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Thread: Boating Micro-Adventures

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    This is pretty much the entirety of the type boating I do. I haven’t been aboard a vessel since Covid, though, so I’ve nothing new to report.
    That may change soon, and if it does, I hope someone takes pictures.

    I am terrible at remembering to photograph stuff.
    Ah, the photos issue. Back in the day, I was fairly rigidly anti-camera on my trips. I didn't want them getting in the way of the moment. Of course, cameras weren't digital then either, so it was all a bit more complicated.

    I've kind of shifted gears on that front, though (obviously). I really see taking photos as a way to help me re-live the trips later. And to share some of my experiences with other folks who might appreciate them.

    Yes, it does break "the moment" a little bit. I sometimes leave the camera behind. But mostly not, even with non-dramatic outings like this one. It's still a nice reminder for myself.

    It is interesting shifting more attention to these kinds of small local trips for me. The reduced hassle of rowing-only trips is rapidly becoming more apparent.

    Tom
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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    None of that “purity” stuff. I’m just a terrible photographer, and a forgetful and scatterbrained fellow about such as that.

    Also, despite how I may come across, I generally don’t record or talk about my doings, as I can’t imagine they’d interest anyone.

    Having the phone should have changed that, but I often have no clue where the phone is, either. Since I got the tablet for art, I can usually access the Internet, because I generally remember where I left this sitting.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    DFA59960-CE33-402A-81A7-1EEC90A11A9D.jpg
    Here’s an older one. We took the punts to the lake when the water was SUPER high. The kids brought a friend who had never been to the lake, never been in water to swim, and had never been on a boat.

    C0389EBA-B494-4B3C-9667-E0797C0DDC0E.jpg
    Of course, our kids literally grew up in goofy boats, so they delight in any time on the water.

    94718FF3-4695-4ABC-90F8-5452A153037C.jpg
    The Punt Regatta. Of course Tiny and I won. The rowing position in the duck punt is actually kind of nice, even with the stumpy oars. She rows nicely.

    I don’t think anyone went further than a mile from the car. Just farting around, doing laps on the lake, looking at whatever there is there that ain’t at home.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Wonderful stuff. All I've managed to do is take the Goat Island Skiff out for a couple of hours solo rowing on the Willamette.
    David G
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  5. #40
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Ah, the photos issue. Back in the day, I was fairly rigidly anti-camera on my trips. I didn't want them getting in the way of the moment. Of course, cameras weren't digital then either, so it was all a bit more complicated.

    I've kind of shifted gears on that front, though (obviously). I really see taking photos as a way to help me re-live the trips later. And to share some of my experiences with other folks who might appreciate them.
    I went through the same progression. I used to hate the idea of framing my experience through a lens. I wanted no part in a doomed effort to own a piece of something ineffable. I still think that's largely true, but now I carry and enjoy a camera and am unbothered by the contradiction. Other deviations that I haven't explained (but worry about less than I used to) include driving a car when I could possibly bike. Also eating meat. No adult is ever quite as philosophically correct as they were when they were 18.
    Hey on the subject of bikes- how's that belt drive working out?
    And mostly, thanks for the stories and pics. They're inspiring!

    James

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    This is pretty much the entirety of the type boating I do. I haven’t been aboard a vessel since Covid, though, so I’ve nothing new to report.
    That may change soon, and if it does, I hope someone takes pictures.
    Same situation here. You would think during the time when everything shut down it would be perfect to go out on the water alone. It would have meant leaving my wife by herself in the middle of a pandemic, that just did not feel right. Maybe now things are opening up and she can get out to do her style of activities, I may be able to sneak in an overnight solo trip.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by pez_leon View Post
    Hey on the subject of bikes- how's that belt drive working out?
    It's quiet, and smooth, and un-greasy. I like it a lot. But with a sudden move to working from home between ordering and receiving the bike, my planned use (a 10-mile (one-way) commute morning & evening) didn't work out at all...

