Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time Sure Does Fly!

I can't believe how fast 3 weeks has flown by!!  We have been blessed with pretty decent weather.on this visit.  Today is only the second time since we have been here that it has rained all day.  I'd say the sun has had equal billing with the Michigan gloom so knowing what it could have been I have to give mother nature a thumbs up.  It is good I think, to experience the changing weather, makes us appreciate the constant sun in Florida more.  Of course spending so much quality time with family that we seldom see has been a real treat.

All the boats are gone from the marina in Bay Harbor

View of the rocky bottom in about 12 feet of water.  The cleanest water we've seen since the Florida Keys last January!

One of the reasons we choose to live in Florida...early morning frost in early November

Indian Mission Church on the bike walking path in Petoskey circa 1859 .  This path has really made our walks worth looking forward too.  The city of Petoskey has done a fabulous job on making the waterfront accessible to everyone.

Some of the many many geese that are out and about this time of year.  This was on a chilly morning and the geese were facing the rising sun warming their feathers!

Remember these coats from our November trip in Marco Island!   They are FAB!

Petoskey Harbor Light

Frost on the pumpkins....next is snow....maybe as soon as this week.

The Bear River that runs into the Petoskey Harbor and is a favorite spot for trout fisherman.
City Park near Petoskey City Marina

One of the farms near Belaire Michigan.  We took a road trip Sunday around Torch Lake which is North of Traverse City.  Lots of  cherry, apple and crop farms.  Maybe Michigan isn't back to thriving yet but it is on the road to recovery it appears.

Couldn't resist this great photo op.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beautiful Michigan

We have been in Petoskey for 2 weeks now.  For those of you who do not know Petoskey is in upper Michigan on Little Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan.  The weather has been decent, I won't say great as today is foggy and gloomy.  Heck it was still dark at 8am this morning, I woke up thinking 'am I in Alaska?'  We have been having a good time though.
We are staying with Gary's dad, in his condo and we have had great walks every day on the trail along the water below his place.  The fresh air puts us back on the boat again, it is great although a bit nippy but no wind which keeps it from being BRrrrrrrr!!
We love Petoskey so it is good to be here again.  Maybe we'll even see snow before we leave!!
The shoreline is very rocky but a great perch for this Sea Gull
The white tips on these pine needles are drops of dew.  It was a Beautiful morning with dew everywhere.
Houses at Bay Harbor about a mile west of us.
View from Dad's Deck

Looking onto Lake Michigan from Dad's deck
The following pictures were taken on the nature trail below the condo 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


One thing I know....when you are on land you don't often look up. There are too many distractions. I found that on the water you really pay attention to the beauty around you. You are always looking ahead and that view is always of water and sky. You appreciate the world around you more and one of the most amazing things you can look at are the clouds in the sky. Their formations let you know when fronts are approaching and when storms are imminent, but they are mostly just wonderful to look at and be in awe of.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Tie A Knot was hauled and shored today.....BUT.... we are 'glad' to be sad.  We have had 10 months of the privilege of 'living the dream' so although it doesn't make us happy to see her on shore again we are very thankful for the experiences she carried us through.

The first half of the trip was the hardest for us. There was illness and Portugese Man O'War attacks . Systems had to be tweaked, parts replaced ( I promised I wouldn't bring up the you know what...refrigerator) and we had to learn to bend ourselves to her whims (and we thought we were the alpha dog!!)...  Not so much. We expected margaritas and Jimmy Buffett all the time, relaxation and a life of ease.  It wasn't exactly the life of ease we had planned, but looking back it was a pretty good ride, We laughed a lot along with the screams of "mercy".

So we smothered her with love and $$$$$ and changed her name from Sea Angel (NOT) to Tie A Knot...then we both settled into our routines. Her engines may have belched smoke at times but she never let us down!  3,500 miles on a 25 year old boat that probably was not babied very much through her many owners is quite a feat in any one's book. I found there is a rhythm to life on a boat that you don't have on land.  Now that I have been home for a few weeks I find that I liked that pace, it is much too easy to fall back into the frenetic life ashore.  The water is truly God's "chill pill".

It was an awesome journey that allowed us to travel to places we had never been and meet many new friends.  That was the very best part...even more than the scenery...the wonderful people we met. It is like moving from town to town and always being in a community of people on your wave length.  How often does that happen in life.

So now we will enjoy our family, and continue working on the Old Girl. We would love to take her to the Bahamas in the late spring of 2012 but for now we are still CLODS! (Cruisers living on dirt)!!!


