Our COVID pivot to an RV – follow us on Instagram – (sv_tiger_lily)

Due to COVID 19 and surgeries (Linds’s hip and Bob’s knee) we decided to keep Tiger Lily on the hard for the 2020 season and spend the summer at our cottage in Michigan. So we pushed our 2020 sailing agenda to 2021. This meant we needed to find a home for the winter of 2020/21. Linda proposed an RV and a tour of the US. We are now living in “Little LuLu” our 20 foot travel trailer. For now we have found it a lot easier to post our travels on Instagram so if you want to see what we are up to follow us on Instagram at “sv_tiger_lily”.

1.6.20 – Baie Fine, Little Current, Kagawong, Croker Island, Turnbull Island, Harbor Island, Dead Boy’s Cove, East Grant, Bay City, MI

We apologized last time for our delayed post so I guess we are super sorry this time. After we parked the boat for the winter we moved on to other priorities like traveling to India for a wedding but are now back to thinking about sailing:)

Baie Fine – the Pool (9.9.19-9.10.19) Making our way for an hour up the long narrow fjord to the Pool at Baie Fine was nerve racking due to the shallow depths and our 7 foot draft. Partly thanks to the high water levels this year, we made it without any “bumps”:) Normally this anchorage would be full of boats, but we are doing this very late in the season and there was just one other boat with us. We dinghied to shore to hike up to famous Topaz Lake. We missed the lake trail turn off and hiked quite a bit longer than we needed to, but eventually ended up at Topaz Lake. We have actually been having land navigation issues! It’s a good thing our water navigation is better than our land navigation. Anyway, we got there, and the clear lake with its mirrored surface and tree-lined shore just begged us to skinny dip! The weather started to turn and although we were out of cell service, per the VHF radio we knew that a thunderstorm and high winds were forecasted for the next day. We decided to hunker down in this protected anchorage and wait out the storm. Not sure if it was a super protected anchorage or the “storm” missed us but our anchorage was beautiful and glass calm! The day wasn’t a loss though. Linda read an entire book and Bob used our industrial Sailrite sewing machine to sew a proper harness for the dinghy engine to hoist it onto the boat. Linda spotted two black bears on shore and they captivated us for 30-40 minutes.

Little Current (9.11.19) Little Current is the largest city on Manitoulin island which is the largest freshwater island in the world. We caught the noon swing bridge opening and headed to a slip on the public docks that we shared with the Victory cruise ship. Lunch was burgers and poutine from a food truck. We had not tried poutine before, but what’s not to love? — French fries, gravy and cheese curds! Dinner was at the Split Rail Brewery and Bob recommends the Split Rail beer. The next morning we met several friendly locals who helped us determine our next destinations given the stormy weather. The best laid plans must be changed if Mother Nature has other ideas. 

Kagawong (9.12.19) Kagawong was not on our original plan, but we are glad we made the stop for the short hike to Bridal Veil Falls. We particularly enjoyed watching the salmon try to make their way up the river to the falls.  

Croker Island (9.13.19) Our anchorage was well protected but a bit tight. After taking a nap we discovered a new neighbor in the anchorage we thought was tight for just us. We kept a close eye on our new neighbor who ended up moving as the wind picked up.

Turnbull Island (9.14.19) Wow, what a ride. We waited until about 14:00 to make our way to Turnbull Island so the winds would be down by the time we got to the anchorage. We pounded our way for 4 hours into 25-30 knot winds and 4+ foot seas. We learned that these conditions are about the most we want to motor into. We also learned everywhere the boat leaks in heavy seas.

Harbor Island (9.15.19) Today we got up early and headed to Detour Village to pick up Ron and Jan (Bob’s brother and sister-in-law) – our first overnight guests!

Dead Boy’s Cove (9.16.19) No wind so we motored to Hilton Beach to check into Canada. Not much happening in Hilton Beach in fact the local store only had two loaves of bread. As we motored to Picture Island’s Dead Boy’s cove we hit our first milestone (1,000 nautical miles) The water couldn’t be more calm as we took a 61.5 degree bath and watched the sunset.

East Grant (9.17.19) At East Grant we had our first campfire happy hour. Conveniently we found a place that had two beach chairs and a fire pit ready for use.

