Saturday, July 21, 2018

Yooper accent

Before I had visited here I had never heard of the expression "yooper" before but it is the name given to someone who lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It is not unusual to see people here wearing sweats and rubber boots, eating pastries and talking with a dialect that is distinctive for the area. Listen to Skip, give a short history of the lighthouse and you will see what I mean.
Today I have been preparing to leave by visiting the local farmers market and stocking up on fresh vegetables. I took out my life jacket and manually inflated it to test it and put my personal locator beacon into it. I also went down to see progress on the military ships being built here which is the driving source of the economy for the area.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Weather never cooperates

I'm sitting here in the Menomonie Marina getting ready to leave for the North Channel. As you can see from the picture, I don't have my mainsail up or my Genoa because it is too windy and of course the wind is out of the NE in the direction that I want to go. I have been busy provisioning because for the next month, I am going to be in some very remote places where there are no stores. Think beans and rice with an onion for flavor......... Actually it is not that bad. There is a place up there called Little Current that has a sizeable grocery store.

The locals here have all been complaining about the cold summer they have been having. The high temperature this afternoon was to me a very nice 73 degrees with the lake at 63 almost warm enough to swim in.

People are very friendly. Tonight, a couple on another boat came by and we started talking. They invited me to dinner at the local Legion adjacent to the marina and told me all about the area and all the things going on here so I have a busy day scheduled for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Splash day

Well I found a refuse transfer station in Green Bay to dump off my shredded tarp at. I couldn't think of any other way of getting rid of it. I think next time I will buy 4 smaller tarps and lash them down a bit better.
The yard here at Marinette did a great job of looking after my boat and splashing her.
It was totally scary jumping back into the boat and out into Lake Michigan. There was a stiff 20 knot southerly blowing with a steep chop. What if one of my through hulls failed? What if the engine stopped? What if I grounded?
As it was I broke my rule about not getting on my bowsprit without wearing a life jacket. I would freeze if I ended up in this water here, summer or no summer.
It is supposed to be raining tomorrow but I am itching to leave.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Preparing to splash

Well after searching for a device to help change the oil in my yanmar diesel engine, I found the green device above at an Advanced Auto place. It worked a lot better than the other one to the left of the new one sold by Napa that I bought 4 years ago but the new one doesn't show how much has been collected.

It took me all day to change the oil and filter. First I had to run the engine to get the oil warm and that involved finding a few water hoses to connect to bring the water from a nearby building.  I wanted to run it anyway to check that all was ok. Then while the the pump was vacuuming out the oil, I decided to drive up the road and to buy some paint to paint my topsides because they looked so bad. Of course I had to stop for lunch.
Cute place but my word they were slow. In fact everything about this town is done at such a slow pace. The speed limit downtown here in Menomonie is either 15 or 25mph and the locals drive AT the speed limit.
I'm not going to paint the bottom as it is cold fresh water that I will be sailing in, and I will only be in for less than 2 months. Hopefully I will splash tomorrow because it is supposed to be raining Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Back to the boat

Well today I visited my boat for the first time since last October and wow, how easily you forget. The tarp that I had spent so much time on was ripped to shreds so I will have to rethink my strategy on a new one. I did manage to remount the stanchions, tighten the rigging, connect the batteries, tighten the belts and tighten the nuts on the impeller cover. However I ran into a problem trying to change the oil from a pump that evacuates the oil out of the dipstick. I will shop around for a new pump tomorrow and hopefully splash Onapua Thursday.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finishing up

We spent all day yesterday completing the task of winterizing Onapua. As well as replacing the water with antifreeze in the engine, head and water tanks, I had to disconnect the batteries, drain the engine water pump so that the impeller wasn't sitting in antifreeze all winter. I loosened up the engine belt and swapped it end to end. The worst thing I discovered was when I came around to adding distilled water to the batteries. Each of my 4 batteries needed about 16 ounces to bring the levels up to cover the plates. Terrible! Thinking about it afterwards, it is probably due to the fact that I have been Motoring through all the locks on the Erie Canal and the Trent Severn Waterway and have been overcharging the batteries.

I met Dan and Francine when I was in the Caribbean doing the Cuba Salty Dawg Rally and they were the ones who suggested that I check out the North Channel. Dan has been helping me and I must say that I had no idea how much effort winterizing a boat takes.
I bought a huge tarp from harbor freight and we had to cut it down to fit.
Then we had to turn the edges to make a hem and install grommets. The idea is to stop the tarp flapping in the wind by pulling it tight around the boat. In the end it looked very good and I am confident that very little snow will get inside the boat.
It was a very sad day leaving her and knowing that I will not be back until May of next year. So check back to this blog again in 6 months, when I will resume my cruising this time hopefully in Lake Superior. In the meantime I will be going down under to NZ to enjoy another summer.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Winterizing Onapua

I spent yesterday adding antifreeze to all my water systems and covering the boat with a gigantic tarp I got from Harbor Freight.
It was quite difficult wrestling with the tarp in the wind and getting it tied down tightly.

It has started to turn cold here so my timing for hauling Onapua has been impeccable.