the many boxes were loaded into the captain’s berth of the boat where they’d have to be opened another day.
We said goodbye to some amazing new friends and waved ourselves off from Markley Marine where we made our home for the summer and sailed about two hours South to the place where it all began. We thought we’d give ourselves a chance to say goodbye to the folks at Jefferson Beach Marina who treated us so well and helped us start this journey.
Because we were about a month behind with our travels, we enlisted some crew for this trip down the coast. First, our friend Angie, who Shane worked and sailed with periodically over the last twenty years will join us. She’ll be with us until we drive her crazy or reach New York Harbor, whichever comes first. Angie and I will hop off the boat in NY and drive back to Detroit where we are leaving our cars. We’ll then head our separate ways back to MN and WI. Shane has a friend Tim joining him to sail the boat down to Norfolk, VA, or as close to that as they can make it before Tim has to return home. From Norfolk to New Bern, NC, Shane is excited to have his dad join him for some fun adventures down the ICW.
Well, that’s the plan…