Putting Tiger Lily to bed for the winter – (9.18.19 – 9.21.19) After dropping off Linda and Jan at Detour Village, Bob and Ron began the journey down to Bay City to tuck in Tiger Lily for the winter. On the trip south we stopped at Whitney Bay, Presque Isle and Tawas Bay. There was a lot of motoring and we got yelled at by the Coast Guard for talking too long to a boat that called us but other than that not much happened. The folks at Pier 7 in Bay City have been great and Tiger Lily is in good hands. Bob has been working to maintain the deck and unfortunately we didn’t get the cover on before the first snow:(

Local Stories: we spoke to a couple in a coffee shop who had been coming to the North Channel. They told us the story of the island that her father had claimed back in the 1950s. Literally back then all you had to do was put a stake in the island and go pay some taxes. Then you had a certain amount of time in which to build a cottage. Her father, her brother and her brother’s best friend (who is now her husband!) went to the island with all their building supplies on heavily laden metal boats. They build the cottage in two weeks. Campbells McGregor Bay.

9.22.19 – Hopewell Bay, Bustard Islands, Bad River, Killarney, Covered Portage

Hopewell Bay, Bustard Islands, Bad River (9.4.19-9.6.19)These next three nights are quite similar, but by lumping them together we do not mean to downplay each anchorage’s beauty and serenity! Navigating to them requires weaving in and out of hundreds of islands. Take a look at Google Maps and you will get an understanding of how many tiny islands there are in Georgian Bay. At  the Bustard Islands we dinghied around and found a good spot for Bob to practice drone flying. The sunset was beautiful, and we watched it with a cup of hot chocolate and Bourbon cream (introduced to us by sailing buddies Cheryl and Joe Mayer!)  Bad River was probably the best place to explore by dinghy so far! There were a couple of mini rapids to run, and we saw an otter and a beaver that scurried down the rocks as we puttered past. The rocks that make this area so beautiful are also hazardous, and unfortunately we ran the dinghy aground. With each of us getting one leg wet, we were able to push off the shallow rock. The only result was a scratch on the rock so all’s well that ends well. Thank goodness it was the little boat not the big boat!

Killarney, ON and Covered Portage Anchorage (9.7.19-9.8.19) Sorry for the delay on these posts. We have not had any internet service for a long time! After being in secluded anchorages we decided to rent a slip in Killarney where we could see humanity. We borrowed bikes from the marina lodge and in a couple of hours we had explored the town, the lighthouse, and eaten the famous fish & chips from Herbert Fisheries. That evening with glasses of white wine in hand, we went to introduce ourselves to the owners of the sailboat next to us: Tom and Maryann Penton of SV First Light. Happy hour extended to dinner at the Killarney Mountain Lodge. The evening ended listening to an extremely talented singer and musician named Duncan Cameron. The next day we decided to buddy boat to an anchorage called Covered Portage to put in for the night. It felt great to get some exercise by hiking on the island. That night we grilled steaks on “First Light” (which was great because Linda is afraid to use our grill after “it gave her” stitches.) The dinner was fabulous, and it was so much fun to chat and laugh well into the evening (next morning.) Tom is a gifted singer/guitarist and Maryann is a wonderful singer. They created a magical evening playing every song we requested. The list included Linda’s favorite, “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins, and Bob’s favorite “The Edmund Fitzgerald” (which is kind of disturbing when you are living on a boat!) The next morning we headed to Baie Fine, and the Pentons unfortunately had to head back due to engine challenges, but hopefully our paths will cross again!

