The Great Loop Epilogue

July 10, 2017

Well, a little bit of time has gone by and I have had a chance to reflect on my “Great Loop” adventure aboard “Journey”.

Let me begin by saying that this blog post is not about “The Great Loop”. Nor is it about “Pickleball!”. So most of you might want to just stop reading at this point.

This post is mostly about me and how this adventure has changed me and my perspective/outlook on life. Throw in a few lessons learned and the would of, could of, should of moments and there you have it! Ramblings of an old guy!

So, here are my thoughts! I warned you to stop reading!

I believe the reason for my trip was not to escape anything, but rather to experience a unique adventure while I have my health. The aging process has a way of moving forward, like it or not.

I have never been one to follow a well worn path, so my decision to choose a path less traveled (Great Loop in a Dinghy) should be no surprise to those who really know me. Anyone can do in loop in a big boat I tell myself.

Why solo? Perhaps the most vexing question for me to consider and answer with some time now behind me. This may sound crazy but I think it had something to do with being completely responsible for all the failures, mistakes and successes along the path of this “Journey”.

Make no mistake, Ann (my spouse and best friend) was very much part of my support team and she provided all the encouragement at all the right times. But the part of doing it physically alone was important to me. Failure or success was all on me! No one else to blame!

Being alone, I had no crutch to lean on (what I wanted). At times, I was way out of my comfort zone and it would have been so easy to rely on someone else to deal with those situations. I have always felt “socially challenged” and uneasy meeting people and carrying on a meaningful conversation.

This trip threw me into the “Lions Den” and I was constantly meeting new people during my adventure. That forced me to deal with my “inadequacies” and come to terms with them.

During my trip, I have had so many strangers walk into and out of my life buying me a meal, leaving me a cup of coffee at the dock, driving me somewhere, lending me something, just going out of their way to help a complete stranger. It was very refreshing and completely unexpected.

It has made me think about “paying it forward” as much as possible in the future and I will look harder for that opportunity to do so!

On another topic, I was surprised how easy it was to not dwell on all the unknowns and where I would stay the next night. Most mornings, I did not know where I be staying that night and that was ok. In some ways, even satisfying to know that it will work out all right, no matter what. It was easy to let go of those things I had little or no control of.

Of all my experiences on this trip, one stands out that caught me emotionally unprepared. That was a quiet Sunday morning circling the Statue of Liberty in my little boat. That experience gave me the goosebumps and a real appreciation of our country (land of immigrants and native Americans). While we are far from a perfect country, I believe it offers more opportunity than any other.

On this Journey, I also learned that I actually look forward to writing in my daily blog. I have never kept a diary, and this is as close as it will ever get. Reflecting on the day and capturing the highlights was a very healthy exercise for me. I have never had a great memory and overtime, I know these experiences will loose some of their detail. By documenting them, “the fish I caught will always be the same size”, unless perhaps I embellished a story or two in the telling.

I do not have a lot of would of, could of, should of’s to share. I did learn to limit my time on the water to no more than 6 hours a day. Unfortunately, I adopted that plan late in my trip! I did underestimate the weather and its impact on me. The heat, humidity, and rain at times, were almost too much for this old body. Glad I did not wait until I got a little older and wiser!!

So, in closing, I do believe an underlying reason for my adventure was to have something that I could experience and document as a legacy for children,  grandchildren and their children. You cannot tell these stories without the reader getting some sense of who you are and what makes you tick. So, sorry to all my blog followers, but this blog was not for you or me. It is for them and the hope that they might see a little of me (the good stuff) in themselves!

May you all find your adventure to chase!  It matters little if you catch it!  It is the “Journey”, not the destination!!

Thanks for joining me on mine!!

Dinghy Dave signing off for the last time!


Oh What A Day!!! It’s Really Over

July 1, 2017:  Whitehall, Mi to Spring Lake, MI (HOME)  30 Miles today

Final Mileage for Great Loop:  Leg one from Grand Haven to Fort Myers Beach was 2,156 miles.  Fort Myers Beach to Spring Lake, MI was 3,228 miles for a grand total of 5, 384 miles. The first leg took 1 1/2 months to complete and leg two coming back home took two months.

