Archives for posts with tag: #bradletes

I was going to write something a couple of weeks ago about our night out at Put-In-Bay but life got in the way and so did the CrossFit Games Regionals in Atlanta GA.

unnamed-1P-I-B was fairly empty from a boat point of view; plenty of people on shore. We made use of the water taxi to take us ashore so that the dogs could go pee etc; what a bind though. They are going to have to learn soon.

We did also launch the dinghy to try out the new electric motor which worked fine, actually really well, once we figured out how we had screwed up the ‘start’, ’tiller operation’ and ‘forward and backward’. Thank goodness we had the paper version of the handbook onboard. Paul started to download it from the internet (cell time) and of course, because the motor is from Germany, the first half of the book is in German. There was no option on which to click for just an English version. Anyway, I took it into the boat after Paul declared that he was going to ‘rip the Germans a new one’. Not sure what.

unnamed-2I think I have mentioned before that the dogs quite like going in the dinghy. Well, Ebba took it to a new level this time. The doggy ramp to the swim platform was left out for a future trip to shore and the dinghy was left on a long painter. This did not deter our intrepid sailor dog; she waited for the dinghy to swing close enough to the swim platform, jumped in to the dinghy and was happy as a ‘pig in sh.t’ drifting 12ft behind us. She would bark at the geese, jump about trying to catch flies and then just chill, lying across the tube.

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This the look Paul gets when he is procrastinating about taking the dogs out for a joy ride in the dinghy. And a head resting on one’s leg accompanied by little whines and big sighs.

IMG_5352But then it all changes. Happy dogs.

This was a very short trip. We had to get home to help keep the gym open as Anna and Brad had to leave for Atlanta GA.

I left on Thursday evening, met up with several of our group at Pittsburgh airport because we had coordinated our flight times. Got a text from one young lady saying she was at security and would join us shortly (we thought 10 mins max). Thirty minutes later, she comes storming down the hallway. “They thought my Miralax was explosives and I ended up being patted down everywhere. My Miralax, which was a powder anyway, was put through the screener 3 times along with my shoes.” She was pretty pissed. We all had a good laugh. Turns out that the guy in our small group also got searched extensively.

Eventually arrived at the hotel, starving, so went on a food hunt. The first place we tried, we didn’t have the required reservation so were turned away. The pizza place next door smelled so good, but they stopped serving at 9:00pm and it was now 9:20pm. Were recommended to Hudson Grille, further up the street. No reservation needed. We ordered and ate. Talk about hangry!

While we were waiting for our food and while eating our food, there was a steady stream of wait staff coming from inside the restaurant to out in the courtyard, where we were sitting, carrying trays of shots. They visited one particular table where 3 guys were sat. Not sure if it was a game, a bet or they were just drowning their sorrows but without a doubt, they were all going to be feeling pretty rough the following morning.

The weekend for me was quite stressful and exciting and I finally came to the conclusion that I can’t win on the stress level – if I go to the events, I stress it; if I don’t go to the events, I still stress it. Same level of stress, so what to do, what to do.

18882069_10211548933333172_7105308475668389835_nThere were laughs and tears and ooohhhs! and aaahhhss! and us standing in the stands kipping to help Anna into her muscle ups or through her ring dips. We tensed our shoulders during the overhead walking lunges and cleaned the 100# sandbag 10 times.

And then there was the coffee run. Hmmm!

Anna had texted me, asking if I could get her and Brad a tea each. Absolutely, no problem. It was lunchtime, we had plenty of time to get back for the first round of heats after lunch. Dana came with me and we took orders from some others in our group. Eight cups in total.

The weather was just perfect on our way to Starbucks, no indication of what was approaching. Kinda snuck up on us while we were getting our order. As we rounded the corner from the coffee shop to the outside door (we had probably about 150yds to go outside and the rest of the way, we could make it inside), we realized that all was not well. The rain was coming down so hard, visibility had been reduced considerably. The rain was bouncing 6+ inches off the ground and lightening and thunder were flashing and banging around just to add to the excitement.

18922052_10211557598989808_6014878220324453126_nAt first, we thought we might get away with rolling up the freeby tote bags we had just acquired and making hats out of them. So we took off our shoes and socks, stuffed them into our other bags and bravely went out the door. Ha! Funny. Not. Decided that that was a really bad idea.

