July 2011

Driving to Minneapolis, blacksmithing exposition, mummies

Yesterday Jaxon, Willow, Mark, Ellen and I drove to Minneapolis to visit Ellen’s sister Susan and her daughter Madison. For a couple of months we had been planning this trip, but our schedules never overlapped. Finally we made it up here. On our way up we stopped in Wasau for a blacksmithing and woodworking exposition, which was awesome. Willow is into blacksmithing and Mark and Ellen wanted to surprise her by going to this museum. I was a little incredulous … read the rest...


Homeward bound

After the last meeting with the owners this morning, we were finally feeling like the boat is ours. A pretty exciting concept really:P

So, what was our logical next step?  Unload Manilejo’s hefty cargo into Kate’s cabin of course. Manilejo has been overflowing with a combination of boxes marked “stuff for boat”, tools, work clothes, has full Trader Joe’s bags and lots of junk. One last trip to visit Kate in her storage shed and Manilejo was left with … read the rest...


Bill of sale… check! Registration questions.

Today was the last potential point to loose our momentum on actually gaining ownership of Kate. annnnnd…. we didn’t:)

Caye and I were up at 6:30ish (pretty standard for us – give/take an hour) and around 7:20 I spent a full 4o minutes talking to our new good friend Jennifer at the Madison DNR headquarters. The conversation was great and between the two phone calls yesterday, hours of research last night, scouring the boat for any type of registration and … read the rest...


Progress towards legit boat ownership

Okay, so Caye left off with a nice evening with Charlie and Susan and another missed date with the boat owner. Today, we woke up committed to finding the owner, getting a bill of sale and picking up the sails. Knowing that this was our last full day here, after a week of work and coordination failures, we really wanted to make this happen – and it did! We met up with the owner and his son, who was the … read the rest...


Sailing Charlie’s 19 footer VaLaura and waiting for the call

The drive down with Susan was great. When we arrived to Charlie’s office, also a marina and boatyard, and we found Charlie and his staff laughing nervously. They apparently had escaped tragedy when putting  VaLaura in the water. VaLaura is a Cape Dory Typhoon, a very cute boat with a full keel. Somewhere, Charlie had read that this type of boat was sometimes launched from a hook located in the middle of the boat, right before the companion way. Because … read the rest...


Tuesday! potential delay on the horizon

Our attempt to have a fluid conversation with the boat owner has, in a way failed. See, this week for him is his one-week vacation with his family, for us this week is when we start preparing for our Mississippi trip in early fall. Our schedules are not quite synchronized which means that we have not yet paid for the boat or have a title for it. We do not even know if he has a title for it! which … read the rest...


Monday in Milwaukee

Have I mentioned how I feel about all the driving we’ve been doing…? Yep, I have..

Our visit to the Milwaukee Dept. of Homeland Security office was quick and painless. Caye needed to get her biometrics done. We were there right on time, waited 1/2 an our to be seen and the actual appointment only took about 10 minutes after that. So, +1 for efficiency, but -1 for the 6 televisions in the waiting room all playing CNN – yuck. … read the rest...


Domingo! cleaning and working on our R28

Our Sunday started out with some excellent conversations with Susan and Charlie! they are really fantastic people and we feel so blessed to have them help us with the boat so much and also let us stay at their place until our R 28 is launched. After a couple hours of talking we crossed the peninsula to “Nelson’s Shopping Center” which is located in Baileys Harbor, exactly across from where Charlie and Susan’s house is. Here, I bought biodegradable, lavender … read the rest...


Chisels, epoxy and paint… too much driving

After our early morning motorcycle work and some last minute cleaning up, we headed back up to Door County for our open-ended stay that would hopefully be the final step in the wildly ambiguous process of actually transferring ownership of our “new boat”. As much as we “love” Manilejo, our Volvo, and enjoy traveling – we are SO done with driiiiiiving. It honestly feels like we have spent more time in cars, than out over the past 1.5 weeks. We … read the rest...


No more motorcycle maintenance – (Kawasaki Ninja 250 for sale)

Today started out with some motorcycle work at my parents’ place. Stuck the new battery in and took the Ninja 250 for a quick test ride. The new battery did not solve the mystery unfortunately, but the bike continues to run great – just never over 60mph. My motorcycle troubleshooting energy/skills are now exhausted and I am just going to sell it as is. Pulled and cleaned the carbs, changed the oil, changed the fuel filter, replaced a kinked fuel … read the rest...


A day before we take off to our Ranger 28

Today was a busy day! but it feels great to get a lot done. Having guests at the house the whole week was great but it also meant that we did not get as much done as we wished to… so today we tried to do it all! We re-packed the car so that we would take only what we would need immediately, such as a little bit of food, cloths, kitchen utensils and sheets for the v-berth. Our tentative … read the rest...


Eating well, working and chillaxing

Our Thursday started out with a farewell breakfast at Cafe 27 in Steven’s Point where Norah works. We eat amazing food and had some excellent conversations. After breakfast, Jax and I went with Willow and Falaq to the pet store to get a collar for their miniature dog, Puchini, and soon realized that the store also had Humane Society cats up for adoption, they were adorable.

Then Jax and I came back to Ellen and Mark’s house to work. Michael, … read the rest...


Bowling in Almond WI

Wow, this has been an interesting week! and it’s no over yet. So after work, dinner, swimming in the lake and spending time with the guests, we were invited to go bowling. I can only say  one thing wow! yep, and I can’t say much more. We had a lot of fun with friends there and the scenery was spectacular! I decided not to bowl and just take pictures…

read the rest...


Thinking about heads/toilets for the Ranger 28

Let me just start this one out by telling you all that we are SO STUPIDLY EXCITED about getting our Ranger 28. We will be in Door County, WI early Saturday to meet the owner, pay and search for any accessories and the dozen plus sails in his attic. WOW, this is happening! We have been talking about it since the day we met and it is happening now – right on schedule – three years later:)

Assuming all goes … read the rest...


Sailing from Illinois, Chicago to the Gulf

So as the days pass, Jax and I have been doing more research on the basics of sailing from Chicago down the Mississippi to the gulf! This post is going to be purely informative for other people who are thinking of taking our same journey. Of course these following facts are only from the small research we have done so far.

So the basic route for a small sailboat is:

Chicago/Calumet River, Ship Canal, Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, … read the rest...