What a day.  Ann and I were on the water right around 8:30 am.  We had really good weather and savored the moment(s) we had together  realizing that this Journey was about to end!

We arrived at the Grand Haven breakwater right on schedule at around 11:30 am.  We were first greeted and escorted by two Lakeshore Pickleball players on their jet skis waving their paddles at us.  What a nice surprise!  Then we got the blue light special treatment when a sheriffs boat came up and escorted Ann and I down the channel with lights flashing and horns blowing.


The Escort

Along the banks of the boardwalk were other pickleball club members and others who have religiously followed and vicariously experienced  my Journey via my Blog posts.

The US Pickleball Association was on hand to do a live feed of my arrival and then a quick interview followed by a Grand Rapids Television Station which can be seen by clicking on this link.

Truly a special day in my life and so many people were part of it.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I am proud to have followed a road less traveled.  I believed  the road would have fewer ruts and it did.  I did  not think about the ruts that I would be creating along my path.  But at least they are my ruts!

So what does my new life look like.  Here is a little transition slideshow for you as I contemplate one of my last daily blogs and the symbolism of mission accomplished!

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So, my adventure is over.  I started my beard on August 7, 2016 (the first day of my travel.  It is only appropriate that I relinquish it on the last day of my travel, which is today, July 1, 2017.  I’m a new man who now only looks  not a day over 68.

This post will conclude my religiously made daily posts while on my trip. I am going to take  week or so to collect my thoughts and then share them with you.

There is no question that doing something like this changes you, but it will take some introspection on my part to sort it all out (if I can).

I can tell you right now that my next big adventure involves a TV set and a very comfortable sofa.  Have you seen the show ALONE?  Right up my alley (to watch, not do). This is the real deal of a solo adventure! Not for me.  Any takers?  I will follow your blog every day with my morning coffee!!  Promise!!!

Some of tell me you will miss my blog posts. I can tell you that I will miss sitting down after a long day on the water and putting my random thoughts down in writing.  In that regard, this has been a very healthy experience for me and I will miss it (but not so much as to create another reason to find another one).

Catch you in a week or so.  Until then, I will leave you with one last thought.

It is more important to chase our dreams (whatever they may be) than to catch them. Remember, its the Journey, not the destination!

Good Night My Friends, wherever you are!

Dinghy Dave on July 1, 2017



Grand Finale is Almost Here (and I’m alive to tell the story)

June 30, 2017:  Down Day Today–No Travel Miles for Journey, Wilson, or I

Ok, just checked the weather and it is looking like we will be making a dash for the finish line tomorrow.  That is a big YEA and bigger RELIEF!

We will be coming from Whitehall which is about 27 miles away.  Assuming we can get away from the dock at around 8:30 am, I believe we can be into Grand Haven between 11:30 am and noon.

Unless the weather forecast is really off or we have fog like this morning, I think this is a safe bet.

Once into the breakwater at Grand Haven, I will try to do a live Facebook feed assuming we have good cellular coverage.  I have made my page public so anyone can watch the live feed.  Click here to go to my Facebook page.

Ann will be traveling this last and final leg with me and we will be stopping at the Marina Boardwalk Dinghy Dock (right behind Farmers Market) to help celebrate my stupidity, tenacity and “Crossing that darn wake with about 5,400 miles between waves”.  It has been a ride that I will never forget, nor the people along the way!  Those of you who are pickleballers, wave that paddle proud so I can see them when I come in.  My daughter, Nancy, will be at the dock (with a Pickleball Paddle in Hand) and we will give her updates as to where we are and she can relay them to those of you at the dock.

In another week or two, after a little more thought (unlike my shoot from the hip blog posts), I will share some of the “life lessons” along the way and share some of my deeper thoughts about the why now, why a small boat, why solo, why, why, why? I would like to think I learned a little more about myself somewhere along the way as well as all the people who supported my Journey along the way.

That includes all of you who voluntarily chose to follow my posts, even though I can get off topic or probably bore you to death a random thought along the way. To those of you who are still wondering what Pickleball is, I encourage you to go out and give it a try.

The boating community and the Pickleball community are both great support groups and encouraging as you learn  boating or  pickleball skills!

