Thursday, July 6, 2017

Georgia to South Carolina and a "vacation" from cruising. June 28 to July 5, 2017

Last day of cruising...for a while.  More on this later in the post.
Leaving Jekyll Island on June 28 we set out for Kilkenny Marina (about 70 miles) and the Marker 107 Restaurant next door. Not much of a marina, but a great restaurant next door!  About 2 miles off the ICW.

We had a great fresh seafood meal and planned to leave Thursday morning at 8 AM, slack tide (the currents rip at 2+MPH through Kilkenny Creek) and a time that would put us at Hell Gate, a notoriously shallow section of the ICW after the tide started to rise.  The plan worked well.

Running through Georgia can have some huge biting flies.  Today was no exception so the lower air conditioned and comfortable helm station was the choice for this helmsman.  Nice and cool ("feels like" temperatures were in the high 90's outside), dry and no biting flies.  That is one of the things we really like about our boat, good options for piloting based on weather.  And the windshield wipers going through the sounds for wiping salt spray and the occasional rain showers were great too.

We arrived at our destination marina in South Carolina and got settled.
Here are photos of the lock we came through to get into the marina.  It is only 19 feet wide and we are 16 feet so with the cross winds it was a bit of a challenge, but we have been in tighter spaces.  Julie is a great coach on the headsets to direct me.  The team works.

And here is the marina on the other side.  Very protected and being behind the lock negates any tide in the marina.  Very nice facility.
Fortunately we did not have to use too many of the steps on the flowchart below to dock here.  But it is so true!  Anyone who docks a large vessel will get this.....

A photo from one of our walks around the beautiful community.  Well protected basin here.

The South Carolina Yacht Club is in the background.  A unique motor vehicle traffic "slow" sign.

The view of an approaching daily thunderstorm.

We do have a temporary change in lifestyle to share with you. This was our last cruising day for a while..... Why?
"Sécurité, sécurité, sécurité.  Please switch to channel 6-8 for a broadcast of Sum Escape cruising status. Over."  
"Family, friends and followers, family, friends and followers, this is Sum Escape on 6-8.  Well, sometimes a curve ball comes from nowhere and things change.  God has a plan for all of us and one never knows until it is presented.
In our case, with a late start to northern cruising due to extended repair time,  Eliza and Jordan's wedding in early September in Michigan, my former employer needing some temporary help and spending some time with Mom this summer, we have decided on a bit of a change of pace.
I will be taking the Interim Executive VP/CFO role at SpartanNash Company in early July.
We have accepted the temporary employment, put the boat into a safe harbor in South Carolina, entered maintenance contracts for care taking of Sum Escape, had engine and genset oil changed, topped off / stabilized fuel in boat and dinghy, investigated having to modify our insurance coverage as "absentee owners", picked up a rental car and we spent a week packing up most of our belongings and driving to Michigan to rejoin the city life soon. We hope to see many of you in Grand Rapids soon.
More to come as we plan to resume cruising in a few months.  Over.  Sum Escape, standby 16."

And so here we are carting our belongings to the SUV for the trip to Grand Rapids...
And here we come!

....  blog to be continued when we resume cruising.....

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A week at Jekyll Island. And a bit of Captain's pride lost.... June 20-28

So on Monday morning, the technician showed up as planned to change the transmission oil.  All went well and we got underway to Daytona Beach before 11 AM.  We arrived at Halifax Marina and fueled up and picked up the spare part DeVere had left for us.  He had borrowed the spare part from us in the Bahamas and due to our delay and inability to catch up with them, he left the replacement in the care of the marina. We do miss you both Carole and DeVere!  Safe travels to you.  A great stop given our shortened travel day.
On Tuesday morning we left at 6:30 AM to make Jacksonville Beach where we could walk 1-1/2 miles (each way) to a Publix to stock up on some fresh fruits and veggies.
Ok, I am sure you may have heard the old saying "it is not if you go aground, it is when."  Hmm, can't happen to us right?  Wrong.  It happened at roughly marker Red 36 on the Tolomato River.  OK, I was not on the magenta line, but the 3 foot shoal/sand/mud  bar was much further to the SE than charted. The blue dot on the lower third of this screen shot shows where we were aground.

Here is Red 36 in the distance as we are stuck on the bar.

We were just past low tide and I caught the edge of the bar.  We tried to back off but the tidal current pushed us sideways and we were being pushed further onto the bar.  Here I am referring to three separate charts noting we were not on the charted had grown.

