A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Further North

Leaving Sheboygan was a little eventful, being our first experience of a "soft grounding", which is what hitting the putty is known as here. We had gone up river for a look at the town and coming back down past the wall that the superyachts tie up (where you would expect deepish water) I went the wrong side of a green buoy and at 4mph we gently came to rest on a sandbar. Fortunately the water was deep enough where the propellors are and we reversed off easily. No damage was done, although the speedo impellor must have been stuck full of mud as it took about a mile of cruising at speed before it started reading again. The trip to Manitowoc was only an hour and we tied up at he marina and went downtown to check out the submarine museum.
The next day we went round to the fuel dock in a blustery SW wind, and right at the wrong time, the Yacht Controller failed....which made getting on the dock tricky. After fuelling and a pumpout (holding tank) we departed, intended to go to Kewaunee about 24 NM away but out on the lake there was a good following sea so we continued up to the Sturgeon Bay canal, about 40NM away. The previous day the check valve in the washer drain had blocked again with lint and I had removed it, so I wanted to see if any water came up the drain hose in bigger waves. The 3-4ft following sea was quite short and the bow was burying itself quite deep, so I figured if it was going to be an issue, it would likely appear then. As it turned out there was no issue at all.

The next part was our first canal experience, albeit short as its only a few miles long, and we passed under 1 lift bridge to get to the Municipal marina where we were intending to stop. This proved to be very small and narrow and shallow and with the remote controller not working it was too risky to dock, so we headed back out and under the lift bridge to the Centrepointe marina. I contacted the Yacht Controller people in Florida, but it was 5.45pm there and the tech had gone home.

The next day we decided to stay on and sort out the controller issue and a few other wee jobies. Charlie and the girls went to get more provisions (from Walmart of course), courtesy of a ride from the marina staff. I stayed behind to wait for a call from Florida, and I also took the time to report in to CBP in Milwaukee, who are responsible for this area. First I called our friendly officer who issued our cruising licence. She was quite surprised and said we should only have to report if we were coming in from a foreign port. I read her the paragraph on the licence that stated otherwise, and she told us that that was OK and we were now "logged in", as it were. Half an hour later she rang me back and said we should probably log in to Green Bay CBP as that was the port to which we were the closest (even though they report to Milwaukee anyway). She gave me the phone number and I called the officer, who didn't have any idea what I was talking about. He asked when we were coming to Green Bay and where we were going to stay and I told him we didn't know yet as that would depend on the weather and what we found when we got there. He told me to call him when we get there, as he didn't know what the procedures were for pleasure craft, so I have registered all this in our log book to show that we have tried to comply with the terms of the licence.

In the meantime I have established that it will cost $1600 for a new remote control for the Yacht controller and take a week or so to ship, so we are persisting with seeing if it is just an issue with batteries and worst case scenario is that we just have to drive the boat from the helm, like most other people. Its just that it is sooooo much easier to dock with the remote.

This marina is like most others - shallow and full of weeds that come almost to the surface. yesterday this interesting machine came out and stated "harvesting" the weeds. Later we saw a fairly large truck taking away a load for who knows what purpose.

So here's where we are now. There were strong winds and thunderstorms here this morning so we decided to stay another day
Till next time

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