Monday, October 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Summer...Part 1

This weekend is going to be our last on the big lake till next season since Seapickle is scheduled to be pulled out of the water for winter storage this Thursday. Flat calm days on Lake Michigan are hard to come by, but to have three consecutive days of glass flat water is really rare! Three perfect days is exactly what we had, and we made the best of them!

Meeting Pier Pressure at the beac
Shortly after we raft up with Ron, Debbie and Jacob on Pier Pressure, Greg and friends on Not Now arrive for a port side raft up!
Rafting up with Not Now and Pier Pressure
This sure beats going in the cold water to get from boat to boat
 With everyone here it is time to start our nightly potluck style dinners at the beach!

Ben fires up the grill for some steaks
Dana heating the pulled pork for sandwiches
Beautiful sunset

Can you believe we had three days like this

Hey Greg are those Milano cookies in your hand?

I was not always a morning person, but when we stay at the beach I am up with the sun! It's hard to not be a morning person when you are greeted with a sun rise like this. Dana on the other hand still likes to sleep as long as she can.

Also up with the sun was the Pier Pressure crew who had a quick cup of coffee and then departed to take Jacob to band camp

Early morning departure
After Pier Pressure left we had a quick breakfast and decided to check out some of the trails that wind through the dunes behind our camp. We spent the next couple of hours hiking through some beautiful nature trails, and even came across a snake sunning itself in the middle of a path! 

We decided it would be a nice day to visit Ben's cousin Mike and his family aprox. 20 miles down the shore in Long Beach Indiana. Pier Pressure returned just in time to help us shove off.

Save our spot for us!
 We had a great leisurely cruise down the shore to Long Beach! We slowed down around Michigan City to watch a sailboat regatta for a few minutes, then continued on to meet Mike and Nora on the beach.
Ben's cousin Mike, Wife Nora, Daughter Ella, and Baby Evan

Ella taking a time out from playing to have a snack

Ben and Mike kicking back and enjoying a great day!

Back to boaters to catch another great sunset

and moon rise!

Saying Goodbye to Summer..part 2

The best feeling in the world is waking up to a perfect, calm lake, beautiful sunrise and your friends rafted up on the boat next to you. We lounged around on the boat all morning... made coffee, picked on Jacob, ate breakfast, waved hello to Captain Ron... and waited for the rest of the boater's beach gang to arrive.

Jacob on Pier Pressure
Captain Ron checking out the beach
Slowly but surely other boats began to arrive. A little earlier than usual, perhaps because everyone knew that this may be our last opportunity of the season to all spend the day together. Everyone who arrived brought some sort of food or drink, plus friends and pets, to add to our beach party. We got the grill going early and didn't stop all day. Pizzas, veggies, italian beef, hot dogs (that fell in the sand), all kinds of snacks... we were feeling a little spoiled that day!
Just hanging out on the beach
Relaxing day on the beach

The whole crew

Jacob getting "toughened up"

Dana taking a break from sun bathing and napping

Ron and Kelly from D dock. You guys need to come stay on G dock!
It was so sunny and warm that day it was hard to believe it was really October and our last day out on Seapickle for the year. No one wanted the day to end, but eventually as the sun began to set and the evening grew cool, we had to give in and start thinking about heading back. Even after 3 full days on the beach, we still weren't ready... especially Dana who refused to get off her beach blanket, even while shivering in a sweatshirt and pants in the cool October air. Finally the last of us decided to pack up for the final voyage back to Marina Shores of 2011.

Dana was cold, but unwilling to leave "her beach."

Packing up for the final time

Goodbye Boaters Beach..we look forward to seeing you in the spring!

One last look at the sunset as we turn into the channel
We had the most amazing summer and wouldn't trade any of our memories for anything! Many of those memories due to our boat "family" and great friends Ron, Debbie & Jacob from Pier Pressure... we look forward to many more summers together!

G dock family
As we bid farewell to Seapickle that night we were definitely sad, but also just so grateful for the amazing 6 months of the year that we really live life to the fullest. There were times we stayed up all night, we may have overindulged on a "few" occasions, some of us didn't cut our grass for months, we neglected house projects, and obsessively checked the marine forecast while at work... but we can definitely say we soaked up every bit of sun we could and enjoyed every moment to the fullest.

October is still good for boating!

We've been having an AMAZING summer and have been spending wonderful days boating and on the beach... here's pics from this past weekend, and we will be updating with the rest of the summer news & pics soon! Sorry about the lack of posts... too much time on the water!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Is that us in BoatUS Magazine?

Why it sure is! But let me back up for a minute...

Last fall, we submitted 5 pictures from our Michigan Honeymoon Boat Trip for a BoatUS photo contest. While we didn't win, the following spring Dana got an email from the editor of BoatUS, who saw our photos and loved our story of "buying a boat as a wedding gift to ourselves" and our boating honeymoon! She said she was doing a story on how relationships and boating go together, and she'd like us to submit a few paragraphs about how we got into boating and how it works with our relationship. I happily obliged, and then waited and waited to see if our story would make it to the magazine! After a few months, we were very surprised to get the above photo as a text from Ben's dad, whose BoatUS Magazine arrived a few days before ours! We couldn't believe it when we saw our photo so big in a magazine... and we were definitely excited to be boating celebrities the next weekend on the beach :-)

 Here's the link to the article online:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm Just A Little Black Rain Cloud...

The first time Captain Ron sang this to us over the vhf radio, Pier Pressure was following us out to the lake as some dark clouds were rolling in. Even from their boat, they could see Ben's look of worry as he glanced back "a few times" at the clouds...

From then on, "the princess" (aka dana) insisted that she hear that song on just about every trip to the lake. :-)

And the Winnie the Pooh version

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3rd First Night on the Hook!

We had spent countless nights sleeping aboard on Seapickle II, but we still hadn't spent the night anchored out on the lake. With the marina only being a few miles from our normal hang out spot at Boaters Beach there didn't seem to be much of a reason not head to the dock, tie up to a fixed structure, and plug in the a/ least that was my opinion. This weekend Dana had other plans for me. Later I found out she enlisted the help of our dock neighbors to help make her dream of sleeping at the beach come true. I didn't realize it at the time but everyone knew we were staying at the beach but me. I should have figured this out when everyone was way too eager to fix me drinks, of course I wised up to their plot but by then it was too late.
Ron and Debbie gathering firewood
Nice view of Chicago with Executive Decision motoring by
 June has been cold and rainy, but it really seems like summer started tonight! Warm weather, calm water, and one of the best sunsets we have ever seen! If there was ever a night to try sleeping on the big lake for the first time this one would be hard to beat.
Best sunset of the year!

It doesn't get much better than this!

 I hardly slept all night and jumped up what seemed like every five minutes to check on the never moved. My complete lack of sleep was worth it when I peeked outside on one of my many checks to see an incredible sunrise. Well I guess both Dana and I got our wish considering I have wanted to see a Lake Michigan sunrise since we got into boating!
The now famous sunrise over Pier Pressure picture
Debbie waiting for the first pot of coffee to be brewed
The morning of July 4th brought a return visit from Executive Decision
After spending the day soaking in the sun we took a nice cruise down the shore to Indiana Dunes State Park to watch fireworks! A great finish to a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lake Michigan Boating in June

View from our dock

The pool at Marina Shores

Heading out to the lake

Our friends on "Pier Pressure"

Enjoying the night on the lake

Another Lake Michigan sunset

We are so blessed to be able to see so many sunsets!

Sunset on Ben's first boat outing by himself