Wednesday, June 29

We left Kagawong at 8:30 and were helped off the dock by the friendly dockmaster and another neighbor. Yesterday when we arrived, he said we were the 2nd boat of the season and shortly after, 2 more boats traveling together came in which filled the marina!!!

I think I mentioned earlier that the North Channel boating and vacation season doesn’t really kick in till July 1 (Canada Day), so some restaurants, fry stands, ice cream, etc., not open or available? The dockmaster called out as we were leaving “I’ll have ice cream the next time you come”!!! So, Friday- ice cream will arrive in Kagawong!

We stopped in Little Currrent, the largest town on Manitoulin Island for a shopping fix. We’ve been here before and always a favorite although much more activity from the past few days.  The docks are new and very nice. We spent about 2 hours here, picked up a few items and off to Manitowaning.

The swing bridge opens for us as we leave Little Current
Check out that color of the sky!
Pretty lighthouse on Strawberry Island

It is a spectacular day with 71 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! Arrived at 1:45 and did a historical walking tour, went thru the Assiginack Museum (very interesting) and had some great Farquhar’s ice cream. Manitowaning was the largest and most active town on Manitoulin Island around the start of the 1900’s, but now, just a little village with minimal boating activity.

St. Paul's Anglican Church
Built in 1845, this is the oldest existing church in Northern Ontario
 and still has Sunday services

Mark sitting in the one-room schoolhouse at the museum

One of the things I love about this northern part of the country (along with all the fresh air, peacefulness, charm, friendly people, etc.) is all the daylight time - it's still light out at
 10 PM.

We traveled 41.3 miles today.   Tonight we had a delicious dinner on the porch of
  "The Musky Widows".   This just opened under new management Saturday and we met the chef with our compliments and wished him the best!     Beautiful evening!

Tuesday, June 28

Happy Anniversary to us! 42 years and what a ride it’s been….hope and pray for many more
 happy, healthy years together!

 We spent last night on Croker Island – so peaceful without a leaf stirring or ripple in the water. Woke up to a rainy, foggy 62-degree morning. We exercised, had breakfast, showers and left at 10:15 for Kagawong (12 miles away). Ahhhh, the sun is coming out!!!

Although this is our 5th visit to the North Channel, we’ve never stopped at Kagawong. It is tiny with friendly people, and some unique, pleasant attractions such as the Manitoulin Chocolate Works and the Candy Cabin. We bought some berrylicious jelly which has blueberries, raspberries and black currants along with the berry of the area (hawberries).  Also walked to Bridal Veil Falls, this area's biggest attraction and Mark thought appropriate for our special day!

Bridal Veil Falls 
Pretty flowers along the trail after we left the falls
One of several waterfalls on the trail

Kagawong is on Manitoulin Island which has 10,000 year-round residents and swells to 65,000 in the summertime (July 1 – Labour Day).

We rode bikes along a rural road (most of Kagawong is rural) and stopped for treats at The Chocolate Works – who would’ve thought we would find all these wonderful, beautiful sweet treats in this little village!

Mark coming out of the Boo-Bah-Lou Candy Cabin with his stash of goodies
Pretty view of Kagawong as we were riding bikes

Happy Birthday to Joan (Mark’s sister)!

Thanks so much for the e-cards, e-mails, facebook posts and texts for our anniversary! Really appreciate your thoughts and wishes!

When we were at Gore Bay yesterday, we bought a rib eye for Mark and fresh whitefish for me - having those with potatoes on the grill and a salad AND....some chocolate for dessert!

Bye bye from Kagawong on Manitoulin Island

Monday, June 27

Carol, Fred and Camden picked us up at 8:45 and we all had breakfast at the Bear Track Inn (Carol and I had awesome blueberry pancakes) and then we went to their home to see all the changes from 3 years ago. They are doing the work themselves and it is wonderful! Very warm and homey….hope to be back someday when it is totally finished!

Fred, Carol and Camden

They brought us back to Catrina, we took pictures and said our goodbyes. Really enjoyed our visit with these friends. Unfortunately we don’t get together at home, but certainly enjoy our Drummond Island connection. We left the dock at 10:15. We are chuggin’ along with Gore Bay as our destination for provisions and check internet. Our air card is very expensive in Canada, so...