We tried to sweet talk our way through some hall of fame but the security guys weren’t biting. The only way was to go back out the door through which we originally arrived and brave the elements. We had almost decided to wait out the storm when Dana made a comment about the umbrella bags – shame we can’t use these somehow. The umbrella bags were way too small but it got me thinking. I have spent many a pre-start to a marathon wrapped up in a garbage bag so we went on a garbage bag hunt. And Subway delivered. The girls behind the counter did look at me as if I was rather peculiar but we got our bags, diligently made the required holes for head and arms, removed our shoes and socks again and ventured out into the monsoon.

We were greeted by a flood of at least 6 inches deep and a good 20 feet across and then it was run as fast as we could while carrying 4 cups of Starbucks coffee and tea in papermaché cardboard cup carriers. As soon as the first drop of rain fell on the cup carrier I could feel it give. The water just spread as through a sponge. And then it completely disintegrated. The garbage bags did their job though and we were not too wet. However, because it had taken so long to get back, Brad couldn’t come and get their tea. Oh well, we tried.

18951146_10211557834795703_438707423650375555_nI got to visit with some of Anna’s sponsors, FitAid, LuRong Living, Ice Age Meals, Inov-8.

18838872_10154015382392824_72548649684870031_nAfter a nail biting last event, Anna finished 5th which was good enough to qualify her to go to the Games again for the 5th time. This is the small group of Anna’s Army left after the awards; everyone else had left for the airport. Anna and Brad flew back Sunday night. Well, they were supposed to but their flight was delayed so much that they eventually arrived home at 2:30am. Despite the lack of sleep, Brad was at the gym to coach the 5:30am class.

And then the dogs’ Bark Box arrived.

Thanks for reading. It turned out a bit long this time.

Joanna

Boating with Dogs

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It is now a few hours after completing the 2017 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon so I decided to put down some thoughts.

I signed up back in October with the long term goal of easing back into marathon training but with injury and weather, my plans went a little awry. However, with the help of Coach Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias and my CrossFit training (#bradletes), I re-adjusted my 3 goals and met 2 of them. So thank you.

The race itself went according to my plan. I started at a good pace, the one I had originally hoped for but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to maintain it. My strategy was to run to the 16 mile mark and then switch over to walk/run for specific time intervals; which I did. I did managed to run all the way up the hill from the Birmingham Bridge into Oakland about which I was very pleased. There were support runners running up and back down the hill to help encourage us participants to make it to the top. Can’t imagine how many times they ran that hill. Ugh! God bless them.

That hill was one of the milestones in my head that I had to beat in order to be able to finish the run. As it went well, I ran through Oakland, Shadyside, Homewood etc with more confidence, knowing that if I stuck to my plan, I would finish.

The next milestone for me was the relay exchange at mile 22. I forget where it is located but I remember last year, when I ran the relay, watching the ‘full’ runners coming through there with their heads down and really struggling. I needed to run through there with my head high in order for me to make it.

I did. All was good with the world. Though I do have to admit, I was struggling just a little by then. Conscious thought: left foot, right foot, 1,2,3,4……. All the way to 100 and then start again.

I love the downhill finish into Pittsburgh. Knowing that there is considerable loss in elevation after the incline as we turn on to Liberty Ave is a great motivator to get up the hill. And let’s face it, by the time you get to that point, it is less distance to keep going than turning around and going back the way you just came.

The neighbourhoods did their thing and came out to cheer for us. It was cold but they stuck with it, even the little kids. Always tried to ‘high five’ them if I could. They get so excited, it makes me smile and smiling is good running therapy.

Homewood/N Braddock area was amazing. They were so full of energy and encouragement, it was impossible not to smile, wave to them, say thank you for turning out in the cold, offering their own water and chopped orange stations. Other areas did that too but the vibes that came from these people were wonderful. Thank you.

The other group I have to really give a ‘shout out’ too were the small group of supporters just before the 22 mile mark. They were offering chopped oranges but then things got real. They had popsicles. Such a good way to hydrate when the last thing you really want to do is drink. By that time, lifting one’s water bottle to one’s lips is quite an effort.