9.8.19 part 2 – Parry Sound, Bredin Island, Lake Rosseau

Parry Sound and Bredin Island (8.31.19-9.1.19) The winds were great for the sail across Georgian Bay to Parry Sound.  Arriving at Big Sound Marina we were greeted by George, the Harbormaster.  He was super nice and helped us track down Canadian maps for our chart plotter. As we neared the Canadian border we noticed there was no detail for Canadian waters.  Key learning to make sure you have detailed maps for your entire cruising area.  Shout out to Pride Marine for their great customer service and tracking down the maps we needed! We weren’t too concerned because the chart plotter is a third back-up after Navionics software on our iPad (Which is nothing short of miraculous!) and paper charts. However, with literally 30,000 islands to navigate, we want back-ups! We had a nice dinner at Wellingtons with George and the owner, Mike sitting next to us. These life-long residents gave us the history of Parry Sound. The next day we cleaned the boat because we were having guests! Linda’s synchronized swim coach from University of Michigan, Joyce Lindeman, and her friends Cindy, Louise and Elaine came to pick us up.  After showing them our boat they took us back (via boat) to Joyce’s cottage on Bredin Island for a great lunch and conversation. Joyce was amazing- zipping between all these islands in the motor boat. We don’t know how people don’t get lost! Islands are everywhere and the pictures do not do it justice! Joyce is a really special person in Linda’s life so it was great to spend time with her and see the place she has spent her summers for so many years. Joyce and Cindy dropped us off a local landmark (Canadian Tire) where Joanna Grant picked us up! Joanna and David Grant are friends that we met on the Mahina trip (See previous post.) We spent the next two nights with them in their beautiful home on island in Lake Rosseau!

Lake Rosseau and back to Parry Sound (9.1.19-9.3.19) Joanna took us by car, then boat to their island. These island dwellers really have interesting logistics trying to coordinate cars and boats. Joanna and David have been working for seven years on an addition to their cottage. Can you imagine trying to ship building materials by barge? Well the result is absolutely worth the time spent because it is stunning! Joanna cooked amazing meals, especially when compared to Linda’s boat cooking, and we talked and talked! We explored their island and cruised around the neighboring islands too. It is really fun to look at the architecture of the old homes and boathouses. You can imagine the steamships bringing the families to their homes for the summer in the late 1800s. Bob wanted to use the drone for some aerial photos but needed to update the app due to lack of use.  The “test flight” went very badly.  As he tried to auto land the drone it shot up into the ceiling and then smashed to the floor.  New rule – only fly the drone outside – duh!  We were really happy to get a chance to connect with our friends from Mahina and were sad when they drove us back to Big Sound Marina in Parry Sound. The rest of that day was super windy so we did a blog post at the local library and had pizza at Boston Pizza. Bob did a blind taste test of Budweiser and Stella Artois. He finally did identify Stella correctly, but it took several minutes. Another new Bob rule, no more paying extra for Stella.

9.8.19 – Tobermory

Tobermory (8.29.19-8.30.19) This has been the best anniversary for us thanks to all the welcoming people we met! We arrived after a beautiful sail across Lake Huron and got a slip in Big Tub Harbor. We had intended to anchor in Little Tub Harbor where an anchorage was indicated on the charts, but it was very narrow with tour boats coming in and out and indicated six shipwrecks. We didn’t want to be the seventh! After a successful docking Linda stayed aboard Tiger Lily as Captain Bob got us through Canadian Customs then raised our Canadian courtesy flag. At the local bar, Crowsnest Pub, we had a drink and an appetizer and met Doug Stewart who is a member of a band called CDDC with his friend Chris. He told us to come back later when the band would be playing and he gave us lyrics to his original song about Tobermory so we could join in when it was sung later that night. When we returned to the Crowsnest a table full of Tobermory residents asked us to join them (Nora, Ray, Ron, Bridget, Janet, Merv, another Janet, and Terry.) They were so fun and welcoming! We sang the Tobermory song twice and definitely felt like honorary Tobermorians as we raised a glass each time we sang “Here’s to Tobermory!”  The next morning Doug picked us up at 7 for a tour of his island, which included his friends Joyce and Mike’s beautiful place on the water. Mike was on call with his tow trucks to impound cars that had been “stunt driving.” Stunt driving is defined as 50 kmh over the speed limit and the punishment is a $10,000 fine and your car gets impounded for a week!! Doug’s tour continued all around the island and included his lovely cottage where we met his son. Living on a boat, it is rare to see very far inland so Doug’s tour was a special treat. Our tour ended with Doug playing “Margaritaville” on Tiger Lily! What a send off!  In the afternoon we took off for Wingfield Basin that was a few hours away. Once anchored we dinghied to shore and hiked to a somewhat nondescript lighthouse, but it felt good to get exercise.  We went to sleep early because the next day we were crossing Georgian Bay.

