Last Build Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:29:25 +0000
Thu, 18 Dec 2008 16:03:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG29Nov0807:40LV Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TN15:10AR Clifton City MarinaClifton, TNTrip (statute) miles62.9Total (statute) miles5990Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.530Nov0807:55LV Clifton City MarinaClifton, TNPassed through Pickwick Lock (+ 55 feet)Left Tennessee River, entered Tenn-Tom Waterway.15:30AR Grand Harbor MarinaCounce, MSIt was snowing when we arrived.Trip (statute) miles55.7Total (statute) miles6047Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.002Dec0808:15LV Grand Harbor MarinaConce, MSIllusions covered with thin layer of ice and snow.Passed through Whitten Lock (- 84 feet)Passed through Montgomery Lock (- 33 feet)Passed through Rankin Lock (- 31 feet)16:15AR Midway MarinaFulton, MSTrip (statute) miles57.0Total (statute) miles6104Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.203Dec0809:50LV Midway MarinaFulton, MSPassed through Fulton Lock (- 26 feet)Passed through Wilkins Lock (- 25 feet)Passed through Amory Lock (- 25 feet)16:15AR Aberdeen MarinaAberdeen, MSFuel (gallons) at Aberdeen Marina213Trip (statute) miles38.4Total (statute) miles6142Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.104Dec0809:30LV Aberdeen MarinaAberdeen, MSPassed through Aberdeen Lock (- 28 feet)12:30AR Columbus MarinaColumbus, MSWindy, rain, 47 degrees.Trip (statute) miles24.7Total (statute) miles6167Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.305Dec0811:00LV Columbus MarinaColumbus, MSPassed through Stennis Lock (- 30 feet)14:30AR Pirates Marina CovePickinsville, ALTrip (statute) miles28.7Total (statute) miles6195Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.8Visited USS Montgomery.06Dec0808:10LV Pirates Marina CovePickinsville, ALPassed through Beville Lock (- 27 feet)Towboat Jean Pierre Cenac spotted an apparently adrift pontoon boat.We investigated and found it most likely belonged to two nearby hunters.Passed through Heflin Lock (- 32 feet)13:55AR Tombigbee Oxbow anchorage (MM 265.8)ALTrip (statute) miles41.3Total (statute) miles6236Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.407Dec0808:15LV Tombigbee Oxbow anchorageAL13:45AR Demopolis Yacht BasinDemopolis, ALTrip (statute) miles49.2Total (statute) miles6284Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.808Dec0808:05LV Demopolis Yacht BasinDemopolis, ALPassed through Demopolis Lock (- 40 feet)Left Tenn-Tom Waterway, entered Tombigbee River.16:15AR Bashi Creek anchorageALTrip (statute) miles70.6Total (statute) miles6354Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.009Dec0809:00LV Bashi Creek anchorageALBashi Creek is very narrow. Wind blew us to shore as we were weighing the stern anchor. Putting port engine in gear, we hit a submerged log/stump. Vibration above 1050 RPM. Will have Illusions hauled in Mobile to check.Weather reports showed severe storms headed our way. Closest dock was Bobby's Fish Camp - a very primitive spot.12:30AR Bobby's Fish CampSilas, ALTrip (statute) miles25.1Total (statute) miles6379Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.610Dec0807:45LV Bobby's Fish CampSilas, AL15:15AR Three Rivers Lake anchorageALTrip (statute) miles56.6Total (statute) miles6436Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.911Dec0809:00LV Three Rivers Lake anchorageAL16:45AR Big Bayou Canot anchorage (MM 16.6)ALTook 2.5 hours to get bow and stern anchors set properly due to high wind and narrow channel.Trip (statute) miles49.2Total (statute) miles6486Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.012Dec0808:15LV Big Bayou Canot anchorageALTook 45 minutes to weigh anchors - tidal current had reversed during the night.12:15AR Grand Mariner MarinaMobile, ALMobile is the official end of the Loop for Illusions !!!Trip (statute) miles32.2Total (statute) miles6518Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.0 Our "new" engine is performing very well, thanks to the folks at Pebble Isle Marina. The engine replacement put us about six weeks behind schedule and the weather reminds us of this every day.Snow and sleet on Illusions the day we left Grand Harbor Marina.The Tenn-Tom Waterway is a man-made "canal" providing passage from the Tennessee River to the Tombigbee River and thus, the Gulf of Mexico. This passage, with 10 locks, [...]
Sat, 29 Nov 2008 22:53:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG16-28Nov08Multiple sea trials.New Johnsonville, TNTrip (statute) miles69.1Total (statute) miles5926Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.5Illusions was at Pebble Isle marina for six weeks and two days. The first three weeks were spent removing and replacing the engine. Sea trials uncovered a coolant leak and three oil leaks. Repairing these problems took three more weeks.No work was done on weekends so we took advatange of the time off to do some more exploring by car. Paris was not far away.A side trip to Paris.Patti holds a wildlife rescue owl on display at a Paris restaurant.The Caterpillar engines in Illusions can be placed in vehicles (like trucks and buses) and boats. In a vehicle, the exhaust manifold is air cooled. In a marine application, the exhaust manifold is water (coolant) cooled. Coolant is carried from the engine block to the exhaust manifold by a small duct. In a vehicle application, there is no duct. The duct is replaced by a plug to keep the coolant from flowing out of the engine. All of this is reasonable.During sea trials, coolant would gush out of the overflow tank when the engine was run at high RPM. The Caterpillar mechanics were convinced this was caused by a cracked exhaust manifold. They took the manifold to their shop and pressure-tested it. No leaks, but they still thought it was either this manifold or the turbo (which also has coolant flowing through it). Neither the exhaust manifold nor the turbo had been replaced. They were “old” parts, and therefore suspect, according to Caterpillar.A new exhaust manifold and new turbo were ordered. The plan was to replace the manifold and do a sea trial. If that did not fix the problem, then replace the turbo and do a sea trial. If the problem was still not cured, Caterpillar would have to start dismantling the engine to locate the problem.We were about an hour away from the first sea trial with a new manifold when Ray, the marina’s chief mechanic, noticed something unusual as he was installing the duct between the block and the exhaust manifold. Recessed into the back of the block was a plug blocking any coolant from flowing into the exhaust manifold! The infamous plug that should have been removed from our engine.None of the local Caterpillar folks were aware of the plug, but all agreed it should be removed. Ray removed the plug, we did a sea trial, and the coolant problem was solved. This process consumed all of week four.This problem should never have happened. Someone at Caterpillar knows that plug should be removed when the engine is placed in a marine application. That information was apparently not communicated to the local Caterpillar folks. The best way to prevent this sort of error would have been for Caterpillar to have designed a plug or duct so that only one of them could have been installed at a time. The current design allows the duct to be silently installed over the plug, which is what happened in our case.On to the oil leaks. One of the three oil leaks required tightening a hose. The other two leaks were really the same. Oil was dripping off the back of the oil pan. Some of this oil was running down the bottom of the oil pan and dripping from the middle of the pan. Two drips, same source. During week five, Caterpillar made four attempts to solve this leak, including removing the oil pan and replacing the gasket. Finally, everyone accepted the reality that the engine would have to be raised up and moved forward to get access to the back of the engine.Joe, the Caterpillar mechanic, attempts to fix the oil leak before we raised the engine.Two days before Thanksgiving Jimmy and Ray, from the marina, disconnected and raised the engine. After removing the flywheel and bell housing, the smoking gun was clearly visible. The aluminum plate that is bolted to the back of the engine was cracked. This plate houses the rear crankshaft seal and forms the flat surface for attaching the rear of the oil pan. Actually both sides were cracked by (apparently over-tightening) bolts that secure the oil pan. Jo[...]