    I think it'll really be a great winter commuter, though. Right now I ride it around town on errands, grocery shopping, etc., and enjoy it. I've also done up to 15 miles or so at a time just to ride--I'll need to build back slowly to handle real time on a bike seat again. I haven't ridden at all, really, since maybe 2014-15? The continuum shifting is really interesting--no "gears," just twist the grip and the resistance changes smoothly along a spectrum. You can even shift at a stop--no need to be moving. The lack of quick-release wheels makes me hope I don't get flats too often. Pedals that take regular shoes are really nice for this kind of riding.

    It's HEAVY compared to my 2005-era roadbike, though! That's OK. I got a couple of nice waterproof panniers and may do some "no numbers" bike touring when the weather gets a bit nicer. When your bike doesn't have a speedometer or computer, it's easier just to be in the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by pez_leon View Post
    And mostly, thanks for the stories and pics. They're inspiring!

    James
    Thanks--I think that's the best feature of this forum. I know I've been inspired by many others here, including your own trip reports.

    Tom
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  8. #43
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    None of that “purity” stuff. I’m just a terrible photographer, and a forgetful and scatterbrained fellow about such as that.

    Also, despite how I may come across, I generally don’t record or talk about my doings, as I can’t imagine they’d interest anyone.

    Having the phone should have changed that, but I often have no clue where the phone is, either. Since I got the tablet for art, I can usually access the Internet, because I generally remember where I left this sitting.
    Well, this place is the ONLY spot in my life where it's likely for me to find people interested in my boat-oriented activities. With everyone else, it's more like:

    Them: How was your trip?

    Me: It was nice.

    Them: What do you want for supper?

    And that's for a 3-4 week trip! A little afternoon outing like these doesn't even get noticed...

    Must be a different kind of fun to have kids involved, though. I have some plans to corrupt a nephew and niece or two with some sailing outings this summer while the parents aren't looking.

    Tom
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Same situation here. You would think during the time when everything shut down it would be perfect to go out on the water alone. It would have meant leaving my wife by herself in the middle of a pandemic, that just did not feel right. Maybe now things are opening up and she can get out to do her style of activities, I may be able to sneak in an overnight solo trip.
    I was actually looking forward to ditching HER for a change! My wife often travels for work, recently, ahem, and she gets to go to fancy places and hobnob with famous people. Really. She’ll send me a picture of some crazy gourmet meal, or a patio gate opening onto a beach, and caption it with some snark.

    And me here, eating busted ass nachos.

    But, we’ve been scrambling during Covid with so many other things that any kind of boating has been impractical/impossible.

    And, unlike many here, I live a ways from water, so with the time crunch of late, it just hasn’t happened.

    Maybe if I ever make the proa, and I manage to actually build it lightly, I can tow it behind the bike, or scooty...

    Of course, things are changing, and I HAVE been threatening to get on the water for a few days this summer.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Well, this place is the ONLY spot in my life where it's likely for me to find people interested in my boat-oriented activities. With everyone else, it's more like:

    Them: How was your trip?

    Me: It was nice.

    Them: What do you want for supper?

    And that's for a 3-4 week trip! A little afternoon outing like these doesn't even get noticed...

    Must be a different kind of fun to have kids involved, though. I have some plans to corrupt a nephew and niece or two with some sailing outings this summer while the parents aren't looking.

    Tom
    When people ask what I’m up to/doing, I answer, “nothing”. Whatever I AM doing is just being me, so who cares? I surely ain’t making millions nor curing cancer nor crossing oceans, so I generally just stay shut up.

    Which probably seems like a lie, seeing as I blather on, here, but that’s all there is to do, here. Blather. Or read it.

    Kids? In my opinion, they enhance everything. They remind me of what an uptight jerk I’ve become, that I care WAY too much about dumb stuff that really doesn’t matter, and that I have NO IDEA how to enjoy a day at the lake on a boat.

    Every time, I feel like The Mole; or if Mr. Toad could ACTUALLY feel guilt, because really I’m more of a sham like Toad, propped up, in clothes I don’t belong in, flailing, trying to BE somebody.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    I'm definitely FAR more Toad than Mole... But I'd like to think I splash a good deal less with my rowing. So, there's that, at least.

