Sunday, September 27, 2015



I have put off doing this post now for almost a month, but now I must.  This will most likely be my last post on this blog.  Because we have ended the journey of the Lady J, right in Sheboygan, WI.

Before we ever left our dock in Sandusky Mike and I had agreed that on September 1st we would sit down and have a serious discussions as to whether we still wanted to continue this journey.  Was the fun outweighing the stress and could we afford (financially) to go on.  Well that conversation did indeed take place.  Not so much planned as it just came up on our sixth day of fog in Sheboygan.  There were many factors in our decision. First was the cost, we were on a limited budget and were not willing to delve into our "retirement" money to finance this expedition.  Yes there are ways of cruising cheaply, we ate most all meals on board, took no side trips, rented no vehicles on days we couldn't cruise.  Our money went to fuel, food, and docking and miscellaneous items like charts, parts, etc.  We were not comfortable anchoring out so the majority of our money went to dockage fees. So consequently when we were stuck because of weather the days became a bit monotonous and frustrating.  This probably effected me more than it did Mike, as you see I am not much one for just sitting around, I like to be busy.  Besides the fact we missed our kids and grand kids not to mention our friends back home.

So we made the decision that day to end this amazing journey, sell the boat and return back to Ohio.  What amazed me still to this day is how quickly we made the decision and executed it so quickly.  Literally within two days of making this decision we put the boat up with a broker, rented a truck, emptied her out of all our belongings and were on the road back to Ohio.  So the boat will stay in Sheboygan until she is sold.  She is in great condition and ready to go on a new journey.

We on the other hand have landed in Blacklick Ohio, just outside of Columbus.  We have rented a condo near our family and have not looked back.  Well at least not for too long.  We were so blessed when we arrived back in Ohio, we stayed with our dear friends Ed & Julie Kerns while we looked for a place to settle into.  Within a week we were able to locate a place we liked and with the help from our amazing family we moved in and have now been here for 2 weeks.

Is this where we want to be? For now, yes.  Will we continue to travel? If we have anything to do with it, YES!  Are we thrilled to be near our family and friends? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Is there life after living aboard?  Yes, in fact check our our new blog at

Thanks to everyone who followed us on our amazing journey.  Now begins our new journey on land.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

USS Cobia, a Gato class WW2 submarine, is on display at the maritime museum.  28 boats like this were built in Manitowoc during the war.  They conducted shake downs in Lake Michigan, then sailed to Chicago.  From there, they were placed on special barges and taken down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. After final fitting out, they sailed through the Panama Canal, to Hawaii, and on to the front.  The boat is in pristine condition, and looks like it could set sail today.  Members of the crew gather here every August for a reunion, and to help work on the boat.

The Cobia made 6 war patrols, and only lost one man during a surface engagement

On of 4 1600 horsepower diesel engines on board.  Their only purpose was to drive generators to make electricity to charge the batteries.  The two propellors were driven by electric motors.

Main engine control room.  Neat as a pin.

Engineering Log Room.  Looks more like a closet to me, but everything is cramped on a submarine.

A replica of construction details for a center board schooner typical on the Great Lakes.

More examples of Wisconsin built boats from days gone by.

The centerpiece of the museum was this triple expansion steam engine  It was motorized and was extremely impressive to watch all the pieces working together.  It had to be over twenty feet tall.

The museum had a nice display about America's great loop, which we're undertaking.

In honor of a local vintage motorcycle meet, on display was a 1913 Henderson.  The owner had a picture of his 12 year old grand mother riding on the back of this bike.

From the roof of the museum, I got a nice view of the ferry Badger getting underway.  She carries people and cars from Manitowoc Wisconsin to Luddington, Michigan.  It is the last coal fired steam driven vessel on the Great Lakes, if not in the US.  Because of concerns about pollution from coal ash, the ship will have to be converted to oil fired in 2017.

Foggy, foggy Manitowoc, WI

Foggy morning in Manitowoc, WI

Well the fog has been here from dusk to dawn today.  This morning is was beautiful with all it's blue hues.  Along with the fog there was a light drizzle.  But I must give the folks of Manitowoc credit, nothing stops them.  Next to the marina is a HUGE YMCA where there was a triathlon happening.  Not sure how they did the swimming part out in the bay when you couldn't see your hand in front of your face for a while.  But the event proceeded on.

The triathlon at the YMCA
We passed the YMCA on our way downtown.  We were headed for the farmers market.  I wasn't sure with this crazy weather if it was actually going to happen, but there it was just on the other side of the bridge.

This was one of the biggest Farmers Market we have come across during this journey

On our way back to the boat with a load of fresh produce.
There were so many vendors with tables and tables of fresh fruits, vegetables, local cheese (it is Wisconsin), flowers, food, even a furniture maker was there.  We picked up a bag of peaches, a bunch of carrots, some corn on the cob, tomatoes and some cucumbers.  YUM!  We spent the rest of the morning working on some boat chores, taking showers, reading and having some lunch.  It was a pretty laid back day.  This afternoon Mike and I decided to take a walk over to the lighthouse that I had walked to yesterday.  We started out and noticed that the fog was back.  The poor sun was trying it's best to get through but as you can see from the photos it had a bit of a struggle.  It was eery and beautiful all at the same time.

Early in the afternoon we thought the fog was finally going away.

We were wrong, it came back

These three were not going to let the fog keep them from fishing

Boats had to be careful not to run into one another

After our walk I made dinner out of all the wonderful things we had picked up while we were in Manitowoc.  Fresh bread with tomatoes for some bruschetta, corn on the cob, and some Wisconsin cheese.  

We are enjoying a quiet evening with Mike watching the Packers and me well I am working on the blog.  The weather looks good for us leaving tomorrow, but not sure yet about the fog.  We just have to be patient and wait.