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ContinuousWave: Trips and Rendezvous
St. Joseph, Michigan Nov 7 2004
|Author||Topic: St. Joseph, Michigan Nov 7 2004|
posted 11-08-2004 01:56 PM ET (US)
Worked on Gambler over the weekend - changed lower unit lube, installed new 12V/DC outlet (Cigarrette lighter socket) and cleared out a new corner of the hay barn where she is stored so she'll be cozy and tucked in this winter.
On Sunday, couldn't help myself, and put her in the river with canvas shelter, windshield and flying top set.
Temperature was in the low 50's and wind out of the Northwest at about 15-20 MPH. WX channel 2 called for 8-12 footers on the lake, so I went downriver to take a look.
Six foot waves rolling into the mouth of the channel back by the coast guard station.
I idled there for a few moments with a view of the lake and some really big ones rolling by the mouth of the river at the pierhead. Several waves hit the outer lighthouse and sent spray 30 feet or more into the air.
I put on my lifejacket and clipped myself to the console and put it in gear.
It really wasn't as bad as it looked...but boy, some of those waves really towered!!
I think those are the biggest waves I have been out in so far and though for several waves the bow had not yet reached the crest, and the stern had already left the trough, the boat did admirably well.
Took 3 or 4 of the "short choppy" ones right on the nose and could see blue/green water through the window in front of the canvas....the zippers leak....wave-wash came directly up to my windshield, and I pulled all the plugs.
Had quite a bit of fun "mixing the Sta-Bil into the gas"...something about shaken and not stirred entered my mind as I went out about 3 miles from the pierhead.
Besides the rough conditions, it was a terriffic day with light clouds scudding across the sky, and the most fun was had on the trip back in - the term "Nantucket sleigh ride" came to mind more than once, and I thought of LHG...this was definitely "Whaler Weather".
Just thought I'd share...I'm hoping to keep the boat in use into December if the weather cooperates here in the upper Midwest.
posted 11-08-2004 09:51 PM ET (US)
Why didn't you include pictures? (ha, ha)
posted 11-09-2004 10:59 AM ET (US)
If I were able to pry my hands off the helm, it was only to work the throttle...it took quite a bit of concentration, and was a pilot development experinence for this captain.
Besides, the digital camera was left in the back of my Explorer....not sure how I keep forgetting that! (but it's for the best, the camera would probably have broken from the force of the landing from a couple of the waves.)
I wish there was a chase boat with a camera though....it was pretty snotty out there and could have made for some excellent shots.
posted 11-09-2004 12:10 PM ET (US)
sounds like a fun experience, I was thinking about photo's also when I originally read your thread, then I thought "too rough for one person to pilot and shoot photo's", then I thought, "If I know Dave he always leaves/forgets his camera in the car anyway"....tooo funny....You need to get one of those Mustang survival suits for those November escapades....wish I could have been there with you....
posted 11-09-2004 12:53 PM ET (US)
Pat - Repeat performance scheduled this weekend...unlikely to have the same sea-state. You are always welcome to join the fun.
The Mustang survival suit is on my list for the upcoming Holiday season, and if I'm lucky, I'll get one, or else enough funds to purchase one for myself.
posted 11-09-2004 07:21 PM ET (US)
I think your canvas has more than paid for itself already. Couldn't see doing that in an open hull. Sounds like it was stressfully fun.
I'm detecting a trend in the camera left behind. I didn't know it was habitual when we were in Chicago.
I didn't make it out this week-end. Had some things that needed attention. Messing up my priorities.
Keeping an eye on the weather this week-end.
posted 11-12-2004 12:57 PM ET (US)
Paul...yeah...I need a girlfriend to help me remember!
Going to be a beautiful (but cool) weekend..planning another excursion tomorrow.
Stowaways are welcome.
posted 11-12-2004 09:48 PM ET (US)
The Montauk is ready to go......I was going to winterize it but I think there might be a couple of days left before I actually do it......it was a beautiful day today, I spent it finishing up yard work, maybe sunday I might hit Erie, it's supposed to be great weather this weekend....we'll see!!!
posted 11-13-2004 05:35 PM ET (US)
Have you started fogging the engine? The cold weather running needs a little different focus on maintenance doesn't it?
