Saturday, May 15, 2010

Maiden Voyage to New Buffalo Michigan!

Today is our maiden voyage aboard the Seapickle II, and we are loving it!! We spent the morning and early afternoon shopping and preparing the boat for the trip. The weather did not cooperate as well as we would have liked, but after buying a new fleece from Bass Pro Shop in Portage, it was time to head out. We left port ok, and started down the channel to the song "Into the Mystic" from the Swell Season concert, as is our tradition for the beginning of every journey.

Turning out into the lake, we quickly learned that the marine forecast we checked earlier in the day was not quite correct. The lake was very choppy and rough... not a smooth maiden voyage at all. It was mostly one to two footers, but by the time we hit Michigan City we were hitting three and four foot waves. We took turns at the wheel, with our average speed at about 24 mph until we reached Michigan City, and once it got too choppy, we cut the speed down to about 8 mph the rest of the way. Our total trip time was about an hour and a half.

Once we arrived in New Buffalo, we found the marina and slip #13 without a problem, but due to recent heavy rainfall the current of the river was very strong. The first time we tried docking... we hit the dock on the starboard side... second time we hit a pole... but the third time we made it ok! Dana learned how to tie up dock lines correctly and did an excellent job.

We worked up an appetite battling waves for over an hour, and Ben started to set up the grill for the first time! We had been very eager to try it out and grill our first meal. Unfortunately... our planning did not include checking to see if the grill had an igniter nor bringing any kind of lighter or matches... so it was time to try out that microwave!! After a delicious dinner of hot dogs and goldfish crackers, we set out into town to do a little exploring. New Buffalo was actually our first trip together when we started dating (just about 4 years ago), so the walk into town brought back some good memories for both of us.

At the Sweetwater Boating store (the only store still opened by the time we arrived), we picked up a floppy straw hat for Dana and a Cruising Memories Boaters Diary to record our journeys in.

After stopping for coffee and hot chocolate at the South Bend Chocolate Shop, we finished off the night reading and relaxing in the boat. We're looking forward to coffee and a nice breakfast in town in the morning, before heading back to Portage.

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