A few of ‘funnies’ that happened on the way.

The weather was such that when running with the wind and the sun was shining, it was really warm. So much so that I had to take off my long sleeved shirt. I had made it a T2 shirt by applying a car sticker to the front of it. So when I took it off, I tied it around my waist with the T2 sticker showing; runners coming up behind me could see it. I had just crested the Birmingham Bridge/Oakland hill when a girl (running the relay) ‘sprinted’ past me and commented, “A bit longer than a WOD but you can do it.” Again, made me smile.

A little further down the road I heard, “Hey, Jo” and a big smile from Libby Jones (one of our members) as she ran past me. Thanks Libby, I picked up my pace for a little bit.

One of my favourite running tunes is “Chariots of Fire” and blow me, as I ran down Highland towards Bryant, there it was playing full blast. And further down, I heard “Flash Gordon”(?) by Queen, another of my running songs.

I passed the 26mile marker and decided to look at my watch to see my elapsed time. I had, probably, just over half a mile to go, and my watch said 4:25: and some seconds. I was so close to my 2nd goal. Could I keep going to the finish? Running along Smithfield to the Boulevard of the Allies seemed to take an eternity. It just didn’t seem to get any closer until, boom, it was there. I turned the corner and there was the finish line. I tried so hard to push just that little bit harder. I crossed the line with 4:30 on the clock, which was all I wanted. Then I got emotional. But I always do. I walked down the finish chute, collected my finisher’s medal (what a weight), collected Dole fruit cups, a banana, a bottle of water and thanked as many volunteers as I could – many of them had been there since very early this morning.

I collected my bag of dry clothes, changed shoes (have two blisters) and then hit up Starbucks. Oh my goodness, coffee and banana nut bread (absolutely not Paleo) never tasted so good.

Caught the T back home – nearly got on the wrong train – and listened to a couple of guys complaining about how the marathon really wrecked their day because they had to take the T rather than drive into and out of town. Ho hum. It’s not like they didn’t get any warning.

And then Paul was there to give me a huge hug when I got out of the car. Thank you Paul for being patient with me by humoring me and my whims. Love you. Also got licked to death by Ebba and Bella.

I wasn’t fast enough to qualify for Boston but I hadn’t even thought about it until I got home. But that’s OK. Wasn’t a goal.

I had something to prove to myself with this race. I can still do it; maybe not as fast as I used to be able but I am a little older than I was back then. I don’t have to beat myself up by running countless miles just to run 26.2 miles. With my strength training, CrossFit training and cross-training along with limited running, I can do it.

And yes, I am wearing my Skins USA recovery tights! Feeling better already.

Thanks for reading. And I know it’s not really Boating with Dogs but we will be soon.

Joanna

Written Friday, 16 September from home.

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Watching for the next wave

That’s correct; the season is almost finished. Our vacation is over, we are home, came home yesterday, and the boat will be hauled out in less than two weeks.. The weather forecast which had seemed OK at the beginning of our final two weeks, crapped out on us again with winds blowing well into the high 20 kt. Still we had fun. And so did the dogs.

After our first day playing in AbFab, we continued the practice Wednesday-Sunday. We didn’t use San Graal to go anywhere as the forecast couldn’t string together two days in a row where the wind would be favorable for anchoring or passage-making; but the beginning of the second week looked promising.

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This is where they ran. Was covered with water at the beginning of the season

We explored harbors and beaches we hadn’t got to/couldn’t get to with the big boat. There is something to be said for stepping off the boat into knee deep water and walking the anchor in to set it. We took picnic lunches and treats for the dogs. We met other dogs and their owners and the dogs had wonderful puppy play dates. And they got to run. And run. And run. Probably ruined them as hunting dogs now because they spent most of their time flushing and chasing after seagulls and sandpipers.

We tied the RIB to the dock across from the big boat and every time the dogs would come back from shore to San Graal, Ebba would invariably jump into AbFab and look at us expectantly, like, “Come on, let’s go play.” And she just loved the speed and trying to eat the bow waves.

On one occasion, we came back from a burn around the bay and obviously both dogs were desperate to potty because as we came close to the dock, even before we had had time to wrap a rope around a cleat, both dogs jump off on to the dock and side-by-side, they trotted down towards shore, pee’d, and together, trotted back to the boat. And neither Paul nor I had to call them once. It was very funny and rather cute to watch.