    Have you read the Wind in the Willows sequels by William Horwood? They're marvelous if you're in that kind of mood. "Toad Triumphant" is a particular favorite of mine. At one point, Toad erects a heroic statue of himself, with an inscription on the base that reads "Humilitas super omnia."

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 04-27-2021 at 05:42 AM.
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  12. #47
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I'm definitely FAR more Toad than Mole... But I'd like to think I splash a good deal less with my rowing. So, there's that, at least.

    Have you read the Wind in the Willows sequels by William Horwood? They're marvelous if you're in that kind of mood. "Toad Triumphant" is a particular favorite of mine. At one point, Toad erects a heroic statue of himself, with an inscription on the base that reads "Humilitas uber omnia."

    Tom
    Better, I’ll have them READ to me. The kids have taken to reading aloud, and like me, they do voices. Choose Your Own Adventure books have been their guilty pleasure of late.

    They actually found one option none of them ever took the other day. They shrieked with excitement.

    Weirdos.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Better, I’ll have them READ to me. The kids have taken to reading aloud, and like me, they do voices. Choose Your Own Adventure books have been their guilty pleasure of late.

    They actually found one option none of them ever took the other day. They shrieked with excitement.

    Weirdos.
    Oh, man! I wrote each of my nieces/nephews their own Choose Your Adventure Book for Christmas a few years back, complete with some drawings (I can't draw monsters, but I can draw mice, and pencils, and tentacles--there were LOTS of tentacles in those stories!) Post-apocalyptic/Steampunk/anthropomorphic mice a-la-NIMH kind of fantasy. With endings that mostly led to a series of increasingly gruesome demises. It cost like $3 each to design a POD file and get actual physical books made. THAT was fun. Took a looooooong time to get the page layouts right--those things are not as easy to write and design as you might think.

    Tom
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  14. #49
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    I actually know a bit about the making of books. Well, I know how to draw a cover for one.

    And, our kids all love WITW. We have an old, early 1900s copy. It has wee drawings that are hilarious.

    My kids loved Swallows and Amazons, too. They’re still mad we didn’t have the proper number of children...

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    I appreciate your dedication and determination for your adventure on boat in such a harsh weather. One time, I did the same in my life, but after that micro adventure i got sick. Your adventure remember me my old days. Now I'm a writer during this pandemic and help others.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Very nice. You do Wisconsin proud.

    I especially enjoyed the Lake Wissota trip and video. We camped at the state park on the lake, above the dam, 'way back in 1992. We had a nice little cruise across the lake to a bar for lunch on a packer Sunday.
    Fun fact re Lake Wissota. In the movie "Titanic," the main character Jack Dawson reminisces about growing up there as a youth. Oops. Lake W wasn't dammed and filled until 1917, *after* the Titanic sank in 1912. They needed a fact-checker.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    We managed a full dinghy racing season here in SE Australia due to the vanishingly small instances of Covid. In fact I don't think there is a locally caught case anywhere in Australia, only those involving OS returnees.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Here's a misadventure. Currently stuck in the mud off Great Bay, NJ, waiting for the tide to free me. That's Atlantic City on the horizon.
    20210428_181135.jpg
    -Dave

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    So the tide came in, the boat floated free, and now the sun is dropping down. All as it should be.

    20210428_192459.jpg
    -Dave

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    A few more weeks of commitments, then I can focus on some boat stuff.
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    So to pick up where I left off, afloat once more on the edge of Hammock Cove just off the south end of Great Bay, New Jersey.

    The next morning I woke up to a slowly clearing sky and a couple of light rain showers. That was Thursday, but the prediction for Friday was for wind well above what I could enjoy in this flat, open waterscape. And Saturday wasn't looking much better. So I decided to curtail the cruise and spend the day circling Great Bay. If there's one thing Terrapin does well it is ghost. And this was the morning for it. Below, the track and a taste of the atmoshere. A video clip to come if I can put all the links together.

