skip to Main Content
2017 Ranger Tugs Charlevoix Rendezvous

Own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat? Add to Your Cruising Calendar!

Come One, Come All! Own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat? 2018 Great Lakes Area Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats Summer Rendezvous Orillia, Ontario – Canada on the Trent Severn Waterway Tentative Dates:  August 17 – 19th – Since 2014, the Great Lakes Area Rendezvous has moved to different areas on, or near, the Great Lakes. This way, we can explore different ports. Last year's event was held on Round Lake in Charlevoix, Michigan. This years planned rendezvous will be held in the beautiful Trent Severn Waterway. A must see boating destination for any serious cruiser. Check Out Last Year's Event... We know it’s not just around the corner, but what better time than now to start planning a 2018 cruising itinerary. For Tugnuts and Tugettes, who are shoveling or snowplowing driveways, summer can’t come soon enough. Winter seems the best time to organize trip details and dream of parts unknown. Please take a moment to think about the…

Read More
Boaterhoming Cross Country

Kismet is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Boaterhoming Cross Country – Time to head home! – Our 2016 boating trip in the Pacific Northwest came to an end. What an adventure it was! We will be boaterhoming cross country, back to our home state of Michigan. A slight delay on the first day of our road trip! After we dropped our grandson off at his parent's house, we started the trek home. Within minutes we were on I84 heading east along the Columbia River. If you notice in the photo (above), we are stopped on the shoulder of the highway. Unfortunately we blew a tire on the trailer and had to have a tow service meet us on this busy road to change the tire. Not a fun experience with all that traffic zipping by. Immediately after, we had to drive to the nearest tire store to get a new tire. This whole process delayed the start of our trip east by several hours, but this stuff…

Read More
Port McNeill

Port McNeill for Provisioning – Vancouver Island, BC

Port McNeill – Back to Civilization for a Brief Moment Port McNeill, located on Vancouver Island's northeast shore on Queen Charlotte Strait, is a gateway to the remote spaces of the Broughton Archipelago. An old base camp for loggers and named after Captain William Henry McNeill (Hudson Bay Company), Port McNeill was settled back in 1936. We were in need of many things... phone service, wifi, water, groceries, post office and drug store. Before we could go back out into the wild, we needed to take care of some business. Port McNeill is a very walkable town, we found everything we needed within a short distance of the marina. We stocked up on food at the local grocery store and were surprised that even Port McNeill, on Vancouver Island, has a hard time getting supplies. Lisa had wanted to buy chicken and couldn't find any, a worker in the meat department said the chicken only came on certain days of the week,…

Read More

Clearing Customs – a Link to a Childhood Friend

We Had a Little Surprise as We Were Clearing Customs After a uneventful cruise across Strait of Juan De Fuca to Port Townsend from Victoria, we pulled up to the Custom's dock at Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina. Earlier in the morning Jim had called the Customs Office near Port Townsend, this is the protocol for checking back into the United States for clearing customs, specifically Port Townsend, after being in Canada. We don't normally call ahead of time before we arrive, however Port Townsend does not have an office right there, so we had to call to give a heads up to the Customs Officer so that he could plan to meet us there later. The surprise came shortly after we made the arrival phone call. We didn't have to wait very long before the officer parked near the dock and walked down to our boat. As I came out of the boat to greet him, I happened to notice his hame…

Read More

Goodbye Victoria – Parting Shots

It Was Hard Saying "Goodbye Victoria" –  Near the end of our stay in Victoria, we walked downtown with friends Mark and Jodi, on Ranger Tug Irish Mist, for dinner and a nighttime walk. The lights in Victoria at night are spectacular, especially the Parliament building outlined with white lights. It’s a small harbor, but there is a lot happening in that beautiful space, especially at night. Lights from small boats in the downtown marina, old pedestal style streetlamps and people walking everywhere. This is a people town with a romantic air to it. I have to say that staying in Victoria's Inner Harbour was really quite different than most other cities we have docked at.  

Read More

Pink Dinghy at Coast Hotel and Marina

Why Would You Want a Pink Dinghy? – We love the marina life in Victoria, BC. Not long after we arrived at Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina, we noticed that we rarely saw the other boaters wintering at this marina in their small boats, but when we got a really nice, warm, sunny day, everybody was outside on the docks either visiting or working on boat projects. On one of those days, I met Paul, a sailor who was on the dock with a table saw making a dodger for his sailboat. I was admiring his old wood pink dinghy (photo below) and remarked that I didn’t think I’d ever seen a pink dinghy before. Apparently his thinking is that most dinghy robbers are men and no man would want a pink wood dinghy. I like your thinking, Paul!  

Read More

Walking Victoria’s Inner Harbour – British Columbia

Victoria's Inner Harbour Kept Us Busy Walking Our month docked in Victoria was somewhat cold and rainy, but as spring arrived we found more sunny days with all the greenery producing flowers and fresh scents. We spent most of our time in Victoria's Inner Harbour walking to an from downtown along a path that spans the waterfront or through the neighborhood streets. I will never forget our time spent in Victoria, B.C.                 

