Waking up connected to shore power with Dan pumping out the A/C was a real pleasure. The weather has been good and the longer range forecast looks excellent with highs in the mid 20s and a mix of sun and cloud. The sun is full in the sky and the sky is clear as the rest of my crew got mobile and we soon had Tony and Angela over for quiche and fruit in the cockpit of Bella Blue. The ladies then went for coffee while I got things organized on the boat and the kids threw a few casts.
We pull Bella Blue out of the slip and motored over to the busy gas dock. There is a shack at the gas dock called “Wally’s” with handprinted GAS and DIESEL signs and two lads on staff who looked no older than 12, and seemed to spend most of their time being screamed at by Wally, who lost his sense of patience about 75 years ago. The gas dock is a bustling place, the busiest we’ve seen by far, and there are a string of massive boats including a 52 Carver and at least a 50 Sea Ray, complete with a Sea Doo on the powered swim platform, crabby wife, three little rat-like dogs, and a mean husband yelling at the dock hands and his wife and the dogs, all at the same time.
We filled the fuel tank and pumped the sewage then pulled out of that chaotic scene. As we were leaving we had to take a wide berth around three sailboats who were motoring around, following each other in a tight circle, apparently waiting for an available space at the gas dock. It is surprisingly hilarious for some reason.
Our destination for the day was McNeill Cove, a scant 12 miles away, and Magnus and Stella took the helm for a while with the help of Ana while I did some writing. When we reached a deep water channel I got the trolling rod out and tried my luck catching a lake trout, but there was no such luck to be had, even after trying many different depths and speeds. We soon arrived at Sturgeon Bay and made a turn east through a tight channel into McNeill Cove, a lovely and secluded anchorage, with the water temperature at a pleasing 27 degrees. What’s not so pleasing were all the biting deer flies buzzing around taking stabs at our ankles and the crew is nearly ready to pull anchor and go elsewhere, but I convinced them to go on a kill mission and we wiped most of them out.
Tony and Angela arrived, rafted up to us, and we spent the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, rope swinging, paddle boarding, and then got the bright idea of towing the paddle board behind a dinghy, which was loads of fun. As we were enjoying a lovely happy hour on the bows of the boats, the kids got out a Costco-sized bag of jube-jubes and started tossing them at us to catch in our mouths, like show seals at MarineLand. Magnus fires a black one at Tony and he discovers the black ones are three times as hard as the rest and it pings off his sunglasses and nearly knocks him off the boat.
We enjoyed a nice dinner then assembled in the cockpits for some fishing (Stella caught a perch), a sundowner, and to listen to all the animal sounds coming from the forest. Ana is convinced there are moose calling to each other, so the kids pull up a moose call from the trusty internet and it’s quite unlike anything we are hearing, so we assume it must be frogs. The mosquitos make their appearance right on schedule so we lathered on some repellant, continued our conversations for a while, then retired to our respective boats for a nice northern sleep.