9.4.19 – Mackinac Island, Round Lake, Petoskey, Duncan Bay, Presque Isle

Mackinac Island to Round Lake in Charlevoix, MI (8.20.19 – 8.21.19) We started our day with breakfast at the Watercolor Café right by Mackinac Marina – highly recommended. We chatted again with Rose and Tom and toured each other’s boats. It is always fun and helpful to see how other people organize. Then we headed to Charlevoix so we would be closer to Petoskey where we had a slip reserved for Tiger Lily while we headed to another wedding in Wisconsin. We were happy to see Judy and Bill’s boat already anchored in Round Lake. They came to visit in their dinghy which Bill also built – beautiful craftsmanship! We were nervous our anchor might drag since we were in 58 feet of water so we both slept (or didn’t sleep) in the cockpit. The next day was a work day – Bob spent time on the boat and Linda spent the day in the library researching Georgian Bay and the North Channel.  We are so thankful to be members of the Great Lakes Cruising Club. The website is a great resource and everyone we have contacted has been so helpful! 

After sailing to Petoskey, we picked up our car that we had left behind the museum and drove back to the cottage and packed for our drive to Lake Geneva for Joe and Kassie Warmuth’s wedding – great fun and we always cherish time with the Mike and Steff and their family. Even though it’s not officially a part of our sailing adventure we have to add that we had a great time catching up with Mike and Ann Douma and staying at their recently renovated lake house. They have created a peaceful haven while preserving the character of the house.

Petoskey to Duncan Bay to Presque Isle  (8.26.19 – 8.28.19) After the wedding in WI we came back to our cottage. This time we needed to leave our car there because we are on the boat through Sept 20th. Bob’s sister Carolyn and her husband Joe drove us to Petoskey where Tiger Lily was waiting. We had a nice dinner at the City Park Grill which is where Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his books while sitting at the bar. The next morning we started our voyage to Georgian Bay. It was a rough and wavy start and Linda got really sea sick. From now on the Scopolamine patch goes on the night before we restart our journey. As we made our way around the top of Michigan we spent a night in both Duncan Bay and one Presque Isle which were beautiful anchorages. On our anniversary, the 29th we left Michigan and headed across Lake Huron, sailing virtually the entire way in beautiful sunny weather.

9.3.19 – Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island (8.19.19) Had a nice motor sail into Mackinac Island’s marina. It was fun to cross under the Mackinac bridge – the one that Bob’s Mom’s college Geology professor said could not be built! Our neighbors in the marina were Rose and Tom of  SV Searose. They had just come from the North Channel so they gave us lots of helpful information. Then we showered so we could celebrate Allison and Bob Felgenhauer’s 10th wedding anniversary. They were celebrating on the island and they were nice enough to let us horn in! We started out at the Mission Point Inn’s bar. The bartender, “Kris with a K” was fantastic! He had a mixology degree with a specialty in Prohibition drinks. It is fascinating to be taught by someone who has a passion for what they have studied!  He taught us all about different liqueurs and spirits and made us his specialty drinks. Allison and I had blackberry Pisco sours. (After having another fabulous Pisco sour at Cabra in the West Loop of Chicago it is now one of my favorites. Guess I need to get to Peru sometime!)  Bob and Bob had a drink called the Side Car. Kris believes that he discovered the exact brand of liquor used in the original Side Car. It sure tasted great so he is probably right!  He also made us the oldest cocktail in the US, a precursor to the Old Fashioned. It had absinthe in it (which was illegal from 1912-2007!) Another new favorite is a Rusty Nail (50/50 Scotch and Drambuie.)  After our lesson we took a horse and buggy to the Stonecliff Inn and had a glass of wine looking out over Lake Huron. Then walked to the Woods for a wonderful dinner. Our horse and buggy ride at night through the forest back to the marina – perfect way to end the evening with great friends! We hope this is one of many times we can connect with friends via Tiger Lily.

8.30.19 – Beaver Island

Beaver Island (8.16.19 – 8.18.19) Set sail from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. This was Linda’s first time to the island. Bob has fond memories when he came as a kid with his buddy, Bill Borre…more on that later. We had dinner at the Shamrock Bar & Restaurant and chatted with Thomas at the bar. He pronounced his name “ThomASS” and he nicely offered us some of his baked goods that he brought with him in a Ziploc bag, apparently to give to people he met, but also for charities. He baked them at his home in McHenry, IL! Luckily we felt find the next morning and feel his name pronunciation is misleading. Spent the rest of the evening watching Contra Dancing at the Holy Cross Parish Hall.  Bob’s sister, Carolyn, and her husband Joe had danced with this group and told us about it. We did not join in as we had missed the lesson at the beginning of the gathering and we didn’t want to pay $25/person to bump into people in a “doe si doe.” 