To those of you who have told me that I have in some way inspired you, that is an unexpected thrill for me.  It has never been about that, but I was inspired by an canoeist (Verlin Kruger) years ago and by a couple of young women (Kate and Jessie) who did the great loop a few years ago in a very small sailboat  and blogged about their adventures along the way. I think they lite the fire that had been smoldering for a number of years.

So, if you are in the neighborhood tomorrow, please consider stopping by.  I would love to see you!


Waiting and Waiting

June 29, 2017: Weather Day  (Journey is recuperating and so am I) A No Travel Today

So close, yet so far.  I can taste the finish line when Journey, Wilson, and I cross our wake, hand in hand! (We have stories to tell and secrets to keep)

Weather permitting, it is looking like we will finish the last leg of 27 miles this coming Saturday.  If it all works out we will be crossing our wake (entering the Grand Haven harbor)  at around noon.

Ann will be joining me at Muskegon to complete the last 17 miles.  Although not on the boat physically with me, she has been a important part of my Journey and it is only fitting that we do the last 17 miles together.

We will be stopping at the dinghy dock to greet any of you that care to come and share the celebratory experience with us and get a first hand look at the “little boat that could and did” complete “The Great Loop”.  As far as I know, this is the first dinghy to have done this!

I will confirm this arrangement in tomorrow’s blog after verifying that Lake Michigan will behave itself Saturday morning.

It was nice to have my feet on solid ground today.  I have to say that I did not miss Lake Michigan one bit.


Lake Michigan Was the Challenge of the Trip!

June 28, 2017:  Ludington, MI to Whitehall MI–47 Extremely Difficult miles today.  Trip Miles to date are 5,354.

If today had happened at the beginning of my sojourn, it probably would have never happened.

The stars were aligned to provide me with my most challenging day on the water.

Here are the ingredients:

  1.  Its my birthday (nice to spend with Ann)
  2. Proximity to Home (Homeitis caught up with me and left common sense at the departing marina.
  3. Waves were predicted to be bad and in my haste, did not look at it objectively.
  4. Wind was going to bad later in the day, and it came early as an unexpected birthday present.

Here is the storyline:

69 year old Grand Haven man almost completes the Great Loop after ignoring common sense and lessons learned along the way (Note: Journey is now about 27 miles from home)

Here is my story:

I know the forecasts were not good, but how bad can it get?  I got up at 5am as usual and was on the water and moving at 6am.  It was bumpy, but I talked myself into going 10 miles to the next safe harbor (Pentwater, MI) and then reassess my situation.  I got in the harbor around 7:15 am and did think about stopping for the day.  However, I did not see a marina near by, nor any place near the harbor entrance.  The next “safe harbor” was Whitehall, some 31 miles further.

I knew there would be risks, and I decided to go anyway.  Called Ann to let her know I was going for it and that I expected to get in by noon.

I stayed as close to shore as possible, but you boaters probably know it is walking a fine line, as you can find rougher water in shallow water shoals which waves love to pound.

These was my most intense day and if I had this experience earlier in my trip, I probably would not have completed the trip and you would not have have my blogs to bore you with!

The waves and the wind got bigger and bigger, and just when I thought they could not get bigger, they got bigger.  One wave took the bow up so high, I thought it was going to fall back on itself and I thought the motor was going to shut down.  When I caught my breath, and the motor kept running, Lake Michigan now had my full attention.

Now, I have been scared before, but nothing like today.  After that episode, (and yes, there were several like it), I could not help but keep as close to shore as possible (I could swim or float to shore, right).  There were many moments where I put my VHF radio Mic in my left hand ready to say those words, MAYDAY! and give my Latitude/Longitude.

Then, it was hours and hours of watching time go by as slow as it ever has in my life. I was counting down tenths of miles to mark my forward progress, which at times was questionable.

For the first time, my luggage broke loose from its mooring on the boat and Wilson was rolling around like never before!  My hands were glued to the wheel and the Mic, so Wilson was on his own.  I think he would have jumped ship if he could have.

So, Lake Michigan got my attention like no other.  After fighting those nasty waves and wind, I finally got into safe harbor (difficult to get into because of the surf) right around noon and realized that I had made it to safe harbor.

