Cruising

Celebrating Holidays and People.

We were at the Trent Port Marina in Trenton Ontario on the bay of Quinte. Trent Port Marina is only a year or two old, and it is deluxe. But that’s not the story here.

Canada Day, July 1, 2016. We were ready to enjoy fireworks over the bay. Our transient slip almost at the end of the dock was going to afford us ringside seats for the fireworks display scheduled for this evening.  I had walked up to the marina to use the facilities, and was on my way back. I noticed a Grandma taking a picture of Grandpa and two boys. Being from the Midwest, we talk to anybody, I offered to take the picture so Grandma would be included. The group was very thankful. Then Grandpa said,”let me give you one of the boy’s cards.” Now Loopers and boaters seem to always be giving out boat cards, so I didn’t think much about it. Then Grandpa starts explaining, these are the Tebworth Brothers, Wyatt and Marshall. They play “Blue grass” music. We spoke about music and boats and fireworks for a while and ended up back on the boat all of us watching a great Canada Day fireworks display. No longer Grandpa and Grandma but Doug and Barb. The senior Tebworth asked if we needed anything and would we like to have a day off the boat. “We will pick you up and show you around or take you to a store if you need to pick up anything. How about coming to the house for lunch and the boys can play for you.” My answer? “Sure, but I got to check with the boss first.”

The four were there to pick us up right at 10:00. We cruised up the road to Lock 6 in Frankford to see what to expect, then back to the house for a great lunch. Wyatt and Marshall were happy to show us around the house. Barb and Doug put a great meal together, with lots of laughs, and now music. Even Cynthia and I had a chance on the standup Bass. Cynthia did pretty well, she’s got a place on the bus. I will have to drive and carry equipment. IMG_2753 During the afternoon’s conversation, we found out the boys have a fishing boat that they had purchased with some of their earnings. They like to get out on the Trent river, but have never been through a lock, also Doug and Barb have lived most of their lives in the area and have never been through a lock either. Well! That’s easy to remedy. We checked and arranged schedules then left Trent Port Marina a day early and all of us spent the day on Bright Angel. We went through 6 locks and tied up at the Frankford lock for the evening.

Later that evening the boys, Doug and Barb, plus their son Rob, brought dinner and instruments. Satisfied from another great meal we were ready for some “Bluegrass” music. We were not disappointed.

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Lady walking her dog stopped to enjoy some music.

Again, how blessed are we to meet these people. All along our way it has been the people we have met that make this trip the adventure of a lifetime.

Find out more about the Tebworth Brothers, visit their website TEBWORTHBROTHERS.COM or Facebook at Tebworth Brothers or you can check them out on Youtube.

 

 

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Cruising

Georgetown, SC

Traveling north on the ICW from McClellanville, our next destination was Georgetown SC. We moored “Bright Angel” at Harbor Walk Marina in Georgetown. Close to downtown and within bicycle rides of groceries and other supplies. We were able to restock, supply, and reconnect with others we’ve met along the way. Plus make some new friends and explore the area.

Gated opening to a leased area for duck hunting

Gated opening to a leased area for duck hunting

Osprey nests. We learned that young will come back to the same area and build nests close to parents

Osprey nests. We learned that young will come back to the same area and build nests close to parents

While at the dock we met Miss Fran and Cap’n Rod, of Cap’n Rod’s Plantation Tours. Cap’n Rod grew up in the area and taught History. Rod is very knowledgeable and proud of his hometown. Miss Fran was not only very knowledgeable  of the area but also kind enough to take me to the lumber yard and also brought a number of transients to the grocery store. We’ve been lucky to have all the help from locals along our journey.

Front porch for rocking on a hot afternoon

Front porch for rocking on a hot afternoon

Oak trees planted in the 18th century shade much of the town

Oak trees planted in the 18th century shade much of the town

The “low country” of South Carolina is full of history, one morning on a bike ride I noticed many of the homes have plaques that state the circa date they were built. It was not uncommon to see homes from the late 1700’s along the large live oak lined streets. While traveling on Front street, I saw a plaque on a building that identified it as the location of the British Headquarters during the Revolutionary War. I had to think for a minute about that.

Georgetown is the third oldest town in South Carolina, founded in 1729 and became an official port of entry in 1732. Like most of the port towns along the Carolinas. Georgetown boasts that famous pirates frequented the area.

Scott and K.C. from Jet Stream

Scott and K.C. from Jet Stream

While docked in Georgetown we were joined by another Looper boat, “Jet Stream”, Scott and K.C. Calkin. Jet Steam was about to cross their wake after 5 years of traveling on the “Great Loop”, . We wanted to do something special in honor of their achievement. We booked a tour of the area with Cap’n Rod’s Plantation Tours.

Some of the former plantation properties are still in the original families

Some of the former plantation properties are still in the original families

Former Drs. house known to do surgery on the kitchen table

Former Dr. house known to do surgery on the kitchen table

We had a group of 6 plus Toots and

Canals all dug by hand.

Canals all dug by hand.

instead of going out with others on the 50′ tour boat Rod picked us up in a 20′ deck boat for a special tour. The confluence of the Waccamaw, Black, and Pee Dee Rivers is at the head of Winyah Bay. This made Georgetown the hub of plantations that produced Rice and Indigo. In the 1840’s there was over 40,000 acres of plantations and 780 miles of canals. The plantations were all operated by slave labor and the canals dug by slave labor. By the 1840’s ½ the rice consumed in the United States came from these plantations.

