Start: Waukegan, IL
End: Chicago IL
Total Distance: TBD
Average Speed: ???
We really don’t have a schedule and when we try to pretend we have a schedule we are reminded why we don’t.
THE PLAN was to spend Monday in Waukegan to wait out some wicked wind gusts in the morning. And go to Six Flags to wait for some better weather. Then leave on Tuesday to get to Chicago, which we can see on the horizon. That would give us Wednesday to take off the sails and prepare the boat for Thursday–unstep our Mast in southern Chicago.
The first part went well. I woke up early on Monday, took Lucky out for a run through the town and back to annoy the snot out of AJ and Jan until they woke up. Six flags opened at 1030 and I wanted to be there at opening, but I was outvoted big time. Uber showed up at 1100 and we were at the park at 1130. It took us 45 minutes to get into the actual park–turns out Labor day is a day off for EVERYONE–and when we got in, AJ complained he was hungry. So we got three wraps, two bags of chips and one drink for $60!!! Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore…
Rest of the day was fantastic. Lots of roller coasters and we managed to hit most, but not all, of them. We had to build up to the big ones. AJ is not keen on anything that goes upside down. Or doesn’t support your feet. Or is made of metal. So it was a slow progression to get from wooden to metal to spin around, but he made it and by the end of the day we had hit most of the major coasters. Positive reviews for most; our consensus favorite was X-factor, and least favorite was superman. At 6:30 we headed out the park, pulled up the Uber app, got a driver and then watched as she drove away from us (as in the wrong direction). For 10 minutes we watched her get farther and farther away before we cancelled the ride, switched to Lyft and got a ride back to the boat. Cost for the Lyft/Uber was less than the cost of parking!
We got back to the boat and started to make dinner.
A short break to talk about noises on boats.
We have finally gotten used to all the noises on the boat. I can’t speak for the other four members of this crew, but when I first started sleeping on the boat, EVERYTING would wake me up. Waves slapping against the hulls, wind blowing and singing through the rigging, ropes on other boats slapping against their masts, seagulls farting, whatever. It was all new. And the noises of the boat as well. If a door slammed when it wasn’t expected, I was liable to shoot into orbit. But after four months, I sleep like a log until something unusual disturbs our slumber.
Last night we all were getting ready to sit down to dinner after our big day in the park when we heard a sound that sounded like a bird had its wing caught in a mouse trap. A screeching noise that seemed to come from somewhere just outside our boat. It came and went and then died down to a throbbing, cycling hum. We searched all around and then figured out it was coming from our inverter/charger.
There are many important things on this boat, and close to top of the list is the inverter/charger. As advertised, it charges our batteries by taking in power from shore or from the generator and applying to the batteries. If it doesn’t work…no charging, other than from our solar panels, and they won’t cut it! And as wired, we can’t use shore power or generator power unless the inverter is working. So noise of the unusual variety is BAD and needs to be looked at NOW! So we turned off all power to the boat, went on battery power for the night, confirmed the problem when we woke up in the morning and called a Larsen Marine, a local boat shop, who had an electrician who could come take a look at it.
Electrical Dude Tom showed up at 0930 and, wouldn’t you know it, the sounds stopped. The inverter purred like a kitten and refused to act up. Tom had a spare fan with him, opined that the problem was probably with the fan, we concurred and he went to getting it out to replace the fan. A fan was not something (as yet) that I had put in the spare part drawer. Couple of hours later, fan was replaced, inverter was not making any noises and it appears problem is solved.
Rest of the day was spent on boat maintenance. Batteries serviced. Water topped off. Laundry, including sheets. Showers.
So our PLAN got pushed at least a day. It looks like we are good to go to leave tomorrow to get to Chicago and then we will have to jam hard to get the sails down. Then Thursday to Crowley’s boat yard to become a ‘power’ boat. And then spend another couple days in Chicago eating deep dish pizzas and hot dogs and catching a Cubbies game.