I called Ann and she met me at the marina!  I was certainly glad to see her again!

Journey is resting comfortably in White Lake, MI and is going on strike until the nasty weather subsides.

So, this is todays story, and I wish I could tell you “just kidding”, but this was no joke and I am glad to be on land again and close to home.  Sorry, but no pictures today due to the circumstances surrounding it.

Will be waiting for weather to calm down before “crossing my wake” and saying farewell to the Great Loop! It will probably be Saturday or Sunday and I will make a blog post regarding it once I have decided it is safe to go outside again.

Until then, my feet are planted squarely on the GROUND!  and I am happy and greatful that I made it into 69th  year!

Glad and relieved to make this post tonight!

Dinghy Dave Here!! (By the way, it is pouring rain here right now)




Inch by Inch, Mile by Mile

June 27, 2017:  Leland, MI to Ludington, MI–  94 Miles Today–5,343 Trip Miles to Date

74 Miles from Homebase!!

It was a pretty good day today.  Lake Michigan was a little choppy but I learned how to manage the waves and was able to average about 15 mph which is good for me.  If you do the math, that means about six hours on the water which is about my comfort level.

Here is one of the lighthouses (Manistee) that I passed along the way:


So I got into Ludington around 1:45 and was able to contact a friend (Ken Klegon) who shares that “Pickleball Disease” and he was able to put together a game for this evening.

Here is the team “Ludington”:


So, little by little, getting closer to home.

Will see Ann tomorrow!!  Yea!

Quiet Day off the water

June 26, 2017: Lake Michigan Weather keeps us tethered to the docks at LeLand, Mi


Well, a quiet day at LeLand.  Rainy,  Windy, and Wavy combine to become a NOGO day for Journey and I.  So close, yet so far. Only 180 miles to home. Caught up on sleep, laundry, and got gas for Journey so we will be ready to go in the morning.

Here is a nice photo of the marina we are at,  Very nice municipal marina!


This is my shortest blog post yet!

Goodnight to all!

Dinghy Dave here!

Relaxing Day off and on the water

June 25, 2017: Charlevoix, MI to Leland, MI (Fishtown)  35 Miles today, 5,244 trip miles to date.  Approximately 180 Miles left for this “Journey!”

Today was a leisurely day starting with breakfast (a rarity for me) compliments of the area Pickleball Ambassador David Gallinat who, along with his wife Peggy, have been taking great care of me.  Pickleball ambassadors all along my route have been awesome and inspiring to me! I will be writing to the United States Pickleball Association about their untiring dedicated volunteer, non paid staff who are going above and beyond to promote the sport in their local communities!  I’m not sure they understand how much they contribute to the growth of the sport!!

I then received a quick tour of the area “Mushroom Homes”.  These”hobbit houses” are considered works of art, and are unique to this area.  Earl Young, was a home builder who studied architecture at the University of Michigan for one year before he retreated to his hometown and began building stone houses his way.  They are really something to see and you can only see them here!  They were built from 1918 to the 1950s!  See for yourself (I was to able to take photos, so these images were taken from the good old internet). There are over 30 in total and are a big tourist attraction here!

Then, off to play pickleball for a couple of hours with some great people from the area. David is building the pickleball  presence in Charlevoix with players and persuasion with local leader with all the reasons they need to embrace Pickleball in the community.  Great job David!  Your powerpoint presentation might have value to share with other ambassadors on the ambassador Facebook page.

So, that represents a pretty full day, but wait, its not over yet. David and Peggy took me back to Journey and away we went!  Two hours today and 30 miles later, we were in LeLand, MI, a quaint touristy fish town.

I was able to get a room at a place called The Falling Waters Lodge, which overlooks the Carp River as it dumps into Lake Michigan.  There is a dam just above the lodge so the overflow creates a nice soothing waterfall.  Here is a picture from across the river.


The weather outlook for tomorrow is not god with rain setting in tonight.  It may be a down day tomorrow.  The next day is looking better but will make the call in the morning.

So, that is todays story!  I am excited to be so close to home and realize the Journey of my lifetime is just about over!

Dinghy Dave signing off for today.


