We’re making our way in our van, Chip, around Lake Huron. In this episode we leave Manitoulin Island, hopping a ferry to Tobermory. The Bruce Peninsula is stunning — high cliffs topped with colorful plants and Bahamian-like blue water. We park the van on the beach, and sail a Sunfish on Lake Erie.
After some upgrade projects to the van, we’re getting close to returning to the boat in Florida.
Lauren & Kirk
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Start Your Morning with some Sailing Inspiration
Are we even halfway yet?
[Lauren] We’re Lauren and Kirk, and this is Soulianis. We sailed it from Lake Michigan, down the Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico.
[Kirk] It’s the ocean!
[Lauren] And have been living and working aboard ever since. After hauling the boat over hurricane season we moved into our summer home on wheels.
All right boat, take care of yourself.
[Lauren] A van we named Chip. Last time we took you sailing in the North Channel of Lake Huron. It was a pretty epic five days, and if you haven’t seen it, definitely put it on your watch list. After getting back to shore we drove to the southern tip of Manitoulin Island to catch the ferry to Tobermory.
[GPS] In 500 meters you will arrive at your destination.
Uh oh. that was a big boat, eh?
That was a huge boat, eh? That was a really pretty boat.
I don’t need to film you anymore.
[Kirk] I don’t need to film you anymore.
Did you tell everybody why you’re back here.
We missed the boat.
Well not yet.
Not yet. We missed the guarantee of getting on the boat. We’re the first vehicle on stand by. So, I’m really glad I only got the one piece, cause this fish, it’s a whopper.
[Kirk] Did it come with chips?
Oh, yeah it came with chips.
[Lauren] Yeah. What’s the verdict?
This tartar sauce is green and is like pickled. And it is by far the best tartar sauce I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Thank you. We made it.
[Kirk] Thank you sir. Last one’s on. Yeah!
[Lauren] Look at the seagull.
[Kirk] It’s gliding in the slipstream.
[Lauren] It’s like the first thing I notice now on a boat.
[Lauren] Is the line, yeah, how big it is.
[Kirk] Well look at the big cables.
[Kirk] This is Little Tub Harbor, the hub around which pretty much everything happens in Tobermory. As we always do in port towns, we gravitated to the docks to check out the boats. And here we couldn’t believe how crystal clear the water is. Okay let’s do it. Vroooom!
♪ I’m gonna love when we’re old and gray ♪ ♪ When our eyes don’t see very far away ♪ ♪ I’m gonna love you when there’s dishes ♪ ♪ To be done oh scrub, scrub, scrub ♪ ♪ Just to hear you say hi, I’m gonna love ♪ ♪ You with the words on my mouth, ♪ ♪ with the works on my hands, don’t you ever doubt ♪ ♪ I’m gonna love you with soft little kisses ♪ ♪ You’ll be my mister and I’ll be your missus ♪ ♪ I’m gonna grow, grow, grow, I’m gonna ♪ ♪ Love, love, love, I’m gonna grow love ♪ ♪ Grow love, grow love ♪ ♪ We’re gonna grow, grow grow ♪ ♪ We’re gonna love, love, love ♪ ♪ We’re gonna grow love, grow love ♪ ♪ Grow love ♪ Yew!
[Kirk] Hey there, Chip.
I’d hug you but you’re a dirty bird, Chip.
[Kirk] Chip’s a dirty bird.
All right what do we have here. We got hummus. We got carrots. Oh, the blueberries area floating. We got salami. Snap peas. We got cheese. This was our typical lunch on the road. A little of this, a little of that. Ideally whatever hadn’t drowned in the cooler of melted ice.
We’re in the Bruce Peninsula National Park. About to go on a little hike.
About 400 million years ago this area was covered by a shallow tropical sea teaming with life. When the sea started to dry up the minerals in the water became more concentrated. Magnesium was absorbed by the limestone, which turned into a much harder rock called dolomite. After wave action erodes the underlying limestone. These huge dolomite boulders fall into the water.
[Kirk] What do you think?
