On The “Road” Again

Ahoy, mateys! We hope all is well with our friends around the world!

Winter has passed and spring is here. Hallelujah. It was a strange winter for us. We were Mom and Dadlost in retirement transition pains without our full and active life on Joy Girl. And it was difficult to watch my mother suffer as she waited for her hip replacement. However, that surgery was accomplished on April 29th and though she is recovering more slowly than we hoped, she is improving daily. Yesterday my parents returned home from an assisted living facility (think land-based cruise ship) where she recovered more fully. I’m grateful we were here to help her transition back home.

Other things we accomplished this winter…uhhhh…we learned a lot about elder care! Whew, that is a sobering and depressing picture.

Needless to say, we are ready to board Joy Girl in Grand Haven, Michigan! Unfortunately, we are delayed. Last July, in the North Channel of Canada, we bumped an unmarked rock in a very narrow channel. Craig worried about damage ever since but we didn’t identify any problems. However, since she has been “on the hard” in storage, our friend Tom Van Hall was able to spot a leak which led us to find a crack in her keel, at the bottom of the boat. That damage must be fixed before we can put her into the water. Thanks to Tom for his sharp eye!

port keel skeg bolts

Therefore, the plan is to be aboard around June 1st. We will then need to fix an electrical issue on Joy Girl. Electrical safety regulations in marinas have become more stringent, in part to curb ESD (Electric Shock Drowning), which occurs when people swim near boats that inadvertently emit small amounts of electricity. The person is immobilized, their vocal cords frozen, and they silently drown. Never swim in a marina! For some reason Joy Girl is not meeting the new standards which means we can’t use the electrical power posts at marinas that have implemented them. The problem will need to be diagnosed and fixed, requiring more “boat units”. (One boat unit equals $1,000, yikes…)

Once Joy Girl is all fixed up, our plan is to head north, up the beautiful Michigan Coast. The quaint, sandy-beached, sea-side towns like Frankfort, Pentwater and Harbor Springs are not to be missed. We hope to see my dear college friend Deb and her husband Dave somewhere on this lovely coastline and our friends Jim and Sherryl in the Mackinac Island area.

From there, our crystal ball gets a mite cloudy. We could jog west over to Door County Wisconsin, northeast to the Canadian North Channel (and avoid all hidden rocks!), northwest to Lake Superior, or east to Lake Erie.

Summer map possibilites

Once summer fades, we’re not sure what the plan is. We could do one of two things:

1. Store Joy Girl on the hard somewhere on the Great Lakes and come home for the winter, or

2. Travel back down the East Coast and snuggle into Shelter Cove Marina on Hilton Head Island. This would extend our boating season into winter. However, this is the more expensive option. We’ll see…

Our plan is to leave for Chicago this Thursday to see Craig’s Mom, then on to Michigan. Next time we check in, we hope to be aboard Joy Girl! Friends are always welcome to join us 🙂

4 thoughts on “On The “Road” Again

  1. R. J. Hanna

    That’s good news on your parents. We know it’s been a lot of stress. We’ll miss you in Ft. Collins but will enjoy your travel updates.Have a great summer!!


  2. C Haddon

    Craig and Niki:

    Great to see you are headed back to the boat. We’ve had an amazing first year aboard Almost Home, traveling and learning the boat.

    The boat spent Dec. 12 to May 12 in Florida, based at Marineland (15 miles south of St. Augustine) and we gypsied up and down the coast all winter. Hauled at Lamb’s Yacht Center for bottom paint and shaft seal – great work, reasonable costs.

    Lots of fun adventures with family and friends aboard for our trips.

    Got back to Harbourtown two weeks ago for the summer. Then ……. we’ll see what’s next. Probably will wait to loop in 2021-2022 because of the Illinois river closure.

    Let us know if you head south. Until then we will keep following your blog.

    Chuck Haddon and Leigh Denton 42 Nordic Tug Almost Home 770-331-9139



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