Great Day In Michigan

June 24, 2017:  Harbor Springs to Bay Harbor to Charlevoix

5 miles to Bay Harbor, 15 miles to Charlevoix:  20 miles today, 5,203 Trip Miles to Date

A good day today.  After walking around and checking out Harbor Springs, had a chance to head over to Bay Harbor to check out a Vintage Car and Boat Show.  Bay Harbor, MI is probably the premier resort living location for the rich and famous (my words).  In other words, everything here has a “wow) and many one percenters must live here.

The show was great, as you would expect!  The local Potosky High School Percussion Band treated everyone to a concert which was outstanding!  Then, there were the boats!

Want to do the Great Loop but need a bigger boat? Have a need for speed?




Which way is the bow (pointy end?)


Need more space to take more people? How about this one:


Last, (if i were to do it again choice) is the “Caroat).  Half boat, half car.  No more walking or taking Uber to the B&B or Hotel. Just drive out of the water (see video on my Facebook page),


It was fun and there were people everywhere checking out the cars and boats!  Thanks to Dan Horning for telling me about this event!

At 5:30 pm Dave Gallinat, local pickleball ambassador met me and we took off for his home town of Charlevoix on Journey, some 15 miles further south.  It was a bumpy ride that late in the day and it took us two hours to get to Charlevoix safe and sound. I was invited to dinner at Dave’s home (I never turn down homecoming and great conservation).

Pickleball tomorrow morning! Yea.  Looking forward to playing. It has been awhile.

That is todays story as I move into the home stretch!  Look Out Grand Haven, here I come.

Dinghy Dave



Now you see me, now you don’t (Hide and Seek with the Mackinac Bridge)

June 23rd, 2017:  Mackinaw City, MI to Harbor Springs, MI   50 miles today-5,183 Trip Miles to date.  Wow!

So, Ann and I got up early and on the road back to Mackinac City so that i could get an early start on my trip to Harbor Springs.  I believe we got back around 9:30 am.

All was well and I prepared Journey for the day’s trip.  Said goodbye to Ann and headed out of the marina breakwater.  Got about a quarter mile before watching the bridge disappear right in front of me.  Wow, it was so big and right there!  In an instant, it was gone due to fog.

I called Ann to let her know I would be waiting around a while but still anticipated getting out of town later that day. So I waited and waited.  Finally, at 12:30 pm, I could see half a bridge.  You know the saying, half a bridge is better than no bridge.  I also saw blue sky off in the westerly sky (direction I was heading).  So, it was go time.


I got past the bridge in good shape only to see another fog blow in.  Now operating only by chart plotter as no visibility at all.  I chose to stay about a mile off shore, knowing that at least I would not run into a freighter.  Slow and steady was the name of the game today.  It also got a little bumpy as I headed west toward open water, but I did expect this and knew this was a rite or passage going from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

As I rounded the corner and headed more Southeast, the waves started to dissipate slowly.  I think around 3pm, I could run at 20 mph without paying the price of loosing teeth along the way.

Got into Harbor Springs around 4:15 pm and found a blog fan Dan Horning (from Grand Haven), waving at me.  He was in Harbor Springs on his Ranger Tug and enjoying the afternoon. He has been following my blog and knew that I might be in today. Sure enough, we got to meet each other and he bought me a drink.  He also invited me to come over to Bay Harbor (5 miles or so0 tomorrow to see the 19th annual Vintage Car and Boat Festival. He has a slip there and set me up to stay there for a while.  How cool is that!  Then will probably go Charlevoix for the night which is just another 17 miles.

Could not resist the contrast of my boat to this one not too far away! (Chris, do you recognize it?)


In addition to a great welcome from Dan, the dock crew had heard I would be coming  and welcomed me with open arms.  They took a couple of pictures and even compted my stay.  Other bystanders joined in with congratulations when they heard my story.

I have to say that this was the biggest welcome that I have received on my whole trip!

Then to top off my day, long time friends that I had gone to Alaska with on a chartered 65 foot trawler drove an hour from their place to see me and take me out to dinner.  Thanks Jim and Betsy!  Not only did they do that, they stayed around until they knew I had a room and gave me a ride to the hotel. Above and beyond!  My many thanks.