Sat, 08 Nov 2008 22:53:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG04Nov08Completed replacement of port engine.05Nov0810:45LV Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TNShort sea trial to test new engine was successful.11:30AR Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TNTrip (statute) miles4.4Total (statute) miles5753Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.7Fuel (gallons) at Pebble Isle22107Nov0811:15LV Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TN15:30AR Paris Landing MarinaParis, TNTrip (statute) miles31.4Total (statute) miles5785Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.208Nov0809:15LV Paris Landing MarinaParis, TN15:45AR Cuba Landing MarinaCuba, TNTrip (statute) miles49.8Total (statute) miles5835Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.809Nov0812:15LV Cuba Landing MarinaCuba, TN14:45AR Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TNTrip (statute) miles20.4Total (statute) miles5857Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.2Illusions limped into Pebble Isle Marina on one engine. Before we could finish securing Illusions in the slip, Ray the chief mechanic arrived. Pulling out the engine oil dipstick revealed an excessive amount of "oil" and it was a milky color - a very bad sign. We gave Ray the OK to remove the head. Ray, Sam, and Jimmy inspect the head.With the head removed, the problem was clear.Cylinder #6 had a two-finger sized hole in the block. And the block on the other side of this hole had a crack from the top to the bottom. This was really bad news. The engine had to be replaced. A new engine was the easiest part of the solution. The most difficult part was the removal and replacement of the engine itself. Most boats like ours have the engines and other large components installed in the hull before the top is put on the boat. In some boats, engine replacement requires cutting a hole in the side of the hull, or in an extreme case, in the bottom of the boat. Fortunately, for us, a very creative fellow named Jimmy also works at Pebble Isle Marina. He likes challenges and refused to get out his chain saw. Our situation was complicated by the narrow doors and multiple levels in our boat. The engine room is the lowest level, with the salon in the middle, and the aft deck at the highest level. Jimmy and Ray created a series of steel beams and supporting rigging that would lift the engine out of the engine room (after the carpet was removed and part of the subflooring was removed). Then the engine would slide toward the aft deck and be transfered to another beam that ran from the aft deck out to the dock. The pictures below tell the story much better than words can.The salon is rigged for removal of the block.The beam to take the block from the salon to the dock attaches here.Ray and Jimmy support the beam on the aft deck.Finally the beam is attached to the dock.Ray begins to lift the block out of the engine room.Ray moves support for the block from the beam in the salon to the beam on the aft deck.Ray removes parts so the block will fit through the door on the aft deck.The block is out of the boat!!!Ray and Jimmy lower the block to the dock.The block is placed into the boat that will take it to land. Randy, the marina owner, looks on.Now for the good news. The engine failed close to this marina, with Ray, Jimmy, and Randy. The marina had a cafe and Illusions was docked 10 feet from the cafe. Caterpillar (the manufacturer of the engine) had a dealer a few miles down the road. We have been in a lot of places where there would have been no way to get this level of support and expertise.Caterpillar agreed to build a new engine (with some new parts and some remanufactured parts), but this would take several days. So, we decided to go explore some of the local places while the engine was being built. The marina is in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, sort of half way between Nashville and Memphis. The Cumberland River as it winds through downtown Nashville.We spent the night at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, really a GIANT atrium.Billy finds some new friends at the Opryland Hotel.When Billy was fourteen, he lived in Florence, Alabama, a 2.5 hour drive from[...]
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 15:32:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG26Sep0807:45LV Grafton Harbor MarinaGrafton, ILLeft Illinois River, entered Mississippi River.Passed through Mel Price Lock (down 23 feet).Passed through Chain of Rocks Lock (down 12 feet).Nice 2-3 knot current carrying us down river.14:30AR Hoppie's Marine Services (MM 158.5)MOLast place to get fuel and supplies for 230 miles.Trip (statute) miles58.7Total (statute) miles5402Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.227Sep0808:00LV Hoppie's Marine ServicesMONice 4 knot current carrying us down river.17:45AR Little Diversion Canal anchorageMOTrip (statute) miles110Total (statute) miles5512Average speed (statute miles per hour)11.528Sep0808:45LV Little Diversion CanalMODeparture delayed 45 minutes by fog.Left (muddy) Mississippi River, entered (clean) Ohio River.18:15AR anchorage south of I-24 bridge (MM942)Metropolis, ILTrip (statute) miles88.0Total (statute) miles5600Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.329Sep0807:35LV Metropolis (home of Superman)Metropolis,ILPass through Lock 52 on Ohio River (up 12 feet).Leave Ohio River, enter Cumberland River.Pass through Barkley Lock into Barkley Lake (up 57 feet).My Cin and Whichaway completed the Great Loop!!17:45AR Buzzard Rock MarinaKuttawa, KYTrip (statute) miles60.1Total (statute) miles5660Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.1Returned to Austin for wedding, medical appointments, visit with friends.Hauled Illusions to wash bottom, replace zincs.Both propellers had minor damage after 5660 miles. Replaced with on-board spare set.15Oct0808:35LV Buzzard Rock MarinaKuttawa, KYLeft Cumberland River, entered Tennessee River.16:00AR Paris Landing MarinaTNTrip (statute) miles58.0Total (statute) miles5718Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.116Oct0808:30LV Paris Landing MarinaKYPort engine vibrated, lost power, and discharged a big cloud of smoke.Illusions limped into Pebble Isle Marina on the starboard engine - redundancy is good. Docking in the wind was a challenge.13:15AR Pebble Isle MarinaNew Johnsonville, TNTrip (statute) miles31.3Total (statute) miles5749Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.1While waiting for the Coast Guard to open the Mississippi River to pleasure craft, friends Harry and Lynda from Iowa paid us a visit. We met them in Marathon, Florida, earlier this year. The four of us made a day trip by car to St. Louis.Part of "old" downtown St. Louis where we had lunch.The Arch at St. Louis is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet. It is the city's best known landmark and a popular tourist attraction. Construction began February 12, 1963 and the last section of the Arch was put into place on October 28, 1965.The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape.The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height. Each year, approximately a million visitors ride the trams to the top of the Arch. The trams have been in operation for over 30 years, traveling a total of 250,000 miles and carrying over 25 million passengers.The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.In order to ensure that the constructed legs would meet, the margin of error for failure was 1/64th of an inch. All survey work was done at night to eliminate distortion caused by the sun's rays. Since the Arch was constructed before the advent of computer technology, relatively crude instruments were used for these measurements.The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2".The Arch is an engineering beauty.At the top, you can see the tiny observation windows.Patti, Billy, and Lynda wait in the tram capsule for a ride to the top. Only 5 passengers per capsule, please.View from the Arch of the Mississippi where we will travel soon. The flooded sides are visible.View of downtown from the Arch.After nine days, the flood waters re[...]
