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A challenge in documenting your own travel is getting photos of yourself.  On land, you can of course use the time delay feature and position your camera and yourself for a shot.  On the water that’s not so easy.  Drones make those shots available, but drones have not yet been adopted so widely.  I’ve been toying with getting a drone for a while and often wonder when I can’t get the shots possible only with a drone, but I’ve not yet made the purchase of what could take a plunge and be lost.  I know Lake Huron myself as a big lake with not that many safe havens, although I’d love to travel there with a small boat to prove to myself how many interesting havens there might be.

Here’s 36391 in Port Huron, the US port on the north end of the St Clair River, reminding me I’ve got photos for another post from my trip through in September.

Lake St Clair is a great place to encounter traffic, concentrated in the narrow channel through the Lake.  Could that be Oberstar?

And we’re ending this post somewhat abruptly with this shot from Lorain, OH.  Glen and Naomi undertook an ambitious summer voyage, and by the time they got to Lorain, the physical strain was taking a toll;  MLBs were not designed as yachts for long-distance jaunts.  So they made arrangements for winter storage there and hope to continue the voyage from there next summer.

All photos of the feat by Glen and Naomi, who might be heartened by your encouragement.  You can do so either here or on their FB page, which you can find by a FB search for The Point Adams – 36391.

Personally I’d like to offer a Great Lakes-size tip of the hat to Glen and Naomi for restoring the boat, making the trip, documenting it, and agreeing to share their account here.  If they need a support team for part of next summer, I’d step up right now.

I first mentioned this boat here, and included photos taken from it on the Columbia River here.

The following story and photos are a real treat. They come from Glen Cathers, whose retirement projects include restoring the 36′ motor lifeboat you see below.  This article from an October 2016 issue of the Dalles Chronicle tells you all about the boat and a bit about Glen.  But let me sketch out a bit more, especially about his sixth boro connections:  his father was a surfman-1936-1940 at Point Adams, where Glen was born.  Glen spent four years in the USCG, 3 on icebreaker Westwind, and one running a 40′ boat in the sixth boro.  After three years piloting commercial hydrofoils and two more on B&O RR tugboats, he then worked on the Staten Island ferry for 28 years, retiring in 1996.

In 2006, Glen and his wife Naomi bought MLB 36391 and began a six-year restoration process.  And what would you do once you have a perfectly restored motor lifeboat?  Take it on the road . . . er, the waters, of course.  And after a few years on the Columbia River system and over the bar and along the Oregon and Washington coasts, navigating waters these boats were designed for and visiting active USCG stations, he put it on a Duluth-bound flatbed in spring 2018.  So if you saw this unit while driving northern highways back in May, here’s some of the rest of the story.

The truck had just pulled into a marina yard in Duluth.

This was Glen and Naomi’s planned itinerary.

Once ready, the 36391 Point Adams points toward the Aerial Lift Bridge to head toward the Duluth Ship Canal, the way into the west end of Lake Superior.

Here Glen, to the extreme right, poses with the boat and some USCG crew at Station North Superior, near Grand Marais.  Look that up on the map here, if you don’t offhand know the location.

From Grand Marais, they head across a glassy and clear Lake Superior to Bayfield, a trip you want to do when you trust you boat, your skills, your health, and have a good weather window. This blog was in Bayfield just a few weeks before 36391 was there.

Here’s the placid lake as they leave from Ontonagon for Houghton-Hancock.

These rails beside the dock–on an island NW of Marquette–were built to accommodate MLBs like this.

Here’s a disused small boat station near Munising,

jumping-off point for Pictured Rocks.

Besides stopping at USCG stations, Glen and Naomi stopped at public docks to show the restoration off to more folks.  Here there’re showing their restored vessel off at the Soo on the best day of the year, Engineers Day, when the locks are open to the public.

I’m grateful to Glen and Naomi for these photos and this story.   This is post one of three.  Two more to come.  If you do FB, search for The Point Adams – 36391, and get ahead of this blog.

Check out this article by my friend Peter Marsh in the October 2017 Northwest Yachting starting on pp. 78-79, with great watercolor illustrations by Cory Mendenhall.

For another article on Glen and 36391, read this one in Spring 2014 issue of Freshwater News by my Peter, starting on p. 13.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say  MLB 36391 is one of only three  (?)  fully restored vessels of the type.  One is 36340, which accompanied 36391 for some time this past summer and is based at the Michigan Maritime Museum.  The other is 36500, a newer boat but famous for the 1952 Pendleton rescue, acclaimed in book and movie entitled The Finest Hours.  There may be others we don’t know about.

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