    Great Bay track-day2.jpg

    Atlantic City over the marshes.jpg

    Birds on Tow Island 2.jpg
    -Dave

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Great Bay! You're just 6-7 miles from the waterfront house I lived in down in Brigantine 20+ years ago. Would have been a perfect place to have a shoal draft little boat, but unfortunately, I didn't know much about the possibilities of small boats back then.

    Thanks for posting--nice to have some other micro-adventures to check out.

    Tom
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  23. #58
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Tom -- We used to rent a friend's house in Brigantine many years ago -- in the 1980s. Looking back at the marshes behind the island, I always thought it would be fun to explore them. So some 35 years later I got around to it.

    Here's a moody video from the trip. I've always enjoyed these slow, quiet passages, and these days even more than the lively ones.

    -Dave

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Dave,

    Wow. Congratulations. That has GOT to be the stuff you were dreaming of when you were sanding and sanding...

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Dave,

    Wow. Congratulations. That has GOT to be the stuff you were dreaming of when you were sanding and sanding...
    Thaks Rob. And actually, yes. It's notions of some nice future moments that keeps one at it.
    -Dave

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Thanks for the Autumn Leaves micro-adventure. Keep 'em coming!

    Meanwhile, yesterday I realized it was 70 degrees F and sunny, and my boat was just sitting in the driveway by itself. Can't have that. So...

    I hooked up the trailer and headed out for some local-ish waters. Not really sure where I wanted to go, but within an hour or so of home is this nice little lake where I used to sail my Pirate Racer occasionally:

    map 1.jpg

    The lake is formed by a dam on a tributary of the Chippewa River, which is itself a major tributary to the Mississippi River. I had always sailed from the western ramp near the dam on previous visits, and had never really explored the eastern end. Given my recent preference for rowing on these micro-adventures (even less time to launch and recover, and better suited for intricate little shallow creeks and marshes), I figured I'd launch at the east ramp this time, where the river empties into the lake.

    map 2.jpg

    Interestingly enough, there were a few Amish buggies parked at the ramp; I assumed the drivers were probably fishing on shore somewhere nearby:

    Amish buggies.jpg
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2021 at 05:37 PM.
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  27. #62
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Very shallow and sandbar-ish--as in, oar blades digging into the sand on most strokes. I headed downstream, which was also upwind on a very breezy day. I did pack my sailing rig and rudder, but left them unshipped for now.

    It wasn't all that inspiring at first--lots of fishing boats on the river (no surprise on a beautiful weekend day), so eventually I pulled into a tiny little shin-deep back bay along a long skinny island that divided the river delta from the open lake.

    map 3.jpg

    A perfect little hidden spot, right along the relatively busy river channel. I tied up for a while, ate a bit of a lunch, and finished the book I was reading. Still wasn't feeling overly ambitious.

    Island Stop.jpg

    While you can't tell from this photo, the open waters of the lake were bustling with a dozen fishing boats and another outboard boat pulling kids around on an inntertube. Also, it was WINDY out there. And, I hadn't put the covers on my 10 bulkhead hatches, rendering my flotation inoperable. But mainly, I just don't feel overly inspired by daysailing. I'd much rather have somewhere to go, and something to explore.

    So...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-03-2021 at 07:34 AM.
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  28. #63
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Thaks Rob. And actually, yes. It's notions of some nice future moments that keeps one at it.
    Well, that is a NEAT boat, and it was cool to watch it be dreamt up, then built, and then used in exactly the way we all imagined; I imagine.

    I’m thinking how actually refreshing it would be to be “stranded” by the tide in such a wee gem, provided it were safe and etc.

    Brew up a cup of something warm, and maybe take a nap. What? Being “stuck” on a cool boat in such a place would just be the worst. No way for modern life to remind you of all the busy work that can always wait...

