Monday, July 30, 2012

Some publicity!

Hi all! We've been running into reporters left and right, and getting more interest in the journey lately. Here are a couple recent write ups! 

Sheboygan Press

Sailing the shoreline
A sailing adventure: Indiana women journey around lake in mostly handmade canoe

Photo Catch-up!

Our time in Wisconsin has been fun and busy!  Let's play catch-up!  -We ended up staying an exta day in Kohler Adrea due to weather and some much needed rest.  What does a person do with their extra time off the water?  Well, Mary likes to take a nap in the tent while Amy goes for a morning run, for starters.  So antsy!  

 We then set out to town with our friend Carol.  We got so much done!  Hit the library, got some new/old bike tire tubes to replace our UV damaged lashings, got some hardware, and of course went to the grocery store to get some nutella, peanut butter, twix, cheese, buns, and Sheboygan brat patties!  -Oh and salad!  YUM!

 After a delightful dinner, we went to the kayak talk that happened to be occurring that night at the Nature Center. We met a great adventurous group of people who we took down to the beach to see the dugout!
The next day we were able to take off again - left late due to waves, so our 2 o'clock departure made for a later paddle than we are used to. Luckily our new buddy Jon had friends up the beach past Sheboygan. 
 It was a great view and calmed down nicely. Jon met us for some fun adventure story telling around the campfire!
 The next morning we were able to sail - allll day! 25 miles from Sheboygan to Two Rivers. Laid back sailing is what we enjoy.
 In Two Rivers we were able to meet up with a friend's dad for the evening. Bob treated us to dinner and some shipwreck history of the Great Lakes. We loved stopping in the McDonalds the next morning and admiring this fantastic topo map of Lake Michigan.
 It even listed all of the shipwreck sites along the shoreline. I hope we'll see a couple!
 Thanks, Bob!
From Two Rivers we moved on towards Kewaunee Marina. This was another 20 mile sailing day - yay for south winds lately! They set us up with a slip, fenders, and a campsite. William and Mary met up with us for some barbeque and beers - a great time was had by all! Here is the Tug Ludington that we pulled up to. Makeba looked very tiny next to this boat!
 From Kewaunee we moved to the cute town of Algoma, WI. We walked around the town some and found some interesting things.
 Wall paintings of historic boats of the area. The Margaret!
 A crazy antique store.
 Complete with an Indian in the Cupboard!
 Someone who converted their minivan to solar power - awesome!
Got some ice cream and admired the Elizabeth, Mary hopes her next boat project will be a fixer-upper like this.
Hey, we know you! We saw the Margaret, this time not in painting form.
We docked and camped at Capt K's Landing.  It's nice to be able to camp so close to Makeba.  Thank you for the Salmon Diane and Roger! Glad we forgot our beer and fish so we could meet Kevin! 
 Leaving Algoma the next morning we fought NE winds all day. After making it a lousy 7 miles in 7 hours we decided to pull over on this little treasure. Green, mucky, blue-green algae infested pea soup water! Have you ever seen Lake Michigan look like this?
 Because we haven't.
 From far away, our campsite was quite pretty though. (just stay out of the water and don't even attempt to filter it)
 Amy journaling by the small river where we pulled up.
The next morning the weather looked very unfavorable - large storm clouds rolling in and waves picking up. So we hunkered down in our leaky tent. 
 Our friend Kevin helped us pull the boat up, and cover her up in the reeds, and brought us back to Algoma for the day.
 Our wonderful Algoma family!
 We hung out at a cool gallery and outdoor space called the Flying Pig. The ponds were full of frogs, so of course we had some fun catching them!
 Nikki even put them in her pockets.
Look at them all! She was fearless!
 Then we got ready for the evening - getting dolled up for dinner.
 After dinner, we found ourselves at Skip and Jane's. Their home was gorgeous. Here we are on Alaska Lake (wait, I think we're lost!) Thanks Skip and Jane!
 Kevin snapped some photos of us taking off the next day.
Goodbye! We are northward bound :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Interview in Sheboygan!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In need of a shower, but not a rain shower

We left our camp spot north of Milwaukee and made our way to Port Washington. We were able to sail some at the beginning of the day which was a great relief. We had both been pretty tired and were excited for the break. As we neared Port Washington the winds picked up (don't they always?) so we had a rough paddle in. The last stretch through the harbor we had strong winds so that we were hardly even moving as we paddled! We were able to dock on the old wooden docks that were set up along the outside of the marina. Port Washington is where we had one of our food boxes mailed to us, so we headed into town to find the post office and then the library. It was extremely hot this day, so as we walked back to the pier we were drooling over the advertised rumchata at a mexican restaurant and the ice cream at the local chocolate shop. But of course we didn't stop because we had just picked up another food box and had hardly any room in the boat for all the food we still had. So it was back to the dock to stuff our faces with all we could handle. We had also noticed some water leaking into the boat, so we found the culprit crack and filled it in as well as we could with the supplies we had and with water still streaming in. We decided that a repair would be easier tomorrow if we were pulled up on a beach to let the wood dry out. After this it was starting to get late and we still weren't sure where we were going to be sleeping for the night. Mary called the local police station to see about camping on the small strip of public beach by the marina, but it was a no go. Then we looked at some local hotel prices - way out of our range for just sleeping a few hours and leaving at sunrise. Mary joked with the marina employees that we may be sleeping on their dock that night. So then we had to think creatively. We had the marina key for the shower/laundry/lounge room, so we decided that while we did our laundry we could nap in the lounge room. This worked for awhile, but it was very hot in the room so we took our napping outside. Literally to the wood dock next to Makeba. There was still a cool breeze blowing and there were a million stars out in the night sky, so it wasn't half bad! We look so tired, like we could sleep anywhere. Here we are on the old rickety dock, closing our eyes already.