So we dropped the anchor, killed the engines and genset and called TowBoatUS.  They told us it would be an hour for them to respond.  Shortly thereafter, we received a call form the tow boat and he said he was out on a training run and only 15 minutes from us.  We told him we were being pushed further on to the bar and were going to deploy a stern anchor as well.  He said, don't bother, I will be there shortly, my boat has twin diesels and we'll have you off the bar in a jiffy.  While he was enroute, I went below to the engine room to check sea strainers for sand and mud.  And yes, the starboard engine strainer was about 3/4 full of mud.  So here is again where an inverter is a good thing.  Having the AC power without having to run the genset allowed me to run the shop vac to pull the mud out of the strainer.  However, when I opened the sea cock, it was dry....clogged with mud, or perhaps we were just sitting on the bottom.
Then the tow boat showed up and we began to get hooked up for the tow.  He hooked to our stern and pulled gently so we would not damage rudders, etc. 

As he was pulling us off, I was raising the anchor.  Once out of the mud, I tried again to get water into the sea cock.  By opening and closing multiple times is started to trickle.  So I cracked open the top of the sea cock and then it filled with muddy water.  I trusted it would clear once we started the engine.  So that is what we did.  We put each engine into forward and reverse at idle to test for vibration, etc.  All good.  We turned the wheel lock to lock to feel for any binding or some different feel than normal.  All good.  So Julie handled the tow line and I put Sum Escape in gear to produce slack in the tow line and she cast it off.
We then followed the tow boat through the curving channel with Julie at the helm.  I went below to check strainers, vibration and rudder posts for integrity.  After I returned to the helm after my check of engine room and lazarette proved to all look good, we then ran the boat up to speed to test for vibration, etc.  None noted!  So a "soft grounding" is what we will term our experience.  Here they are leaving...note the clock, only a one hour delay.  Thanks Tow Boat US.

It is interesting to note that the unlimited towing policy we buy each year (about $150) covered the entire $1200 bill!  One of the things AGLCA forum members had suggested was to have the policy for "when you go aground, not if".  Worked for us...  Only my Captain's pride is hurt.
We made it to Jacksonville Beach, Beach Marine around 4:30.  Not what the website depicted.  This is what we thought we would see.  We would have been right by the pool...had it existed.

It turns out the website is an artists rendering of the future state with the marina lined with condos and a pool...none of which was there today.  It was expensive with nothing special and did not even have potable water on the docks, only at the fuel dock. I guess when the website said "Since 1948" we should have taken a hint.  But we were able to walk to Publix and get some great fruits and veggies.  So we planned a first light departure for Jekyll Island.
We got underway on Wed by 6:30 AM.  We had a nice run on the ICW to Jekyll, arriving around 1:30PM right at slack tide.  Nice as the currents are pretty stiff here.  Oh, and the new moon will be creating a ten foot tidal shift here on Saturday. We are not in Michigan any more...
Here is the dock at high tide.

Here is low.
This was only a seven foot range, the big 10 foot range was Saturday night.
Here we are rounding some more shoals (carefully) along the sand dunes lining the barrier islands along the Georgia shores.

The restaurant on site has been reopened, they are remodeling the rest rooms/showers and there are plenty of bike trails and a nice pool.  So we took advantage of their pay for 5 and get 7 days and signed up for a week.  And we gave the boat a much needed bath to get rid of all the salt. Here we ae safely tied up at Jekyll Island.

On Thursday night, we rode our bikes 4.5 miles each way to the Driftwood Bistro.  Very good food, and reasonably priced too.  Our friends John and Becky from St Simons Island had recommended it.  Thanks so much for the recommendation, we will be back.
We took early morning walks to beat the heat almost every day.  The heat index reaches the high 90's if not 100 degrees in mid afternoon.
Friday, we had a nice afternoon at the pool and were able to listen to the live music at the restaurant as well.
Saturday was a work around the boat day.  Julie organized and cleaned inside, I went into the engine room to clean up all the grime from all the work done.  Mechanics did a good job, but greasy hand prints, sand from shoes, scraps of cable ties, gasket material etc were left behind.  Cleaned up pretty well now.
Here are some pictures from this morning's walk.
Dropped off wedding invitation RSVP at post office
 Such nice old cottages...

We will leave here later morning on Wednesday (need to wait for some tidal help) and head north...
Note the small channel and sailboats sitting in the mud....we'll wait an hour or so.