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Long tether

As I mentioned, Ebba loves to lean over the side and try to eat the waves. Or at least she barks very loudly at them. I, obviously, have to keep a very tight leash on her otherwise she would be over the side and in the water in her excitement. Initially, I let her have enough slack so that she was able to put her head almost in the water. But then I got to thinking that that was probably not such a good idea. If she fell overboard whilst we were doing 20+kt, the drag would probably rip off her head. So I shortened her leash, much to her annoyance, and reasoned that if she did slip over then at least it would only be her back legs that got dragged.

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Shorter tether

And as if to vilify my reasoning and actions, Paul shared an article published in a boating magazine, Practical Boat Owner, that had done a study on tethers – long vs short – and concluded that although the short tether is more bothersome in that it has to be continually clipped, unclipped and reclipped, it was more likely to prevent you from drowning and/or being bashed against the hull of the boat.

This week, our last week of vacation, we managed to get across to Canada and visited Colchester Harbor – a new port for us. Very tiny, lovely people, dog friendly, a rather weedy beach (but that was probably because they had had strong onshore winds) and town is closed on Mondays – when we were there. The plan was to spend the night there and then mosey on eastwards to Leamington, spend the night there and then come back across to Sandusky. But the wind decided to switch direction and strength earlier than predicted so we left Colchester in an increasing SW wind – bad direction for Colchester’s harbor. Narrow entrance + big waves made for some nerve-wracking moments. We ended up at Middle Bass Island State Park Marina.

On my soap box: all Canadian marinas monitor, I think, CH 16 and 68. US marinas have no consistency in channels monitored. So calling MBISPM on CH 9, then 16, and 68 was met with utter silence. I ended up calling on the phone to make sure there was room for us. When I registered, I asked if they had heard my calling – I always wonder if the radio has malfunctioned – and they said, “No”. Hmm … “don’t you monitor CH 16?” “No, only CH 71.” I thought it was unwritten boating law that everyone listening to marine radio would listen to/dual watch with CH 16, the international distress calling channel because you never know, you might just be the one to pick up the Mayday distress call and need to pass it on to the Coast Guard.  Off my soap box.

I have always had mixed feelings about MBI marina, mainly because of the amount of goose poop that was always lying on the ground. I knew it wouldn’t be a good match for the dogs because if there is one delicacy that my dogs love, it is goose poop. Fresh or old, doesn’t make a difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised this time; there was very little around. Made walking the dogs so much more fun without having to constantly tell them to, “Leave it”. And because the place was virtually empty, they were very lenient about me not putting the dogs on their leashes. I know the staff must have seen the dogs running but they didn’t cause any trouble, the dogs or the staff. And we found a new path through the trees to explore with squirrels and chipmunks and a few geese and lots of ducks. Dog heaven.

One thing that did come out of this forced in-harbor stay was that I managed to get both dogs to run with me while on their leashes. Ebba was already a master at it but Bella was rather a loose cannon when squirrels were darting about. Ebba did a good job of setting the example and Bella is a fast learner and a good mimicker.

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Hard to take a selfie when bouncing along at 20kt

So here we are, at the end of another season, one that was rather shorter than usual due to one thing or another, David and Bekah had a baby and we had to of and visit, we opened our own gym, Anna and Brad got married, Anna qualified for the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games … But it was a good one particularly with respect to the learning curve for both us, Paul and me, and the dogs. Last year, we had Ebba, one dog on board; we really were quite apprehensive at the start of this season as to how the dogs would cope together in such a confined space. And we had similar issues. Ultimately though, all’s well that ends well except we never got them to pee or poop on the boat. But most importantly, the dogs like boating and, we like Boating with Dogs!

Written Wednesday 7 September 2016

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At anchor off Kelleys Island’s State Park campground

Today was the first day of the second part of our ‘holiday’ for this year. We had to take a break from cruising because we had a wedding to attend. And it was a beautiful wedding too. Congratulations to Anna and Brad.