Fri, 24 Oct 2008 02:08:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG20Aug0809:00LV Government BayLes Chenaux Islands, MI12:00AR Mackinac Island MarinaMackinac Island, MI Trip (statute) miles20.9Total (statute) miles4572Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.821Aug0808:30LV Mackinac Island MarinaMackinac Island, MI09:30Left Lake Huron, entered Lake Michigan.17:00AR Charlevoix Municipal MarinaCharlevoix, MITrip (statute) miles62.2Total (statute) miles4634Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.522Aug0809:50LV Charlevoix Municipal MarinaCharlevoix, MI15:30AR Leland MarinaLeland, MITrip (statute) miles35.8Total (statute) miles4670Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.1Picked up Abbe and Robert.24Aug0809:30LV Leland MarinaLeland, MI15:00AR Frankfort Municipal MarinaFrankfort, MITrip (statute) miles41.9Total (statute) miles4712Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.526Aug0809:45LV Frankfort Municipal MarinaFrankfort, MI14:00AR Manistee Minicipal MarinaManistee, MITrip (statute) miles28.9Total (statute) miles4741Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.227Aug0809:05LV Manistee Minicipal MarinaManistee, MI13:00AR Ludington City MarinaLudington, MIFuel (gallons)175Trip (statute) miles27.0Total (statute) miles4768Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.828Aug0809:00LV Ludington City MarinaLudington, MI16:15AR Whitelake MarinaWhitelake, MITrip (statute) miles48.1Total (statute) miles4816Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.830Aug0809:20LV Whitelake MarinaWhitelake, MILOTS of Labor Day boat traffic. ALMOST ran over a sailboat that tacked right in front of us, incorrectly shouting that sailboats ALWAYS have the right-of-way.16:00AR Grand Isle MarinaGrand Haven, MITrip (statute) miles40.5Total (statute) miles4857Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.531Aug0809:45LV Grand Isle MarinaGrand Haven, MI13:30AR Eldean Ship YardHolland, MITrip (statute) miles24.0Total (statute) miles4881Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.1Abbe and Robert left us to return to Texas.01Sep0808:15LV Eldean Ship YardHolland, MI15:30AR Island Point MarinaSt. Joseph, MIAll marinas were full. Jan & Dave Farley let us stay at Island Point Marina (a private marina).Trip (statute) miles51.9Total (statute) miles4933Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.202Sep0812:00LV Island Point MarinaSt. Joseph, MI15:45AR New Buffalo MarinaNew Buffalo, MITrip (statute) miles28.2Total (statute) miles4961Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.2Poor weather kept us in New Buffalo for four days.Took Amtrak to Chicago. Picked up Catherine (from Florida) and returned to New Buffalo.06Sep0808:00LV New Buffalo MarinaNew Buffalo, MICrossed southern end of Lake Michigan into the Calumet River (south of Chicago).Left Calumet River, entered Little Calumet River.Passed through Thomas O'Brien lock into Calumet SAG canal.16:30AR Marine Service MarinaDolton, ILTrip (statute) miles55.3Total (statute) miles5016Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.6Catherine departed.07Sep0808:45LV Marine Service MarinaDolton, ILPassed under lowest fixed bridge on our route - 19.1 feet. Illusions made it with 2 feet to spare. Whichaway made it with 1 inch to spare.Passed through Lockport Lock (down 40')Left Calumet SAG canal, entered Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.Left Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, entered Des Plaines River.15:30AR City WallJoliet, ILTrip (statute) miles36.9Total (statute) miles5053Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.808Sep0808:15LV City wallJoliet, ILPassed through Brandon Lock (down 34')Left Des Plaines River, entered Illinois River.Passed through Dresden Lock (down 20')Passed through Marseilles Lock (down 26')16:00AR Ottawa city dockOttawa, ILTrip (statute) miles48.0Total (statute) miles5101Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.410Sep0809:30LV Ottawa city dockOttawa, ILPassed through Starved Rock Lock Lock (down 18') after 2.5 hour wait.18:30AR Upper Henry Island anchorageILTrip (statute) miles46.0Total (statute) miles5147Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.811Sep0809:30LV Upper Henry Island anchorageILFuel (gallons)[...]
Sun, 28 Sep 2008 12:34:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG08Aug0811:30LV Bay Moorings MarinaPenetanguishene, Ontario17:00AR Echo Bay anchorageOntarioTrip (statute) miles39.8Total (statute) miles4219Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.309Aug0811:45LV Echo BayOntario14:30AR Big Sound MarinaParry Sound, OntarioTrip (statute) miles15.4Total (statute) miles4234Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.0David and Carol joined us.10Aug0810:30LV Big Sound MarinaParry Sound, Ontario16:20AR Pointe au Baril Station anchorageOpechee Island, OntarioTrip (statute) miles38.2Total (statute) miles4272Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.911Aug0809:30LV Pointe au Baril StationOpechee Island, Ontario13:15AR Brit MarinaBrit, OntarioTrip (statute) miles31.3Total (statute) miles4304Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.4Fuel (gallons) from Brit Marina22312Aug0811:00LV Brit MarinaBrit, Ontario15:10AR Bustard Islands anchorageOntarioTrip (statute) miles29.6Total (statute) miles4333Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.113Aug0809:10LV Bustard Islands anchorageOntario15:00AR Sportsman's InnKillarney, OntarioTrip (statute) miles41.7Total (statute) miles4375Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.214Aug0809:00LV Sportsman's InnKillarney, OntarioLeave Georgian Bay and enter North Channel.12:30AR Little Current MarinaLittle Current, OntarioTrip (statute) miles21.6Total (statute) miles4397Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.615Aug0811:15LV Little Current MarinaLittle Current, Ontario14:00AR Croker Island anchorageBenjamin Islands, OntarioTrip (statute) miles19.7Total (statute) miles4417Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.716Aug0810:30LV Croker IslandBenjamin Islands, Ontario15:45AR John Harbor anchorageJohn Island, OntarioTrip (statute) miles32.1Total (statute) miles4449Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.417Aug0808:30LV John HarborJohn Island, Ontario15:15AR Thessalon MarinaThessalon, OntarioTrip (statute) miles47.9Total (statute) miles4497Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.1Change engine and generator oil and filters.19Aug0809:00LV Thessalon MarinaThessalon, Ontario11:45AR Drummond Island Yacht HavenDrummond Island, MILeave North Channel in Canada and enter USA. Pass through Immigration and Customs.13:15LV Drummond Island Yacht HavenDrummond Island, MIWhichaway was boarded by Coast Guard for safety inspection and passed.18:00AR Government Bay anchorageLes Chenaux Islands, MITrip (statute) miles53.9Total (statute) miles4551Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.2This post covers our travels through Georgian Bay and North Channel, both remote and beautiful parts of Canada. Then across the western end of Lake Huron, and back into the USA at Drummond Island, Michigan. Internet and cell phone access in Canada was unreliable. Even worse, it was VERY expensive. Checking our bill online showed we were charged $700 for Internet access and $2000 for cell phone access - just the first week we were in Canada! After a number of (toll-free) discussions with AT&T, we negotiated a different, but still expensive, Internet rate plan which did not include the $700. And the $2000 cell phone charge was removed because AT&T could not provide the details. Whew!Sunset in Penetanguishene, the night before we head into Georgian Bay.Our anchorage at Echo Bay, obviously popular with other boaters, too.Moon over Echo Bay.Following the winding channel between islands.In the mid 1800's when the first boats navigated the waters of Georgian Bay, very few of the channels were marked with anything more than a pile of stones. It was determined that a barrel should be erected with a lantern placed on top to guide the boats into the channel after dark or in the event of a storm. This served as the first lighthouse for Pointe au Baril, hence the name which translates "Point of the Barrel". In 1889 the first lighthouse was erected to replace the barrel light. It stands to this day, over a hundred years old and still in use to guide fishing boats, sportsmen and residents to s[...]