Ann is now home and awaiting my return! We had a great time together and both feel like we needed and got a little off that  “comfort food” by being together again!

Thats my story for tonight.

Thanks for following along!

Dinghy Dave


The Adjustment Begins

June 22, 2017:  This was a non-travel day.  Journey is quieting waiting in Mackinaw City, MI

I would call these last few days with Ann a period of welcome adjustment to the more real world that I will be coming back to very soon.

Spending time together, being in familiar surroundings, going to a live concert of a favorite band, all have impressed upon me the value of “comfort food”.

Photos of Blackthorn at Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor, MI tonight.  You can catch a short live feed on my Facebook page that I took during the concert.

UntilYou don’t realize how much you have missed those things until you have them back after an extended absence.  Just being able to look over and see Ann’s face or her smile as I say something silly to her.

I would like to think that I never take  things for granted, but my Journey told me otherwise.  While it was and is an adventure of my lifetime, I believe I will have a better appreciation for the day to day living (sometimes we think of it as a rut) as a result.

I have learned that “The Road Less Traveled” has fewer ruts, but you do create some of your own along the way!

So, I am excited to get back to my stomping grounds and not have to ask my pickleball colleagues what their names are!

I hope the weather cooperates as I move closer to Grand Haven.  I hope to move to the Harbor Springs area tomorrow but not sure yet.  It is about 56 miles so about a three hour trip if the water conditions cooperate.  If it is too bouncy, I will duck into Grand Traverse Bay and wait for better weather.

With all my water experience now, I have a pretty good feel of when to get off the water!

So, until tomorrow.

Dinghy Dave Here


The Mighty Mac is in Sight!

June 21, 2017:  Rogers City, MI to Mackinaw City, MI– 52.6 MilesTrip Miles To Date 5,133

It is getting hard to believe that my Journey is coming to an end.  It is both exciting and somewhat sad (only a little).  I am more happy that I can and want to resume a normal life again (assuming Ann will want and let me).

Got my first glimpse of the Mighty Mackinac Bridge that I have gone over numerous times in my life.


So, as you can see, I keep my Eisenglass up today.  It was cold on the water and having it in place made it very comfortable.  I removed the center piece a few miles from the marina so that I would have a better view of other boaters and local activity.  It worked like a charm!

I got in around 11:00 and Journey is staying at the municipal marina in Mackinaw City.  Ann got in around noon and we have been playing tourist all day and catching up on stuff.


Its beginning to feel like home!  I am about 273 miles from my Home Port of Grand Haven, MI.  What an adventure.  My need for adventure has been satisfied and I don’t see it resurfacing anytime soon.  My next adventure involves a TV set and a comfortable couch (or massage chair). While in New York, Ambassador Jones Wong exposed me to one of those fancy massage chairs and it felt really, really good!!

Thats the news from here at Mackinaw City with Ann Purvis along side me.  Feels good and right!

Another Day, Another Step Closer!

June 20, 2017: Oscoda, MI to Rogers City, MI—91 Miles today, 5,078 Trip Miles to Date

Had a good day on the water, in spite of a few rain squalls.  This time, I was ready. I had all the canvas/eisenglass down and in position.  Let it rain!  I keep dry and toasty warm with it in place. I get the craziest looks from people wandering what it is.  A boat? really!


Canvas Innovations (fabricator) won an innovation award for this set up.  It is very unique, and is very functional (except when it is very, very hot out).  It does keep me dry when I need it to and today was one of those days.

So, I was going to stop at Harrisville to top off my fuel tank, but really did not need to, so I waved as I passed by.  Then off to Presque Isle.  Got there fine and had planned on staying there.  There was another boat at the fuel dock that I recognized.  It was a couple from DeTour that I had met way back in Schenectady, NY.  It is funny that you can go for days and then someone pops up that you saw hundreds of miles before.   Unfortunately, there was no place at Presque Isle that could accommodate me.  The closest accommodations were about 20 miles!  I guess I didn’t do enough due diligence ahead of time.

So, I continued north to Rogers City and got there early afternoon. A little bumpy ride with the rain squalls, but otherwise a great day. The folks at the municipal marina gave me a ride to a local hotel and also took my picture and put it on their Facebook page.  They were very interested to hear my story.  They knew all about the Great Loop!