But I digress. Really, yesterday was the first day – very simple, all we had to do was pack the truck with everything except the kitchen sink this time, and head north. That kinda changed though as I had a brilliant idea on my return from my super early workout at T²CrossFit, and as I parked my car in the garage next to AbFab and accumulated junk, “Why don’t we take the RIB with us given that the weather forecast was deteriorating for extended cruising?” “Brilliant”, says Paul and then all hell breaks loose.

You see, it’s just not that simple. It should be but it isn’t – hooking up the trailer and pulling it and the boat out of the garage wasn’t going to happen. Recall I mentioned accumulated junk? Hmmm. There is a lot of it and it is all around and in front of the trailer, along with other stuff that isn’t junk but still needed to be moved.

I still had my packing plan for food etc and had to get that done before I could give a hand with AbFab so Paul had to manage on his own. The dogs tried but even they eventually gave up and came in. Their tender, young ears couldn’t take any more of it.

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Queen of her castle (rock) Puppy Ebba

The boat has been in the garage for a while without being used so needless to say, when Paul tried to lift the engine off the ground in order to move the boat out of the garage, the engine didn’t move. No power in the battery. Plug the battery into the charger; one hour later, no power. This brilliant idea was not necessarily as shiny an idea as it was initially. Fortunately the local Auto Zone had a replacement that fitted perfectly and had charge in it. Zip, up comes the engine, out goes the boat on the trailer…. and then the roofer calls to see if he can come around to look at the roof. The dogs, in the meantime, collapse in an exasperated heap in the house.

There is plenty more but I will spare you the details – they don’t add much more to the picture that I hope I have already painted. Except, the reason I didn’t pack the kitchen sink this time was because my plan was to go shopping when we got to Sandusky; Paul would entertain the dogs while I shopped.

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Zoom, zoom around Sandusky Bay

Upon arrival in Sandusky, our first call was the launch ramp. After reversing the trailer into the water with Paul on board, my next job was to unhook the boat and push it on its way with Paul at the helm. This was going fine when I heard a little doggy squeak right next to my ear. Looked up and there was Ebba on the back cover of the truck. She had climbed out the cab’s little rear window. It was a bit of a squeeze for her but in her frantic excitement of not being left behind, she completely ignored the seat headrest digging into her chest and belly as she wormed her way out. The only way down was for her to squeeze back through; there was no way I was going to lift her down. Both dogs finally were safely aboard with Paul and they set off to meet me at the dock. Oh they were soooooo happy. All three of them.

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Fun times running, playing chase

This was really when I had planned on going to the grocery store but fortunately I didn’t because we had a great afternoon. I left everything in the truck. Paul yelled to grab bathing suits for him and me and climb aboard. My bathing suit (aka sports bra and shorts) was in the truck! So was Paul’s but who cared. The dogs wanted to go swimming and Paul wanted to blast around the Bay. So we did, all of it.

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Not so much room on AbFab as on San Graal

The dogs swam and swam then ran and ran and chased and chased the birds.

We were all so tired when we eventually got back to the dock to say Hi to San Graal. Which we did by giving her a bath. I would hate to see her if we left her for 3 weeks instead of 2. The spiders, webs, dead flies and insect poop were all just disgusting.

That done, the truck unloaded, the onboard fridges packed with the food that I did bring, there was now no way I was going to the grocery store. I’d go tomorrow.

Ha! That didn’t happen either.

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Being responsible : Paul carrying full poop bag back to the boat.

After a walk/run, breakfast and lazy half a morning, the plan was to pack a picnic lunch with tea in our hot mugs, zoom to the north side of Kelleys Island and anchor off the beach and swim, walk, whatever. Which we did. On the way across, at first Ebba and Bella were really excited, barking at and trying to swat the waves. Eventually though, Bella decided that bouncing off one wave to the next was not such a good idea and lay down. Ebba kept swatting though even she succumbed eventually and lay down. I think Ebba, at least, also felt a little queasy but fortunately she wasn’t sick. The beach and swim made up for it.

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Making sure the anchor is set, “Yes, my foot is on it.”

We had our picnic, then rather than heading straight back to the marina, we decided to visit Put-In-Bay. The thought processes behind this were very practical actually. Between Kelleys Island and South Bass Island, the waves would be less because we were in the lee of South Bass Island. And after leaving Put-In-Bay, there is a little dog-leg to the south west around the south west end of the island and then ‘surf the waves all the way home’.