Thanks for following our cruising blog.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Finally on the Move North!! It is so nice to be back home on board. June 14 to 18, 2017

Here we are approaching the Vero Beach bridge we drove over almost everyday.  We like this perspective much better. Need to swap out our AGLCA burgee for a new one after two years on the water...

We continued to do daily early morning  neighborhood walks around Vero Beach as we awaited the boat repairs to be completed.
Our view from one of the five rooms we rented over our 27 days here.
Our last room was an efficiency instead of a studio. We liked the studio better.
It even had a ground level patio.

Our home for 27 days.

Our hotel was at the end of Acacia Road on the map.  We walked all these neighborhood roads and some more south of here as well over our 27 days here.
 One of the "canopy" roads in town...gravel road too. The tree lined roads made the walking temperature much more bearable.  Many mornings the "feels like" temperatures were in the 80's by
7 AM so the shade was great.

We attended Mass 4 weeks in a row at the same's been almost two years since we did that.  And we enjoyed the priest at Holy Cross Catholic Church.  We certainly could have been "stranded" in a worse spot than Vero Beach!
Well, the marine gears, (transmissions) are finally complete and reinstalled in Sum Escape on Monday June 12.  The technicians have determined that problem must have been the original installation in 2005 that somehow stressed or maybe even broke those pieces out of the pressure plates. The pieces were all "rounded off" from bouncing around between the flywheel and pressure plate over the years.  They are still at a loss to explain why we did not have a catastrophic failure.  Enough on that....God had His hand in that for sure.

Harmon Marine had already done the 2000 hour maintenance on the Caterpillars and now installed the new risers, put the mufflers back into the boat, etc on Tuesday. Whiticar took care of some last minute things on sea strainers, genset, etc. Here we are still on the hard.  Note all the other boats strapped down for hurricane season.

So we got back in the water on Wednesday the 14th. Engine and marine gear technicians were on board for start up.  Engines were started one at a time just long enough to clear old gear oil from coolers.  Then gears were topped off so we could run Sum Escape to a nearby slip at idle only speed until alignment can be performed (boat has to be in the water 24+ hours first so it settles back into in water shape after being on the hard so long).   We cleaned, organized, sanitized the fresh water system, bought groceries etc to be ready to go in a couple days. On the 15th, final adjustments on alignment were performed along with some other "touch up" items.  Friday the 16th was sea trial day...all would be told by this run.  We had 5 technicians on board for the sea trial at 9 AM.  Marine gear, engine, genset, shaft seals, sea strainers, etc all had to be tested at speed.


All was good as we idled up the ICW while the engines were warming. 

Once warmed we came up to cruise and then full throttle but unfortunately had a vibration on the starboard side.  Shaft seals were also spitting water and needed adjustment. I won't go into all the details but alignment took until 3 PM or so to get right.  We then went out on sea trial #2.  All was good with starboard engine (vibration gone) but starboard shaft seal was still spitting.  We anchored off the channel, shut down the engines and the technician performed another adjustment.  All was good after that.  Back to the slip by 4:30 or so and adjudged ready to go Saturday morning. 😎
I got up early to top off coolant in engines (they always burp a bit after being drained down and refilled cold...need to be warmed and cooled to top off).  Got that done and noticed sea strainers were full of junk.  It was really shallow when we anchored yesterday and we must have sucked up lots of debris.  So I cleaned starboard, no problem.  Port was missing bottom after I cleaned.  And these were brand new strainer baskets just installed!  Oh no, did it fall out into the harbor when I was spraying it out with the hose?  Already returned car so running to West Marine or Wholesale Marine Liquidators for a replacement would prove difficult.  Then I reviewed the situation and decided to check the bottom of the strainer....and yes it was there.  It had not been crimped on properly during manufacture.  Whew!  What a relief.  A minor repair and re-install and we were on our way around 7:15 AM for our 88 mile trip to Titusville, roughly 9-10 hours away.  Titusville was selected because the gear oil needs to be changed and screens cleaned after 10 hours of operation to keep my warranty of the rebuilt gears in force.  ADR (the gear rebuilder) recommended the repair technician here.

It was an uneventful trip up the ICW on a Saturday which we normally try to avoid.  Lots of small boat traffic but we were only passed by one sport fish and we passed a couple large sailboats.  All were very courteous.  That was a welcome change!