Plantation home

Plantation home, story behind the house the kids did not want the plantation and were going to sell it after parents died. Parents donated the plantation and made a wildlife preserve.

Parents get their way

Parents get their way

In Cap’n Rod’s

Cyprus trees,

Cyprus trees,

canal dug to shorten the length of time to get product to the river for shipment.

canal dug to shorten the length of time to get product to the river for shipment.

deck-boat we were able to get into the areas that the large tour boat could not. For over three hours we traveled into back waters and on some of the old canals to see old plantation houses and now wild life refuges. We learned that after the war the plantations could not economically produce at the rate they did before. The industry of the area changed from rice and indigo to wood and paper. Now many of the areas that were once rice paddies are now leased for duck hunting.

It was a great evening.

Sunset still looks good even over the papermill

Sunset still looks good even over the papermill

We had a great time in Georgetown and look forward to stopping again on our travels.

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Cruising

Wisconsin South of Sturgeon Bay

What a great time to travel Lake Michigan. For the most part, we have had great weather for our travels and have only had to hole up a couple of times to wait for the current conditions to change. Which is pretty normal for anyone traveling on Lake Michigan.

We traveled from Menominee across Green Bay and through the Sturgeon Bay Canal as far as Algoma. A small boat marina with the largest boat inside the break-wall 36-foot. They did have floating docks along the channel, but with winds out of the southeast rollers came into the channel and made for a rough night. We were not rocking side to side but front to back and the swim platform would be submerged and banging into waves. It made for a tough night and the next morning (Labor Day) with the help of  the marina attendant we moved into the harbor through some of the thickest fog ever and tied along their gas dock. It was a lot smoother, a little shallow but we made it in and only touched bottom once.IMG_6536 IMG_6535

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From Algoma we traveled south to Sheboygan. This is where Dearest got to practice her line handling. Looping a cleat on the dock from the boat and holding us in place while I jumped off and grabbed some more lines to keep us in place. When this occurred it was special but in just over a week it has become more of a common situation. Dearest is becoming quite the line handler. Sheboygan marina is adjacent to a large park, which was convenient for Toots and my walks. Sharing the harbor basin were the Sheboygan Yacht Club and the Sheboygan Olympic Sailing School. The only Olympic Sailing School in fresh water. We spent just one night and with weather remaining favorable we headed south again.IMG_6572

 

Our next destination was Port Washington. Rated one of the top 10 harbors in the Great Lakes, Port Washington’s marina is right in the middle of everything. A block from Main Street, many eating and drinking establishments were very close. We have begun to meet more “Loopers” now and have begun to share stories of each others adventures. Weather had us staying an extra day in Port Washington. The extra time gave us the chance to catch up on regular chores and to walk around and do a little exploring. It had been suggested to us to have dinner a Smith Brothers Restaurant, unfortunately it is no longer a regular restaurant but now a coffee shop and sandwich shop. We were not the only ones disappointed. Toots and I were able to accompany Dearest on a shopping tour of a Chocolate Shop, a resale shop, and a walk through the rest of downtown.

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With winds diminishing and moving more to the south-west we headed out of Port Washington toward Racine. We left the harbor and found little or no waves but some rather large swells or rollers, 3 – 4 footers. The rollers were right in front of us and were not as close together as some we have encountered and so the ride was not smooth but not unpleasant. Racine brought us to Reef Point Marina, the largest marina I’ve ever been in, over 900 slips and a condo marina close by makes over a thousand slips in one area. It took 10 minutes to walk off the dock system. Toots was not impressed. I think the other dogs on boats farther on the docks probably agreed with her also. The grass close to the gate was definitely showing signs of continual dog activity. However, the marina was well maintained and staff were helpful and available.

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We arrived in Racine in time for their First Friday celebrations. In our evening walk, Toots, Dearest, and myself took a short tour of the downtown area and made it back to the boat before the rain began to fall hard. The rain dampened the festivities of First Friday but we did see quite a few people out for the evening.

We spent an extra day in Racine because the waves on the lake were supposed to be pretty bad and forecast looked better for the following day. This gave us time to connect with a cousin that I haven’t seen in over 30years. Nancy Waggnaar and her husband Mark. We had a great chat and Nancy and Mark took Cynthia to the grocery store and even supplied us with some vegetables from their own garden. In the mean time I stayed with Toots on the boat. We were able to walk past a swap meet that some of the residents of the marina had. I was able to find a power cord connector that I needed for a real good price. In fact we are connected with it right now.

When Cynthia and the cousins returned we had a short time to sit and relax on the boat before they had to get home and prepare for a block party in their neighborhood. All the activities of summer still going.

We left Racine on Sunday and headed toward Chicago. We started seeing the outline of the shoreline from 45 miles away. With great water conditions we made great time and arrived in Chicago 15 minutes ahead of the estimated time. The roughest part of the trip was when we got into the Chicago area. Boat wakes were coming from all different directions so we rocked our way in for the last few miles.IMG_6633

Entering the Chicago area for the first time on a very pleasant Sunday afternoon was a bit intimidating. We reserved a berth in Chicago’s Du Sable Harbor right next to the Chicago river and just across from Navy Pier. We thought we would have at least an extra day here, but it looks like a lock farther up river is closed Tuesday and Wednesday for repair, so we need to push on quickly to get through without having to wait extra days.

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I’ve taken the radar dome off the arch to lower our overall height a little and hopefully we will be low enough to get under the bridges on the Chicago River. We will find out soon enough tomorrow.

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Until then keep your head down, it’s a low bridge.

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