By this time, the temperature on shore ‘felt like 101F’. Why would we go back to the marina and swelter there? So we didn’t. We anchored off the east side of Sandy Point, where we had been yesterday, and let the dogs go again. Today, there was no-one else on the beach so we just let the dogs run and swim, just whatever they wanted to do. Now, needless to say, they are tired.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Supposed to be as hot and windier. Guess we’ll just have to go boating with our dogs!

(Written Friday, 5 August 2016)

IMG_1277Our departure from Presque Isle wasn’t quite so early as the previous few departures had been. We only had around 20 miles to go up the coast to Rogers City. Again we had beautiful conditions; this time though the wind was slightly on the quarter so we had some breeze flowing over the boat to help keep the flies away. Saw this fine vessel on the way.

Pulled into Rogers City and tied up just behind the gas dock. This dock is usually OK; we’ve been there before. But this time we decided to move over to the wall at the other end of the marina – as far away from the park as possible. The city was just setting up for its annual Nautical Festival. The traveling fair rides come into town with the ‘win a goldfish by frightening it to death when your ping pong ball lands in its bowl’, and the ‘pop a balloon and win a little plastic toy or play again to win something bigger’ side shows setting up alongside them. But the main reason we moved was that in the park pavilion each evening there is a band playing live until way past our bedtime. Last night it was Polka. A couple of Polka tunes are quite catchy but 4 hours is just a little too much. Polka, Polka, Polka.

Went grocery shopping to restock the boat’s fridges. The grocery store is 1 mile away, and it was 90F. And it is uphill. In the past, Paul and I have managed, rather precariously, to carry the goods back on our bikes. This year, however, that wasn’t going to happen; two dogs don’t allow for bike riding and grocery shopping carrying. So I called the Family Fare Supermarket before going, to see if there was a delivery service. The lady to whom I spoke was very gracious as she told me that they no longer had an official service. My heart sank. “But,” she continued, “I am sure I can find one of our staff to help you out and take you back to the marina.” My heart soared. And that is just what happened. It was brilliant.

IMG_1292Last night’s walk with the dogs found us on a beach to the south of the city. Even though we have been to Rogers City a few time before, I hadn’t known of its existence. However, it is brilliant for the dogs – long for running, clean (no food papers etc) so no ‘leave it’, not crowded and the lake for swimming  (wasn’t prepared for a swim then). But I was ready for it this morning – went dressed to swim with the dogs.

Paul has a little routine with Ebba that after breakfast he takes her out (in this case off the boat) and throws something for her to fetch and other obedience training. This morning, however, he was trying to finish a couple of emails before taking her but Ebba didn’t understand. She licked him, ‘talked’ to him, put her front paws up on the seat next to him, laid her head in his lap but all to no avail. All she got was the brush off. And tension was building; so I took the dogs for a walk.

Later was time for engine maintenance – change the rest of the fuel filters. Changed them and had just started to prime them when “*x*x*x *x*x*” issued forth from the engine room. The dogs and I just stared at each other. Time for another walk?

The fuel that Paul was using to prime the filters was, he thought, diesel but it didn’t smell like our normal diesel so he concluded it was gas but too late. I sniffed too and came to the same conclusion. Anyway, after a lot of umming and ahhing, and sniff-testing the outboard engine’s fuel (which is gas) we reversed his first conclusion and decided that it was diesel, just not the red stuff they sell at marinas. So that was crisis one for today. Went to look around the local stalls – bought fudge (not paleo) and a couple of books from the library’s book sale.

IMG_1305Crisis two occurred this afternoon. During last winter, Paul reconfigured the Garmin GPS network (you don’t need to understand what that is except that it provides all our wind direction/speed, boat direction/speed, course, temperature etc data) which resulted in one cable being made redundant. Today he decided to remove it. Whilst he was doing the deed, there was an occasional beep from the instruments about which I wondered. Turns out that the beeps were important; the system wouldn’t work after he’d finished. Not at all. Oh bugger. (My comment, not his.) Eventually he called Garmin, in whom he has little faith, and the rep suggested to him that there was no power getting to the system. Ever the skeptic, Paul couldn’t believe it would be that simple. Long story short and much more crawling around in the bridge locker to get to behind the system, i.e. the wires, turns out that somehow he blew a fuse. Changed the fuse and it all worked. Oh. My. Gosh. You have no idea how relieved I was when the first screen popped back to life.

