Summer 2007 Log
FRIDAY, JUNE 15th



Hi Everyone!!

What a magnificent day the Lord has given us….sunny and a very smooth lake.  Fishermen are everywhere!

We left our “slip” at 8:35 a.m. and are clearing the pier head at 8:44.  Bruce and Leann were about ready to leave their dock as we left ours, so they are behind us.  The babies slept well last night, so we are off to a good start!

Jim is fiddling with his “auto pilot” while we wait for Bruce to join us on the lake.  It has decided it doesn’t want to work this morning.  One of those small challenges that will “bug” Jim until he gets it working again!

Alex and Austin are still down below sleeping….some things never change, right?  After all, it’s not even 9:00 yet!   :o)  We all slept aboard the boats last night which makes it easier to get going the next morning.

Steven had some kind of activity regarding basketball this a.m.  Last get-together for a while, I guess, so he will ride up with his parents in the motor home later today.  He WAS disappointed he couldn’t  ride with us on the boat, his brother told me.

We now see the Bertram out on the lake….it won’t take them long to catch up with us as we have been running slow….it feels just great to be back on the boat, running again!!

Side Note:  Our auto pilot has decided to start working….as soon as we picked up speed (Bruce is with us now) it started working.  I don’t think it liked going at sailboat speed!  :o)

We just passed the So. Haven Pier at 10:04.  Our two boats are running beautifully…..a little hazy today, but what a perfect day to be out here in this “flat” water.  We are running 18-19 knots, which is around 20-21 MPH, which is very good.

Bruce brought his boat over close to ours so that we could wave to the children….Nikki always waves and throws kisses while the twins wave in their own 8-month way.  They must have awakened from their morning naps.

We just passed the Saugatuck Pier & it’s around 11:00 a.m.  The Holland Pier is just a few miles ahead of us, while Port Sheldon is right ahead of us; however, they discourage boaters from coming in, for whatever reason.  So Port Sheldon is a port always bypassed by boaters.  We just passed the Holland Pier at 11:17.

It is such a pleasure being out here today…it’s a little cool running, but the sun is shining and the lake is still like glass.  We no longer see fishermen….maybe they fish early and go back home to clean what they have caught.

We passed Grand Haven at 12:12 & Muskegon at 12:46.  One of the things I like about traveling this side of the big lake is:  there are a lot of nice marinas, plus most are not that far apart, which is nice in case you need to “get in off the lake” because of storms and/or  rough seas.

Alex and Austin helped me fix lunch, amid a lot of laughter….these two are a lot of fun and have so much energy…..we have been truly blessed with six fantastic grandchildren!

We passed by Whitehall (White Lake) at 1:17 p.m…..we continue to click the miles off!

After finishing the lunch clean-up, I came back up to the bridge only to see Alex and Austin sunning themselves, totally relaxed - Austin laying in our dinghy.  See the picture of them - that one was taken without them knowing it.

We are coming up to Little Sable Point Lighthouse at 2:14.…..here is where the land comes out so far into the lake, you are actually like in the middle of it.  This is also the dividing line between the southern half and the northern half of Lake Michigan!!  The further north we go, the prettier the water and scenery is.

We should be in Pentwater, our destination for the weekend, in approximately 30 minutes…it is now 2:21.  When  we arrive, both boats will take on fuel before going to our “slips”.

We have arrived and are going through the Pentwater pier head at 2:45 heading for the fuel dock at 2:54.  Keith, Jill and Steven should arrive around 7:00 p.m.

A perfect day - perfect water!  We have run 106 Nautical Miles today!


SATURDAY, JUNE 16th

Keith and family did arrive around 7:00 last night and we went for dinner with them.  Bruce and family, because of the babies, had already eaten earlier. 

We woke up to a cloudy sky, but warm.  Both Alex and Austin were anxious to go tubing in Pentwater Lake, an inland lake here, so grandpa got both the tube and the dinghy ready and off they went.  Later, Steven and Nikki wanted to try it, so they went on the tube - individually - except that Austin went with each of them.  Unlike when Jim takes Alex and Austin, he pulled the “little ones” slowly.  We have a rule that anyone who tubes, big or little, must wear a life jacket!!  They both thought it was pretty cool!

Both Jill and Leann contributed towards making lunch for everyone, and later I fixed dinner for the bunch!  It was another beautiful day!!


SUNDAY, JUNE 17th

Happy Fathers’ Day to all you dads out there.  It is another beautiful and very hot day.  I do believe summer has arrived!  Jill made breakfast for us all and, after that, all three dads opened their Fathers’ Day gifts, plus Keith opened belated birthday gifts.  Alex woke up sick this morning, so she is taking it rather easy today.

