Days 359 and 360 – Fear Knot

Miles cruised 25, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $84, daily high temperature 72°f

We spent two days in Port Washington. The highlight of Port Washington is a Duluth Trading store. They feature shirts and t-shirts that eliminate plumbers crack by adding three extra inches to the shirt tail.

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Changing Latitudes at the dock in Port Washington

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We had cocktails at Beanies in Port Washington.  Instead of bar stools they have swings.  It was $5.00 margarita night.

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On Thursday afternoon we cruised to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to stay at the McKinley Marina. I wonder if there are plans to change the name from McKinley Marina to Denali Marina (like they did with the mountain in Alaska). I am on leave of absence from the Waukegan Yacht Club so we cannot stay at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. My WYC membership card is over a year old.

On Friday night we will have docktails with Andy’s brother Lonnie and his wife Connie. They live in Waukesha which is near Milwaukee.  We had hoped to also meet up with Gene Schnagl and his wife Kathy. They own the boat Fear Knot and wrote a book about the Great Loop. Gene made a presentation on the Great Loop at the Waukegan Yacht Club a few years ago. Unfortunately, Gene is out of town. Maybe next time. Gene’s boat is on a dock near us.

Fear Knot – A confidence guide for America’s Great Loop Adventure.

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I agree with the theme of Gene’s book, it is spot on.  After 360 days on the Loop the only thing to fear is that someday this Loop trip is going to end.  A Loop cruise of 6,400 miles is just a series on 30 – 100 mile day trips.  We plan our month long itineraries so we know generally where we are going and when.  But each day we review that days cruise in detail.  The night before each cruise I plot the course using Navionics on my iPad. I look at every inch of the next days route and identify any thin water and hazardous areas we might encounter.  We have no surprises.  We call ahead to the marina we want to stay at. Usualy we call a day or two ahead but some locations such as Key West we booked 8 months in advance. Security was never an issue.  There is always chatter on the Looper forum about carrying guns on your boat.   That would be a big problem in the Bahamas and Canada.  We never had a moment where we felt threatened or uncomfortable.  We did carry a can of wasp and hornet spray that shoots 20 feet.  Loopers have suggested that you can repel boarders by spraying them with with wasp and hornet spray.  The only thing we ever repelled were spiders.

We are 47 miles from Waukegan. We will cross our wake at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 17. Two days to go.  Changing Latitudes will be in slip S10-14.

Bonus photo

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Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.

“Hang the expense!
Put another pea in the soup!”

HW Tilman

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Major Harold William “Bill” Tilman, (14 February 1898–1977) was an English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages. On his last voyage in 1977, in his eightieth year, Tilman was invited to ship as crew in En Avant with mountaineers sailing to the South Atlantic to climb Smith Island. The expedition was led, and the boat skippered, by the youthful Simon Richardson. He and his crew aboard the old, converted steel tug made it successfully and without incident to Rio de Janeiro. Thereafter, en route to the Falkland Islands, they disappeared without trace – it was presumed the ship had foundered with all hands.

Days 357 and 358 – CLODs

Miles cruised 52, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $65, daily high temperature 72°f

With our home port of Waukegan only 70 miles away, we could be crossing our wake tomorrow but there is no reason to rush home. We will become CLODs (cruisers living on dirt) soon enough. We will wait and be gold Loopers in four days. The AGLCA Looper class of 2016 continues to rotate counter clockwise around the US. Some cross their wakes and others start this journey.

We stayed in Manitowoc for two days. There is a nice walkway out to the lighthouse on the break wall. Here is a photo of the Manitowoc lighthouse with the SS Badger in the background.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503
SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

SS Badger is a passenger and vehicle ferry that has been in service on Lake Michigan since 1953. Currently, the ship shuttles between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, connecting U.S. Highway 10 (US 10) between those two cities. It is the last coal-fired passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes, and was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 20, 2016.

Dale and Andy went to an old fashion ice cream parlor called Beernsten’s Confectionary.

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John and Priscilla had dinner at the Harborside Restaurant. At a nearby table there were three ancient submariners having dinner and reliving their glory days in the Navy. They talked about life on a submarine and how much conditions have changed on the nuclear subs. In Maintowoc there is a maritime museum with the WWII submarine SS Cobia on display. During WWII 28 submarines were built in Manitowoc. Four were sunk. On Tuesday morning I was walking past the museum and saw one of the submariners come out carrying his sleeping bag and a small hand bag. We knew that the museum arranged for Boy Scout troops to spend the night onboard the Cobia. Apparently ancient submariners also get to have sleepovers too.

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USS Cobia SS 245

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We are moving forward with our plans to sell CL. She was purchased to do the Loop and the Loop will soon be over. We will list her with Chris Weber of Weber Yachts who is the boat broker that helped us buy her. A full buff and wax of the hull and topside and detailing will be conducted when we return. In addition we will have Mark Kish from Larsen Marine fix the generator. There are a few other things we will have done such as gel coat scratches that cannot be buffered out that we will have expertly repaired and an oil and filter change. CL will be in perfect condition for her next owner.

