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  2011 BWGLCC Fall color tour - Inland Waterway Mi

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Author Topic:   2011 BWGLCC Fall color tour - Inland Waterway Mi
Jeff posted 10-03-2011 12:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for Jeff   Send Email to Jeff  
It seems that it has become tradition that with the turn of the month to October always brings the BWGLCC fall color tour on Michigan's inland waterway.

This year's cruise was a great one with a good turn out all things considered. We even had our first Non-Whaler join the group for this traditional right of fall run. It think it "classed" the group up a bit actually.

The weather forecast last week did not look good for the coming weekend cruise and it was, for once unfortunately pretty spot on. The afternoon drive up north with filled with rain, rain, rain, gusty winds and cold temps even for Michigan this time of the year. I saw 38 degrees at one point near Gaylord while traveling north on I-75. Things showed signs of clearing when my son and I arrived in Silver Beach at about 6:30pm though and he hoped that the forecast of calming winds and clearing overnight would hold true. After a group dinner in Cheboygan we made back to Don's house and head to bed for the morning's run.

We awoke Saturday to heavy low cold clouds, winds blowing 10 - 15 and air temps in the low 40's but, there was peaks of sun breaking through. We all launched (Jimh was already in the water) and headed up to Don's house for the start of the run. After a failed docking attempt that turned into a dredging operation with our 23 WalkAround Whaler Drive we just hung offshore until the group gathered.

We had ConB and MarthaB with their classic 18 Outrage, Steve (Moose) and Mary with in a Post Classic 18 Outrage, David and Kathy Hart in their 21 Walkaround "Walkabout", Jim and Chris with Don and Elsa aboard the 22 Revenge W/T Whaler Drive "Continuouswave", Kevin Albus and his wife Debbie aboard his brand new off the dealer lot Pursuit 235 (which I vote it be named "Un-Daunted") and My father, son and I aboard our 23 WalkAround Whaler Drive "Katchmandu".

We had a great run from Don's house to Alanson for lunch and the return trip. The more the day wore on the the better the weather got. By the time we left Alanson the skies where clear blue with little wind and temps in the mid 50's. Cool yes, but you could run (at least on our boat) with just a jacket on.

Upon return to Don's at Silver Beach most of us decided to haul out for the weekend. We ended up dropping my father at the launch on the lake and my son and I ran the 23 WalkAround up to the Forks DNR ramp on the Cheboygan River as we could not haul the 23 out there due to the shallow ramp.

The evening ended with a great family style dinner with all of us at sitting around Don's table enjoying company followed by a slide show of Georgian Bay and images from the day.

This morning the weather was perfectly still and warm with the sun blazing in. There was a great fog cloud than formed and lived over the middle of Mullett Lake when the sun came up and warmed the air over the lake. We ended with leaving around 10 this morning and made a trip to the pier heads in Cheboygan before returning home. Lake Huron was calm and we had a great view of the Straits of Mackinaw, Bridge and Mackinaw Island.

I have to give a huge thanks to Dan and Elsa for once again providing a very welcoming and hospitable weekend.

Here are images from this weekend.
https://picasaweb.google.com/jrohlfing/ InlandWaterCruiseWeekend?authuser=0&feat=directlink

I have a couple great first person point of view GoPro videos I am uploading of the Crooked River runs.

K Albus posted 10-03-2011 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Great pictures, Jeff. Thanks for posting them.

Don and Elsa - Thanks again for everything.

Jim, Chris, David, Kathy, Con, Martha, Bill, Jeff, Quinton, Steve, Mary, Don, and Elsa - It was great seeing you all. Debbie and I really had a good time. Looking forward to the next one.

I was kind of busy learning my new systems, and as a result, I ended up not taking any pictures. I'll make up for it next time.

Jeff posted 10-03-2011 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Here is the first 1st video of the crooked river running into Alanson shot with a Canon hand held.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu1Mvs2Wk5c

jimh posted 10-03-2011 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
We arrived on Friday in the late afternoon. The conditions on Mullet Lake looked good so we launched the boat and went to Don's dock. We left CONTINUOUSWAVE tied to the dock's upwind side with just a little breeze and almost no wave action, and went to dinner with the group on Friday evening.

By the time we returned from dinner, the wind had shifted slightly to the East and picked up in speed to about 20-knots. CONTINUOUSWAVE was being rocked against the dock, and the three fenders I had overboard were just barely keeping her off from the exposed top of a low metal piling. Those fenders had last been filled with air when the ambient temperature was in the 90-degree range, so in the 40-degree air they had all collapsed to being barely filled.

Jeff rescued me with the loan of two more fenders, filled with much more air than mine. With five fenders, the hull sides remained at least 1/4-inch away (at closest approach) from the top of the metal piling, and the boat survived the night without any damage. Many thanks to Jeff and his two extra fenders. Without them I probably would have been trying to move the boat at midnight in a howling wind.

We had a wonderful time, with extremely big thanks to our hosts, Don and Elsa.

dfmcintyre posted 10-03-2011 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
In talking with Jeff yesterday, you guys had less wind then downstate. It began blowing in Port Huron in Friday and stayed windy until late last night. Today the wind and rain are back. It was gusting 30+, 005 starting early Friday morning, subsided somewhat overnight (down to 25+) then back up to 30+ all Saturday. I figured that it was going to be big hulls only. When I woke up Saturday at 4AM, that was my cancel time.

Didn't have the use of the 25' only the flat bottom 21' so it would have been an, "interesting" ride.

Glad you guys had a great time. Looks like Sunday was great!

Jeff / Jim and others who've cruised in my area; Lake Huron and the St. Clair River are as brown as the Black River, right now.

Don

Robert V posted 10-05-2011 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
Kalbus,

Not to hi-jack a good thread but would you mind sharing your impressions of the Pursuit 235 with me? I am very interested in this boat but do not have any close by in Virginia. If you would like to communicate outside this forum, please send me an email. I would like to "pick your brain" about pricing, features, ride and the like. Currently, I have a 2008 Conquest 205 and have been thinking about stepping up a size. Thanks,

Robert

jimh posted 10-05-2011 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My GRIB weather data showed a forecast of winds at 35-knots (GALE condition) on both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron for Friday night late and Saturday morning early. There were reports of very high wave conditions on both "lakes" over the weekend. I believe someone mentioned wave height at an offshore data buoy of greater than 20-feet. However, on Mullet Lake conditions were much less severe, and the worst waves were probably from the wakes of the other boats when on plane.

By Sunday morning the winds were calm and the lake was smooth. WALKABOUT and CONTINUOUSWAVE undertook reconnaissance of the Eastern shore of Mullet Lake, and then headed downstream in the Cheboygan River from its head to THE FORKS, the new DNR ramp site just south of Cheboygan.

Conditions were great for more cruising, but I think old age had caught up to the four of us. Both boat crews opted to head home instead of cruising onward to Lake Huron. We needed Buckda there to spur us onward.

We were on the highway around 2 p.m. and had a nice sunny drive through the boreal forest. The deciduous tree leaves were turned to their autumn colors and gave a beautiful background to the drive. The color show ended around Houghton Lake.

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