The next day we spent a long time in the public library beautifully surrounded by trees. We did our previous post and then went to Daddy Frank’s for a burger and ice cream. We met Sarah, who had traveled there for the contra dancing. She told us a fascinating story about how she had just found her birth mother and family. We felt like we were listening to an audio book. At age 58 she found out she has 4 full older siblings! 

Bob was pretty sure his friend Bill’s family would still be on the island. We asked someone who looked it up in a paper phonebook! Then she gave us the phone number giving only 7 numbers. (That brought us back to 1986 in Chicago when we had to start using area codes!)  We called Betsy and Glenn Borre, Bill’s parents, and they remembered him and asked us to come visit the next day.

That night went to the Circle M for dinner. Dinner was great and the live music from Zachariah Malachi and the Hillbilly Executives was really fun. We learned they had a shuttle to the marina so we could avoid the 1.5mi walk back to the boat:) On our shuttle we met Bill and Judy Livingston who were anchored near us in a boat that he built! Sunday we went to church at the Beaver Island Christian Church and were the youngest there – that always feels good. Then we rented bikes and rode the lovely ride through the forest to the Borre’s house right on the lake shore. We had a wonderful talk and they gave him a scanned picture of the time Bob and Bill caught salmon with Bill’s dad (see below). On the way back to the boat we stopped at the Toy Museum which is really more of a store/museum.  We chatted with the owner, Mary, on her porch as we waited for a storm to pass. People are fascinating. She has run the store for 50 years. She came to the island because she was actually looking for an island where she could raise her boys and let them safely run free with nature. Went to the Maritime museum and then headed back to the boat. The next morning we got up to head to Mackinac Island and had so many weeds on the anchor chain it took us an hour to pull them all off. We should have taken a picture of the anchor. You could not see any of the metal and it was just a weed ball about 3 feet in diameter. Linda poked at it with the boat hook to get all the twisted weeds to come free. At least it held well!

8.17.19 – Suttons Bay, Elk Rapids, Petoskey

Suttons Bay to Elk Rapids (7.27.19 – 7.29.19) Gosh – we are already so far behind on our blog! Sorry about that! We are going back to July 27th when we were anchored at Suttons Bay, a great little town with good food and cute stores. Bob realized he had not registered our dinghy so we were able to get that done at the Secretary of State in Suttons Bay. Then Linda made a really bad make-shift sign with our registration number on it. The thought was that if the Coast Guard stopped us we would get credit for effort – doubtful. Luckily we did not have to see if she was right. Our friends since college, Ken and Amber Bostock and Jamie and Amy Melvin, met us in Suttons Bay and climbed aboard Tiger Lily. We had a fabulous sail over to Elk Rapids (Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor.)  We had a slip there for two weeks because it is close to our cottage on Elk Lake. Bob has all of his tools at the cottage so the plan was to do lots of boat projects – and he did, but we also had some fun. Went to Mission Point for a great dinner (Boathouse) and wine tasting (Chateau Chantal Winery), shopping in Elk Rapids (reversible dresses at Haystacks?? Perfect for a sailboat wardrobe!) We gorged on cherries and cherry pie from Altonen’s and had whiskey flights at the Traverse City Whiskey Co.

Time at the cottage (7.30.19 – 8.7.19) After our college buddies left we spent time with Bob’s family, Linda’s parents and long-time friends Jim & Amy Keane. Dinner with the Keanes at their place on Clam River was very relaxing and helped prep us for our week of cottage organizing. Everyone was so helpful in getting our cottage and boat chores done. We also had some great trips out into Grand Traverse Bay on the boat and revisited Chateau Chantal Winery – just for the view 😉  In the midst of this Linda drove to pick up Mark in Ann Arbor and helped him drive to Brooklyn, NYC, his new home.