Wed, 10 Sep 2008 03:25:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG16Jul0809:45LV Winter Harbor MarinaBrewerton, NYAnchor windlass checked and found to be worn out.Replacing port engine starter brushes fixed the intermittent low battery/starting problem that has plagued us since the start of the trip.Replaced refrigerator inverter (covered by warranty).Finally met up with Whichaway and My Cin (from Texas). We will travel through Canada with them.Transited Erie Canal lock #23 downstream. Feet above sea level363Transited Oswego Canal locks #1-7 downstream. Feet above sea level25616:15AR Oswego Canal, between locks 7 and 8Oswego, NYTrip (statute) miles31.7Total (statute) miles3791Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.118Jul0807:00LV Oswego Canal, lock 7Oswego, NYTransited Oswego Canal lock #8 downstream. Feet above sea level245Crossed eastern end of Lake Ontario into Canada.14:00AR Collins Bay MarinaCollins Bay, OntarioTrip (statute) miles57.5Total (statute) miles3849Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.019Jul0809:30LV Collins Bay MarinaCollins Bay, Ontario18:00AR Fraser Park MarinaTrenton, OntarioTrip (statute) miles65.4Total (statute) miles3914Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.9Purchase new anchor windlass and chain23Jul0814:00LV Fraser Park MarinaTrenton, OntarioEntered Trent-Severn Waterway.Transited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #1-6 uptream. Feet above sea level36216:45AR Frankford (lock #6)Frankford, OntarioTrip (statute) miles7.5Total (statute) miles3921Average speed (statute miles per hour)5.324Jul0807:50LV FrankfordFrankford, OntarioTransited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #7-12 uptream. Feet above sea level47913:30AR Campbellford (lock #12)Campbellford, OntarioTrip (statute) miles23.8Total (statute) miles3945Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.725Jul0808:45LV CampbellfordCampbellford, OntarioTransited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #13-18 uptream. Feet above sea level61313:45AR Hastings (lock #18)Hastings, OntarioTrip (statute) miles20.3Total (statute) miles3966Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.1Installed new anchor windlass27Jul0808:30LV HastingsHastings, OntarioStarboard tachometer drive failed causing engine synchronizer to fail.Transited Trent-Severn Waterway lock #19 uptream. Feet above sea level62114:15AR Peterborough MarinaPeterborough, OntarioTrip (statute) miles39.3Total (statute) miles4005Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.2Repaired starboard engine tachometer drive.28Jul0809:45LV Peterborough MarinaPeterborough, OntarioTransited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #20-28 uptream. Feet above sea level793Billy fell into lock #23 helping My Cin tie up. No damage to the lock or Billy.Illusions, ahead of My Cin, took wrong turn. After turning around, My Cin was the leader, went on the wrong side of the channel marker (because the sun obscured the marker's color), hit a rock, and damaged her keel.18:20AR Burleigh Falls (lock 28)Burleigh Falls, OntarioTrip (statute) miles25.0Total (statute) miles4030Average speed (statute miles per hour)5.529Jul0808:45LV Burleigh FallsBurleigh Falls, OntarioTransited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #30-32 uptream. Feet above sea level81615:00AR Centre Point LandingBobcaygeon, OntarioTrip (statute) miles27.0Total (statute) miles4057Average speed (statute miles per hour)5.230Jul0811:55LV Centre Point LandingBobcaygeon, OntarioTransited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #34-35 uptream. Feet above sea level840Transited Trent-Severn Waterway lock #36 downstream. Feet above sea level79117:45AR Kirkfield (lock 36) Kirkfield, OntarioTrip (statute) miles29.7Total (statute) miles4086Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.231Jul0808:30LV Kirkfield (lock #36)Kirkfield, OntarioHit a submerged log. Caused small ding in one blade of port prop.Transited Trent-Severn Waterway locks #37-41 downstream. Feet above sea level71816:00AR Port of OrilliaOrillia, OntarioTrip (statute) miles31.7Total (statute) miles4118Average speed (statute miles per hour)5.501Aug0808:30LV Port of OrilliaOrillia[...]
Sat, 19 Jul 2008 02:38:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG09Jun0809:15LV Glimmer Glass anchorageManasquan, NJFuel (gallons) at Clarke's Landing16615:00AR Great Kills Yacht ClubStaten Island, NYTrip (statute) miles44.1Total (statute) miles3377Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.515Jun0811:30LV Great Kills Yacht ClubStaten Island, NYTook Fletcher's & Clegg's for tour of New York Harbor.Heavy rain when passing under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.Fog when returning to Great Kills Yacht Club.20:00AR Great Kills Yacht ClubStaten Island, NYTrip (statute) miles49.6Total (statute) miles3427Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.020Jun0810:20LV Great Kills Yacht ClubStaten Island, NY16:45AR Half Moon Bay MarinaCroton-on-Hudson, NYTrip (statute) miles55.7Total (statute) miles3482Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.121Jun0808:45LV Half Moon Bay MarinaCroton-on-Hudson, NY14:15AR Norrie Point MarinaStaatsburg, NYTrip (statute) miles50.8Total (statute) miles3533Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.2Changed engine oil, primary, and secondary fuel filters.Solved low cooling water volume with generator by tightening the belts.27Jun0809:45LV Norrie Point MarinaStaatsburg, NY16:00AR Castleton Boat ClubCastleton-on-Hudson, NYTrip (statute) miles52.6Total (statute) miles3586Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.428Jun0810:40LV Castleton Boat ClubCastleton-on-Hudson, NYTransited Hudson River lock #1 (Federal Lock) upstream. Feet above sea level 1514:00AR Waterford City dockWaterford, NYTrip (statute) miles19.4Total (statute) miles3605Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.130Jun0808:30LV Waterford City dockWaterford, NYTransited Eric Canal locks #2-10 upstream. Feet above sea level25616:45AR Amsterdam City dockAmsterdam, NYTrip (statute) miles37.4Total (statute) miles3642Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.702Jul0808:30LV Amsterdam City dockAmsterdam, NYTransited Eric Canal locks #11-17 upstream. Feet above sea level36317:15AR Little Falls City dockLittle Falls, NYTrip (statute) miles42.6Total (statute) miles3685Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.904Jul0808:35LV Little Falls City dockLittle Falls, NYTransited Eric Canal locks #18-20 upstream. Feet above sea level420Transited Eric Canal locks #21-22 downstream. Feet above sea level37018:15AR Oneida Lake anchorageOneida Lake, NYAnchor windless would not work. Deployed secondary anchor by hand.Trip (statute) miles52.5Total (statute) miles3738Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.505Jul0809:30LV Oneida Lake anchorageOneida Lake, NYAnchor fouled with grass. Took 30 minutes to clear.Boat covered with LOTS of bugs.12:45AR Winter Harbor MarinaBrewerton, NYTrip (statute) miles21.8Total (statute) miles3760Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.1Fuel (gallons) from Winter Harbor255Wow, we finally made it to New York! We docked Illusions at the Great Kills Yacht Club in Staten Island. ("Kills" is Dutch for "canal or creek".) From Staten Island we did a day cruise of the New York City harbor. On the way to New York City, we passed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as we entered the Harbor. When it opened in 1964, it was the world's longest suspension span. The ends of the bridge are at historic Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, both of which guarded New York Harbor at the Narrows for over a century.Its monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth's curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter.Verrazano-Narrows BridgeNew York City skyline from IllusionsStaten Island ferry landing in Manhatten with a view up the East RiverBryant Park at 42nd Street and 6th AvenueView [...]
Thu, 19 Jun 2008 00:40:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG16May0809:30LV Belhaven Waterway MarinaBelhaven, NCSailboat from Canada called Coast Guard for help with 3 1/2 foot snake in their cockpit.16:00AR Alligator River Marina (MM84)NCTrip (statute) miles54.5Total (statute) miles2735Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.9Fuel (gallons)20118May0808:00LV Alligator River MarinaNC16:00AR Atlantic Yacht Basin MarinaGreat Bridge, VATrip (statute) miles73.7Total (statute) miles2809Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.3Installed AirSep device on port engine to capture messy engine crankcase oil vapors.20May0807:45LV Atlantic Yacht Basin MarinaGreat Bridge, VAPassed through Great Bridge lock on the way to Norfolk, VA.Big line of thunderstorms passed us 10 miles to the south as we entered the Chesapeake Bay. Close call.Bay was not kind to us: 25 knot winds, 3 foot seas. Three window leaks - two were supposed to have been fixed in Houston.18:00AR Chesapeake Boat BasinChesapeake, VATrip (statute) miles80.3Total (statute) miles2889Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.521May0813:00LV Chesapeake Boat BasinChesapeake, VAPicked up Gail and Bob14:00AR Bill & Julie's dock (Bill is Gail's brother)White Stone, VATrip (statute) miles7.2Total (statute) miles2896Average speed (statute miles per hour)6.323May0808:35LV Bill and Julie's dockWhite Stone, VA11:45AR Park's MarinaTangier Island, VA14:45LV Park's MarinaTangier Island, VA16:45AR Somers Cove MarinaCrisfield, MDTrip (statute) miles39.4Total (statute) miles2936Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.725May0810:00LV Somers Cove MarinaCrisfield, MDVery smooth crossing.Visited anchored ship used for target practice.15:45AR Calvert MarinaSolomons Island, MDTrip (statute) miles49.8Total (statute) miles2986Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.927May0811:00LV Calvert MarinaSolomons Island, MDSmooth crossing16:00AR Oxford Boatyard MarinaOxford, MDTrip (statute) miles39.2Total (statute) miles3025Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.7AirSep leaks oil. Vendor will replace as soon as we stop long enough to receive packages.9.228May0811:00LV Oxford Boatyard MarinaOxford, MD15:00AR Annapolis City DockAnnapolis, MDTrip (statute) miles37.0Total (statute) miles3062Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.201Jun0810:30LV Annapolis City DockAnnapolis, MD14:15AR City of Baltimore DocksBaltimore, MDTrip (statute) miles33.3Total (statute) miles3095Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.503Jun0809:30LV City of Baltimore DockBaltimore, MDFuel (gallons) Tidewater Yacht Services26716:45AR Chesapeake Inn and MarinaChesapeake City, MDTrip (statute) miles57.0Total (statute) miles3153Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.705Jun0809:15LV Chesapeake Inn and MarinaChesapeake City, MDSmooth crossing the Delaware Bay17:15AR Miss Chris MarinaCape May, NJTrip (statute) miles72.0Total (statute) miles3225Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.007Jun0808:45LV Miss Chris MarinaCape May, NJNew Jersey ICW is shallow. Made trip via Atlantic Ocean.Light wind, 2 foot waves. Fog with 1/8 mile visibility most of the trip.13:45AR Atlantic City anchorageAtlantic City, NJTrip (statute) miles45.7Total (statute) miles3271Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.608Jun0807:30LV Atlantic City anchorageAtlantic City, NJLight wind, 1 foot waves during Atlantic Ocean passage.14:45AR Manasquan anchorageManasquan, NJTrip (statute) miles62.0Total (statute) miles3333Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.5This posting covers our travels from Virginia to New Jersey.The color of the waterways in Virginia results from the leaching of tannins from the decaying leaves of adjoining vegetation.Anyone want another cup of coffee?We always monitor VHF channel 16 for emergency broadcasts and to hail other boats. On the way to Alligator River Marina, we heard a female voice hail the Coast Guard to ask for help with a snake in the cockpit of their sailboat. They were from Canad[...]