IMG_1310Time for a walk. And a swim. By now the wind is blowing 17mph and gusting over 20mph. The waves have built to at least 3ft and occasionally more. But these minor details didn’t stop the dogs from having a grand old time. And Paul and I had fun too. Now we have a tired puppy.

Not sure what is happening tomorrow. We had hoped that the weather would have calmed down enough for us to make the move up to Cheboygan but it is now 8:45pm and the waves are still crashing against the harbor wall.

Be safe and have a fantastic weekend.

Joanna

T2CrossFit.com

(Written Wednesday 3 August 2016)

IMG_1218.JPGSo my jubilation at both dogs going pee and poop on the boat was both very short lived and misplaced. Since that initial performance, neither dog has repeated the process. Each has plaited her legs and held on to everything. Seven hours today was getting towards the limit though.

Since my last blog, we have navigated the St Clair River, poked our noses into Port Huron but there appeared to be “no room at the inn” so to speak. So we went across the river to Sarnia and spent the night there.

We launched the paddle boards and Paul again rigged up the dogs’ swim ladder/platform so that they could come and ‘save us’ when we were drowning.

From Sarnia back across the border to Port Sanilac where the dogs just had a blast. And I have to say, reporting our return to the US was the briefest and easiest I have ever experienced. Two questions: From where? And who onboard? Oh that it was always that simple.

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Rotten wood for breakfast

Given the forecast for later in the week, our goal is to be up at or passed Rogers City by Friday, in time to shelter from the stronger winds. So yesterday and today we had to do two long days of cruising. Both dogs were brilliant. Good walk before we left and then they basically slept all day while we were cruising. They were quite nuts when we reached land and tied up though; a small price to pay.

Yesterday, we left Port Sanilac around 7am after watching a beautiful sunrise. Our destination was plotted as Port Austin, on the southern tip of Saginaw Bay. However, the conditions were so good and the dogs seemed to be doing so well that we decided to extend our trip to across Saginaw Bay to East Tawas.

Now we have been to East Tawas a few times and although it is satisfactory, it is not one of our favourite harbours. It is quite often very noisy and from where we usually dock, to get ashore, we have to run the gauntlet of several boats’ crews blocking the main dock and there is often at least one really aggressive dog. Makes going ashore a not-so-pleasant venture. But I digress.

Halfway across and I am studying the chart, I asked the question, “Why have we never been to Oscoda?” “I don’t know,” says Paul. Looking at the chart in more detail, it doesn’t look, in a normal year, that it would have enough water for us and in high water years, there is a low bridge under which we probably wouldn’t fit unless we took down our mast. Question answered – too much to do and too much uncertainty.

Cut a long story short: after three course changes between East Tawas and Oscoda, and trying to find a telephone number that worked for any marina in Oscoda, we eventually decided to chance it and kept going up the coast to Oscoda. By going there yesterday, it saved us 2 hours of extra cruising today.

Turns out that the marina we ended up at, Haglunds, isn’t really equipped to cope with ‘bigger’ boats. He freely admitted that his usual customer has a small fishing boat, 16-26ft. Forty-two feet was a challenge for him. But we tied up (and I use that word loosely, literally and metaphorically) alongside his wall, bow line and mid line tied to a wobbly ladder that didn’t appear to be really attached to anything. And the stern line was wrapped around a dinghy cleat which Ron attached while we waited.

You may think this sounds really sketchy and I suppose it was but the well in which we were docked was completely sheltered so we weren’t going anywhere anyway. I would recommend that if anyone else goes in, they make sure they have a couple of big ball fenders with them.

IMG_1234.JPGWe managed to hook up to the 15amp electric so we could boil the kettle – it’s the small things that count. But no other facilities. And SR23 passes about 50yds away from where we were.

