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.

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