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#494284 - 07/31/10 11:21 PM First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it...  
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Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
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MD
I have mentioned that I grew up in rural Maine, close to the coast.
From an early age, I was on boats & lakes every summer.
Big family, many lakes in the area, many boats – most small, 20ft or less.

The first time I saw a real “big boat” for recreation was in 1997.
Bruce Mines, Ontario. Now backing up.... here is the rest of story, if interested.

From ’95 through ’98 we were stationed at Grand Forks AFB.
We meaning: me, wife and first daughter.

While on active duty in ND, I was lucky enough to plan leave around everyone else in the shop for a summer vacation.
I was able to take 30 days leave in 96 & 97.
For our leave (aka vacation), it entailed driving from ND to central NY and then ME.

The quickest, smartest route for ND to NY was above the Great Lakes.
During vacation each of those years, we crossed into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, took Trans Canada 17 and dropped down into NY in the 1000 Islands area.

Not too long after crossing in to Canada that year, my wife woke me up and said we had problems.
(we take turns driving and travel straight through on long trips)
The battery light came on and the volt gauge was dropping slowly.

I don’t know about today, but back then 17 would narrow to two lanes and then open up to four lanes.
This part was pretty desolate and we seemed miles from anything.
As we watched the gauge slowly drop we kept driving w/ no radio, just the headlights and silence.
Just when we were thinking about parking on the side of the road for the night, we came around a corner and saw a few tall service signs.

The very small town we would later find out was name Bruce Mines.
The few businesses in town were in the middle, in a valley to say.
One of those businesses was the single hotel in town.

Obviously, all were closed, but a sign on the hotel porch said “ring bell after hours”.
A very nice grandmotherly type lady came out after the second ring.
In her nightgown and puffing and Export A, she heard our car-trouble story, gave us a key and told us to worry about things tomorrow. This was 2 or 3 in the morning, we were just happy not being stranded on the road.

Part two upcoming, for those interested...


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
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#494291 - 08/01/10 12:17 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
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SNUPY Offline
Admiral
SNUPY  Offline
Admiral

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Northern Ca

LL its been an hour!!.......waiting for part 2!


George
2008 Reinell 220 LSE
Slow like a Pro... Not fast like an A$$



#494294 - 08/01/10 12:55 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: SNUPY]  
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Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
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MD
OK, Snupy...

- Part Two –

After waking up the next morning by the sun, we realized what a beautiful area we were stranded in.
Walking to the hotel lobby, we saw the Great Lakes (part of them anyway).
We also noticed the docks by the hotel and the big boats parked at them.
(more on that)

When asking the same nice lady about an auto parts store in town, she said they didn’t have one.
She must have seen the looks on our faces, because she immediately countered, “but we do have a garage”.
She pointed up the hill to a local mechanic we passed earlier that morning, not even knowing.

The garage did not open for two more hours.
We took care of that time clearing the hotel room and checking out the dock.
What a dock and a beautiful little town on the water...

As we walked the dock, we could not believe the size of the boats.
They were mostly 25 to 45 ftrs from recollection.
A mix of old and new.

One of the bigger & newer ones really caught my eye.
I can still picture the wide stern, the font and I know it was from MI.

Of all the events from the last 12 hours,
I think my wife and I were more caught up looking at these beautiful boats so peacefully docked in the calm water.


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494297 - 08/01/10 01:44 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
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F.J. & Catherine Abaya Offline
www.abayasballroom.com
F.J. & Catherine Abaya  Offline
www.abayasballroom.com
Admiral

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Edmonds, WA.
Part 3 please......



2004 Monterey 208 SI
2003 Four Winns 268 Vista

#494303 - 08/01/10 05:00 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: F.J. & Catherine Abaya]  
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CharlesS Offline
Admiral
CharlesS  Offline
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Bryson City, NC. 28713
Originally Posted By: F.J. & Catherine Abaya
Part 3 please......


Ditto


#494306 - 08/01/10 07:33 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: CharlesS]  
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Sean Offline
Vice Admiral
Sean  Offline
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Posts: 286
Canyon Lake, Texas
Ill be waiting for part 3 too!! I have never been through Canada...I have been through Michigan Upper Peninsula.Very pretty country and also pretty desolate... You must have pass through the U.P. if you crossed the border in Sault Ste. Marie..