Thu, 15 May 2008 22:35:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG26Apr0809:30LV Hinckley Yacht ServicesThunderbolt, SC16:45AR Bass Creek anchorage (MM 522)SCTrip (statute) miles63.9Total (statute) miles2217Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.227Apr0809:45LV Bass Creek Anchorage16:00AR Charleston City MarinaCharleston, SCTrip (statute) miles54.1Total (statute) miles2271Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.030Apr0809:30LV Charleston City Marina17:00AR Boat Shed MarinaGeorgetown, SCTrip (statute) miles66.8Total (statute) miles2338Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.001May0810:15LV Boat Shed Marina17:30AR Barefoot LandingMyrtle Beach, SCTrip (statute) miles51.7Total (statute) miles2390Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.9Fuel (gallons)24703May0807:00LV Barefoot Landing Marina14:30AR Federal Point Yacht ClubCarolina Beach, NCTrip (statute) miles60.2Total (statute) miles2450Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.005May0808:45LV Federal Point Yacht ClubHelped lost vessel (apparently without charts or GPS) find shelter in a marina16:30AR Mile Hammock Bay anchorage (MM 244.5)NCDropped anchor just as thunderstorm hitTrip (statute) miles52.3Total (statute) miles2502Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.206May0808:15LV Mile Hammock Bay anchorage17:00AR South River anchorageNCTrip (statute) miles72.1Total (statute) miles2574Average speed (statute miles per our)8.407May0808:15LV South River anchorage15:15AR Washington City DockWashington, NCTrip (statute) miles62.0Total (statute) miles2636Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.0Visited friends and relatives in NC and VA for five daysChanged oil and fuel filters (both engines, generator)15May0809:40LV Washington City Dock14:30AR Belhaven Waterway MarinaBelhaven, NCTrip (statute) miles44.6Total (statute) miles2681Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.4We've been busy!! We've come along way up the east coast. We've seen some wonderful, quaint towns, some awesome scenery, and many friends! Hope you can join us somewhere, too!!Charleston, South Carolina, was founded by the British in 1670. Much of the city's beauty comes from hard times. The years following the Civil War were bleak and little building or demolition occurred. Lack of funds to rebuild meant the existing buildings would be utilized instead of being replaced. Another part of the city's beauty stems from the lack of skyscrapers. The tallest and most pronounced buildings in the city are the churches.Ahhh, welcome sign at the Charleston City Marina, SC.Charleston is a beautiful old town with gorgeous restored antebellum homes.The "Market" close to downtown Charleston.We pass Fort Sumter, in the mouth of Charleston Harbor, where the first shots were fired that started the Civil War.Georgetown, SC. Reminds us of Port Aransas, TX. Very cool town.The Intracoastal side of Georgetown has restored old buildings that now house bars and restaurants.This "Cat" has seen better days!! The entire left side of the boat was destroyed (don't know how??) and is being supported by the barge on its trip to the dump.One of many odd sights to see on the Intracoastal Waterway!Shopping in Myrtle Beach. Reminded us of an amusement park.Myrtle Beach. Where are the bars and restaurants?Just one of many, many small houses in Myrtle Beach!!If ya can't make it to a beach, raft up your boat on the Intracoastal.Sometimes "waterfront" doesn't mean your house is actually next to the water. Very shallow!We were the only boat at this anchorage. Beautiful!Carolina Beach, SC. Close to Wilmington.Carolina Beach, boardwalk. Very busy in the summer. Not so busy in the spring.We're in North Carolina! Another quaint town, Washington, NC. We docked here for a week as we drove to Raleigh/Durham to visit friends and family.Great long dock.These crabs are all around Washington, decorated by different organizations. Way cute!!Across the way to Belhaven, NC.This Belhav[...]
Fri, 25 Apr 2008 22:35:00 +0000SHIP'S LOGNOTE: units have been changed from nautical miles to statute (regular) miles.23Mar0809:00LV Jonathan's LandingJupiter, FLPulled a sport fishing boat off a shoal15:30AR Vero Beach City MarinaVero Beach, FLTrip (statute) miles56.1Total (statute) miles1741Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.224Mar0809:30LV Vero Beach MarinaGusty north winds16:30AR Harbortown Canaveral MarinaCocoa Beach, FLTrip (statute) miles61.4Total (statute) miles1803Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.726Mar0809:30LV Harbortown Canaveral MarinaFuel (gallons) from Harbortown Canaveral Marina12517:30AR Memorial Bridge anchorage (mile marker 831.4)Daytona, FLTrip (statute) miles66.2Total (statute) miles1870Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.527Mar0809:30LV Memorial Bridge anchorage15:30AR Oyster Creek MarinaSt. Augustine, FLWind/current too strong to get into slip. Tied up a end of dock instead.Trip (statute) miles54.3Total (statute) miles1924Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.701Apr0807:30LV Oyster Creek Marina15:30AR Fernandina Harbor MarinaFernandina Beach, FLFuel (gallons) from Florida Petroleum115Trip (statute) miles65.6Total (statute) miles1990Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.603Apr0807:30LV Fernandina Harbor Marina11:30AR Jekyll Harbor MarinaJekyll Island, GATrip (statute) miles31.7Total (statute) miles2022Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.204Apr0807:15LV Jekyll Harbor Marina15:30AR Kilkenny MarinaGATrip (statute) miles71.9Total (statute) miles2093Average speed (statute miles per hour)9.005Apr0807:15LV Kilkenny Marina11:30AR Hinckley Yacht ServicesThunderbolt, GATrip (statute) miles32.5Total (statute) miles2125Average speed (statute miles per hour)8.5Replace main (D) batteriesReplace FM radio and speakers on bridge23Apr0812:30LV Hinckley Yacht Services14:00AR Hyatt DockSavannah, GATrip (statute) miles12.9Total (statute) miles2140Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.823Apr0817:30LV Hyatt Dock19:00AR Hinckley Yacht ServicesThunderbolt, GATrip (statute) miles12.9Total (statute) miles2153Average speed (statute miles per hour)7.8Since we left Texas, there has been an intermittent problem of diesel soot getting on the back of the boat. The back of the boat can act like a station wagon and suck the exhaust against it. The worst case of soot occurred on the trip from Marathon to Miami. In Fort Lauderdale, Billy asked a Caterpiller mechanic to look at the engines. He offered three options: 1) use CAT engine oil specifically formulated for the 3116 engines in Illusions, 2) clean the turbo aftercooler, and 3) remove, clean, and re-calibrate the fuel injectors. Option 1 was by far the easiest and cheapest. Billy changed the oil, using the CAT oil, in Jupiter and the back of the boat has been spotless since then! What a great discovery.The Harbortown Canaveral Marina is touted as a great place to watch a space shuttle launch. Well, there was a night launch we could have watched, but weather delayed our arrival until after the launch. However, that delay allowed us to have dinner with our Austin friend, Bruce, who was in Cocoa Beach for business.Sunset at the restaurant next to our marina in Cocoa Beach. (Photo by Bruce Bogart.)St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest European city in the United States. The area was first visited by Ponce de Leon in 1513, but it was Juan Menendez de Aviles who established the first settlement, almost half a century before the first English settlers landed at Jamestown. St. Augustine grew to become the Spanish center of power in North America for almost 200 years.St. Augustine was the site of the first lighthouse established in Florida by the new, territorial, American Government in 1824.View of St. Augustine and the ICW from the lighthouse. Cranes in the center are being used to restore the Bridge of Lions across the ICW[...]
