Friday, October 02, 2009

Really Great Lakes

If it’s October in the semi-rural Northwest Indiana snow-belt and you’re not paying attention, winter will grab you by the short hairs before you know it. It’s time to prepare.

But not today.

Winter is near but I'm not yet willing to give up riding the motorcycle or winterizing my fishing boat but there are other tools that will need attention soon. How’s your leaf blower? When did you last crank it up? I use mine weekly so no problem here.

What about that old snow blower? Late last winter I noticed a skidplate on my ancient snow blower had rusted out. I must get that fixed if I want to get in and out the garage on a slick uphill driveway during an early November icy surprise. Last year it snowed the first weekend in November and the chill lasted until May with the help of a twice weekly series of heavy lake-effect snowstorms. I should break down and get a new blower but my genetic frugalness whispers no.

Looking on the bright side, there’s enough seasoned hardwood in my covered rack to keep the fireplace going for two years.

Today I was reminded that I need to get busy soon. All the signs are there.

Good friend and next-door neighbor asked me to help crew on his annual trip to the dry dock. He has a 40+’ Viking docked at the Michigan City marina. The twin screw Detroit Diesels and all the electronic toys that make great lake power boating safe and enjoyable were there and ready to go.

After a short trip to the Michigan City fuel dock and holding tank poop sucker we headed out to blue water.

Destination: Pier 1000 Drydock, St. Joe Michigan.

Leaving the harbor there were a few salmon fishermen on shore casting at the last of the big Chinook fall spawning run. There were even a few diehards trolling in a tiny aluminum boat along the breakwall.

As a sidebar I learned something interesting. When I asked why larger boats needed no state registration numbers the answer was interesting. It is because these boats are federally registered. What that means is IF we were at war and the Navy so desired they could commandeer any federally registered vessel including luxury yachts. It also means boaters save big $$ in sales, state and federal tax dollars. Now I know.

Modern GPS equipment takes all the guesswork out of navigation. He sets the waypoint and autopilot steers a direct line to our destination about 30 miles northeast. Not only does it save fuel (over $1000 to fill the tanks) but we can socialize and enjoy some iced tea while technology does all the work.

Nothing like a calm day on the big blue water one last time…traveling on a luxury yacht. Nothing like having good neighbors. truly good.

1 comment:

Dan from Madison said...

St. Joe! I vacation there every year. Great little town.