1960 Texas Maid "Fiesta"
Canyon Lake Texas

#494313 - 08/01/10 09:16 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Sean]  
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Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
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MD
- Part Three –

When the garage opened, we had our 1991 Explorer parked beside the building as the first customer. (It turned over slow at the hotel – but it did start)
I described my problem knowing quite sure it was the alternator.

The mechanic thought it was the alternator or voltage regulator attached to the alternator.
Regardless, he recommended buying it together (I think he said they could only get it as one piece)

He said he had three suppliers and would call each to see if they had it.
I waited while the first two calls were not successful.
Standing beside him while calling the last place, I heard “You do”.
Warm music to my ears.

I explained that I did not have extra money;
I asked if I could change it out myself in his parking lot.
The gracious gent had no problem with that.
I had my 100+ Craftsman set and my road mix tool box.

While walking out of the place I saw a sign that said “Canadian Currency Only”.

Uh-Oh. I turned around and explained that we had American funds.
He said, “No problem the bank will open soon and they exchange”.

We walked to the two-teller bank and exchanged almost all of our emergency money.
The rate was horrible – but at least we were one step closer to not being stranded.

After exchanging our cash, and hoping and waiting for the new alternator, we headed to the dock again. The sanctity of the water and beautiful view were the best thing about this situation.
I remember it like yesterday.

The conclusion is up next, but anyone following along should not get their hopes up.
It does not involve a boat ride (I guess I could make that part up, but I will be factual)


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494316 - 08/01/10 09:33 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
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Parrott_head Offline
Admiral of Vice
Parrott_head  Offline
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Why does the song, "Anticipation" keep running through my mind?


Former owner of a 2002 Four Winns 234 FunShip
'16 F250 4x4 Oil Burner
"Hey, if I'm a Vice Admiral, which vice do I get to claim?"
#494317 - 08/01/10 09:34 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
Joined: Dec 2005
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Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
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MD
Yes Sean & UP is beautiful - reminds me so much of Maine.
Working on typos and the last part...


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494318 - 08/01/10 10:08 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
Joined: Jan 2003
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Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Grand Poobah

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
The UP is too dang'd cold.

The opinion of a "troll".


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#494319 - 08/01/10 10:18 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Al]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,409
Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
Admiral

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MD
Last part PH smile
Al, Maine is cold as well – and I love it there thumb

- Part Four –

Now just a waiting game to see if his third supplier really had the alternator and it was the right alternator. (we all know how that goes)
Each of his suppliers made one delivery a day – kind of one swing at the plate for us.
After walking from the dock area/park up to the garage every 45 minutes to check, it became silent conversation with the mechanic – just a head shake.

Finally, I saw a little white truck unloading boxes at the garage.
I waited 10 minutes and went to see (hoping).

After a few seconds of twisting and turning the part, I knew it looked the same as my alternator.
I asked if I could take it out and compare it – no problem & the same. Woo Hoo.

I paid (minus the core charge, would give the old one right back) and thanked him for letting me use his parking lot to do the swap.

This next part was a sign that things were going right no matter what.
As I was bent over taking the belt off and removing the alt. bolts and my wife was holding our toddler... along comes a guy walking his dog.

He asked if we were doing OK and needed anything. I gave him the short version us traveling and having car troubles. Turns out he was the pastor at the local church. He told us if we needed anything at all, his church was half a mile up the road (pointing at the road behind the garage). He complimented us on being resourceful and before he walked away he told us if things didn’t work out we would have meals and a place to stay for the night.
We thanked him repeatedly.

The alternator was an easy swap. Again, the Explorer turned over slow, but started.
Both of us watching the volt gauge slowly climb as it idled... well that was just a bit more magical than the backdrop of the big boats at the dock.

We drove up the hill, out of Bruce Mines.
After about a half hour of driving, we looked at each other and I said “Did that really happen – or was it a dream”. Just as it seams today, back then it seemed like some warp in time and place.
That sounds silly and it did happen; I knew for sure because the $200 alternator had a red maple leaf sticker that said “made in Canada”.

My wife and I only hear about Bruce Mines Ontario when we bring it up.

The boating and BABC tie in...
Recently in a PM to someone, I told how an event earlier in life planted a seed for something later. It wasn’t this story, but I do find it so ironic that over a dozen years ago we were staring and dreaming about the same types of boats people have on this site.
We are not there yet and may never be, but we might have something that size someday.
If we do and if by some chance we are on the Great Lakes, any guess where one of our stops will be?

