Off Season Planning (Dreaming)

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coastal-waterway

Part of the intercoastal waterway, Jacksonville, FL

Follow me on this…there’s something in it for YOU!

I’m still planning (some people might call it dreaming in between Lake Trout fishing dreams) on going on a long boat trip and hoping I can make it happen sooner rather than later. I’ll do it between my summer fishing and sightseeing charters, during the charter-less dog mushing days of Copper Country winters. This is not just ANY boat trip. This one is over 5000 miles long and requires about 1 year to complete. (Two winters’ worth.) It’s known as The Great Loop. (http://www.greatloop.org/) From my Lac La Belle port, I would pass Stannard Rock lighthouse in Lake Superior, then cruise across to the St. Lawrence River, to Lake Huron, under the Mackinaw Bridge,

The Big Mac from below.

The Big Mac from below.

down through Lake Michigan to the Chicago River, follow the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, go around Florida and head up the East coast (where there are plenty of lighthouses to be seen) and back into the Great Lakes. (Click this link)

As you can imagine, and Margaret keeps reminding me, there is some water to plow through before it can happen. (I tend to forget this planning work, so here I am logging a plan.)

marine-trader

A boat like this Marine Trader would be nice! I’m looking for a boat now.

1. I need another boat, so please support me on this and tell my wife. Yes, I know, I already have at least a half dozen boats. I don’t need a reminder, because I believe you never can have too many, but like fishing rods or golf clubs, there is a special application for each type. The type of boat I need for this dream trip is called a trawler. (see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_trawler) It’s a live-aboard vessel, like a motor home, except it floats.

Now, you may be thinking I already have a live-aboard since my Cruisers is large enough to cruise and fish in Lake Superior, but it’s not a trawler. A trawler is a slow moving craft that is much more efficient on fuel because of its hull design and the slower speed. Suffice it to say, mine is good for relatively fast, short trips and a trawler is good for efficiency at long distances. I think I have my wife convinced on this one.

2. We are still tied to our printing company (http://www.designotype.com/). Maybe I better re-word that…Margaret is bound there, and I’m bound to her – by choice – I love her. Even though I don’t work at Designotype on a regular basis anymore (not at all for the last 7 summers) Margaret is still one of 3 supporting legs holding up the business. Try to imagine pulling one of 3 legs out from under a table! She just has to install a new graphic artist, (as a 4th leg), go through the training process with him or her, then she can join me on this dream sabbatical. (By the way, the shop is for sale, and profitable, in case you want to live here in this beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula, see listing here: Designotype for sale link.

3. We still have 4 kids in school, and one in college. Ok, I DO have an easy answer to this one – our kids participate in virtual school, so anywhere they can log on to the Internet, they can work on their schooling and the college son doesn’t need us home.

mississippi_river_lock_and_dam_number_3

One of the MANY Mississippi locks to navigate.

4. We have rentals, like this one at Lac La Belle, to tend to. Find hired help. (Anyone looking for part-time work?)

5. Our bills would still come in, needing someone to monitor and pay them. Easy – our college boy needs something else to keep him busy…or our senior daughter. Or maybe we can have them emailed and we can pay online.

6. Money. We’d have to eat and buy fuel for the boat, and those things still cost money. I did say a trawler is efficient, but it’s still thirsty. I’ll have to start saving for this and I have some other ideas:

a. Ask for donations (do you think www.gofundme.com would work?)
b. Ask you, my loyal supporter, to join me (for a fee) for 2 to 5 days and nights aboard the vessel to enjoy the boat life. Do you need a vacation? See, I told you there’s something in it for you!
c. Maybe someone has a boat that they want piloted down to Florida and they could pay me to do it. Then I could fly home and do the same thing for the east coast part of the loop. (I like this idea.) Actually, I’d be happy to do it at my own expense, but don’t tell anyone.

7. Kids sports. We only have one school sports enthusiast. He’s in High School and plays football. We’ll just have to delay until after next football season. Perfect, we’ll leave next November, just in time to miss the snow season.

marine-trader

Marine Trader – I nice boat that would certainly do the job.

grand-banks

A Grand Banks, with plenty of sleeping room for 6 or so people.

nordic-tug

If money were not an issue, a Nordic Tug like this one would be my choice.

rosburough

A Roseburough (local boat), that would work, but does not have a fly-bridge, thus, not much outside space to enjoy the scenery. A little pricey, too.

Of course there are many more little details to work out, but I can’t dwell on them all, we just have to work out the above big (er) issues and the details will fall into place next October.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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