Girlfriends and wives are handy when reminding you about what you need or need to do. Not much fun at this time of year when it comes to boating. My girlfriend thinks I'm a little touched, as do my kids and some of my friends. At least they encourage the eccentricity and have an understanding of the malady.
posted 11-13-2004 09:27 PM ET (US)
I usually put in a Lake Erie Metro Park in Gibralter, I was thinking of going out tomorrow (Sunday) but it turns out I misread my calender and I have to work Midnights, so I probably won't make it because it is the start of a very busy week for me. Lake Erie Metro Park is a very nice easy access launch, Get off S/B I-75 Gibraler Exit, go east to Jefferson, go south approx 1.5 miles to park entrance, you can probably call ahead to make sure they still have docks in water, I imagine they do with all the fishing, duck hunting, etc going on in area,
sorry I can't make it, I was looking at it being the last Hoorah of the season, I probably won't get another chance this year take care
posted 11-13-2004 11:17 PM ET (US)
Sorry to hear that. I think tomorrow's going to be a quick trip to Lake St. Clair. Temp in the 50's. That won't last much longer.
posted 11-15-2004 10:00 AM ET (US)
I changed the oil in the lower unit to make sure there was no water intrusion, and I'm running Stabil in the tank now, but haven't "fogged" the cylinders yet....still trying to get those last few nights of boating in.
Went out on Lake Michigan again yesterday - dead calm water and beautiful sunset. I ran 20 miles out, 350 feet of water, and just drifted and had dinner with a friend. Temp in the low 50's high 40's while sun was out...water temp 49 degrees.
After sunset, we ran back in - temps dropping rapidly, and it was 37 by the time I had the boat on the trailer (via car thermometer) and 33 when I put the boat back in the barn an hour later.
It was a beautiful night, but I'm really, really happy that I bought the canvas this spring.
I had the shelter, top, windshield and side curtains up, and still was wearing snowpants, gloves, a knit watchcap and my flotation jacket to stay comfortable.
Next weekend looks like a do-over...we'll see how the winds shape up.
posted 11-15-2004 12:37 PM ET (US)
Well Home Aside is tucked away for the winter.....Up until I had the engine rebuilt in Summer 2003 I winterized her myself, but since then I've taken her in to Lockman's Hardware & Boats, the very reputable Evinrude Dealer that did the rebuild for winterizing. They change the lower unit oil, put new seals washers on, fogged engine, check plugs, pulled prop to check for fishing line or other problems, greased the shaft. I just got home with her and all that's left is to pull the battery and put the cover on her, although she always stays in the garage, the boat cover will prevent my wife and kids from using her as a recepticle for soccer balls, footballs, hockey bags, etc.
I really think there are a few more boating days possible, but my schedule put me out of the running.....this is depressing.....call me a Whaaaambulance
posted 11-15-2004 12:52 PM ET (US)
Pat - On my run back last night - I was thinking of two different times boating with you this past year - the first because of the cold temperature reminded me of the Spring opener rendezvous in St. Ignace this spring..and the second, because of the inky blackness, reminded me of our late night landing at Britt/Byng Inlet on Georgian Bay this past summer (minus the fish flies).
Give me a ring if you want to run across the state for some boating this weekend on Lake Michigan (weather permitting, of course). Come to think of it - invite your wife or son to come along and experience first-hand the difference between the Montauk and the Outrage - might help you when you're working an angle for your upgrade....
posted 11-15-2004 01:52 PM ET (US)
I will be boating this coming weekend also, in Ft Lauderdale(!), after one of the 200 EFI's gets a new stator on Friday. First repair either one of the engines has needed in 1600 hours. Not too bad, I don't think. We'll be thinking of you Dave, in your snowmobile suit.
Running out 20 miles in Lake Michigan, at this time of the year, is not something I would do with a single engine, and not in the company of another boat. You must have a lot of confidence in that Merc, or like most your age, think you are going to live forever!
posted 11-15-2004 02:22 PM ET (US)
It was a flat calm, beautiful day...and I kept a watchful eye on the Western Horizon.
I had also taken some of the risks into consideration - but the Merc has been running like a champ and has given me no cause for concern.
I also had food and water aboard, and the full canvas set...so I would have been prepared to "camp out" and drift to shore if that was necessary (i.e. worst case scenario). I also had told a friend where I was going to be (out in the lake) and when to expect me back.
The long term forecast was also for comfortable temps (at day) and low seas.
I've camped plenty of times in a tent in much colder temps...so no worries there...Worst case scenario, I eventually would have drifted into VHF range....
...but your scolding accepted and is probably right on target...it was just such a nice day, we kept on going....
posted 11-15-2004 02:59 PM ET (US)
I think a little danger (controlled) adds to the fun. And Dave would probably classify me as an old guy!
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