Thu, 20 Mar 2008 02:05:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG16Feb0813:30AR Marathon Marina (Florida Keys)Marathon, FLFix radar arch lights. Wire knocked loose by contractor.Install new fuel transfer pumpFix fuel transfer pump. Wire knocked loose by contractor.Clean sea strainersFuel (gallons) from Marathon Marina19810Mar0808:30LV Marathon Marina16:25AR Blackwater Sound anchorage (near Key Largo)Florida KeysTrip (nautical) miles60.2Total (nautical) miles1342Average speed (knots)6.9Bruce anchor did not hold. Deployed Fortress as second anchor.11Mar0810:45LV Blackwater Sound15:15AR Key Biscayne anchorage (in the shadow of downtown Miami)Key Biscanye, FLTrip (nautical) miles38.1Total (nautical) miles1381Average speed (knots)7.3Watched two helicopters chase a VERY fast lime green Geico-sponsored boat around a course.12Mar0809:30LV Key Biscayne15:30AR Las Olas MarinaFort Lauderdale, FLTrip (nautical) miles29.7Total (nautical) miles1410Average speed (knots)5.8Pick up Ruthann and Rick from Palm Beach airport16Mar0809:30LV Las Olas Marina16:15AR Lantana Bridge anchorageLantana, FLTrip (nautical) miles63.5Total (nautical) miles1444Average speed (knots)5.717Mar0810:00LV Lantana Bridge15:00AR Jonathan's Landing MarinaJupiter, FLTrip (nautical) miles21.4Total (nautical) miles1466Average speed (knots)5.9Return Ruthann and Rick to Palm Beach airportMARATHONMarathon is a destination, not a stop along the way. It is located half way between Key Largo (north) and Key West (south). Many of the boaters return (from the northern states) year after year and stay for one or more months. It is a community of friends. There was a wedding while we were there. Pot luck dinners at the marina's patio occur several times a week.We rented a car and explored other keys like Key West and Key Largo.Our marina friends from Iowa, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The careful observer can spot the real leader of this group. Hint: look for the pointed ears.Wedding Marathon Marina style. The bride and groom live full time on their boat at the marina. Our favorite local bar.We bought 2 of these blow up kayaks. Very stable in the ocean and lots of fun. Lynda is a great new friend.Manatees need fresh water to live. Because of the drought in Florida, fresh water can be hard to find. If you are cleaning your boat with fresh water (as we were), you are likely to attract a manatee. This one remained on the back of Illusions for at least 30 minutes.One of our new marina friends is not only an accomplished guitar player and singer, but also an amazing sculptor. This sand mermaid was created in about 20 minutes.Islamorada's (north of Marathon) Pink Cadillac boat tied up at Loreli Restaurant.Seven Mile Bridge at Sunset. A major cross over from Florida Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. We passed under this bridge to/from Marathon.Leaving Marathon via the Seven Mile Bridge back to Florida Bay.KEY LARGORobbie's Marina sells bait fish to tourists (like us) for the large tarpon. This works best when the tide is high and you can feed them by hand. We were there at low tide. The pelicans hang out for their free dinner as well.KEY WESTKey West was interesting, but too expensive and too crowded. Glad we went, but we would probably not return.Cruise ships contribute to the crowds in Key West.Tourists take the "Conch Train" on a tour. Is this Disneyworld?Fat Albert is a lighter-than-air toy used by the Air Force to troll for drug-hauling aircraft, along an arc that stretches from Puerto Rico to Yuma, Arizona.The creative people of Key West find interesting ways to separate the tourists from their money.Beautiful Key West Beach. Where are all the people?Southernmost point of the continental USA. This structure was built to resemble a buoy. On the top of the monument is painted the logo of The Conch Republic. Twenty years ago, Key West, seeking[...]
Wed, 13 Feb 2008 02:06:00 +0000Note: The pictures in this post have been cropped to make the blog download to your computer faster. You can click on any picture to enlarge it. Then use the BACK button to return to the blog. Let us know if this does not work for you.SHIP'S LOG23Jan0808:10LV Moorings MarinaCarrabelle, FL17:45AR Sea Hag MarinaSteinhatchee, FLTrip (nautical) miles75.1Total (nautical) miles815Average speed (knots)8.026Jan0807:30LV Sea Hag Marina14:45AR Cross Florida Barge Canal (anchorage)FLTrip (nautical) miles76.8Total (nautical) miles892Average speed (knots)8.128Jan0807:15LV Cross Florida Barge CanalEngines did not start. Jumped main batteries from davit battery.15:45AR Tarpon Springs City MarinaTarpon Springs, FLTrip (nautical) miles62.7Total (nautical) miles955Average speed (knots)8.1Replaced autopilotReplaced aft shower sump pumpReplaced mini blinds in salonReplaced eisenglass front bridge windowReplaced screens (3) on aft deckPurchased replacement for leaking fuel transfer pump07Feb0807:30LV Tarpon Springs MarinaWatched Coast Guard helicopters perform water rescue training16:15AR Marina JackSarasota, FLTrip (nautical) miles67.1Total (nautical) miles1022Average speed (knots)7.9Pumped holding tanksFuel (gallons)22208Feb0808:45LV Marina JackDistracted by several events and ran aground16:15AR Arnie and Sarah Gievers' housePunta Gorda, FLTrip (nautical) miles61.7Total (nautical) miles1083Average speed (knots)7.2Tiny hole in steel fuel line, port engine. Applied temporary patch.09Feb0812:30LV Arnie and Sarah Gievers' house16:30AR Sanibel MarinaSanbiel, FLTrip (nautical) miles42.3Total (nautical) miles1126Average speed (knots)11.210Feb0813:00LV Sanibel Marina14:00AR Moss MarinaFort Myers Beach, FLTrip (nautical) miles5.2Total (nautical) miles1131Average speed (knots)3.712Feb0810:45LV Moss Marina11:00AR Gulfways MarineFort Myers, FLTrip (nautical) miles0.5Total (nautical) miles1131Average speed (knots)3.2Haul boatRe-bed thru-hull fittingReplace leaking fuel lineRepair starboard propeller14Feb0808:15LV Gulfways MarineFuel (gallons) from Moss Marina16614:15AR G33 Little Marco Island Pass (anchorage)Marco Island, FLTrip (nautical) miles41.5Total (nautical) miles1173Average speed (knots)5.815Feb0809:00LV Little Marco Island Pass16:00AR Shark River (anchorage)FLTrip (nautical) miles62.4Total (nautical) miles1237Average speed (knots)9.016Feb0809:30LV Shark River13:30AR Marathon Marina (Florida Keys)Marathon, FLTrip (nautical) miles45.7Total (nautical) miles1282Average speed (knots)9.0The Gulf ICW ends at Carrabelle. There boats going south in the ICW wait for a good weather window to cross the Gulf, either straight to Tarpon Springs, or around the "Big Bend". It is always safer to travel across open water with a "buddy" boat. We joined a couple from Ohio in a catamaran (Fanta Sea) to make the crossing via the Big Bend. This route took us to the Sea Hag marina in Steinhatchee, an excellent anchorage in the Cross Florida Barge Canal, and finally to the City Marina in Tarpon Springs. A sign in the Steinhatchee marina read "FISHING SUPPLIES SOLD BY THE SIX-PACK OR CASE".Patti is charmed by one of the Carrabelle piratesOur buddy for the crossingLocal fishermen shared some of their trout bounty with usA pelican flies off into the Steinhatchee sunsetThe Cross Florida Barge Canal was intended to provide a commercial water route across southern Florida. This project was abandoned in the 1970's after digging a few miles from both sides of Florida. It is a very peaceful and safe anchorage. We stayed two nights waiting for good weather to make the last leg to Tarpon Springs.Captain Patti pilots our dingy down the Cross Florida Barge CanalWe were in Tarpon Springs for more than a week, visiting friends and making repairs. Tarpon Springs [...]
