May 13. Sharon and I are on cruise vacation and the ship was docked in San Francisco at Pier 33. My cell phone rang, it was a bad connection and all I heard was Pier 33. Who…..Where….. What……? Tighe, Tighe who? OH Tighe, what, the boat arrived, awesome. We talk and set up a date for delivery.
May 20. The boat will be ready for delivery this coming Saturday. Memorial Day Weekend. A week early…
May 24. We make the drive to Saint Joseph, it is a bright sunny day and the temperature is in the mid sixties. Our appointment is at 11 a.m. so we are on the road by 7 a.m. Remember that hour time change…?
The boat is in the lot and looks great. We walk over towards the boat with Tighe. I look and say, “I thought the top was going to be blue”. Tighe responds, “Why did you think the top would be blue” I replied, “Because the boats in the showroom all had blue tops”
Tighe looks at me and say, “Is that a problem” I look at him and say, “NO”! We get on the boat, take a look, and all is good. Off to the office, Sharon and I sign a lot of paper, Tighe goes over a lot of paperwork, and we now own a boat.
Back out to the yard, up the ladder and we are once again on the boat. The boat is backed down the ramp and we are floating. Time for the sea trial. We go out for a 45 minute ride, learn the different systems, drop off Tighe and we are off to have a little fun.
May 31. Off to Pier 33 for a boat ride. Auntie Debbie joins us for another adventure. We get on the boat and we are off to New Buffalo. Sharon has made a picnic lunch. The weather is great and we have a four hour day out on the boat.
June 11. I have decided to bring the boat to Chicago. It a long drive to and from St Joseph. We need to get 20 hours on the engine. That is the magic number for the engine to be broke in and the first oil change is done. After that, they are every 100 hours.
June 14. Up early, today is a big day. We are going to bring the boat over to Chicago via water. I am really nervous. While I have spent hundreds of hours driving boats I have never been out on Lake Michigan. This is a 55 mile journey across the lake.
The weather is great. Sunny skies, bright sun, and no wind. We leave out of St Joseph Pier 33 Marina for the ride to Chicago. Tighe recommends hugging the shore line. The latitude for Belmont Harbor is plugged into the Chart plotter, Pier 33 is plugged in and given the title of home, and we are off. We come out of the river, turn left and throttle up. After traveling for about 30 minutes at 27 mph we pass the nuclear power plant, I turn the wheel to the right, and we are headed out to the great blue lake. I intercept the blue navigation line on the chart plotter and we are off to Chicago. We pick up US99 on the radio and we are cruising.
The lake is like glass, after about 30 minutes, I can see the top of the Sears Tower (WILLIS). I put the nose of the boat on the tower. Easy navigation.
It is an easy ride till about two miles off Chicago. There is a stiff wind out of the EAST and it looks and feels like we are in a washing machine. Once wave was so big that it lifted Sharon off her seat into the air and she hit the deck. Ouch.
We pull into Belmont Harbor to find where we are supposed to dock. After a bathroom stop it is back out to the lake and over to the lock to take a cruise up the Chicago River.
While I have been through locks many times on the Fox River, this is my first time through the Chicago Lock. Easy, no issues. We have a nice cruise and back to Belmont Harbor.
We have 16 hours on the boat.