(Mostly written Friday, 29 July 2016)

Today is the first real day of our 2-part vacation. Long story. However, we left the marina yesterday after loading up the boat with everything and the kitchen sink. I swear we/I brought more stuff for 2 dogs than I ever packed for Anna and David.

Beautiful conditions greeted us as we left Sandusky Bay except that the wind was in the NE – absolutely the worst direction for anchoring/going on a ball at Put-In-Bay. However, there is one spot, the SW corner of Middle Bass Island which is a safe anchorage in NE’ly, so long as you trust the forecast when it says the wind will stay in the NE; which, for last night, it did.

Swimming yesterday evening for the dogs rather than a run ashore and the same again this morning. Both dogs have now peed on the boat, phew and eventually pooped which is a major breakthrough. (Some people are now thinking TMI but when boating with dogs, this is a really big deal.)

IMG_1103.jpgLeft Middle Bass Island just before 7 this morning and set course for Detroit River. Cut the corner of Canadian waters without reporting in so now I begin to get paranoid. (Again, long story – another blog.) As luck would have it, as we were closing in on the river channel, I was keeping tabs on a vessel that seemed to be keeping tabs on us. She (the vessel) was slowly closing the distance between us but following the channel rather than cutting the corner. Judging by the shape of her, her lines and superstructure, I surmised that it was a Coast Guard vessel but couldn’t be sure whether US or Canadian. Turns out it was Canadian and it was going to its base just up the Detroit River. Phew.

But my paranoia did not get a rest. As that vessel docked, another Coast Guard vessel left and followed us all the way up the river. And then, just as we were about to exit into Lake St Clair, a border patrol boat comes tearing up in our wake to about 3 boat lengths away, slows down, looks at our boat name (I assume), hangs there for another few minutes and then takes off. I was so certain that this one was going to board us. But, they didn’t.

IMG_1104.JPGWe did get to practice Man Overboard. No, a dog didn’t jump over or fall in. I had just given them two new toys and as I was about to go back up on to the bridge, I saw float passed, the bright pink squeaky spikey ring I had, literally, 30 seconds ago, given to Ebba. Not sure which one dropped it but both looked a little bewildered, as in, “Where has it gone? Oops.” I was quite vocal, not in an angry way but Paul looked up from steering, caught sight of it and did an about-turn. And within 1 minute we had retrieved it. By then, though, neither dog wanted to play with it. Later maybe. When we eventually docked, I found that the other new toy I had given them was MIA. Nowhere to be found.

IMG_1138.JPGSo now, as I type, we have been going for almost 8 hours and they have both been brilliant. Very placid, sleepy, not anxious. It did get a little bouncy over the first half of Lake St Clair so I brought them down to the main cabin and both disappeared down into the aft cabin and have slept again for most of the way. Ebba, at one point, was doing quite a bit of drooling and licking; thought she was feeling sea sick but she has survived without being physically ill. Couldn’t ask for more.

Made it to South Channel YC a little way up St Clair River – our usual stopping off place before launching ourselves out into Lake Huron. Normally we stay one night and leave early the next day but the wind really built overnight and today so we decided to spend another night here. The dogs loved it. Paul tied their swim ladder to the dock so they had free access to it and that’s what they did. Swim, swim, swim. And a little paddle boarding.

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Tomorrow, Sarnia CAN. Maybe. 🙂