Mon, 14 Jan 2008 14:27:00 +0000SHIP'S LOG06Jan0807:15LV Rabbit Island anchorageLA15:15AR Dauphin Island anchorageALTrip (nautical) miles80.2Total (nautical) miles499Average speed (knots)9.807Jan0809:20LV Dauphin Island14:45AR Holiday MarinaPensacola, FLTrip (nautical) miles42.4Total (nautical) miles542Average speed (knots)8.1Pump holding tanksFuel (gallons)26208Jan0807:15LV Holiday MarinaRan aground - port engine stopped14:30AR Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge anchorageFLTrip (nautical) miles69.6Total (nautical) miles611Average speed (knots)9.309Jan0809:00LV Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge anchorageBig fog bank in Panama CitySaw bald eaglePort engine oil pressure dropping16:30AR Port St. Joe MarinaFLTrip (nautical) miles74.6Total (nautical) miles686Average speed (knots)9.3Cleaned oil pressure relief valve11Jan0810:15LV Port St. Joe MarinaWhump-whump sound from stbd propeller13:30AR Scipio Creek MarinaApalachicola, FLTrip (nautical) miles27.0Total (nautical) miles713Average speed (knots)8.2Diver could not find damage/line on propellers13Jan0810:15LV Scipio Creek MarinaRan aground passing dredge15:00AR Moorings MarinaCarrabelle, FLTrip (nautical) miles27.1Total (nautical) miles740Average speed (knots)8.6Fuel (gallons)261The Mississippi Sound is a large body of water with barrier islands separating the land from the Gulf. The ICW is protected by the barrier islands and is dozens of miles away from civilization so it's best to make this run in one day, avoiding the time to go into a marina then back out to the ICW.We have been amazed at the dolphin population in the ICW. We have seen them everyday. They like to swim in our bow wake.On the way to Pensacola, right on the ICW, is Lulu's Restaurant. She is Jimmy Buffet's sister!Before Panama City, we cruised through some beautiful, narrow channels. One land cut was called the "Grand Canyon" where we spotted our first bald eagle.We encountered only two vessels in the "Grand Canyon" - both in exactly the same spot. The fisherman was not about to move even when faced with a barge coming at him from the west and Illusions from the east! We pulled over to let the barge pass.Many miles in the "Grand Canyon" area reminded us of being on the Guadalupe River in central Texas. Sure glad we're in a "motor" boat instead of canoing on our own power!Ok, what the hell is this?Or this?Apalachicola is an old fishing town that is now catering more to tourists. They still have beautiful old Victorian houses, good restaurants, antiques, and gift shops. We were about an hour away from crossing the Gulf to Tarpon Springs from here, but did not go because we could not find dock space in any of the almost dozen marinas. Instead we went to Carrabelle the next day.Leaving Apalachicola (just love saying that word!), we encountered a dredge vessel in the channel. We had to pass very close to the vessel to get past without running aground. Large pipes run from the main ship several hundred feet behind where the dredged mud is dumped to the side of the ICW. This dumping ground is called a "spoils area" on the charts.We are currently at the Moorings Marina in Carrabelle, Florida. We will wait for light northerly winds to cross the 160 miles of the Gulf of Mexico to the west coast of Tarpon Springs, Florida.We'll update again as soon as we cross the Gulf!![...]
Sun, 06 Jan 2008 00:31:00 +0000We returned from celebrating the holidays with our families in Texas to our boat in New Orleans on 02Jan2008. Our plans were to leave on Friday, 04Jan2008, but the engines would not start. After testing all the electrical components, we discovered a loose battery terminal.
Sun, 16 Dec 2007 04:12:00 +0000Distances on the Gulf ICW are measured in statute miles from the Harvey Lock (just east of New Orleans). WHL is West of the Harvey Lock. EHL is East.After overnight stops in Lake Charles, Morgan City, Houma, and Lafitte, Illusions passed through the Harvey Lock, crossed the Mississippi River, and arrived in New Orleans. So far we have gone 386 nautical miles, or 444 statute miles.Patti secures Illusions to the wall of Harvey LockHarvey Lock opens to let Illusions into the Mississippi RiverBilly serves up the Big EasyVarious low bridges cross the ICW, especially near New Orleans. Most have to be contacted by VHF radio to request passage. Here are a couple of examples.A swing bridgeA lift bridgeWe had hoped to be in Mobile, Alabama, by now, but weather has been a factor in our ability to travel. Fog earlier in the week delayed several departures until late morning.The fog lifts enough to travelIt's difficult to get used to having weather play such a large role in our travel plans. On land, automobiles and paved roads substantially reduce the need to worry about weather.The strong cold front currently advancing on New Orleans will keep us in the marina for several days. This will make it impossible to get to Mobile in time to return to Texas for the holidays. Thus we will change our flight plans and leave from New Orleans for Texas.We hope the coming holiday season brings friends and family together and provides a joyous and relaxing time to recharge for 2008. Keeping in touch with friends by phone and email has been important to us. Thanks and keep up the good work. We will return to Illusions after The New Year and resume our travels.[...]
Fri, 07 Dec 2007 22:47:00 +0000We discovered a sea water leak in the back of the boat. Initially we thought it was due to another leak we were working on, but it wasn't. The best guess as to the cause was a sealant failure on one of the bolts attaching the port propeller strut (support) to the hull. Illusions was hauled out of the water just before Thanksgiving and this was indeed the cause of the leak. Other work, such as installing a new (and redundant) depth transducer, replacing all the zincs, removing barnacles from the propellers, and re-sealing the swim platform bolts was performed while she was out of the water.
Wed, 07 Nov 2007 04:41:00 +0000Hi friends. Long time since you've heard from us. You probably think we've already finished the loop and forgot to tell you. However, we haven't even left yet!