The big moment

And we thought we made it without hitting any crab pots.  Well looks like we got one!

Gary was ecstatic with his Interlux Micron Extra bottom paint.This is after 11 months in the water with NO bottom cleaning.

This is the crab pot line that was wrapped around the prop

Still looking good.....(from a distance :)

Settling in for a nap...I wonder if the boats talk to each other at night.?..you know...."Boat Story"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 1...as CLODS

Here it is, more than a week since our "last day".  Time flies when you are busy catching up with being a CLOD.  First there is the pool deck to be cleaned because of 9 months of neglect....an all day project....then there are the two truck loads of trim work from overgrown plants and those that were given the old 'heave ho' for being too labor intensive!  I have decided that when one retires (sort of) one should rethink labor intensive yard issues, etc. At 40 it was fun to dig in the dirt....at a considerably advanced maturity....not so much!  Besides life is about change, without that what would be the challenge.

We spent the weekend with 'the grands' and had a ball being kids again ourselves, Grandma even went down the water slide!

Tomorrow TIE A KNOT will be hauled and shored so that she may also take a break from her travels.  Gary had a compression check done on the smoking port engine and compression is evidently not the problem. So he will have fun, I'm sure, figuring out what she needs replaced....or hopefully just repaired.

The one thing for sure about boating....if you can't do it yourself...DON'T DO IT!!  

'Full House'... off of Redfish Pass, Captiva Island
did you notice how the Osprey have been replaced?

Captiva Pass

Add caption

Entering our last lock into South Gulf Cove
Waterway which takes us to the storage yard.

Tiny, tiny little self operated lock


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Okeechobee Waterway

This is the promised slide show for the Okeechobee Waterway, one of Florida's very hidden treasures. Since it can only be seen like this by water and most boats are out of luck for getting through it. It is South Central Florida 'Cowboy' country with farms, orange groves, boat facilities, cattle ranches, horse farms, camping facilities, Mobile homes to McMansion and some beautiful scenery. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


We arrived home late Tuesday afternoon.  We left Charlotte Harbor Storage on November 14, 2010 and here we are back again September 13, 2011.  I cannot believe that almost a year has passed.  They sure are right when they say time goes faster as you get older, this year has been like 30 winks!  I don't know exactly how many days we were on the boat and frankly I am too lazy to figure it out.  We were home for about 4 1/2 weeks  so rough guess about 250 days?  If anyone else wants to figure it out....be my guest.
I do know this for a fact though, (Gary has a GPS that keeps track of his figures, I have to use my brain which I sometimes think I no longer have) 
                                            WE TRAVELLED 3,548 MILES!!!
We had an adventure that not many people are able to have and even though it was much harder and more costly than we had planned it was worth it. We learned about being tougher, just like the pioneers, no air conditioning, no dishwasher, washer, dryer, and a biggie, no TV! Things we all take for granted when not available lose their hold over us.  Although, we have segued back into life 'with ammenities' quite easily except for TV which we still don't have. We will never have to say, "We wish we would have taken the leap" ...... we did!! For now, we are going to be 'CLODS'.  Cruisers Living On Dirt.  

We figure in 3 months we will know where our hearts are.  On land or sea. Right now we are hoping to be able to go to the Bahamas in the late spring.

I will continue with the blog.  It won't be as interesting but I'm kind of used to it now. Some people have Face Book to keep in touch but I have my blog! I am going to really think about the best and worst of cruising and will attack that next. Sometimes you have to have some space from something to find its full value.  I also still have pictures that I haven't gotten to post.  So if you are into "our life" and my view of the world through my Panasonic Camera....stay tuned.

Jann, Gary & Bob...and TIE A KNOT

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here we are...once again, in the 'sweet spot' with the sailboats. We definately did not get the memo that power boats do NOT anchor! We are firmly planted close to Pine Island with Sanibel in the background. SWEET!!

And an update on my crossing blog.  The 7-1-7 locks were the St. Lucie (not the Myakka) and the Franklin.  The St. Lucie went up 8' the Ortona down 8' and the Franklin took us down about 2 1/2 ft. The middle of the state is higher than the coast so they bump you up let you get across and then bump you down.  They are trying to keep the salt water from encroaching on the fresh water in the Okeechobee waterway.
Sorry about the picture of the vultures...I don't always review the blog and sometimes they don't show up...  here goes
....They circled for awhile but decided we were not worth it.....