Read More

Fishermans Wharf Victoria BC, Canada

Fishermans Wharf Victoria, BC Has a Colorful History Within close proximity to Victoria's Inner Harbour, just a short block away from our marina at Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel, sits Fisherman's Wharf Victoria. This little live aboard, float community, is a visual delight with the many houseboats there painted in vibrant colors and creatively decorated. We are visiting Victoria off season, so the many shops, restaurants, fishing boats and tour boats, that are based there, were closed. We still enjoyed walking around the docks while checking out the often humorous decor. This diverse and eccentric community has a very colorful history. No transient moorage is available here. "All float homes have access to potable water and 30 amp power. GVHA provides sewage hookups to prevent the discharge of black water. This is in keeping with federal law and helps preserve the surrounding marine environment. The owners live in their homes, steps from the commercial plaza and popular tourist location. There are no absentee owners and float…

Read More

Parliament Tour – Victoria, British Columbia

Just a Short Walk to the Parliament Building British Columbia's Parliament buildings are located just up from Victoria's Inner Harbour. Located on 12.5 acres the building, built in 1898, is in close proximity to Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina (where Kismet is docked for the month of February). Even though I forgot to take my license, we were still allowed to enter security when we arrived at the Parliament Building for lunch and a tour. Not a lot of activity on that day, the Legislative Assembly was not in session. Other days there were crowds of peaceful protestors outside when we walked by. Even more beautiful at night the whole building is outlined with strings of white lightbulbs. We were told that during the Christmas holiday, the lights shone green and red. Downtown Victoria is just a hub of activity. Next to the Parliament is the Royal British Columbia Museum and an iMAX theatre. The museum houses British Columbia's natural and human history as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. Never a…

Read More

John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo

Since 1993, Victoria has been home to John Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo John Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo was put on display at the Royal British Columbia Museum during our stay in Victoria. You are probably wondering how this relates to boating, however if we had not been visiting Victoria by boat, spending a month exploring this beautiful city, we would not have had the opportunity to view this beauty. One of the interesting things about staying at a marina, located within a short walk from downtown, for a month is the interesting events, museums, shopping, culture, restaurants, etc. available. Not sure when we will ever see another limo painted this colorful again. Inspired by John's gypsy caravan, located in his garden, it's the scrolly painting on the bright yellow background that make this limo really stand out. John Lennon's 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limo  

Read More
Change, Jim And Lisa Favors Kismet

“Change is the Only Constant in Life” – Heraclitus

Change is Good! The phrase, "Change is the only constant in life,” was written by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus of Ephesos (around 500 BC). I’m sure when he wrote these now famous words he was not thinking about the cruising travel plans of Kismet (a Turkish word that stands for "fate" or "meant to be"). Lisa and I have have made a complete overhaul of our 2015/2016 fall and winter cruising plans, it must be "kismet." Our original plans, of cruising the Rideua Canal this fall, then heading to Florida for the winter, have changed dramatically. We’ve decided to trailer Kismet west, across country. We want to spend time with our grandson and family in Portland Oregon. Our tug will be moored in Portland, on the Columbia River. After the new year we’ll trailer Kismet further north to the Puget Sound area for some wintertime cruising in Washington State's San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we've already reserved a slip in Victoria for one month. It…

Read More
New River View, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Rendezvous with Ranger Tug “Pour House”

Fort Lauderdale has it all. On our way for a week's stay in Fort Lauderdale. This Florida boating destination has it all... lots of canals to explore, a beautiful beach to walk on the ocean, shopping on Las Olas Avenue, a beautiful River Walk for leisurely strolls along New River and  now we can add one more thing to our ongoing Fort Lauderdale list... the warm and welcoming home of Carolyn and Harry House, (homeport for their Ranger Tug, PourHouse). We left our anchorage at Lake Sylvia to secure our reserved dock space at Cooleys Landing, on the New River at the head of the River Walk. One of our favorite marinas in Florida. We took our time cruising there as it was a beautiful day and, as you can see, lots of nice scenery on our route. One of the main reasons we love to stay at Cooleys is we are easily entertained by the parade of mega yachts that slide by our cockpit all…

Read More
Boaterhoming Homosassa Springs

Spaghetti Dinner and Poker Night – Homosassa Springs, Florida

Boaterhoming Homosassa Springs – Florida Nature's Camp Grounds provided a "Old Florida" experience and spot to ready the boat for launching in Tarpon Springs. We used the laundry facilities and enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and poker in the activities room at the campground. We liked the spaghetti, but really stunk at the poker game. Boaterhoming while traveling to cruising destinations has become one of our favorite activities, second to boating of course. Being able to use our boat as an RV while on the road has opened up a whole new world to us. The boat is very comfortable for living and sleeping while on the trailer. We cannot hook up to waste hookups but we can hook up water and electricity. We cannot use our air/heat unit while on the trailer, but we have a small electric heater which is perfect and warms the boat up quickly on chilly mornings. We usually use the shower facilities at the RV resorts we stay at,…

Read More
Kismet's Captain Jim Chart Review

Preparing, Packing and Planning for Our Trip West

Planning for the trip west! After spending this past winter holed up at home in northern Michigan remodeling our kitchen, we feel we're more than ready for some new cruising adventure. We are preparing, planning and packing to head west soon to begin another fun boating season. First we'll visit the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Northeast Utah/Southern Wyoming. Then we'll continue on to Puget Sound in Washington State, there we'll put in at Anacortes and cruise north into Canada's Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and more. Check back often, the fun is soon to start.