So, a short day tomorrow.  Only about 40 to 50 miles to go before meeting up with Ann and having a little reunion!  Yea!

So, that the story for today.  Short and sweet!

New Day Tomorrow!

Another Productive Day

June 19,2017:  Port Huron, MI to Oscoda, MI   121 Miles—-4,987 Trip Miles To Date!!

Got off to an early start today and left Port Huron right at 6 am.  Art filled up my to-go coffee mug and away I went.  The water conditions were almost perfect.  So perfect, that I decided cross Saginaw Bay today (another 30 mile crossing) rather than wait for tomorrow.

Even having done that, I achieved 120 miles today in about 6 hours.  That is about 20 mph average.  When conditions on open water are good, I like to take advantage of it, because I know it can and does change in a heartbeat!

Fortunately, the only curve ball today was a significant rainstorm that hit me when I was just three miles away from my final destination.  I got soaked and it is now raining on and off all day today and into tomorrow.

I put Journeys raincoat on and I can see her from my hotel window (very unusual situation).  I have everything scattered around drying in my hotel room!  Looks like a slob lives here (no comments, please).

So, for some news.  Ann and I have a favorite band that our good friend Stephanie introduced us to years and years ago. This is the same band that we toured Ireland with a few years back. Well, as it turns out, they (An Irish Band by the name of Blackthorn) are performing a concert at Glen Arbor this coming Thursday evening.  Better yet, Ann and I are making plans to head over and attend it.  It is a 2 1/2 hour drive from where I think I will be at the end or the day Wednesday, but Ann and I will have time to catch up while driving over the next morning. We will spend the night over there and then head back the next day and hang out a little.  So, a little reunion before I turn into my home stretch. It will be a long drive for Ann but we can taste the finish line.  Looking more and more like the Fourth of July weekend will find me home!

No pictures today as all the technology gear was put away because usually bay crossings are a little bumpy and wet.

So, that my story for today!  What am I going to do when i don’t have a “Journey” to talk about?

Port Huron: Easy Breezy, Almost!

June 18, 2017:  Gilbraltar, MI to Port Huron, MI…81 Miles Today, 4,866 Trip Miles To Date

Well, I would call this a good day on the water.  My regular routine of early rise and shine was broken due to am thunderstorm forecasts (which never materialized).  So, I got to the marina about 9:30 am and prepared Journey for the day ahead of her.  At 10:00 am, I pronounced her ready to go and took my chances with the weather at that point.

I will say it was a rough start and the Detroit river was snotty and bumpy for quite a ways.  However, I was going down memory lane seeing Detroit from the river. Notice the chop in the water.  Lots of fun!



Ambassador Bridge (Connecting Detroit to Windsor, CA

For those of you from Michigan, here is another familiar shot of the GM Building (Renaissance Center):


GM Building, Detroit, Michigan 2017

So, finally out of the washing machine and into the dryer (Lake St Clair).  Not a choppy as the Detroit river, but still lumpy.  I was able to maintain about 15 mph on average, which is good for the kind of water I was on.

From there, onto the St Clair River which was a breeze and I could easy go 20mph plus.

All that to say I arrived in Port Huron, MI about 5 1/2 hours later.  While at the fuel dock getting gas and local information, I noticed another boat coming into the fuel dock that I had seen earlier (like in Delaware). Its name is Tinacious and the boat has a story of its own.


Tinacious–Port Huron, MI  June 18, 2017

This couple (Art and Pam Gauthier) took this old dilapidated Chris Craft hull and took 10 years to get it into its current shape.  What a beautiful boat!  Well, guess what.  They invited me to spend the night onboard.  This is an offer that I could not refuse!  The hospitality of boaters is wonderful.  They even invited me to dine with later in the afternoon.

What a nice way to end the day!  As they would say, here are my  new best friends!

New day tomorrow!

Pure Michigan!, Goodbye Ohio!

June 17, 2017: Cleveland, OH to Gibraltar, MI  119 Miles Today–4,786 Trip Miles To Date

As usual, up at 5am, out the hotel door at 5:45am; At the boat by 6:00am, depart around 6:30am.