So now all the things that Oscoda has going for it. There was plenty of water (water levels are high) and the marina is before the bridge. We didn’t get a chance to explore the town, but everyone we met was extremely friendly and patient with the dogs. There is a wonderful public beach just a stone’s throw away from where we were docked and the dogs loved that. It was sand all the way out; not stones. And the water was clean and clear and relatively warm. SR23 quieted down around 10pm and Haglunds store closed around 9pm so the whole place was really quiet.

Ron Haglund couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. He seemed quite excited to have us dock and was continuously apologizing for the lack of facilities; “it’s in the plan”. I rather think though generally he isn’t really a boater nor too bothered about his marina but he does have a great store – if you are a fisherman, boater or hunter. He has, what appears to be, every type of lure, line, rod, net etc for the fisherman; general replacement equipment including spark plugs (for our outboard engine) etc for the boating fisherman; and then guns. Rifles, shotguns, hand guns old and new, bows, arrows ….. I didn’t look too extensively but Paul spent quite a while in there and came out looking quite wistful.

I would definitely recommend Oscoda to other boaters and Haglunds for a tie-up.

Today started with a sunrise swim, for Ebba and paddle for Bella and me. Then off we went. Basically north, 8.8kt; wind basically behind us, 8.8kt ie no wind on the boat and FLIES! Ugh.

IMG_1259.JPGNo change of destination today; we made it to Presque Isle Marina right on time (7 hrs). Love this place. It, too, has a great beach but also to the east of the east pier, there is a shallow area, a little stony but sandals work, which is great for the dogs.

Have to check the weather forecast for tomorrow but I think Roger City is in our future. Need to restock provisions and then from there … who knows? Actually not telling in case the wind hears.

IMG_1263.JPGHave a great evening. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Joanna

T2CrossFit.com

I am going to start a photo album on Facebook. Here is the link: Boating With Dogs 2016

photo-16     It is a long time since I wrote a blog; not because I got lazy but because I was finding the news so depressing and ‘good news’ news stories seemed to be harder and harder to come by. And the blog was never supposed to be a diary of my life. Hence the break. However, I had a revelation today so this is going to be about me. Sorry. You don’t have to read any further if you don’t wish; I totally understand. For those who wish to continue, please read on.

As one or two of you maybe aware, I took up CrossFit, just over a year ago and despite absolutely loathing the coaches, and myself, at times as I struggled through workouts, I have enjoyed every minute. And no, that’s not a contradiction. It is possible to experience both emotions about the same events/moments.

So, my revelation tonight came as I was walking upside down backwards up the wall for the 10th and final time in the WOD. I walked all the way in, totally confident in my ability to get my belly and chest to touch the wall before descending again.

I have had a good week all round and especially in my progress in my strength training this week. For only the second time ever, I managed to front squat 130lb three times, I rowed my fastest ever 2km, and I hit new PRs for my sumo deadlift and push press. Today, my hope was to be able to conquer the 95lb clean cluster – two slightly different lifts at 95lb. I have, in the past, managed the first half of the cluster, but always failed on the second. And recently, I haven’t even been able to get the first half. So I was full of hope … until I lifted the bar for the first time and …. failed. Oh bugger. And no matter how hard I tried and how patient Anna was in coaching me, I just couldn’t get it. I felt soooo deflated, such a failure. I know I am strong enough to lift this weight but …..

So there I was, this evening, walking backwards on my hands with my feet in the air and it suddenly struck me – what a bozo I am! Just a mere 5 or 6 months ago, I dreaded seeing ‘wall walks’ in the workout. I struggled to get to a 45 degree angle never mind getting my belly to touch the wall. And now hardly thinking about the movement at all, I was just focused on getting finished as quickly as possible.

So even though I still can’t get that darn bar up with 95lb on it, I can do a whole lot of other movements I couldn’t do this time last year. There is progress, I am stronger, I am more confident, I love rope climbs and I am beginning to not dread double unders, I get to workout with my best friend, Paul, and I have met and get to mingle with a great community.

I guess if there is a moral to this tale it would be, even if you think things are going badly and really ‘suck’, take a moment to reflect. You might surprise yourself and find that there really have been improvements and that you just have to shift your focus a little to the side to see around the bad stuff.

If you made it to this point, thanks for reading.

Have a great weekend.

Never doubt yourself.