In the morning we checked our patch job and determined that it would be good enough to get us to our next stop. We were able to sail out of Port Washington and get past Harrington Beach State Park about 6 miles up. We continued to sail for a little while, but then the winds started picking up. The winds were getting dicey and Amy was getting scared. She was making scared noises in the bow of the boat. Meanwhile, Mary was falling asleep in the stern of the boat while steering (maybe that's why Amy was getting so scared in the front?!) Luckily Amy's wimpering awoke Mary. Needless to say, we decided to start paddling after awhile. We kept paddling about 6 more miles until some storm clouds started making the lake look pretty gloomy. We were by a long strip of shoreline that had houses with private beach property...hmmm where to stop? We came across a lot with a "For Sale" sign, and both said "That's it!" We pulled up on the narrow beach and started to take the outriggers off the boat to flip it for our repairs now that the boat could dry. Then we ate some 4pm. As we did this the clouds got closer and closer, darker and darker, and winds picked up quickly. We called it quits on the repair and set up the tent as quickly as possible (I wonder if it was a new pr for tent setup time!) and put everything we could under the raincover. As soon as we got in the tent of course it didn't start raining. We waited a little longer and then decided to finish our repair before hitting the hay at 6pm. The forecast said thunderstorms all night and high winds continuing into the next day so we were thinking we might have a weather day on our hands. Our dock sleeping the night before was short and not too restful so this would be good for us. The thunder and rain showers kept up throughout the night - luckily our rain cover works! We slept until 7am - 13 hours. Yay for feeling fully rested on day 18! The waves were still rolling in from the NE winds from the night before, and the clouds weren't looking to promising, but we decided to head out after a little deliberation around 8am knowing that we had a very short day of 7-8 miles to get to Kohler-Andrae State Park. There was a real campground here with showers - and we were in need of real showers after the last few days! The paddling was surprisingly easy at first (maybe it was all the rest wee received?). There were still big swells rising from the lake bottom, but they were gentle and predictable on the sandbars. After a little while these waves decided to get a little more unpredictable. This is when a sea kayaker pulled up to us to see what our little boat setup was like. We talked to John for awhile and he kindly offered to paddle with us to the campground and show us where to pull up. We enjoyed chatting on the water to our new friend, though we also became very aware of Makeba's presence in the water. A sea kayaker smoothly glides through the water, while Makeba rocks over the waves and really makes us work for those miles most of the time. It was great to have some nice company regardless. Jon told us where to pull up for the campground and headed back in the other direction. As we watched him paddle away the waves were then in his favor and he was quickly out of site. We rode some waves into shore and dumped ourselves out onto the beach. Then it was off to find a campsite! We are always a difficult story when we tell the rangers that we arrive by canoe. They luckily work with us to find a suitable site, this time we were lucky to get a site right over the dune from where we had pulled Makeba up on the beach. So we loaded up our arms and backs with all of our gear and trekked over the dune. We then decided to give our new boating friend Jon a call to see if he would be willing to give us a ride into Sheboygan to pick up some proper repair supplies (the repairs we had been doing these past few days were only temporary). He picked us up and brought us where we needed to go! Thanks for everything - you're great! So we repaired Makeba right on the beach when we got back and actually talked to a nice couple from Chesterton, IN. What a small world! They offered to help us with anything we needed as well - people sure are nice. We then decided to make dinner - over a real fire! This was the first area we have been to that hasn't been under a burn ban. Most of the area around the lake is extremely dry currently (despite the few showers that hit us), so there are restrictions on campfires. So the prospect of a bonfire and hot food sounded very enticing - we made pasta with mushrooms and couscous, and then made an delicious cooked apple dessert with peanut butter, trail mix, and granola sprinkle on top. Can you say gourmet? 

Then we got a real shower! And washed all of our clothes! In a real washing machine! It was great.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Photos and some quick updates of the wonderful Wisconsin!

