Solitude's First Solo Voyage!
Our first solo voyage took us close to home, Lake Mohave. Launching and retrieval went off without a hitch. The boat handle just as we had hoped she would. We had numerous people stop by the dock to admire our new "home on the lake". It is the only one presently in Nevada. We are in no hurry to have anyone else buy one as it is fun to talk to the people that stop by.
Running at full speed on Lake Mohave
With Maureen at the controls and me in the Whaler, we were able to capture this great shot of Solitude running at full speed.
Solitude at the base of Hoover Dam!
If you run north from Willow Beach the lake will finally end at the base of Hoover Dam. Quite a sight to behold.
The journey getting there though can be quite hair raising. Ranger Tugs are not meant to run the rapids however, Solitude proved she was up to the task.
The Beauty of Lake Mohave
Motoring along on Lake Mohave. The canyon you see in the distance is one of the most beautiful on the lake. It lies five miles south of the Willow Beach Launch. While this area of the lake is very pretty, swimming here is out of the question. Even in the heat of summer, the water barely makes it into the 60's. You must go downstream another five miles to find water in the 70's and 80's.
Wild Life in the Desert
One of the many forms of wild life that you encounter on the lakes of the desert. Coyotes are abundant as well as big horn sheep and wild burros!
Big Horn All Around
Lake Shasta, May of 2007
Our second adventure found us on Lake Shasta in Northern California. Yes, I had spent my first night on Solitude parked in a rest area just outside of Lake Shasta three weeks earlier! Lake Shasta has always been a favorite of ours. We have had our sailboat as well as house boated on Lake Shasta. This time it was with our new Solitude. The weather in May is ideal, warm days, cool nights. The fishing is also great at this time of year!
Another Beautiful Anchorage on Lake Shasta
Just another beautiful spot to spend an evening and bottle of wine on Lake Shasta! At this time of year you are just about guaranteed an anchorage to yourself every night. During the day you will see the fisherman but, they head for the marina come early afternoon leaving the lake to you.
Heading under the train trestle
One of the great things about Lake Shasta is there are numerous coves that you need to cross under the train trestles to enter. There is nothing like the sound of a train in the middle of the night.
Here she comes!
Maureen has her fired up and running at full speed on Lake Shasta.
See the Bear?
If you look close, just above the trail is a brown spot. This is a brown bear that we spotted while motoring into Lake Shasta Marina. Brown Bears around the lake are growing in population. Be careful about leaving food out if you tie to shore for the night.
22 years ago, we had our first adventure on Lake Shasta aboard our Catalina 22, the Meghan Melissa. At that time, you rarely saw an eagle overhead. Today, a day will not go by that you don't see at least two to three. For folks in the North West, this may not seem like much. However, this is a big improvement in the Eagle population in California.
Fishing is one of our favorite past times on Lake Shasta. Early to late spring you will find the Large and Small Mouth Bass in the back bays. We like to troll using Rapalla Lures. We have had weeks where between everyone on the boat (as many as 14 on a houseboat) we would catch over two hundred fish! Obviously, we catch and release....
Our last day on the lake found us heading for Bridge Bay Marina just as the sun was beginning to rise. This time of day on any body of water is the best. The peace, tranquility, and solitude make it all worth getting up early!
Mo's favorite spot!
Our favorite time of the day is sitting on the back porch enjoying a hot cup of coffee as the sun rises over the hills.
One of our favorite spots is Lake Mead. With its numerous coves and anchorages, it is always possible to find a place to yourself. Be prepared though, winds can come from nowhere gusting to over 50 MPH. These micro bursts will come with no warning. Ample anchors and shore lines will guarantee that you stay where you want too!
Another Quiet Anchorage to Ourselves
Its not difficult to find a spot of your own!
The great thing about hiking in the desert is when you get to the top of a mountain or hill, you can see for miles as there are no trees to block the view. That little white dot at the end of the cove is Solitude.
Boulder Basin is the basin closest to Las Vegas. For that reason, you will find it the busiest. In summer months, we chose to go to Virgin or Temple Basin. While they are an easy one hour cruise, most people tend to avoid going "that far".
This is what is all about....... Solitude at its finest!
Solitude approaches the "Narrows". This canyon seperates Boulder Basin from the rest of the "basins" of the lake.
Wet and Wild!
Winter low pressure systems can bring strong winds to the lake. Four to five foot chop is not that uncommon! The boat can handle it better than the crew. It will tire you before it tires the boat. This picture was taken on Virgin Basin. We were taking water over the top of the boat!
The top side of Hoover Dam as seen from Lake Mead
To see the bottom side, go to Lake Mohave above.
Lake Mead 1/24 and 1/25
The weather on Lake Mead this weekend was incredible. It started out blowing 15 to 20 knots with gusts to 30. Boulder Basin was a sea of white caps. Once we got into the narrows though, the picture tells it all. The temperature climbed to 71 degrees! Shorts weather by most standards. Once anchored, we spotted two bald eagles. This is the first year that we have seen bald eagles at Mead. We had heard they were there, we had just never seen them. Again this weekend we saw no bighorn sheep. This is the third trip out that we have not seen a single big horn. Fishing remains poor. Numerous fish show up on the fish finder, just none on the hooks! Oh well, still beats work!
Summer of 2009
Lake Mohave on the other hand has some great areas for boating. In some areas, the water is too cool for swimming as you will be too close to the base of Hoover Dam.
This past weekend (August 8th and 9th) we launched Solitude for the first time down at Cottonwood Cove. What a great place! We have used this ramp numerous times to launch our 13 foot whaler but this was a first for Solitude.
Parking at this location is very easy and close.
We spent the night in a great little cove that provided shade at 4:00pm. Something you want most years in August. However, we have been experiencing a very mild summer this year and last weekend was no exception. The day time highs were in the mid 90's with the temperature dropping to the low 70's overnight! We were able to sleep with the windows open in August!