|An abandoned farmstead on County E, Door County|
This was the first weekend of the season on the boat. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate for us. Regardless, we had a nice time. We got to the boat on Thursday night only to find out that it wasn’t in the slip like we were told. It was still suspended over the well in the Travelift pending final charging of the generator batteries. This wouldn’t have been so bad except that it was 42 degrees and raining overnight and the heating system doesn’t work on the boat unless it is is actually IN the water. We were pretty darn cold that night sleeping inside the strapped-in mammoth. Also the straps would slowly stretch ever so slightly in the wee hours of the night resulting in a very large BANG against the hull every thirty minutes or so.
I woke up at 5:00 AM, cold and exhausted from a sleepless night, drove to a McDonalds for some coffee knowing I needed to get the vessel into a somewhat running state for the important guests that were arriving in only a few short hours. I was a little alarmed at the subculture of retired men that were just hanging out at McDonalds chatting and gossiping amongst themselves. It was a like their own little club where different guys would come and go to eat and talk while others spent a good hour or so just sitting there to talk and listen. I sat in a corner, by myself and learned all about a variety of personal scandals that were unfolding right here in Sturgeon Bay. It made me wonder if someday, that would be me sitting there talking about past and present with my own group…. I sort of doubt it. I think I will always be the one sitting in the corner by myself just enjoying the opportunity to listen and watch those around me.
I got back to the boat after buying provisions for the weekend. The generator batteries were charged and after 45 minutes of dinking with the generator, I was able to get it started and soon we were lowered into the water and floated off the Travelift straps. The engines started without a glitch and so began our annual adventure in Door County.
Trying to entertain five kids can also be somewhat exhausting now that I am becoming a single parent. Older kids have their plans and agendas while the younger ones have their own idea of what is fun and exciting. Luckily, Michaela has been fantastic dealing with the age disparity in my children and for the most part we are able to find enjoyable things for the entire family.
We spent most of Friday recommissioning Take Five and heading to Egg Harbor in the boat for a day trip. Despite the weather and thanks to a bunch of dancing penguins in “Happy Feet” as a momentary diversion while underway, the trip was very enjoyable. I was able to share captaining duty and could actually relax a bit during the travel. We returned to Sturgeon Bay and tied up outside Stone Harbor for dinner and a birthday celebration.
Saturday, morning the kids and I headed north to enjoy lunch at the Coyote Roadhouse.
On the way, we stumbled onto a “Basement Book Sale” at the public library and came away with several loads of “new” used books for only $13.75! I have to say this may have been the highlight for them. Michaela found her share of Jacques Cousteau books as well as Carl Sagan’s Cosmos…”Billons and Billons!” Sophie is now a “star gazer”. Luke and Noah found some mysteries and Emily found a handbook on sign language. Every lunch, breakfast and dinner conversation from that point on consisted of “Dad, guess what this means?” as Sophie spent hours looking at the pictures and mimicking what she saw.
Dad was about ready to jump ship at this point, but I was able to hold it together for a park festival, frisbee sports and a nature walk in Potowatami State Park and evenings watching old Terminator movies that Michaela downloaded onto her computer illegally I am sure…
All in all, it was a great weekend. It is very different than what I am used to now that I am by myself with them. Regardless, we are doing well and seizing the day. AND OF COURSE I HAVE MORE PICTURES TO SHARE. CLICK HERE.