This is the top view from the strip of deserted beach that we were stranded on for 2 weather days. Not a bad view!
The second night here we made a moat around our tent because the waves were predicted to increase to 4-6 feet overnight so we were preparing ourselves. Our little strip of beach was great, but didn't allow us to go any higher up the beach to escape the waves.
 The moat. Luckily it was not used by Lake Michigan.
 Why yes, we are wearing matching leopard print long underwear. It was the only color they had left! This will make for some funny encounters on the beach I'm sure. As if they aren't funny enough already once people find out we are the owners of the dugout pulled up on the beach :)
 Makeba pulled up in front of the Zion Nuclear Power Plant that is no longer operating.
 Here is a sign that we did find on the beach though! Asbestos! We better paddle asbestos we can to get of this beach soon!
 Mary trying using our Steripen to filter some water. We had just set the tent up in record time - 1 minute and 38 seconds!
 Baby ducks at Southport Marina in Kenosha. Amy will kidnap 3 baby ducks by the end of this trip. At least that's Mary's prediction.
 At Southport Marina we were greeted by a great new friend Scott. He was introduced to us after hearing of our tiny boat adventure. He graciously offered to help us fashion a new rudder. He has a tiny 7' boat of his own named Puck! Makeba and Puck instantly became best friends of course.
 Scott is letting Makeba borrow Puck's rudder! We would need to work on a new setup to attach it to Makeba though. So it was off to the marina workshop all day!
 With Scott's guidance, Mary and I were able to build a new attachment for the rudder and repair some leaks in Makeba.
 Getting ready to set off in the morning with our new rudder.
 Of course not before a cup of coffee though! Scott made breakfast for us on his other beautiful handmade sailboat - Northern Light. Puck would have been too small for the job of making breakfast.
 Out on the water again - using these water purifiers is great! Now that we are past the steel mills and out in deep enough water, we are able to drink the same water we are paddling and sailing in.
 Pulled up to Pugh Marina in Racine. They offered to keep Makeba sheltered under the gas dock because it was supposed to storm that evening. After Makeba was tied up securely, we headed into town to find the library. Libraries are a great resource for us - they allow us to upload photos and videos, charge some electronics, and they usually have air conditioning. At the library in Racine we were lucky enough to meet some great folks. A librarian, Sue took us back to her house for awhile when the rain started, and then we were invited over to Nick's house for a delightful dinner. Nick and some of his great friends showed us how great Wisconsin is. Delicious dinner, beautiful music, and great chit chatting. It was great meeting all of you!
The next morning at Pugh Marina. We arrived at 5, but the rain and storm cells on the radar kept us off the water until 8. Late start!

It was beautiful once we got going - here we are about to pass the Wind Point Lighthouse. Luckily the wind waited until we were around the point to pick up. The wind and waves picked up, so the rest of the day was very wet indeed. We were so happy to arrive at the South Milwaukee Yacht Club and be greeted with open arms. They were even having a big party that night with tons of food and fun live music. We couldn't have picked a better day to arrive! Thanks guys - since we do have quite the yacht, maybe we can still be honorary members? :)
Setting off from SMYC, the coastline of Wisconsin is lined with extremely steep cliffs. Gorgeous! Not easy to find places to stop with Makeba without a sandy beach to pull up on though.
Taking a break on the beach once we got across the long Milwaukee breakwater. While we were relaxing, a paddle boarder named Steve came up and chatted with us about the boat. He was excited about the adventure and offered to get us some lunch...of course we couldn't pass that up! So we had lunch and enjoyed hearing eachother's stories. He told us about the beaches a little ways up, so we thanked him and were off again.
As we paddled on, about 3 miles up we saw another paddle boarder coming towards us. Was it really?! It was our new pal Steve!
He wanted to do all he could to help, so knowing that it was very hot out he brought us this bag --- via paddle board. This guy is awesome. He dropped it in our boat and paddled off again into the distance.
Special paddle board delivery service : mango, watermelon, trail mix, and lemonade. All on ice.
After we received this special delivery, we were feeling pretty great about all the love we were receiving in Wisconsin. Just to add to the mix, the wind picked up slightly at the end of this day and we were able to sail a bit. Laid back and relaxing those arms!
Goodbye, Milwaukee! Hello, Port Washington today!

Scott and Mary epoxying the new rudder transome in Kenosha.

While we were working on the boat with Scott at SouthportMarina, two poeple walked up to us holding a really dorky photo of the two of us posed in front of Chicago. "Is this you?" Yes! As it turns out they were visiting their friend from New Zealand. He and his wife are setting out to do the loop this year. Be on the look out for the Loopy Kiwi! Follow thier blog as this couple voyages around America's Great Loop!
A very pensive Amy waits out the rain in Pugh Marina.  We had to wait for a small storm to pass before heading out for the day.
Beach Party at the South Milwaukee Yacht Club!  We filled our plates beyond what we thought we could eat and finished it all.

"You girls can eat."  Howard aka Santa another wonderful member of the SMYC.

Journaling has turned into bullet pointing these days.  It's getting difficult to keep up with everything that's happening!

Just stretching it out on the boat! 

Today's wind and current was a bit crazy, but we couldn't complain about the flat water!

Tight fit.
A pic of us working on the rudder in Kenosha.