True to my “new game plan”, I was on the water 6 hours today and I averaged 20 mph.  Lake Erie was very good to me.

So went by “First Energy Field” (home of the Cleveland Browns and right next door to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) around 6:45 this morning:


First Energy Field, Cleveland, Oh

My initial plan was to meet fellow loopers in Sandusky, OH about 60 miles away.  I was going to stay the day and head out the next morning to Michigan.

So, my first clue that I was getting close to was to recognize this:


Cedar Point, Sandusky, Oh

This is the region’s number one amusement park (Cedar Point) and arguably one of the top Coaster Parks in the country.  I’m already on a roller coaster so I will pass this time.

Got to their home port marina near Cedar Point and realized that weather was coming in and it could be a few days if I stayed the night.  They are and should be, quite proud to exchange their white burgee (a looper in process) to a gold one (someone that has completed the loop.  They did this as a family of six aboard their boat!  That is inspiring to me!! Congratulations Wendy and Bobbie.  They had such a good time, they were already talking about the next time!!  I’m not there yet.


Now, I had been traveling three hours to get to their place.  Then I spent about an hour with them.  That timeline had me leaving Sandusky at about 10:30.  Three hours later, I am in “Pure Michigan”.


Michigan Coastline

Not before, however, being stopped by the Canadian Coast Guard!  They saw me and I saw their blue lights flashing and they came zooming over to me.  The first question was “am I fishing”.  My answer and my boat appearance  was an unconditonal “no”. I then told them about the great loop and about my “Journey”.  No more questions!  They didn’t even ask to see personal or boat registration information.  Lasted all of three minutes.

I was on my way and only 10 miles or so from my destination in Gibraltar, MI!!

Yes, Pure Michigan is good and I am glad to be here.  Nasty weather coming tonight and tomorrow morning.  I hope to move in the afternoon, but will cross that bridge when I get to it.

To Ann:  “Honey, I’m Home” (well almost).  We need to meet somewhere  soon!  We are only 185 miles apart by car and less that that as the crow flies.

So, that my story today.  Will see what tomorrow will bring.

Dinghy Dave here!!


Ohio, at last! Cleveland is in Ohio, right?

June 16, 2017:  Erie, PA to Cleveland, OH— 110 Miles today, 4,667 trip miles to date.


So, the Erie Water God was kind to me today.  Got on the lake right at 6am and came strolling into Cleveland six hours later.  For the most part, 1 foot or less waves.  That allowed me to run at 20 mph most of the way, except for a few bumpy patches!

I went into the inner harbor and docked at the town public docks.  Another local boater tied up near me and I asked him where I could get fuel for Journey.  He gave me two options and we went our separate ways.  I decided it was lunch time and walked over to a very busy Taco Bar near the dock.  Just a few minutes later, that same guy along with three others with him sat down at the bar right next to me.  They were all intrigued with my story and at the end, one of the other people with him, picked up my tab before I even asked for it.  Human kindness is a wonderful thing!  I have been treated so great along the way, that I have a lot of “pass it on” stuff to do in my future.  As it turns out, they may be coming right through Grand Haven as they may be taking their boat down to their Florida condo near Sarasota.

By the time and had lunch, found the fuel dock, arranged for a place for Journey to stay as well as myself, it was around 4pm.  I had wanted to see the Rock and Roll hall of fame, but it was only open to 5:30pm and I would not have gotten there until 4:30 ish. So, put that on my list of things to do when I come back with Ann some time in the future.


So, thats m;y day today. I am impressed with the vitality of this city.  I am staying downtown and it is very active and alive with people all over the place.

Weather is supposed to be ok for one more day, so off to Sandusky tomorrow.  It appears to be about 65 miles so I should be in around 10 am or so.  I mentioned in an earlier blog about the Wilson family (no, my castaway Wilson).  This is a family of six who just completed the loop today (Sandusky is their home port). They have invited me to stay at their marina and spend Fathers Day with them, which I am planning to do.

If I could only find a Pickleball game in Sandusky, OH?  My life would be whole again!!

Once in Sandusky, the next stop will probably be in Michigan!  Wahoo!!!!

Signing off

Dinghy Dave in Cleveland, _____