On Tuesday morning we cast off at 11:00 am and cruised 52 miles south to Port Washington, Wisconsin. The wind had lightened and shifted to the west so the seas laid down and we has flat fast ride. We tied up at the Port Washington Municipal Marina at 1:30 pm.

Bonus photo

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Carl ((Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.

The planning stage of a cruise is often just as enjoyable as the voyage itself, letting one’s imagination loose on all kinds of possibilities. Yet translating dreams into reality means a lot of practical questions have to be answered.”
–Jimmy Cornell, World Cruising Handbook

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Jimmy Cornell is a Romanian-born British yachtsman, bestselling author and the founder of the World Cruising Club.

Days 355 and 356 – The Bowl

Miles cruised 91, fuel purchased $722, fuel purchased 300 gallons, slip fee $75, daily high temperature 67°f,

On Friday night we went to the Sister Bay Bowl for dinner. The Bowl is called the Bowl because it is also the local bowling alley. Friday night was perch night and the perch were delicious. Our waitress was a fourth generation family member of the owners.

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On Saturday we awoke to the sound of waves crashing over the break wall and hitting our boat. The wind was howling and it was pouring rain. We are the in right place which is safely tied up at the Sister Bay Marina. The wind is blowing at least 35 mph with higher gust to 50 mph. Waves on Green Bay are rolling in at 4′- 6′. There is a slight surge in the harbor but it is just a gentle rocking – so far.

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We saw someone on a jet ski riding in the harbor. We thought he might be going out to play on the waves but he went to the ramp to haul it out.

You can see the wind gusts hit 50 mph at 10 am.

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The call of Al Johnson’s restaurant was strong. Priscilla and I had lunch there. The Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and Swedish meatballs were fantastic.

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We were visited for sundowners by Molly and Bo from Lake Bluff and Bo’s son Chris and his wife Wendy. Wendy is Canadian and they live in Toronto. The waves were crashing against the break wall and splashing everyone that tried to reach our boat. The interval between the waves is only 3 seconds so it is not possible to time your passage. Just go.

Bo, Wendy, Chris and Molly

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We stopped at four restaurants in Sister Bay but they all had 30 minute wait times or more. So we went back to the Bowl and were seated immediately. Tonight’s specials were prime rib and strip steak.

After the storm a rainbow appeared over Sister Bay.

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Looking ahead to our final week we need to plan our itinerary. We will be in Milwaukee on Friday night our last night of our Loop adventure. Milwaukee is 50 miles from Waukegan. We could spend Sunday in Fish Creek, Monday in Egg Harbor, Tuesday in Sturgeon Bay, Wednesday in Manitowoc and Thursday in Sheboygan. The weather will determine our schedule and the fact that if we stay another day in Sister Bay the slip fee is reduced 50%.

The weather has determined our schedule. It will be blowy again for two days starting Sunday night.  We passed by Fish Creek, Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay and decided to get out of Green Bay and into Lake Michigan and get to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  From Manitowoc to Waukegan is 117 miles. We could easily be home in one day from here.

We departed Sister Bay at 9:00 am and cruised 30 miles to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal that connects Green Bay to Lake Michigan. The canal is 9 miles long and has three bridges. The cruising guide lists them as 14′, 15′ and 42 feet. The first bridge opens on the hour and half hour. The second bridge that is only 100 yards away opens at 15 and 45 past the hour. So we had to wait in the small space between the bridges for the second bridge to open. However, Priscilla noticed the height marker on the bridge indicated a clearance of 24′. We only need 18′ to clear the bridge. At that point it was only 5 minutes until the bridge opened so we waited.  We arrived in Manitowoc at 2:30 pm and fueled up and pumped out.  This is the last time we will have to buy fuel on this trip.  We are safe and secure in slip E 41. Monday is forecast to very blowy so we will most likely spend two days here.  There is a maritime museum nearby that we have visited several times.

The US Coast Guard station on the east end of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.

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Bonus photo

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Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.

” I kept moving along the deck, backward forward,
until the waves ripped the sides from her keel and left it
bare, and they snapped the mast from its socket; it shattered
against the keel, but there was a leather backstay
still hanging upon it. I took it and used it to lash
the keel and the mast together, and sitting astride them
I was carried along on the waves by the furious winds.”

Homer, The Odyssey

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Homer (Ancient Greek) is best known as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was believed by the ancient Greeks to have been the first and greatest of the epic poets. Author of the first known literature of Europe, he is central to the Western canon.

When he lived, as well as whether he lived at all, is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived no more than 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BCE or later. Pseudo-Herodotus estimates that he was born 622 years before Xerxes I placed a pontoon bridge over the Hellespont in 480 BCE, which would place him at 1102 BCE, 168 years after the fall of Troy in 1270 BCE. These two end points are 252 years apart, representative of the differences in dates given by the other sources.