Grand Marais (Day 5)


Sometimes boats break, and sometimes people break – and sometimes both. I wasn’t there at the time of this incident so don’t know which here. Whatever the cause, at mid-day, I was underneath the sailboat to see if something was messed up down there. It was. Lines tangled around the crankshaft. Jeff knows I’m a scuba diver and brought some cold-water gear along so I got volunteered for this investigation. (The boat’s skipper was disabled by injury the previous day or would probably have gone under himself.) Thankfully it wasn’t deep, and was easy to diagnose. Getting the lines free was another thing though. I tugged free what pieces I could with my fingers. The boat’s First Mate was recalled from shore to do the rest with a knife.

Jeff spent several hours on that boat, taking things apart in order to determine the next place to check. He’s the best there is at analyzing mechanical things — and usually fixing them. I was happy to play a role too, albeit limited. When on an adventure like this, it’s helpful to be part of a team. It feels good to help. It might be you next time. Plus, it was kind of fun running back and forth in the dingy and paddle board.

The local sheriff (sargeant) was part of our team yesterday, driving our shipmate 30 miles to the nearest ER and then back. The kindness of strangers! Some say that it’s more common in a small town than a city. I disagree. I live in both. I see it in both. Thank goodness for that.

Boo the Cat has been unaware of all this drama, of course. She eats and sleeps and uses her litter box as usual. I think I should put her into her harness and take her swimming so I know how she will react. Just in case. Am I a nervous cat-mom? When we’re anchored out, I get nervous when she jumps up on the gun-whale to look around. When we’re dockside, I get nervous when she eyes the dock as if to jump out. We keep the doors closed when we’re dockside. I hear that some boat cats explore the dock and return to their boat-homes on time. I don’t yet trust Boo to do that.

Off to Whitefish Point tomorrow, weather allowing. I’ll be thinking all day about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which occurred near there. Well, maybe not all day. That wouldn’t be wise.

Editor’s Note: I’m writing this blog on a laptop which is on its last legs. (I need the laptop power and versatility for photos, editing, etc.) If this laptop dies, I’ll have to figure out another option and may be absent for awhile. I may make do with my tablet and portable keyboard. I might do minimal postings with a single photo from a phone. Just some of the technical challenges of being under way!

2 thoughts on “Grand Marais (Day 5)

  1. My heart was in my mouth reading this one! I’ve seen people in the movies underwater, trying to free a boat from some sort of trap (remember Kate and Humphrey in The African Queen?) but I never knew anyone in real life before! Sigh….I can see I’m going to need some fortitude to continue on this journey with you – thanks for the opportunity! xoxo

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