Both dinghys went out on the lake and to the beach…..I volunteered to stay back on the boat and babysit the twins….Alex was feeling a little better, at that point, so she also went along.  In the meantime, Keith and Jill were cruising around in their jeep looking at RV Parks in the area (this time they stayed at the marina) & also stopped at an Open House for some brand new condos on the main street in town….bottom floor will be shops when finished, and above those are two floors of condos. 

Once everyone returned, Alex and Austin  packed up their things, getting ready to go back home, via the folks’ motor home.  Keith and Jill, we sure enjoyed having you and your family with us over the weekend.  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we all did!!!!

Later on, I decided I would go ahead and wash sheets and towels…….My grandchildren tease me and call me Mrs. Clean!!!!  :o)   By the way, Steven, you left your beach towel, but I will hang on to it and bring it home to you , okay?  Also, Alex, I found the beach towel we thought had blown into the water…it was up on the bridge, where you and Austin were jumping from.


MONDAY, JUNE 18th

Today is warm, but cloudy and windy!  We had not planned on going anywhere today anyway.  Instead, I was in a cleaning mood, so I just took my time and cleaned up the whole inside of the boat, plus did all the laundry that we had.  Boy, was I ever tired by last night!!!  All day we had predictions of a bad storm coming and, as the day went on, the wind got stronger and stronger.  Both Jim and Bruce tied more lines on the boats,  to be on the safe side.  Well, late last night we did get some rain, but think the worst of it went on by us. 


TUESDAY, JUNE 19th

Would you believe I slept in until 9:15 this morning???  My usual time for rising is 7:00 a.m.  I guess I did get carried away yesterday with all my cleaning!!!  The sun was shining brightly, but there has been a cool breeze all day - the winds yesterday brought in a cool front. 

Leann took advantage of today by doing her laundry, and today I took it easy! 

I’m not sure when we will leave Pentwater….we will probably decide in the morning whether we go or we stay another day.

Sorry my first few logs are getting out so late to everybody…..I will try to do better from now on!!!  While I type this, Jim is trying to download a few of our first pictures.  So, don’t forget to click on “Pictures” also!


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20th

We cleared the Pentwater Pier at 9:55 a.m.  Right now we are both running slowly as I’m sure Leann is tending to the babies.

Okay, and here we go!  It’s sunny and cool right now…the lake is very nice.

Depending on the water, we will go either to Frankfort today or, if the water continues to be nice, we will go on further to Northport..  We will make that decision later!

I neglected to tell you anything about Pentwater, except that it’s one of our favorite places to stay.  Pentwater Lake (the inland lake on which our grandchildren went tubing) is a very pretty lake, surrounded with nice homes all the way around it.  It is well protected, about 2 miles long and 0.5 miles wide, with depths of 25-50’….no commercial traffic here, but heavy with pleasure boats.  There is good anchorage available further down the lake.

Note:  We just passed Ludington Harbor at 10:30 (another neat port).  I may comment on this on our way back south.

Back to Pentwater…there is a municipal dock (where we used to stay 100 years ago)  :o)  and also the Yacht Club where you can tie up during the week only; however, it offers only minimal services to cruisers.  So we pass by both of those facilities and go into “Snug Harbor”, a privately owned marina.  The owner and all of his crew make you feel very welcome and will do their utmost to accommodate you and make your stay a pleasant one!  This is a full-service marina and has nice restroom facilities plus a nice, big Laundromat on the premises.  Across the street is a very nice grocery store.  The walk up town is a short one with a lot of shops and restaurants.

We just passed Big Point Sable Lighthouse….it is 10:55.

We have a few small “white caps” forming behind us….nothing big though.  The sun shining down on the water makes it appear like the water is spar;kling!  We are moving right along at 19.8-20 knots…good cruising speed!




We are passing by Manistee at 11:30.…this is the first port north of  Big Point Sable.  We don’t normally stop here, I guess because it is mostly a harbor where they have many, many fishing tournaments, and very few slips for others.  However, they have done some nice things alongside the river front.  The marina area is beautifully landscaped, and the city has built a very nice board walkway along the water.  The town itself is quite old and small, but pleasant.

It is now 12:46 p.m. and we have just passed Frankfort…..another port we really like, but I’ll talk about it on our return trip down the lake.

Bruce and Leann are on more of a time schedule than we are, so they would like to continue going, at least to Northport today, and that’s fine with us. 

At 12:57 we have gone around Point Betsie….all of these various points of land jut way out into the lake.

After going past Frankfort, we have entered what they call the “Manitou Passage”….it can be beautiful through here, and it can be treacherous at times, weather-wise.