Arrived at 4 in Gore Bay.....marina is beautiful and spacious for this little village - big change from when we were here 20 years ago!    Going for a walk, do our shopping (back in the land of loonies and toonies) and then off to the Benjamin Islands to anchor out!

Sunday, June 26

Beautiful Sunday....the 4th of July really kicks in "summertime" up here on Drummond Island.   The weather warms up, the tourists arrive and that's when they start having a Sunday mass, so...we are 1 week early.   We were too late arriving for the 4:30 Saturday mass yesterday, so sat outside Catrina this morning in such a glorious setting thinking  "this has gotta be God's Country" and said extra prayers.    After exercising, breakfast and some odd jobs, we pulled up anchor and cruised across to Drummond Island.   We rode bikes, I went for a walk and Mark worked on his job list (he loves to putter around his boat)!

Was happy to hear that Anne's "Relay for Life" team (Mixed Nuts) came in 1st place this past weekend.   Way to go "Mixed Nuts"!!!  The total  raised by all the teams was over $540K  all benefiting cancer research.  

Need to clear something up....I mentioned a few days ago in the bog about my kidney stone experience in Charlevoix.    Two friends wrote thinking I was currently going thru that....NO!    That was 5 years ago and don't want to wish that pain on ANYONE, ANYTIME!!!

Back to Drummond is one of the largest islands on Lake Huron.   The highway connects with the mainland portion via the Drummond Island Ferry which runs from DeTour Village to the island.  It is abundant with wildlife and with all the trees, water and small village setting, makes it very quaint and charming.    This is our 5th visit to the island (we were here 3 years ago with Philip and Annette coming by car from East Tawas where we were vacationing on "sail" Catrina.).

Our friends and their grandson from back home stopped in to say "Hi" good to see them.    They have a home here on the island and tomorrow they're picking us up to see their home and go out for breakfast.

Fred, Camden and Carol

We'll be cruising in the North Channel and Georgian Bay for the next 2 weeks, so if I don't post on the blog every day, it's because we're in remote areas and have no internet connection. we come!

Saturday, June 25

Passing by the Beaver Island ferry as we leave Charlevoix

What a treat to wake up to brilliant blue skies after the past few dreary, damp, foggy days!    We left Round Lake and Charlevoix to make the 7:30 bridge.    "On a clear day, you can see forever" (as the song goes) and that's how it was all day long!    Along the way, we went under the Mackinac Island Bridge (such a masterpiece)...

Mackinac Island Bridge (5 miles long)

After crossing under the bridge we left Lake Michigan and are now on Lake Huron
The Grand Hotel
Passing by Mackinac Island

We traveled 105 miles in fairly calm conditions (last 5 miles were a bit choppy).   We are anchored out tonight off Harbor Island (the western most part of the North Channel which is the northern part of Lake Huron.)  There are 2 sailboats nearby, but up here in North peaceful and tranquil with.the beautiful tall pine trees, gentle moving of Catrina and sun still shining brightly-----doesn't get much better than this!

Mark has a new engine for the dinghy (Tigger) and he was anxious to see how it ran....he went for a little jaunt and pleased with his new purchase.   He grilled out brats, we turned off the music and just enjoying nature on this spectacular Saturday evening.
Mark, Tigger and new engine out for a little spin

 Tomorrow we will head over to Drummond Island (1 mile) and look forward to this charming little village and meeting up with friends, Fred and Carol from back home.

Friday, June 24

Okay, let's try this again.....was posted before I had finished???????   Mark says I hit some button???  Probably operator error!'s chilly up here in Charlevoix!   Rained during the night, this morning and started again around 5:30.  Temps did not get out of the 50's.   Oh well...tomorrow promises to be sunny and warmer as we head north?

Fixed pancakes and sausage for breakfast, exercised (inside Catrina), and I wandered around downtown (didn't buy a thing)!     Catrina was thirsty, so took her for some good ole diesel and she's happy now and ready for the next outing!    Gasoline at the fuel dock is $4.75 per gallon and diesel is $4.38 ($1.15 higher than 1 year ago)!

