Windbound in Thessalon…

When last we left you it was on the way to Blind River. It was a rolling ride across the North Channel but bearable. The breakwater at Blind River was a welcome sight however. This was an efficient marina but with limited services. No WIFI but Jan was able to get the laundry done.

On Saturday the winds were predicted to get rough but not until later and they would be pushing us from behind as we moved west toward Thessalon where we had reservations. We made excellent time as there were three foot seas rolling behind us and we could surf the waves. It made steering a bit tedious but once you get the feel of it then it can be sort of fun. We tried to see who could reach the highest speed. The record was 13.7 mph at 1200 rpm’s. Now for those who do not know about such mundane things I will tell you that on a thoroughly flat day Cbay should run about 9.5-10 at this rpm so you can see the wind waves were really active.

The harbor at Thessalon is tight and the wind current was strong inside but Jan slid us right in, impressing all the men ready to grab a line. Because of the location of the power pedestal, I had to take out the big extention cord for the first time on the trip. Cbay has two 50amp power cords from the boat which are 50 feet long and either use a splitter that combines them down to one 100amp plug or we can put two 30amp pigtails on and use 30amp power running through 50amp lines. This is fine because Cbay only needs 30amps anyway. But here the only plug available where we were was 50amp. Pulling the boat as far forward to the concrete wall as we dared, we pulled the cords toward the plug. It was several feet short and they have no extensions for this size available here. The solution was either pull the boat out and back in or pull out an extension that came with the boat which we have never used. Pulling the boat out was not a real option because the wind was now howling and no-one was going to move a boat in this weather. So pulling out the cord was our only choice.

The reason I did not want to do this is simple. That one cord is 50 feet long and weighs nearly 100lbs! Why you say? Because it is 100amp/250V and thick as a small child’s arm. I can move it but it is down in a hatch and difficult to handle. We finally decided to use our heads and Jan stood on the dock and pulled it while I stood down on the hatch uncoiling and feeding it out. So we did all this to get another 3 feet of cord. You gentlemen will know when you are short there are no cord stretchers.

The town of Thessalon is celebrating Community Days. When is the last time you heard of an American town doing such a thing? They have parades, bake sales, art show, crafts and a dance. Who would have ever thought we would have to travel all the way to Canada to find Mayberry? It was so nice.

We went to lunch at the Peppermill and had a pleasant repast. Our server was Hallie and she had a couple of facial piercings and some hair carving on her head in the shape of a shooting star. You know me and I had to inquire. I had seen girls with tongue piercings and chin piercing but never one that went through the red part of the lower lip and exited through the chin so I had to ask about it and received quite an education.

It is called a “vertical labret”. Whoever knew these things had a name? They use a needle to pierce the lip going down and out through the chin. Then the tackle is inserted and screwed together. The real question is not how but why? For that you will have to give your own answer. This is after all a family blog. But I can tell you it is addictive behavior. No-one stops with one piercing just as few stop with one tattoo. I asked what will happen when Hallie gets older and decides to remove them. Now we have not had sufficient experience in America to really be sure they ever will want to remove them. In other more primitive cultures the old ones wear the stuff to their graves and so may Hallie’s generation, but she believes it will not leave a noticeable scar or hole as she ages. I did not try to dissuade her from this notion even though medically I know different.

i also practically know different. Once a young man came before me for sentencing in a drug possesson case. He had circular spreaders in his ear lobes the size of quarters. I asked him what would happen as he got older and decided to remove them to get a job. He replied that it was no problem as the holes would close up in three days. I asked who told him that and he said the guy who put them in. So I ordered the Sheriff to take him into custody and bring him back in three days. In jail they remove all face tackle for safety. Other inmates might try to remove it the hard way! Now don’t get upset that I was abusing my power; he was going to get more than three days in jail anyway on his negotiated plea. So on the third day they brought him back. He was in tears. Large ragged holes were in his stretched lobes. He kept saying “that guy lied to me, what am I going to do?”. I suggested less money spent on dope in the future and save some for plastic surgery. They will never again look as good as God made them, but anything would be an improvement. So goes our culture. Oh, by the way, I did cut his sentence by 5 days just to show my compassionate side.

The wind for Sunday is predicted to be 50 kilometers! This is a real blow and we will have to stay put burning up our one weather day on our mission to get Ziggy out of the country on Tuesday. Oh, haven’t I told you about our mission? Well I guess it is time. So here goes.

Ziggy is the African Gray parrot you have met before. She lives aboard Kismet with Dean and Beth. You cannot imagine what is involved in taking an endangered species out of the country and back in. Now Ziggy was born in Wisconsin, not stolen from the wild. She has a US passport for goodness sake, yet she is treated like an alien. First to leave the US she has to have a chip implanted to be sure the same bird that leaves comes back in. She has to be checked out of the US by a Wildlife official and her passport stamped. We humans just drove out of the harbor at Oswego. She must check into an approved port for African Grays in Canada and two customs officers and an approved vet must come on board to examine her. All of this at her owners’ expense. And it ain’t cheap. To get out of Canada the reverse it true. She has to be checked out before leaving. We will do this at Sault Ste. Marie in Canada and then cross over the river to the American side where the US Customs and vet come aboard. This is scheduled for Tuesday at 0830 and her owners pay for all this. So we have to make it on time no matter the weather or they will have to wait a week and pay twice. So now you know our mission. Stayed tuned to see if we make it.