I enjoyed living this again – I hope you liked it to.


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494320 - 08/01/10 10:27 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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SNUPY Offline
Admiral
SNUPY  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 738
Northern Ca

Thanks for the great story!!


George
2008 Reinell 220 LSE
Slow like a Pro... Not fast like an A$$



#494322 - 08/01/10 10:32 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: SNUPY]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,409
Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,409
MD
Your welcome Snup.
A writer I am not - still checking typos rolleyes


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494324 - 08/01/10 10:37 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 738
SNUPY Offline
Admiral
SNUPY  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 738
Northern Ca
Originally Posted By: Lambert Laker
Your welcome Snup.
A writer I am not rolleyes


Me either ...I think faster than I type. I know what I am saying but no one else does!!


George
2008 Reinell 220 LSE
Slow like a Pro... Not fast like an A$$



#494329 - 08/01/10 10:51 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: SNUPY]  
Joined: Jul 2004
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CJS Offline
Admiral
CJS  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 2,404
Lake Geneva, WI
Awesome writeup, LL. That's a great story, very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it.


2017 Yamaha VX Cruiser HO
2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4X4
2016 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4X4
#494332 - 08/01/10 11:04 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: SNUPY]  
Joined: Oct 2009
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FreshWaterLover Offline
Admiral
FreshWaterLover  Offline
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Burbank, IL
Not as long in between, but in a similar situation... every year my husband attends a seminar in Lake Geneva, Wis. He needs the hours to get his license renewed every couple years. Anyway, we stay at what used to be Interlaken Lodge, is now Geneva Ridge. We'd always seen the boats in the lake, and rented runabouts now and then and just loved it. Never really dreamed about specific boats, or anything, just the general want of a boat. In fact, whenever talk turned to any remote possibility of a boat, the idea was a small runabout like those we'd rented (really small, bare bones boats).

Then one time, a few years ago, we were getting our luggage out of the trunk when a rig pulled in to the hotel parking lot and pulled through the pick up area by the lobby. The driver went in, and I just stared at the boat. A big (to me then) cruiser, probably 25 foot, sat on the trailer. I walked up to it and put my hand on it, and smiled back at Bob and said I want to own a boat like this someday.

We both laughed...

Guess the laugh is on us, we do now. haha. Dang, I should have held out for putting my hand on a 55 foot Sea Ray, right GFC? LOL

Last edited by FreshWaterLover; 08/01/10 11:05 AM.

Tami

2013 Ocean Kayak Torque
2013 Bass Tracker Pro Team 175 TF

"The more you learn, the more you have a framework that the knowledge fits into" - Bill Gates
#494334 - 08/01/10 11:11 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: CJS]  
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Budds Outlet Offline
Vice Admiral
Budds Outlet  Offline
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Puget Sound, Washington
Thank you so much LL for the great story and writeup. It was a wonderful read to wake up to this morning. Things like this in life kind of validate the Garth Brooks song "The Dance". Out of adversity come some of life's fondest memories.

Good thing you had your tools along.


1990 Sea Ray 270DA
#494335 - 08/01/10 11:12 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: FreshWaterLover]  
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Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
Admiral

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MD
Originally Posted By: FreshWaterLover
I walked up to it and put my hand on it, and smiled back at Bob and said I want to own a boat like this someday.

We both laughed...
Funny how it works out sometimes huh FWL thumb

Thanks so much CJS and Budds (yes, the essential tools have helped many times)
BTW, the toddler in the story just read it and liked it (even though she has heard the story many times)


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#494338 - 08/01/10 11:31 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Lambert Laker]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Grand Poobah

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
I had to look up Bruce Mines to see where it was. Its in the North Channel - a very nice part of Lake Huron.

A lot of Michigan boaters make that run in the summer. Once you make Mackinac, might as well take in the North Channel too.

Nice story, you Raconteur.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#494344 - 08/01/10 11:55 AM Re: First “big boat” we dreamt of & a story with it... [Re: Al]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,409
Lambert Laker Offline
Admiral
Lambert Laker  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,409
MD
Originally Posted By: Al
Raconteur.
Had to make me work (google) on that one Al wink


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
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