day one 2006      March 30th 2006

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Route from Winter to Summer Slips


After "parking" the boat in early November 2005, the time came to take it out for the first time of 2006. The opportunity came on Thursday March 30th, a beautiful sunny warm day of 65 degrees.

This means the only months that we weren't boating was in December, January, and February.


Who says that Michigan only provides for 6 months of boating a year?


Arrived at the boat Wednesday, March 29th night to work full time on it Thursday and Friday in preparation for launch. To my surprise, they had removed the freeze panels in the winter slips. (The marina had said it would be the 2nd week of April before they would do so). With the forecast of great weather for Thursday, I had originally had idea of opening the garage door for the first time since last fall, but now..... perhaps going out for a ride.

Friday morning I opened the door and let the sunshine in. It was 50 degrees inside the building which was the warmest it had ever been. Washed the boat complete for the first time all winter season, forgetting just how much "work" it can be. After using the water absorber pads to dry off the boat, I headed up to the restaurant for a bowl of soup and a break, before returning to the boat.

Now the 'moment of truth' began; firing up the engines for the first time since sitting idle for over four months. The port engine started and stalled a couple times before churning to life strong. The starboard side at first set off the high temp alarm while starting. It then also stalled a couple times, but them came on line just fine. I let them idle for a few minutes while disconnecting the shore power and lines.

With the engines sounding good and gauges all reading ok, backed out into the canal and head out towards the lake. Maneuvered around a bucket floating near the surface. Only a minute outside of the building the newly installed gps/chartplotter locked onto the satellites for the first time. 


Garage Door Opened!

Heading out The "winter" canal

Approaching the Lake

Thru buoyed channel to Lake

Motored out through the canal at idle speed and then followed the buoyed channel to the lake. Water depth is down just a little and showed about five  feet under the boat in most of the channel. Once clearing the last buoy and in some deeper water, I pushed the throttles forward and Tick Tock Too responded quickly and got up on plane. Wow did that feel good!

Out on the Lake there was only one small fishing boat, and the water was calm and showed 52 degrees on the temperature gauge. Pushing to about 3400 rpm and 30 mph, I made a sharp loop to head over to the main MacRay Harbor channel. Entering the marina was a sight with all the shrink wrapped boats up on shore. Looks like Tick Tock Too is the first boat to pull into the Harbor for the season.

The Lake looks like Summer

Approaching Main Marina Entrance

Entering MacRay Harbor

Not one boat is in yet!

Pulled in to our slip at 178 Seabreeze much to the chagrin of our neighbor Gerry who up on shore waxing his boat.

"You just had to be the first one, didn't you?", he yelled while shaking his head with a smile.

Taking advantage of the nice weather as well as being tied up to the dock, I buffed and polished the port side of the boat.

Tick Tock Too! is the lone boat in the water. A pleasant surprise is that the marina had all the docks power washed.

After spending about 4 hours buffing and polishing the port side and stern, the sun was starting to go down and it was time to head "back to the garage". Disconnected the shore power and lines and shoved off. Headed back out the channel for the 10 minute ride back to put the boat inside the building for now. The sun was starting to set and it looked very pretty. Hard to believe it is MARCH!