We did meet an oncoming 70+ footer who was heading to the wrong side of the ICW marker and would not give way.  Well, this is where the rule of gross tonnage takes over and we yielded to the far left side of the channel so he would have room between us and the proper side of the marker.  He continued to go around the wrong side and then quickly veered back into the center of the channel....must have then figured out his error.  Stuff happens on the water...
Titusville Marina is quite a big marina and has a lot of liveaboards.  Some of the vessels are obviously just lived in....sailboats without masts, room air conditioners tacked on the deck, refrigerators in the cockpit, even one with a motorcycle aboard.  So Dave and Lisa, maybe you can get your Harley on your new sailboat too!
As we came into Titusville Marina, we noticed a boat whose owners we had met in Islamorada in March 2016.  So after we got settled we walked over to say hello to Bill and Patricia (Travis McGee).  Another small world of cruising meet up.
The view from our slip in Titusville.

In closing, we just have to repeat how pleased we are to be back aboard and moving north.  Our insurance has been extended (for a fee and 10% deductible for windstorms of course) until June 27 to be covered south of 31 degrees N latitude.  So if all goes well, we will have no problem meeting that date.  Jekyll Island, GA is 31.02N, so we may stay there a few days.  Great bike riding, nice harbor master and marina, etc.  We are not going to "go, go, go" given our short season before we come back to Michigan in mid August to early Sept.
We will take each day as they come and decide where to spend our time...that will be nice too.
Thanks for following our blog.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Still in Fort Pierce awaiting repairs to be completed. May 28- June 8

Just a quick post to let everyone know our status.  It is a long ugly story on lead times best told in person.  In short, we continue to rack up hotel fees and delays continue.  We will post again when we finally get moving, looking like late next week at this point.
This has been a trying exercise in patience with the boat coming out of the water on April 26 and the first possible launch date now looking like June 14, roughly 50 days!  And then the boat must sit in the water 24 hours, then engines/transmissions/shafts are re-aligned.  Then we will need to sea trial and hopefully get the green light on everything.  Over 7 weeks to have repairs that should have taken 3 weeks...frustrating to say the least. ☹
More in a week or two....

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Back in Florida....but unfotunately still on "repair hold". May 18- 27

So after 4-1/2 weeks out of the water at this writing, Sum Escape remains on the hard awaiting parts.  The fabricator of the exhaust system had a family emergency/ illness and did not get it completed.  He was a couple days late on his three week commitment, pretty good considering.  So these parts are on board and awaiting install because....
The real issue is that the boat yard did almost absolutely nothing on their list while we were gone. The generator work, transmission leak evaluation and shaft seal work did not start until Thursday May 18, three weeks after Sum Escape went on the hard.  Yes, I know, after repeated promises that things would be complete while we visited Michigan.    I am quickly learning that you have to stay in town and be "in the face" of the repair facility.  I have the feeling that as soon as we drove off they began to think "great, they are gone and we can focus on A and B boats now".  The squeaky wheel sure gets the grease.  I spent Thursday (5/18) and Friday at the boat and did get a lot going by being "in their face".  And of course now major parts are needed for these (transmission oil leak was more serious than I thought...both port and starboard pressure plates were cracked with a piece broken out so they are both being rebuilt) so more delay...but this all could have already been accomplished had they stayed on task while we were gone. Just too little too late... regrettably, our Maine cruising is now scrapped for the summer.  We had planned on travelling with our friends Carole and DeVere (Job Site).  They were challenged with repairs too but are now travelling north.  We hope to catch up with them in the Chesapeake in late June.
Oh, and I asked the Twin Disc transmission guy if he had ever seen this phenomenon with pieces cracked out of pressure plate.  Here is starboard....port is almost identical damage.

In his 30 years, not on both at the same time.  Transmission serial numbers are sequential and he thinks it was a pressure plate casting flaw...just 8 years too late for the 3 year warranty.  And he also said they were quickly wearing other parts and the transmissions could have failed soon.  And the funny thing is he said this kind of damage comes from a grounding, major prop strike, or severe vibration over a period of time, none of which we experienced. 
I guess we are again blessed to not have an actual breakdown while negotiating a dock or tidal current, just a repair delay.
Also, "while the hood is up" so to speak,  we had the CAT guy inspect the rear crankshaft seals on the engines and he determines they are starting to leak. Given everything is out of the way with transmissions out of the boat, we will have these replaced too.
We are staying in an old but clean timeshare efficiency apartment in Vero Beach, the Reef Ocean Resort.  Road view originally, but we had to move to an ocean view....third move this week.
A rain storm blowing through