I got a manicure in the afternoon with Brenda and back to Catrina to stay warm and read.  Mark worked all day on Catrina jobs and got a lot accomplished!    I went to Scovie's for yummy deli sandiwches and brought back to boat. 

Did a load of laundry and hoping to grocery shop...whoops, as I was ready to download some pictures...popped up on the screen that the blog had been udpated????????    Will come back to this later????    Strange things going on!!!

We are back - went to the Village Inn for awesome whitefish tacos (me) and whitefish dinner (Mark).   Then to Oleson's for a few provisions!    Good night to be in out of the elements!

As I said yesterday, the Charlevoix City Marina is beautiful and our neighbor on the dock told me it was rated the 2nd best marina according to some yachting magazine!    The "best" is somewhere in Maryland!    Here are some photos:

Marina office, shower room, laundry, and boater's lounge
Children's Fountain of Youth
Pretty pond with waterfall and lots of fish
To the left of this is beautiful city park along with amphitheater where they have concerts during the summer

Catrina tucked into her slip 
One of the many beautiful,, LARGE homes on the lake (across from the marina).

Back on the water tomorrow....check out good ole "SPOT"!!!

Thursday, June 23

Hello from Charlevoix, MI.....we traveled 10 hrs. 15 min (138 miles) in fog and off and on rain.  From the time we left our anchorage and got out on the lake, it was baaad (sometimes thick as pea soup)!    Hate fog, but our trusty radar worked great.  We were cozy and comfy inside all day running from the lower station (few fisherman out there, but not much activity).    Had no special destination in mind and the lake was very calm the longer we traveled.    So, here we are in this charming little town that has always been a favorite port.   Many memories of being here 5 years ago with "Sail" Catrina.  Friends from home (Paul, Kathy, Barb and Roger) came for a visit and I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone.    As Mark points out, "If you have to be in a hospital, this is the place to be as each room has a view of Lake Michigan".     I was not in any shape to enjoy the scenery, however!

Since we were here in 2006, the marina (Charlevoix City) is brand spanking new - it's beautiful with all new docks, boaters lounge, laundry, and a neat "fountain of youth" waterfall for children (wish our grandsons were here).   But this is not good weather for playing in the water  - 59 degrees and tomorrow, more rain and high of 60 with 25 mph winds!    Sounds like a shopping day to me!

We started the day leaving Pentwater at 7:15 and along the way, Mark tightened some hose clamps as fuel was leaking into the port engine.  He carries sooo many tools and I remember asking years ago "WHY do you need so many tools"?   We would go thru this same conversation year after year as we prepared for another boating season and his answer was always the same "You never know what I might need" and that has proved true so many times.   Today, he came thru with flying colors AGAIN.....yeah for Mr. Tool Man!
I read, did computer stuff and started organizing pictures from our family vacation at Lake James to make a photo book.

The marina is in the heart of town with a beautiful park separating the two.   Mark grilled burgers for supper and then we walked around downtown and stopped at Oleson's Grocery for garbage bags (something we forgot)   We reminisced about being here in 1991(TWENTY years ago) and had the most wonderful hot fudge croissants.   But that place is long gone.   The chilly damp weather and misty rain brought us back to the boat and we are hunkered down  for the night.     We are staying here till Saturday.   Tomorrow, I plan to shop and check out all the fun stuff this town has to offer and hopefully, no kidney stones this go-round!

Exciting photos of today's scenery as we cruised along....

View looking to the bow
View from starboard side
View from port side
View from stern

FOG, FOG and more FOG

and then tah dah....

The drawbridge opening for us to enter Round Lake in Charlevoix

Wednesday, June 22

Hello from Pentwater Lake where we are anchored out for our first night!    Here's how our day went...

Lots of rain overnight and some nasty lightning.   Did some final preparations before we left and then Mark made one more trip to West Marine.    He took Toad to Torresen Marine where they'll store her inside while we're gone.    This is where Catrina had her engines removed and then reinstalled.    I went for a walk along the trail and the sun came out!   We are expecting much cooler temps next few days after all the intense heat!