The sea has been building…we now have more white caps out here….the good part is, they are behind us instead of “on our nose”, which makes for an easier ride.

To our right, we are coming up on “Sleeping Bear Dune”….a beautiful, huge sand dune that would delight any photographer!  The top of “Sleeping Bear” is 1,044’ above sea level and 465’above Lake Michigan.

On our left up ahead is the South Manitou Island.  After a century as a busy cord-wood cutting and farming community, South Manitou has returned to its pristine beauty as a favored attraction of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  With its quiet natural setting, it makes an ideal stop for boaters who wish to escape the busy harbors nearby….however, the stop is short-lived as the boaters are limited to only 20 minutes, since there are no services like food or beverages.  There is limited camping but no pets allowed.  There is ferry service available to and from Leland.  No thank you, I prefer camping right here on our little ‘ol Nauti Gal!!

Side Note:  A Liberian freighter “Francisco Morazan” went aground on the south end of the South Manitou in 1960, and sits upright in 8’ of water.  It is a broken, rusted hulk, is very dangerous to board, and contains nothing of value.  We have ridden up to it with our kids and grandkids more than once.

North Manitou Island is the larger of the two islands and is also a part of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park, but it is little visited.  The island is about 7 miles long, north to south, and about 3 miles wide.

The island has seen the hey-day of the lumber industry, has known farming, and has been an escape for summer residents seeking solitude.  Today, little remains of these activities.  You will see many old buildings dating from the logging and farming days.  Many are very decrepit and dangerous to enter.  Open fields, old orchards, and stumps speak of by-gone days.  There are trails throughout the island - weed covered two track roads from an earlier era that have been allowed to return to nature.

The population of the two islands….only Park Rangers and, on South Manitou, a few campers.

We went by Leland, which is a popular place for boaters to stop; however, we never go there anymore, for two reasons:  (1)  it is usually full and (2) you can really “rock and roll” in there when the wind starts blowing.  Even so, Leland is a delightful small tourist town with many fine shops and several good restaurants, which draws people there. 

Many, many years ago we went into Leland with Bob and Jean Urick on their 23’ cruiser, when Leland was basically a very small fishing port where fresh fish was caught, smoked and sold.  It was laid out differently then and was very tiny - so tiny that we weren’t sure if we could get that big 23’ boat turned around!  Leland was and is a charming and unique town and harbor.

For those of you who love history, I gave you quite a bit today, right??  For those of you who don’t like history at all, I apologize.    :o(

We arrived in Northport at 4:00 - a six hour run - and once we were fueled and settled into our slips, it started storming.  At least we were in when the sky opened up rather than in the middle of Lake Michigan!

Forecast for tomorrow…..widely scattered showers and a smooth lake.  We will wait and see….if it’s all okay, we will head to Harbor Springs! 


THURSDAY, JUNE 21st

Good Morning!

It is almost 10:30 a.m. and we are getting ready to leave Northport for Harbor Springs, a 2 hour trip.  We hope the lake has calmed down since the heavy rain we had last night.  It is supposed to calm down this morning from 2’-4’ waves to 1’-3’ waves, so we are going to try it.

Well, not the smoothest lake today, but we’re doing fine.  The worst part of it is, the waves are hitting us broadside, which is the most uncomfortable motion for most people.

We just passed the Charlevoix Harbor….it is 11:16.  Charlevoix is the center of a major resort area for northern Michigan.  We have not stopped there, by boat, in a very long time as it is normally packed with boats.  We understand this year Charlevoix is re-doing their boat docks, which were very old, so I don’t know if anyone is staying here this summer.

We arrived at Harbor Springs at 12:41 and got right in, which is really unusual.  I am not sure if it’s because we are cruising earlier than usual this year, or if it’s because of fuel prices, but none of these marinas are as busy as usual

Harbor Springs is Bruce and Leann’s final destination before they head south again, and they love it here. 

Bruce just got a call from a friend (& future neighbor) this afternoon.  They are cruising too and will be in here tomorrow morning.  He and his wife have a baby girl born shortly before the twins, and also have another daughter one year older than Nikki….the two girls play soccer together.  Hopefully these two families can cruise back home together, when the time comes.

Harbor Springs is a favorite spot to come to for us and many others.  The town is close with many shops and restaurants.  The marina is very nice too.

Harbor Springs is situated on one of the finest natural harbors on Lake Michigan, along the north shore of Little Traverse Bay.  It offers security in almost any weather.  The water is deep and very clean and clear.  In the deepest water, you can still see the bottom.

It will soon be 8:00 p.m., and we are all back on our boats after a dinner out.  Bruce and Leann are trying to get their three down for the night, I’m sure.