Our studio in not right on the beach but the facility has a pool, grills and convenient to shopping, restaurants, etc. We are taking nice walks around town but finding it is like winter in one goes outside but because it is too hot (in the 90's) not too cold!  So we take the walks early or late to try to beat the sun and heat.  Nice neighborhoods with live oak tree canopies, lots of beautiful homes and landscaping too.
We will  not be able to move the boat till at least June 6, a full 6 weeks from going on the hard and 7 weeks from our return from the Bahamas, given the delays by the boat yard and now the lead time on transmission parts and rebuild.  New ones were like double the rebuild price so we ruled that out.  It could possibly be later due to sea trials, etc.
Part of me wishes we had continued to run north with the maintenance needs and had these items addressed in August when we go to Michigan for Jordan and Eliza's wedding. But another part says we are lucky to have the transmission issue discovered and corrected before a failure at an inopportune time. Murphy's Law usually has these things fail in a tidal current trying to hold place before a bridge opening, while docking near mega yacht, etc. So we believe God continues to put His hand in things and keep us safe.
Lots to put back together...where are the transmissions, starboard turbo, exhaust risers and mufflers???

We had to modify our insurance policy to cover us south of 31 degrees N latitude after June 1.  We had to submit a written hurricane plan, of course pay an additional premium and the deductible for windstorm is 10% instead of the normal deductible in our policy.  Once we get N of 31 degrees our old policy will resume.
We went to the Riverside Theatre free concert series on Friday May 26.  A local band "The Jacks" were playing and were pretty darn good. 

They especially did a good job with the blues set they played.  They played classic rock, Motown, and blues.  All were good, we may have to check out the bands next weekend too (free concerts every Friday and Saturday nights year around!).  They have a food and beverage offering right on site that was very good too.
We will continue to monitor boat repairs, try to keep renewing our stay in Vero Beach (moving from one available timeshare unit to another) and will post a quick update once we get moving again....the adventure of cruising continues....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A great visit with Mom during our trip to Michigan. May 4-18

So given the downtime for repairs, we moved north to spend a week with Mom after feeling that the repairs were all scheduled and well underway. We stopped to see Jim and Kathy (Jim Kat) for lunch in Palm Coast as we travelled north.  Had a great lunch at the Turtle Shack...not much to look at but just across the road from the beach and great burgers!  Jim and Kathy have a timeshare here and it looks like a great place to spend some time in winter.
As we continued driving we called our friends Tom and Vicki (Grand Baron) who at last check were in Brunswick GA.  But they had left port and were headed north toward Savannah.  This was our destination as well as we did not visit there on our way north last year.  Long story short, they invited us to stay aboard at a marina in Kilkenny, not too far south of Savannah.  So we did!  It was just like being "home" aboard our boat!
On our drive there we drove through a nasty thunderstorm.  We actually saw a storm chaser parked on a bridge to observe/video the oncoming storm.  Trees went down in the median and we could only go about 15 MPH due to visibility.  We drove in this for about 45 mins and then pulled off the highway at our exit for another 10 minutes.  Hey Brett, note the GPS/phone holder you gave me is in use....thanks!

Fortunately the storm missed Tom and Vicki and they docked without incident.

We had a wonderful meal at Marker 107 restaurant right next to the marina and a great time catching up with Tom and Vicki.  Thanks so much for the hospitality.  We hope to catch up this summer in the Chesapeake if our repairs are ever completed by the now we know unreliable boat yard....more on that in the next post.
We stopped in Savannah and had a wonderful 5 hours walking exploring the history.  It was worth the stop!
The Cotton Exchange

 For all you Girl Scouts!  Julie was a girl scout and leader for many years.

 And of course no visit is complete without a visit to the famous Leopolds Ice Cream Shop!
The Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, circa 1873.
 More photos of Savannah. Such beautiful parks (squares) and architecture.

Road trip...bridges and tunnels as we travelled S Carolina, N Carolina, W Virginia, Ohio

We stayed with our friends Paula and Rich (formerly Andiamo) in Farmington on Saturday night.  Paula fixed us a wonderful home cooked steak dinner (well Rich did grill them but I give all the credit to Paula) and we had a great time catching up with them and seeing some of the girls.  We walked to downtown Farmington for ice cream after the wonderful dinner.