At 9:50 we left Muskegon....strong winds from the south, but not too bad as we headed north, but one hour into the trip, Mark happened to check that the house batteries were being charged but discovered,  they were not????  So, back to Muskegon (1 hour)  and Jeff, the mechanic came to see what the problem was and found that the circuit breaker on each engine had not been reset since the engines had been reinstalled.    So, 2 hours later, we were good to go and got underway at 1:45. The waves subsided a little and rest of the trip was uneventful  (just a little rain shower) arriving at Pentwater Lake at 5:00.   We are anchored out and it just starting drizzling (could get some storms tonight).    We both love to anchor - so peaceful and quiet; hoping  rain is the extent of any change in the weather.

We traveled about 70 miles (including the round-trip to and from Muskegon).

Liam lost his first tooth today - yeah!!!

Michael was at O'Hare last night when the bad storms rolled thru - said the baggage carts were tossed around like toys!   Yikes!

Mark has added a new electronic toy to his "collection" that allows us to call authorities in an emergency.  It also keeps a track of our travels and anyone can see them if they follow the proper link.    To view this, just click on our picture above on the right-hand side.   This new device is called a "Spot" - satellite messenger.  Pretty neat!      Catrina is well equipped with all kinds of gadgets and the latest in technology.

Until tomorrow....nite nite from Pentwater Lake!

Tuesday, June 21


And it sure feels like the good ole' summertime - very hot and humid here in Muskegon!    Threats of storms all morning, but nothing yet...

After exercising on Catrina (this is going to work out well),  Leon stopped by to help with taking Catrina out and checking a few things with Mark - she is purrin' like a kitten!   Leon took the old bikes and we said our good-byes.

Leon, the Captain

Mark ran some errands and I dug in putting away more stuff.    We are getting there - a place for everything and everything in its place (ALMOST)...

Mark ran more errands after lunch and I took off for a short bike ride (great trail runs right past the marina); sooo hot though.    New bike is neat!

Mark making adjustments to my new bike

Ron and Pat, long-time boating friends picked us up at 5:45 and we enjoyed ribs at Sam's Joint and good time catching up!

Ron and Pat

We've had a little rain and now hearing some rumbling in the distance!   Hopefully, tomorrow we'll be
"on our way"!

Monday, June 20

We stayed in Holland, MI last night and were on the road by 7:20 this morning.    Catrina was launched at 9 and Mark is a very happy camper!    He and Jeff (mechanic) went on a 1-hour sea trial and all went well.    We are now at Great Lakes Marina for a few days to get all set up for this big adventure coming up...

Catrina on her way to be launched
Catrina is happy to be on the water again (her Captain sure is)

What a nice surprise to have the marina folks scrub Catrina (she was sooo dirty)!    Really appreciate that and now can focus on the inside - cleaned as I stowed stuff away today, but still a lot to do.    Bought new collapsible bikes (our other ones were so rusty and over 25 years old).   Time to get back at biking/walking.   Met our friends Helen and Leon for delicious dinner at Hennessy's Irish Pub (I had chicken shepherd's pie - first time since the accident on 3-3-10). It was delicious!    So fun to catch up with them.

Leon and Helen outside Hennessy's

Did a big grocery run and Catrina once again has her fridge and cupboards full!!!

Forgot to mention that yesterday we went to 8:30 Mass at St. Anne's in Dixon and Father Mike gave the neatest blessing/prayer for all the Dads who he had asked to stand.   Then he asked those who are here with you and spend lots of time with you and cherish you, to please stand and embrace you.   Really neat!

About our trip....

When we leave Muskegon, MI, we will travel north into Canada  - North Channel, Georgian Bay, the Trent-Severn Waterway, 1000 Islands on eastern part of Lake Ontario, cross Lake Ontario to Oswego, NY which starts the Erie Canal System to the Hudson River at Waterford, NY.   Down the Hudson to New York City, the Atlantic Ocean for a bit, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake Bay hoping to arrive in Annapolis by Labor Day.   Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels and good cruising weather!

Father's Day - 2011

 Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and hope it was a great day!    Mark and I are so blessed to have been able to spend part of today with our Dads!   