Wed, 25 Jul 2007 16:42:00 +0000We actually “soloed” on our boat July 5-6, 2007! We took our friends, David and Cindy Clegg, to Galveston. We arrived at our marina on Wednesday, July 4th. Had a great meal which we cooked on our new propane grill. Later, had cocktails and watched all the fireworks going off in several places on the lake. The next day, we headed out to Galveston Island. We had our new GPS and David figured out how to put in "waypoints". So, following the GPS, we went straight out to the Houston ship channel. Very little commercial or pleasure traffic.It was a dark and stormy day. We saw a tornado on land around Texas City as we were cruising by. Surprisingly, we were able to watch the storms all around us, but experienced very little directly.About 3 hours later, we crossed under the Highway 45 Galveston Causeway and the Railroad Bridge. The railroad bridge is a draw bridge that is up all the time for barges and boats to go through to get to and from Galveston Island from the ICW. When a train comes along they lower the bridge, the train moves on, and up goes the bridge again. The car traffic uses the Causeway road next to the railroad bridge.Galveston Island Causeway and Railroad BridgeWe rounded the channel and 30 minutes later, docked at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Marina. Moody Gardens is an amusement theme park. Billy did another outstanding job of backing into the slip. There were only 3 other boats there. Of course, this is the day after the 4th of July. Friday morning we continued to watch the black sky and rain. Listening to the TV (we actually got a clear station) we heard the "front" was going to pass Galveston by 10:45 and sure enough, it did. As the "front" was moving north to Houston, we watched a small little water funnel zip across the top of the water. As it neared the other side of the bay, a large dark funnel cloud touched down and picked it up along with lots of other water!!! Turned into a major funnel spout not more than a quarter of a mile from us!! Very cool!!! On our return we decided to go through Galveston Harbor. We headed east back under the Railroad Bridge. One barge ahead of us had already passed the bridge when we noticed a train coming in. It had to stop as 3 of us passed the draw bridge. Obviously, watercraft take precedence over train traffic!After Billy embarrassed himself by calling the Railroad/Causeway Bridge on our VHF radio asking for permission to pass (which we had just done), we finally figured out we were calling the wrong bridge, thanks to the Causeway monitor/operator. Billy reached the Pelican Island Bridge operator. He stopped traffic on both side of the bridge and raised the bridge just for us to pass!! How cool are we now?!!! Pelican Island Bridge being opened for usThe harbor was very interesting with all the dry dock ships and huge oil rigs in for repair. As we passed the Strand, a street in Galveston similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans with chic shops, bars and restaurants, we noticed a marina beside Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant located in the harbor. We will try to get a slip there the next time we go to Galveston. Just hop off the boat and shop the Strand!!!Although there was a lot of ferry boat traffic going from Boliver Island to Galveston, we made the turn into the Houston ship channel with no problems. Again, little traffic in the channel. We made it back to Clear Lake in record time. We were cruising around 12 knots.Illusions did great. No problems. The ocean, a boat and a storm. What more could one ask for?! Just wish ya’ll could have been there with us![...]
Tue, 12 Jun 2007 21:39:00 +0000Friends from Corpus Christi, who are beginning their Loop trip, were passing through Galveston (just south of where we keep Illusions) and invited us to travel with them as far as Lake Charles, Louisiana. There were two boats from Corpus Christi, My Cin and Whichaway, and a third boat (from our marina), Osprey. We just couldn't turn them down. They were brave and generous to allow novices like us to join them.There was mild panic Friday before leaving on Saturday. We wanted to go to the fuel dock to top off our tanks, but could not start the starboard engine. Turned out that the folks who replaced the battery for this engine had left the switch OFF. Turning it ON fixed the problem. Then we started the generator to make sure it was working and burned up the water pump impeller because Billy had shut off the sea water intake the previous day to replace a hose clamp. He forgot to turn it back on. A quick trip to the ship's store for a new impeller just before they closed Friday night got the needed part.Saturday, 02Jun2007Illusions and Osprey left Clear Lake (where our marina is located) and cruised across the busy Houston ship channel to Steve's Landing on the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW), about 30 miles away.Ready to goThe bridge separating Clear Lake from Galveston BayWe encountered some dolphins as we entered the ship channel, a sign we would have a safe voyage. Whichaway was waiting for us at Steve's Landing.Sunday, 03Jun2007At Steve's Landing, we waited for My Cin, from Corpus Christi. Whichaway had a big pot of boiled shrimp (bought from a shrimp boat docked next door) for us when we arrived. They were awesome. You can't get much fresher than that.Left to right, Fabin and Chuck (Whichaway), Patti and Billy (Illusions), Grant, Cheryl, and Carl (Osprey)Monday, 04Jun2007All four boats left Steve's Landing for an anchorage just upriver from the Rainbow Bridge in Port Arthur, Texas. A trip of about 65 miles. We saw a few alligators along the way. The oil industry has a large presence in Port Arthur. Most of the barges we encountered were carrying some sort of oil product.The Port Arthur bridgeFollowing My Cin under the Rainbow Bridge. The new span is in the foreground, the orignial span is in the background.Anchored by Rainbow BridgeTuesday, 05Jun2007We cruised the last leg (44 miles) from Rainbow Bridge to the Bowtie Marina in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lake Charles has a lot of oil business, but it also has one of the largest gambling casinos in Louisiana.Eating 50 pounds of steaming hot crawfish at the marinaWednesday, 06Jun2007Washed the boats, washed some clothes, added fuel, added water, and had dinner at the casino. We saw a small alligator near our boats.Illusions at Bowtie MarinaL'Auberge du Lac Hotel & CasinoThursday, 07Jun2007Since we would be headed due west (back to Texas), Illusions and Osprey left Bowtie Marina early in the morning to return to Rainbow Bridge so we could avoid being blasted by the afternoon sun. We said goodbye to My Cin and Whichaway since they would be continuing their Loop adventure going east.A large tanker was parked near the Rainbow Bridge where we anchored earlier, so we moved a little further up the river. We worried that the tanker might leave and find that we had blocked their passage, but they told us they would remain anchored for several days while they made repairs.Friday, 08Jun2007Left the Rainbow Bridge for Steve's Landing.Big boats always have the right-of-wayThe wind picked up and we encountered a tow boat pushing a string of empty barges blocking one of the straight[...]
Fri, 27 Apr 2007 04:40:00 +0000Family medical issues and previously planned vacations during the last two months took priority over our first outing with Illusions. Saturday afternoon Billy and Patti, with Billy's brother Chuck and his wife Sheila as crew, left our marina for a short cruise. The winds could have been lighter, but otherwise it was a perfect day. We cruised out of Clear Lake, under the Kemah bridge, and out into Galveston Bay. Just before we reached the busy Houston Ship Channel, we turned around and returned. Backing into the dock was a little tricky with the winds and a novice captain, but the boat and two marriages survived the hour-long journey!
Thu, 15 Feb 2007 22:16:00 +0000After 38 days of being out of the water (mostly due to holidays and waiting for parts), Illusions is back in the water. There was a noticable vibration at speed during the survey (inspection). The original diagnosis was a bad part in the starboard transmission. The seller discounted the purchase price to cover the expected repairs. After taking the shafts out of the boat and inspecting the transmission, the real problem was a bent (but not by much) shaft. This shaft was replaced and both engines were aligned. The vibration is gone.
Wed, 06 Dec 2006 01:36:00 +0000On Friday (01Dec2006) we closed on our new (to us) boat for the Loop. The name of the boat is Illusions and we decided to keep it.
Fri, 17 Nov 2006 01:10:00 +0000Last Thursday the engines and generator were surveyed (inspected). On Friday, Patti and I went to Houston for the survey that covered everything else. It took all day. The boat was pulled out of the water so the hull and running gear could be inspected. We drove it around the lake and tested the autopilot, radar, etc.
Wed, 08 Nov 2006 17:22:00 +0000As posted earlier, there are two Carver 440's south of Houston. Both are 1995 boats. With some modifications to the forward berth to allow a wider mattress for our guests, we believe these boats meet enough of our requirements to move forward with an offer. The boat we picked has teak interior and a lower price. It is the one shown below. (Picture from owner).Our offer was accepted and we now go through most of the steps you follow to buy a house. Friday we will go to Houston for a survey (an inspection) of the boat. It will be pulled out of the water so we can see what's below the waterline, we will take it out into the ship channel to run it up to top speed, and all the mechanical and electrical equipment will be checked. A separate surveyor will inspect the engines and generator Thursday. The "feasibility period" ends on 17NOV and we must accept or reject the boat by then. If we accept it, then closing will be no later than 01DEC. I am holding my cheering until the surveys are completed.This is the galley. To the right is more counter space and a full size refrigerator. And there is a dishwasher next to the refrigerator. We may replace the dishwasher with a trash compactor. (Picture from owner).Across from the galley is the dinette. (Picture from owner).Up from the galley and dinette is the salon. This picture was taken from the salon, looking forward over the galley.This picture was taken from the salon facing aft. On the right are the steps going up to the aft deck (the sun deck). The sofa folds out into a bed.This is the aft (back) end of the boat showing the (covered) dingy and davit (crane) on the roof of the sun deck. The davit is folded down and all you can see is the square white end of it to the left of the dingy. A circular stairway leads from the sun deck to the swim platform (not shown). The sloping railing (just to the left of center at the bottom of the picture) is the railing for the stairway.[...]