Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting Ready for Our Next Adventure

Well, spring is here - at least the calendar says so - and we're starting to do some serious preparations for this summer's adventure. It's been a long hard winter, but as the weather sloooowly gets warmer, we're finally getting excited about our upcoming cruise.

This year we plan to launch Meridian in late May (whoa, that's only a month away!), then leave relatively soon afterwards for three or maybe even four months on Lakes Michigan and Huron, returning to Chicago in September. Our major destination will be the North Channel of Lake Huron. We plan to check out Georgian Bay as well, but don't plan to spend quite as much time there. And, of course, we're looking forward to some of those great little Michigan harbor towns that we visited last year. Bernie already has a must-see list of farmers markets and wineries that are on the agenda.

Over the winter we joined the Great Lakes Cruising Club. They have lots of good information for the cruiser about places of interest throughout the Great Lakes. Their harbor reports for the North Channel and Georgian Bay surpass anything out there about the many possible anchorages and scenic spots in those cruising grounds. If you boat on the Great Lakes and plan to head out on your own adventures away from the major towns and marinas, you should seriously consider joining!

We're also taking the Squadron Boating Course from the US Power Squadron. I can't say enough good things about the course. The price is a bargain, you receive some great course materials, and completion of the course will allow a discount from most marine insurers. We've never taken a formal boating course and although we've already experienced much of what they teach, it's a great review and we're learning new things as well.