Archive for March, 2009

A Powerful Day

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Having slept in to a very late 6:30 I got up to a beautifuly clear sunrise over the ice packed shoreline. It’s still there!

Coffee and paperwork in the quiet of the morning. Yes, more paperwork.

After all this is a business. The Good Book said it this way: “They that go down to the sea in ships do business in great water”.

With the morning a came an old familier sound. The Coast Guard Cutter Alder got underway from just across the pier to break up the ice for the ships needing to come in for their loads.

We watched as they did high speed donut turns in the bay to crunch up the ice. Some ensign at watch is thinking “Now THIS is what I spent four years at the Academy to do!”. They were having fun, I know, I’ve been there.

The Capt’n Lem is now 100% green. No more shore power needed. The Aero4gen is installed and making power. It’s been a powerful day.

Power from the wind generator to the batteries, power from the batteries to the power panel, well you get the picture.

The afternoon saw the arrival of another winter storm. We’re holding up between rows of sailboats on the hard (dry storage that is). The wind is howling through their rigging and the halyards are slapping the mast reminding us winter still has its hold on this end of the lake.

Tonight we’ll pass the time eating hot from the oven cherry pie cooled with french vanilla ice cream. Waiting is so hard!

CGC Alder

CGC Alder

Sunburn and Frostbite

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Spent the morning filing receipts and fussing with a WiFi connection.

Ah, the glamorous life of a sailor.

Decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather and run errands and prep the boat for the unseasonably cold weather.

Following Dougs excellent advice, and after only a few wrong turns one which took me on a short trip to Wisconsin, filled up with propane and emptied the methane. Returned and with some minor electrical work fired up the glorious boat heater. Huddled around the flame.

The Duluth harbor is almost open in spots, but a hundred yards of pack ice still block the end of the shipping channel and more snow and cold is on the way. When it became apparent the it may be July before we can sail out of here, again followed Dougs advice and scouted out more “Safe Harbor” spots, a series of boat launches along the Minneasota shore. Found less and less ice filling the harbor the farther north I went but more and more snow filling the launch ramps. Depending on the weather over the next few days, there should be a number of alternate locations to launch from.

2273 miles only to find it closed for the winter

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Met up with Captain Bruce for breakfast out in Mound Minnesota. Looks like Captain Bruce is giving up the sea for the life of a gentleman farmer, for now. The sea’l call him back before too long, once it’s in your blood it never leaves. Dropped off a picture for Janis and watched the kids chase the Pygmy goats around the yard. Never seen an artistic goat pen before but boy have I now.

Made our way up to Duluth by late afternoon only to find the water a little harder than hoped for. It was clear last week, but unseasonably cold weather brought pack ice blocking the boat ramps. A couple of days of above freezing and it should be all gone, but the weather channel is predicting 4 days of snow, so might head up the coast and look for open water middle of next week.

Hunkered down at Harbor Cove marina for some last minute preparations.

The water looks a little hard

The water looks a little hard

Road Ice

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Wyoming weather left the Capt’n Lem covered in dirty road ice up to 4″ thick. Looking more like a barge than a boat, swinging my trusty crowbar I was able to knock the worst of it off, but it still left her looking rather gloomy.



Rather gloomy

 Too embarassed to continue on in the sunny but frigid weather of South Dakota, we stopped at Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Sioux Falls for a professional cleaning. After fielding a number of questions from curious truckers as to what kind of bass fishing would require such a boat, the Capt’n Lem emerged bristol.

Currently 1976 miles out of Port Angeles, dropping anchor just outside of Minneapolis.

Clean at last

Clean at last

20 degrees and wet, Sheridan Wyoming

Thursday, March 26th, 2009


Water frozen to the wheels

Water frozen to the wheels

Storm moving through. Billings hit with snow and I-94 in North Dakota is flooded. Detouring through Wyoming and South Dakota.

Underway and making way

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

949 miles out of port angeles. rugged peaks, wind swept plains, a brisk mid 20’s, and the ocasional white out. Navigating by the rumblestrip radar.

Eta Billings Thursday morning.

We’re off!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Tue 3/24/2009
The first leg of the journey is a 1,884 mile trip overland from Port Angeles Washington to our launching point in Duluth Minnesota. The snow and ice on snoqualmie pass was slow going, but this little motorhome had no trouble towing the Capt’n Lem over the Cascade mountains. Our 65 feet from stem to stern may not be speedy, but she’s sure. Parked next to a sea of semi trailers for the night, tomorrow it’s off to Montana.



Also, a big thanks to all the folks at Birdwell Machine for the great job they did our the rear equipment gantry.

Finishing up the new gantry

Mike, Tommy, and Jon

Mike, Tommy, and Jon

Hello world!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

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