Great Loop Blog - Days 10-11
The run from Tawas to Harrisville was gray, hazy, and drizzly with us taking two to three foot waves on the aft starboard quarter for the last two hours. We didn't take any pictures and were happy to pull into Harrisville Harbor.
Yet another Michigan DNR marina and it was fabulous. Excellent internet, free bicycles, free courtesy shuttle, clean bathrooms, and plenty of hot water in the showers. Caught this guy swimming around the Marina.
In the morning the Marina staff noticed a film on the water around the boat and asked me if I was leaking; I explained that it was emulsified oil from the bilge and that I had ordered oil absorbent pads from Amazon that would be waiting for us in Cheboygan. They gave us 15 pads for free after hearing about my tribulations with the valve cover. I was able to sop up almost all of the oil in the bilge, and put more pads under the engine to hopefully sop up the rest.
Another cruiser told us a tale of a broken alternator bracket that had been welded back into shape for free, the mechanic who repaired it refused to take their money. You just can't beat small town America.
The next day dawned clear and blue. Our spirits were high on the 30 mile run to Alpena. Entering Alpena we found yet another delightful DNR marina. A fellow looper who we had met in Harrisville was there so we were met by friends.
The Alpena Marina had 120 MB high speed Internet so we uploaded and published Episode Three. In this episode we introduce Darina and show more preparations for departure.
Here's Yorksie the Wonder Dog crying to be left off the boat just as we tied up. The two orange pillows are hers, and of course she keeps peeing on them, so we keep washing them off and drying them in the sun.
After tying up we headed into town. The docks were filled with activity. There were several NOAA research vessels and small utility craft, a lot of high tech looking marine gear, and a crowd of people. They explained to us that they were helping the Navy run tests for Silent Swarm. We later learned this is an EMP attack system.
Here we are taking selfies in front of the beautiful flowers at the marina.
We had lunch downtown outdoors at The Fresh Palate, a delightful restaurant that we would highly recommend. We split blackened tuna with a sweet and sour sauce, rice with bbq sauce and a hint of spice, fresh coleslaw with cream and a pasta dish with artichoke hearts, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, feta cheese, and bacon. Both were enjoyed with St. Julians sweet red wine.
On the way home we stopped at the market, which is about a block from the Marina, and picked up some fresh vegetables and ingredients for a special dish Darina is planning to make. Later in the day we headed out for another long walk which ended with Peanut Butter Chocolate Waffle Cones downtown - only single scoops this time!
The next morning after work we went for a nice walk around the Marina and out onto the breakwall. Here is one of the NOAA vessels headed out the mouth of the river at sunrise.
On the way back we spotted this beautiful swan.
Filled with love, joy, and happiness we made our way across the marina parking lot singing an old Johnny Mercer tune "Zippity Do Dah" at 7:45 AM which earned us a few glances from the people showing up for work. On to Presque Isle.