Pat's Dad (93)
Mark's Dad (90)

Here's a recap of our whirlwind weekend...

SATURDAY - left home at 8:30 and stopped to see my Dad at nursing home.   Had nice visit with him and off to Dixon after quick stop in Sublette for a yummy gyro.    Changed clothes at Mark's parents' and then to the wedding of Nick (nephew) and Nicole at St. Pat's.    Reception followed  and then back to the hotel for cards/games.

Nicole and Nick
And happy 28th anniversary to Janet (Mark's sister) and Mike - Philip was their ring bearer and Michael, an altar boy....

SUNDAY - family brunch at Mark's sister, Sue and Tom's home celebrating Tom (brother) and Beth's 25th wedding anniversary, 2 graduations and Father's Day.  

Happy 25th Tom and Beth (June 21)
The grraduates - Nick and Matt

 Then to Mendota to see Dad and my brothers and nephew, Todd who had  special lunch with Dad in the dining room.     We stopped to visit Linda and Vicki and back to see Dad but he was sooo sleepy!    On home....Anne, Patrick and boys stopped in for short visit, we unpacked from weekend and then packed up all our stuff for Catrina and now traveling towards Muskegon - hoping to stay in South Haven tonight with just an hour to go tomorrow for the early morning launch.

My Asian lilies are in full bloom in backyard....sooo pretty

Tomorrow I'll give the nitty gritty on our big summer cruising trip which we hope to start later this week!

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - June 15-17

We are Home Sweet Home from a fabulous family vacation at Lake James.    I worked on this blog while traveling today and after we got home; however, I apparently hit the wrong key and lost it all!!!!!!!!!  UGH...UGH...UGH!   So, here's an abbreviated update...

Ryan arrived at 2:15 AM Wednesday and the 14 of us were finally together (with the kids scattered around the country, these times are rare and extra special when everyone puts forth the effort to make a family gathering happen)!

The cousins had a ball!   Liam summed it up best when asked what was his favorite part of vacation, he quickly replied "EVERYTHING"!!!

A few tidbits about Lake James - it is a large water reservoir in western North Carolina between Asheville and Charlotte in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.    It covers 6510 acres with 150 miles of shoreline.    All the trees, mountains and water makes for a very picturesque setting!

Our cabins were great, and along with all the water activities (boating, sailing, kayaking, wakesurfing, tubing, swimming, and lounging on the "Relaxation Station") we enjoyed cards (poker and euchre), bean bag toss, good eating and non-stop chatter.   

Camp Lake James is wonderful with beautiful pool and hot tub, great recreational area, cafe, kids activities (the boys enjoyed bug hunting and then identifying them with a magnifier; each made flags on flag day and had a "Kids Night Out" from 8-10 on Wednesday.)

Brooke's parents, Bob and Judy spent Tuesday and Thursday with us - always enjoy their company.
Brooke and Michael
Anne and Patrick
Annette and Philip
Connor, Liam, Brady
Drew, Davis and friend, Thomas
Ryan, Philip, Michael
Judy and Bob

Good to be home, but we Nomads have already started packing and tomorrow we'll be off again....big weekend coming up with Mark's family - our nephew's wedding, 25th anniversary celebration (Mark's brother/sister-in-law), 2 high school graduations and Father's Day with our Dads.

Nite nite....

Tuesday, June 14

A beautiful day - Mark an I exercised on the deck with the birds chirping and so pretty and peaceful!    Off to the Main House where we fixed breakfast for everyone (pancakes, sausage, bacon, etc.)    Went to the pool and from 11-12, the boys went to a workshop to make a flag (today is Flag Day).   Here are their finished projects:
Brady, Liam, Davis, Connor and Drew proudly displaying their flags!

Bob and Judy (Brooke's parents) joined us for lunch and then off to the lake for an afternoon of swimming, boating, sailing, kayaking, tubing, snacking, etc.   Around 3:30, the clouds rolled in and it got a little chilly, so we packed it all up and headed back to the Main House.   Played poker and euchre.    Annette prepared delicious lasagna and just another delightful day!

Best Buds - Brady and Connor 
After dark, the boys played outdoors with glow-in-the-dark chalk!!!