We will all spend some time here before we feel the urge to move on with our travels.





TUESDAY, JUNE 26th


Hi, no we haven’t forgotten anyone!  We are still in Harbor Springs, a spot we really do enjoy, but because we are just taking a break here, there hasn’t been that much to report!

When we first arrived in Harbor Springs, it was quite cool; however, the last two days have been hot and humid….almost too hot!  Complain, complain!!!  We keep hearing that a cold/cool front is on its way, and then we can complain about that too!  :o)

Bruce and Leann’s friends from St. Joe are still with us, which has been wonderful for Nikki and their little girl….everyday they have played.  Depending upon the weather, Bruce could leave us as early as Thursday, or they may stay until Saturday, when their friends also head back home.

Wally & Brenda Johnson, boating friends who keep their boat at Pier 1000, and live in So. Bend, In., arrived here around 2:00 p.m. today.  They plan on attending the Great Lakes Cruising Club Rendezvous at Lake Superior also, so we can cruise up there together.

A few minutes ago Bruce and Leann took the kids out to the “point” in our dinghy, mainly to see how the twins like the water…..they laughingly told us they probably wouldn’t be gone long (if the babies did NOT like the water)!!   If they get some good pictures, we’ll put them on our website!!!

Later…… Baby Evan loved the water!!  Dylan got water up his nose, so he’s not too sure.  All three children had life jackets on, plus the babies also had water rings they were sitting in, when a boat went by & a wave hit Dylan wrong….that’s when those big blue eyes got even bigger!!!  Anyway, all three children came back to the boat very tired and hungry!!

That’s all for today…..I’ll write more later, okay?

FRIDAY, JUNE 29th

Bruce and family, Wally and Brenda Johnson, and we, left our docks at Harbor Springs at 9:35 a.m. this morning, Bruce starting his return trip home.  The rest of us are heading further north.  We plan to stay at St. Ignace a couple of days before moving on.  Bruce & Leann’s friends…..I should say Chris & his parents….left this morning around 5:00-5:30 heading for St. Joe (all in one day!)  Chris’ wife, Lisa, & their two children drove home last night from Harbor Springs. 

It is a clear, sunny day and the water is very good, but we’re hoping the sun warms things up as we go.  We will have a short run up to the straits today….approximately three hours.

It appears we have a small oil leak into the cooling system of our starboard engine!  The boat is running beautifully, but this leak is of some concern, and we hope it is just a “small” problem.  We will have it checked out when we reach our destination today.  The Shepler Ferry Line runs back and forth between Mackinaw City/Island and also St. Ignace; thus, what better place to have this problem than here, as these ferries all have Detroit Diesels in them….the same engines we have!  As soon as we know what is going on, we will pass it on to you!!

Bruce and Leann, we miss you and the kids already.  We sure had a lot of fun together, didn’t we?  That two weeks just flew by!!!

While in Harbor Springs, we saw our friends the Cooks, Joann Prince and Bob and Joann Palmer…all live in the area.  It’s always a “treat” to spend time with them.  I wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy their company.

It is 11:04 and we are starting into what is called “Gray’s Reef Passage”.  We can see the Mackinaw Bridge a ways ahead of us….what a magnificent sight!!  We have never been “over” the bridge, but have gone “under” it numerous times and it is always exciting!  We have a few “white caps” behind us now but that is not unusual going through the Straits of Mackinaw (on Lake Huron).

We are now passing under Mackinaw Bridge….it is 12:02!

We arrived at St. Ignace at 12:17 and are waiting to “top off our tanks” at the fuel dock and pump out.  We will then go to our assigned “slip”.

St. Ignace has really changed over the years….when we were in here many years ago, there wasn’t much here.  They now have a beautiful, good sized marina and, this weekend there is a “car show” so the town is loaded with people and cars….they also had a flea market set up along the street!  Of course, the flea market does not excite us….it was mostly “junk” !

Later:  Jim has talked to Sheplers (located at Mackinaw City) on the telephone.  They are going to make a “house call” to our boat on Monday morning, after the ferries start running.  If they can fix our problem, great - and we will continue our journey further north.  If it is a serious problem, we may have to scrub our boat trip up to Lake Superior, rent a car to go there for the Great Lakes Cruising Club Rendezvous, and then come back to St. Ignace & head back south with the boat, after it is fixed.  This is part of boating - whatever will be, will be!!

We also talked to Bruce …. They bypassed Frankfort and went on to Pentwater because the water was good.  They got into Pentwater & said the wind is blowing hard….it is here too!  If the wind dies tonight, Bruce and Leann will head home from there!  

                                               
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