Elk Rapids to Petoskey (8.8.19) Bob and his sister, Nancy, sailed the boat from Elk Rapids to Petoskey on probably the best sail this summer. Petoskey is where Tiger Lily rested while we drove back to Austin & Elizabeth Bostock’s wedding in Chicago. We have know Austin since the time he was born so it was great to be a part of the joyous celebration. The logistics of “Where is the boat?”, “Where do we need a car?” etc. are challenging. Often as we tell people our plan, they say “Wait, how are you going to….?” Then we say “Oh, shoot, you’re right!” and we have to rethink our plan. You would think we would be better at this as Supply Chain professionals!  Linda stayed back from the trip to Petoskey to keep cleaning and unfortunately ended up in Urgent Care for stitches in her hand. Why do grills need to be so sharp? Bob’s brother, Ron, went to pick Nancy and Bob up in Petoskey which had originally been Linda’s job. Thanks to our neighbor, Kay Kirchner, for helping Linda get bandaged up and to Urgent Care! Linda took this as a reminder that on the boat she needs to be more mindful and slow down.  Needing stitches in the middle of an 8 hour voyage would not be good. Bob took the stitches out a week later masterfully.

Boat Maintenance (8.12.19 -n 8.15.19) Boarded Tiger Lily in Petoskey and headed for the Irish Boat Shop in Charlevoix to get a list of things fixed (refrigerator, oil pressure sender, starter battery, exhaust hose leak.) Bob had always wanted to be on the boaters’ side of the bridge opening in Charlevoix. Since we were dutifully monitoring Channel 16 on the VHF we were able to hear the Bridge Tender say “Hey sailboat in Lake Michigan, if you want to make this bridge opening you better hurry up.” We did!

As seems to be common among boaters, we were there longer than planned. Irish Boat Shop was very accommodating and helped us get the parts we needed. Cory from West Climate Control fixed our refrigerator – yay! We can also recommend the burritos at Lynda’s Tacos in the parking lot of the Family Fare Supermarket on M-66. Thankfully our longtime friends, the Pulicks, came to pick us up one of the nights and took us to their beautiful home on Walloon Lake and treated to us to a wonderful pontoon boat ride and a fun dinner at the Barrel Back. It was great to reconnect and relax!

8.6.19 – Waukegan, Manitowoc, Pentwater, Arcadia

Cutting the dock lines (7.20.19) We finally got organized after weeks of having the cabin filled with electronic boxes and were able to “cut the dock lines” on July 20th.

The journey to the cottage (7.20.19 – 7.27.19) On July 20th we were able to leave Waukegan. We had thunderstorms forecasted so we changed our plan of crossing Lake Michigan and went up the Wisconsin coast instead. Linda naively ignored key learnings from our Mahina trip and drank coffee, had no food or water for breakfast, and had a glass of wine the night before. We won’t get into gory details, but a scopolamine patch came to the rescue!

Manitowoc (7.21.19 – 7.22.19) We really enjoyed the little town of Manitowoc: Maritime Museum, the Rahr West Art Museum, Beernsten’s, The Wharf.

Pentwater (7.23.19) Next we crossed Lake Michigan to Pentwater: We had a delightful sail across the lake with southwest winds on a broad reach.

Meeting fellow voyagers: In Pentwater we found a great anchorage behind another sailboat, Bertha. Later we met the owners, Ed & Erin, at the dinghy dock in town. We started chatting and discovered so many similarities. They had just left Chicago after raising their children in Libertyville and are planning on cruising and heading to the east coast through the St. Lawrence seaway next year – same as us! In addition Ed worked for Abbott for 20 years, we bought the exact same dinghy at the same place in Lake Bluff, and they had stayed in the “gated community” at Larsen the week before we did! We met after dinner from some great conversation. They jogged our memory that we need to register our dinghy. So now we are in stealth mode whenever we go out. We will try to hit the Secretary of State when we get to Suttons Bay. We are looking forward to connecting with Ed & Erin as we both go out the St. Lawrence.

Arcadia (7.24.19) We found a great little marina in Arcadia (pop. 650) with excellent WiFi. We walked up to the only restaurant around, The Big Apple, founded in the 1930’s. The ice cream shop across the street was rated in the top 10 for Michigan – we could see why! We walked it off with a walk on the beach observing lots of erosion due to the high Lake Michigan water levels. Alarms were set for 4:30 am for the long journey to Suttons Bay.