Bayfield waiting

April 20 thru 22, the CAP’N LEM is moored port side to the city pier Bayfield WI waiting winter to pass.  Snow yesterday.  Snow again today and wind and gray and all the things of December revisited here in April to remind me of the land I want to go.  Such an education I am getting.  The Lake is my University.  I’m learning how to dress to stay warm and dry on the CAP’N LEM and still get things done and move about the boat.  I’m learning about how much propane it takes to heat the cabin, how much water I consume in a week, what foods are easy and tasty to fix when it’s blowing cold outside and I’m sailing 10 knots.  I’ve learned that if it is cold and the boat is rocking, clam chowder is easy to make, warm to eat and it taste good every time it’s fixed, even breakfast. (Note to self: Buy more clam chowder.) I’ve learned how to cook a very large fish (steelhead from Forest in Two Harbors) in a very small pan.  I’m learning how glad I am I made the hard dodger to cover the companion way. My little window on the world as CAP’N LEM glides over the Great Gitche Gummee, keeps the cabin dry in my comings and goings to do the ships business.

Even the waiting has great value.  Waking at 5 o’clock as is my habit, I can think, I can write, I can read.  I’m reading Shipwrecks of Lake Superior, a compilation of stories by various authors on the many vessels, men and women who have paid with their lives for the privilege of crossing the Lake.  I write my log.  I think of the miles to come and the miles gone by and I think of you.  What would you want to see?  Where would you want to go?  And I go there.  I think you would want to see Madeline Island.



Bayfield city pier

Bayfield WI city dock

9 Responses to “Bayfield waiting”

  1. Toni Shaffer says:

    Tommy, I’m so proud and thrilled at what you are doing. I remember how much Daddy wanted to make the trip with you and the fact that you named the boat for him is so special. I know he is watching over you and with you in spirit. Donna said you plan to take some of his ashes with you. I sure hope that works out.

    You are in my prayers and I will continue to watch your progress. I love reading your updates. Reminds me of “The adventures of Tommy & the Captain” on your California roadtrip with Daddy.

    God be with you!

  2. Eve says:

    Thank you for the most wonderful journal you’s great to keep up with your adventures.
    brrr…it looks cold!

  3. Jim Knape says:


    I have been following your blog with interest. You certainly have mastered technology and how to do it from the confines of a tiny sailboat. Hats off to a great accomplishment. Folks like you make the whole world a smaller place.

    Hope to see you if you stop in Marquette MI

    Full Sails

    Jim Knape

  4. Chip and Frank says:

    Great narrative Tommy! Can’t wait to see all the fantastic places you’ll be taking us, love the photos…can almost imagine the sea sounds, birds and what not…fair sailing for now!

    In the Moment-
    Chip and Frank

  5. Steve K says:

    The first time I went sailing was out of Bayfield. I will never forget the moment the sails were up, the engine cut and I felt the quiet joy of sail. I’ve been hooked, (addicted) ever since.

  6. Bill Williston says:

    Hello Capt Tommy,
    The ice appears to have melted off the lake. The weather looks good for today and tomorrow. Warmer there than here in NW Washington. Much warmer. I am looking forward to your next leg. Wherever it takes you.
    God speed,

  7. Helen David says:

    Tommy what a wonderful trip for all to see. Capt Lem is smiling I’m sure. We enjoy each day. David Helen

  8. bill kepner says:

    I admire your trip, especially the solo aspect.
    I attempted to sail my own trimaran, a much older model than your own, up to the face of a glacier in Alaska, and encountered an unexpected problem. If you want to hear about it, send an email.
    Best of Luck. I am now a resident of Washington State, looking forward to your transit of Lake Ontario and the town of Wilson NY where I grew up. Its a snug harbor and the Yacht Club will likely welcome you warmly.

  9. tommy says:

    Would love to hear about it! Did it calve off on you? t.