Read More

Time To Disembark at Grand Harbor Resort Marina

End of the line, Grand Harbor Resort Marina. After being on the hook a lot lately, a visit to Grand Harbor Resort Marina, located where the Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama borders come together (we're officially down south at this point), hit the spot. It has all the amenities a long-distance boater appreciates including a well stocked ship's store, an elegant boater's lounge, laundry facilities located right on the dock where you can sit by the water as you wash and dry your clothes, they also have several loaner vehicles and they almost beg you to use one to explore the nearby towns. But first we had to go through the Pickwick Landing Lock and Dam to get to Grand Harbor. We left early in the morning due to weather reports of high winds, we wanted to get through the lock before they picked up much. Good call because we had an uneventful lock-through. The marina at Grand Harbor provided us…

Read More
Ranger Tugs Kismet, Little Current, North Channel

A Little “Downtime” in Little Current

Little Current – The Biggest Little City in the North Channel! A trip to the North Channel wouldn't be complete without a stop in Little Current, the biggest little city in the North Channel. It's true that Little Current is not only the largest city in the North Channel, but has everything a cruiser might need with gift shops, parks, restaurants, grocery stores, all within walking distance of the marinas. Little Current is also home to the North Channel's Cruisers Net, which is somewhat similar to the net we encountered during our trips to the Abaco Islands. We had a great time in Baie Fine and Marianne Cover, but time to move on. Leaving Baie Fine, heading to Little Current, the channel (above) hugs this cliff fairly closely. I remembered this from our previous trips. A little nervwracking to cruise so close to that rock wall. Little Current, a favorite marina stop for cruisers, is where we halted our exploration…

Read More
Fort Myers Beach

Playing Around in Fort Myers Beach

Time to play around a little and enjoy the beach, located just a short walk from the marina and through the little beach town. The sand on Fort Myers Beach is so fine, clean and white and it provided a fun way for the crew on Kismet to get some much needed exercise.

Read More
Gig Harbor, Washington

Gig Harbor Encounters – Washington State

    Our son, Ross, who lives in Portland, OR, joined us for a few days. We explored Gig Harbor together, he helped us get to the store to stock up on groceries and we played a few games of Liverpool. Kismet, sitting pretty in Gig Harbor Captain Ross!             Christopher, (above-left) brother to Sarah, our soon to be daughter-in-law (fiancé to son Skyler), lives nearby, just south of Seattle so he made a special trip to Gig Harbor to have lunch with us on Sunday. It was really nice to spend some time with Christopher and get to know him a little better before the wedding next summer. We also had an opportunity to meet the Vince and Mary Ann on Sweet Spot and Cindy and Gerry on C-Gnome, during our last day at Arrabelle Marina.

Read More
Ranger Tugs Factory Red Hull

Light at the End of the Tunnel

As I write this blog, our dream of becoming owners of a Ranger Tugs R27 is only weeks away. The transition from being live aboards for five years to joining the trailerable trawler world has taken 1.5 years so we’re very anxious and excited to be getting back on the water. As you can see from the photos, our new boat's hull is fire engine red, a mighty fine looking color I might add, one Lisa's wanted for a long time. We'll begin our road trip west to take delivery of Kismet in late August, in Kent, Washington. We’re looking forward to writing about our new boating adventures on this blog once we take possession of our shiny new R27 however in the meantime we'll post a few construction photos.

Read More

Heading South

Ok! Ok! Ok!  So enough of this winter snow and cold weather. After several years cruising down south on our boat during the winter, enjoying the warm southern climates, we were actually looking forward to spending our first winter in our hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a blast – but, It’s been nine months now, enough time to have had a baby. We haven’t spent any quality time in and or around boats (not counting the sale and delivery of Kismet) since we moved home. Sure, last summer, we walked the docks, had drinks on friends boats, even gone on a dinghy ride or two but that was all just a big tease, just enough to wet our appetite for the pastime we really enjoy most – boating. A few months ago our friend Rick asked if we would be interested in moving his trawler, Wishing Star, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida down to Key…

Read More

Time for a Change

Why? More Flexibility! When we look back at our on our years together we fondly remember how we discovered that one of our mutual passions was boating. It all started with a 20-foot Four Winns runabout. We used that runabout, as a family boat, to water ski, to overnight on (under the stars many times – very romantic) and trailer places a little farther from home. We hauled that little boat all over our little corner of northwest Michigan, and surrounding areas, exploring the many lakes we’re so blessed with in the Great Lakes state. We found that we could easily tow it to a spot on the Great Lakes, or any of the inland lakes, plunk it in the water – all in a matter of minutes. I guess we were always in the moment as it related to boating and we never thought too much about a larger boat until one day Jim started to think about buying…

Read More
Back To Top