Found a fun little town. You can drive your car right onto the beach. It’s kind of novel.
Sit in your car and watch the sunset.
[Kirk] It’s like California in the 50s.
[Kirk] We continued on south through Ontario to Point Pelee, our last stop before returning to my parents house in Michigan.
[Lauren] Kirk. Where are you?
I’m on the tip of the tip.
Were on the southern most point of Canada.
Are we though, I don’t think we are.
No, it’s actually right there.
[Kirk] I thought that was Windsor?
No, it says southern most point of Canada.
[Kirk] Does it?
Yeah. Point Pelee.
We will skip the rock.
[Lau ren] Back in Michigan it was time to make Chip a bit more livable.
The van when we bought it came with a wood floor in. and nothing else, that’s it, no windows, nothing. We’ve done a one month road trip so far. ♪ I think I Could stay with you ♪
And this is pretty much how we used the van. We brought some clothes in a Rubbermaid hung our surfboard up on the roof, we laid down some cushions and we’re pretty happy.
[Lauren] This setup of course was temporary. The goal is to eventually build Chip out so we don’t feel like we’re camping every night. But we’re in no rush. Before jumping into upgrades we wanted to spend some time in the van and figure out exactly what we needed. Our long term plan isn’t to live in the van full time, but rather use it as an off-season vehicle. To get around in and provide a roof over our heads while we’re on land.
So the first thing we are going to do is we’re gonna start with the floor. So the previous owners of our van made a pretty darn good template for us. Which is gonna make cutting out all of our floor pieces quite a bit easier. All right now that we’ve got everything off the floor, we’ve got to take out these tie down D-rings.
One, two, three, four.
So that we can get the old plywood out.
If you really want to get back at someone put a bunch of flathead screws in the project they are about to work on. They’re the worst.
We bought this van knowing that the floor was a little bit damaged. The previous owners loaded up a pallet really heavy and rolled it in on a floor jack and the wheels were skinny and narrow and just sank into the floor. But I think we got a great deal on the van and that was the only issue, so.
We are about to put a nice new floor in here. Level it all out and we’re going to be sitting pretty.
I’m going through and scuffing up the floor of the van because we’re going to coat it with an elastomeric roof paint. What we’ve read is that elastomeric roof paint has enough silicone in it and might provide some sound deadening. So we’re gonna put two coats on it. Seal this all up, but also try and give us a little bit of sound deadening.
So, I’m just prepping in the surface and I’m gonna try and lay one coat before it gets too dark. I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
We are in a lumber yard in downtown Ann Arbor, that has every kind of wood imaginable.
It smells like wood.
As you’ve heard we’ve only got pine.
That was fast and easy.
[Lauren] Yeah, it was.
It’s just, you know, a casual Saturday night at Home Depot. Looking all swanky. Where did we come from, love?
We just came from a wedding celebration. And now we are looking for pl 300 formboard adhesive. What color would you want?
[Lauren] I don’t know? We haven’t even figured this out.
[Kirk] Here, no? Maybe we can take these.
[Kirk] After painting the floor we added two layers of insulation followed by a sheet of plywood before laying down the vinyl.
[Kirk] I’m probably putting too much on.
I don’t know? This is the part were going to walk on the most, right here, so I want to make sure it’s glued down pretty well.
It’s fair to say we’re probably about half way through our floor install. Yeah?
[Kirk] I think we’re closer to two thirds.
We got the foam down in between the ribs. We got the solid foam down. Now we’re putting the plywood down. After that is the vinyl.
Ready for the last one? Then we gotta get weight on it.
[Kirk] Looks pretty good. Are the seams moving?
I don’t think so.
I think it’s stuck.
[Kirk] Sweet. That’s what we wanted. So we have insulated floors.
We’re gonna pick up some vinyl today, after I trowel the floors smooth. We’re gonna pick up some wool for the walls and the ceilings.
But we’re not going to install that yet because we don’t have any walls to put up.
Right. And we gotta run some electrical.
And we’re going to do that next year.