Thanks so much for all the hospitality and enjoy your Harley trips this summer!  Be safe!
We went to Mass on Sunday morning and then visited my sister Pam and brother in law Steve.  It was great to see them again and get updated on all events in their lives.  Have fun with that sailboat in a slip this summer.
We arrived in Muskegon on Sunday afternoon and searched out some VRBO's and such for our stay in W Michigan for a week or so.  Well, we didn't find any great spots so we stayed at the Shoreline Inn, the hotel at our former marina.  The first boat on the right is in our old slip.
 Wish our boat was here...look at what the sign says!

It was a great home base and we were able to see some of our former dock neighbors too.  Two of the couples Colin and Krisi (Knot a Worry) and Amber and Mark (Off the Grid) have new babies so it was great to see the new additions to their families.  In the evening, Todd and Sherry (No Plans) joined us for dinner.  It was great to catch up with them too.
Another beautiful W Michigan sunset from our room.

On Monday we went to visit Mom.  Julie cooked us a great chicken dinner at Mom's apartment and we had a good time walking, visiting and making plans for the week. It was so nice to see Mom again as the last visit was when we stayed with her in her Fort Pierce home in Dec/ January.
I went to the doctor for my right elbow (golfer's elbow flare up) and of course he wanted to prescribe physical therapy.  But we settled on a rest and an anti inflammatory regiment with some stretching and then strengthening exercises.  Hopefully this will work as boat maintenance will not go away with our lifestyle. 
Julie's brother Craig and sister in law Erin joined us for dinner at the Lake House on Tuesday night.  We caught up on all the events in their family (new grandson!) and their upcoming RV trip to Florida and N Carolina.  We last saw them in N Carolina when they stopped by our boat in New Bern last Fall.  Safe travels Craig and Erin!
We visited our new dentist...we needed repairs too!
We visited Mom again on Thursday.  Meeting with Comfort Keepers to set up a relationship in case mom needs any help other than that already graciously provided by my brother Larry and sister Deb who live in the area.
We had a great dinner at Snug Harbor in Grand Haven where a number of our friends met us.  Thanks Larry and Amy, Terrie (Tony was working hard out of town), Scott and Nancy, Todd and Sherry for joining us on short notice. It was great seeing all of you again!
Look at the Lake Michigan beach in early May it was flat every day we were there.
Friday my sister Deb and I attended a Mother's Day brunch with Mom at her apartment dining room.  It was a fun little event and the food was good.  We took her for a ride around the area, did some grocery shopping and she helped us find a VRBO rental for our trip back in August prior to Jordan and Eliza's wedding.  We were able to find a small cottage on the channel in Muskegon for mid August to Sept 1 and we have it reserved for our stay. 

Friday night we met Jordan and Eliza in Grand Rapids at Leo's for dinner to celebrate their engagement. They got Julie some nice flowers, chocolates (gluten and dairy free!)  and card for Mother's Day too. 

It was great to see them, especially since we had not seen Eliza since the engagement.  The wedding is not far off now!
Saturday after our long walk, we picked Mom up for lunch at Carmen's downtown Muskegon and took a little ride around town as well.  It is so nice to spend time with Mom.
We were fortunate to have come home this week as it was the regularly scheduled monthly Supper Club with our friends Mary and Kevin and Mary Beth and Jim. Before moving aboard and leaving the area we did this monthly dinner for about 7 years!  It was so nice catching up with all of them and the food was as fantastic as always!
Sunday we picked up Mom for Church and Courtney also drove from Spring Lake to meet us there.  Fr. Matt had a very nice message and the downtown Muskegon church continues to be a very engaging experience.  Later in the afternoon we picked her up again and went to my sister Deb and brother in law Don's for a great Mother's Day dinner.  Thanks Deb and Don for a great meal and all the hospitality.
Monday was another beautiful day so we picked up Mom and drove to Grand Haven and met Courtney for lunch at Snug Harbor to enjoy the river and lake view. They both commented it had been years since they had eaten there. Thanks so much for a wonderful lunch Courtney!
Tuesday we started back to Florida to see how repairs are progressing with hopes of re-provisioning and being on our way in a few days
We liked travelling the river near Chattanooga in this photo a lot better by boat back in the Fall of 2015!
And the car pool lane is OK but we would rather be on the water....

....more later.  Thanks for following our blog.