    I hope we can get our tribe afloat again, this summer.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    By this point, I almost gave up and went back to the trailer. But then, I hadn't even managed to make it a mile from the ramp! (The entire lake is only 2 miles long across the biggest section). It seemed somehow contrary to all notions of micro-adventuring to pack it in without a little more effort. So, I set out again, still not sure if I'd hoist the sail (despite the lack of hatch covers to ensure flotation in these gusty whitecap conditions) and head down to the dam and back, or find something else. But at least I'd poke my head around the corner into the wind and see what happened.

    I wasn't able to summon the gumption to hoist the sail (so much work to be done: hang the rudder on the transom, tie the downhaul set-up in place at the partner, step the mast, etc.), so I just rowed north across a stretch of somewhat open water, thinking I'd explore the back bays a bit more:

    map 4.jpg

    One interesting thing about these micro-adventures is how rarely there is any kind of map or chart available. Other than a brief look at the lake on my road map on the drive over, I had no way of knowing what this eastern end was going to be like. No idea which passages were dead ends, and which, with just a little perseverance and finangling, might go through to somewhere new.

    For example, in that map above, I completely missed seeing the little creek heading off to the north. And this, even though I rowed right past on the other side of the sandbar. I had to have come within 50' of it! Never saw it (which is OK, as it leaves something to explore next time).
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2021 at 07:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    As it turns out, this eastern arm of the lake was like a bowl, surrounded by high forested ridges and no development. This entire river, from here upstream, runs through marshy forested bottomland with little or no development. I found myself scouting potential anchorages for an overnight trip...

    Like this one, just a little farther into my exploration of the back bays:

    map 5.jpg

    By this point I was glad I had continued on. The eastern arm, tucked down between a circling of high ridges, was really really neat. I kept going, expecting a dead end at some point--but I knew there was at least one route back to the main channel before then, having seen it on my approach.

    As it turned out, the back bays seemed promising enough that I passed by the "escape route" and continued.

    map 7.jpg

    Finally, I reached an apparent dead end--a wide sandbar barely ankle-deep, cutting me off from what looked like a deeper channel running right along the steep shore of the bowl. I tried rowing over it, but no go: the keel was dragging too deeply to make progress.

    Wait a minute, I thought. Ankle-deep?

    I hopped out, uncoiled the painter, and walked 20 yards through the shallows, feeling the rippling ridges of firm sand on my bare feet, and pulling my boat behind me like a dog on a leash. And sure enough, there was deeper water (knee-deep, perhaps) along the shore. So, I kept on. Right past what I had assumed was going to be a dead end, and up a narrow back channel that soon widened out to be even more promising:

    Onward.jpg

    By this point I was really glad I had kept going after lunch--these tiny narrow passages, far away from everything else, where only a small boat can go, are some of my favorite boat-centric experiences.
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2021 at 07:36 PM.
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  31. #66
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    You'd think, wouldn't you, that this would turn out to be a dead end at last?

    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  32. #67
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    But, nope:

    Sneaking Through.jpg

    And neither was this:



    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2021 at 07:49 PM.
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  33. #68
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    I would have dropped in for a visit with my friend the Water Rat, but he must have been out and messing about in his own boat (looks like he hasn't put the dock in for the season yet, though):

    Rats House.jpg

    Yep, definitely a worthwhile trip. I had no idea where I was going, and only a faint idea where I was, and hadn't even traveled three miles by this point. A micro-adventure indeed!

    I expected that, eventually, I'd be forced to backtrack all the way out to the main channel (Adventures? Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!). But, maybe not...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2021 at 08:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    With the benefit of satellite imagery-aided hindsight, it's clear that my inner route was taking me back toward the boat ramp. I was even kind of suspecting it at the time, hoping for it, despite the lack of any maps (or even a compass) or any particular justification for such a Panglossian conclusion...

    map 8.jpg
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-03-2021 at 09:01 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  35. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,056

    Default Re: Boating Micro-Adventures

    Well, that is a NEAT boat, and it was cool to watch it be dreamt up, then built, and then used in exactly the way we all imagined; I imagine.
    I complete agree with Rob. Autumn Leaves tops my list right now of small cabin boats. And it's cool to get an insider look at the marshy backwaters on the Jersey coast.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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