Summer 2007 Log
Page 4- August

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3rd


We were weathered in at Beaver Island for a day or two….a lot of wind. However, we left there this morning at 9:05.  The weather report indicated that it would not be a “perfect” day, but as the day went on, the wind would die and the lake would get nicer and nicer.  It was sunny & a little cool, but supposed to warm up during the day.  Our destination - Frankfort. 

We got out on the lake and, instead of getting better, it got worse…pretty soon we and the “Exporter” were taking 4-5 footers on the beam (side).  The boats can always take more than the people on them, but “boating is supposed to be fun” and this wasn’t fun, besides being uncomfortable!!!  Wally called us & suggested we go into Charlevoix - Jim replied, “how about going into Northport?”  Wally agreed & we headed for Northport which was closer and further south than Charlevoix.  We arrived in Northport at 11:25, just in time to fix lunch onboard.

Just a little information on Beaver Island:  Beaver Island is part of a group of 12 islands, but Beaver is the largest of the group and the only one that has a permanent year-around population.  The Indians were the first human habitants of this group of islands, and the French appear to have been the first white men to step ashore, but the exact date of that first footprint is uncertain.

When the Island was named is uncertain.  Why it was named is more certain:  the abundance of beaver.  Unfortunately, the popularity of the beaver pelt and the relatively easy access to the interior brought about the extinction of the animal on the island by 1850.

Now a little information on Northport:  The village of Northport is on the west shore of the Grand Traverse Bay and is an attractive stop for cruisers.  Years ago when we came in, it was a busy little town with lots of shops, restaurants and people.  Then, a number of years ago, we came back and it was almost like a ghost town.  Most of the shops were closed and only one restaurant remained.  They DO have a wonderful grocery store here….town is close enough to walk to easily.  This trip back it appears Northport has a big project going on….putting sewers in finally.  It would appear doing just this one big thing is going to restore Northport back to what it used to be here, busy and alive….hopefully!  It was always a neat little town and hopefully it will be again.  The marina has always been very nice!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 4th

Well, we are going to try this again…we left Northport at 8:50 a.m.  The little wind we have is from the southeast so that should be good for us.  So far, it looks fine.

Our trip today will be fairly short - approximately three and a half hours to Frankfort.  We are supposed to get wind tomorrow, so Monday would be the earliest we would get out of Frankfort, and that’s only if the lake cooperates.

It is cool this morning but will probably warm up as the day wears on.  The sun is shining with a few clouds.

Believe it or not, the water temperature where we are is 78 degrees, and we are still pretty far north!!  It must be at least that warm at home.

We had a good run and arrived at Frankfort’s pier head at 11:50.  When we got in, we fueled and are now in our slip at 12:05.

The first thing Jim did was take our prescriptions up to the drug store here to get them refilled…we were not out, but getting close.  The pharmacist said they would be ready yet today…good service!!!

We now have clear blue skies and it is very warm here….I wandered around town for a while, until my feet and legs told me it was time to go back to the boat.  Our weather forecast on our computer says rain is on its way….last we saw, it was coming into the Chicago area and was a wide band, so we will probably get it here later.

Before I sign off for today, a little history of Frankfort:  Once a busy commercial port, Frankfort harbor - with its amenities and charm -  has become a favorite stop for the transient boater.  Being located at the narrowest part of Lake Michigan, it is a popular destination for boaters crossing Lake Michigan to and from Wisconsin. 

Frankfort was settled in the 1850’s and soon became an industrial town.  The Frankfort Iron Works, a foundry located in South Frankfort (now Elberta), was built in 1869, and several lumber mills were built on the shores of Betsie Lake about the same time.  Logs were floated down the Betsie River, were milled, and the lumber was loaded on schooners bound for Chicago.  Commercial fishing was also an important industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The predecessor of the Ann Arbor Railroad reached Elberta and Frankfort in 1892 and, for 90 years, the Ann Arbor Carferries carried rail freight and passengers from Elberta across Lake Michigan.  Frankfort and the surrounding inland lakes have been popular summer vacation destinations for over 100 years.

The foundry and the lumber mills are long gone, and recreational fishing has replaced commercial fishing.  But the loss of the railroad, the car ferries, and two manufacturing plants, as difficult as the economic blow was, changed the character of the community.

Business leaders and residents joined forces to emphasize the region’s natural beauty and to promote its potential as a year-round recreation-based vacation destination.  And, to the delight of visitors, including boaters, they succeeded.  There is always room in the harbor, and the community has the amenities to make your stay a very pleasant one.

The Ann Arbor Railroad car ferries stopped running in 1982, and the railroad tracks have been removed.  For several years, the former railroad marine terminal yard in Elberta was used for shipment of logs across Lake Michigan, but this was halted in 1997 because of spillage of logs in the lake.

When we come into Frankfort, we always stay at Jacobson’s Marina, a privately owned marina.  Everyone is very nice and their facilities are well maintained.  Frankfort is a growing community, & the business district has been rejuvenated in recent years.  There are numerous clothing and gift shops, a wonderful book store, restaurants, drug store, hardware stores, a bakery, a movie theatre, etc.  Most anything you might need is right here.

More later…..


TUESDAY, AUGUST 7th

We left Frankfort at 10:45 yesterday (Mon.) after Wally had some work done on his boat.  The lake had some small waves, but nothing that bothered us.  As we came further south we had more clouds, but it was very warm (water temperature is still 78 degrees), would you believe? 

We arrived in Pentwater at Snug Harbor Marina at 1:39 - after fueling, we went to our slip.  I’m sure I have told you before, this is one of our very favorite spots to come to.  Everything is so accessible & close to the marina.

After we arrived, we found out this is their “Homecoming” weekend, starting Thursday….we have been here for this before and it is fun!!  So Jim said we would stay for it.  Wally and Brenda feel they have to head for home tomorrow.  They need to be home by the weekend!  So we will stay at least through the weekend.  If we had to, we could be home from here in six hours, so we are getting closer to home.

We had rain this morning but now the sun is shining (a few hours later) and it is extremely humid outside!!  Not much to report from here today…….


FRIDAY, AUGUST 10th

Hi Everyone!

On Wednesday Jim and I were having our lunch….it was around 1:30-2:00 when Jim looked up and saw a 46' Bertram Motor Yacht coming around the corner of Snug Harbor’s seawall.  He thought at first it was some people we know that keep their Bertram in So. Haven.  As it got closer - and by then Jim had his binoculars out - he said, “it’s Bruce and Leann”!!!!  WHAT A GREAT SURPRISE!!!!!!

We knew there was a chance we might get together again somewhere along the way home, but thought it would be closer to home.  We didn’t want them to have to come so far up north, but here they were & we were delighted.  Come to find out, he had called Snug Harbor on Monday to see what his chances of getting in might be.  He was told they would have a slip for him….as it turns out, Wally and Brenda had left for home Wednesday morning, so they held open the slip they had been in….right next to us!!  So, Bruce, Leann and Snug Harbor had known since Monday and were keeping it a secret that they were coming up here for a few days…..I told them they were pretty sneaky!!!!!   :o)  We sure were happy to see them and see how much all three of the grandkids had grown while we had been gone.  The twins are “all over the place now” and what personalities they each have.  They must take after their big sister!  We’ve been having a good time ever since they arrived….their plan is to head home on Sunday and we may leave then too.  However, Jim and I may stop in So. Haven for a few days before completing our summer cruise, and I assume Bruce and Leann will continue home.

Now you know why you haven’t heard anything from me the last few days….we‘ve been busy!!!  It has been hot and humid here….we had rain one night & woke up to heavy fog this morning, but once the fog lifted it has turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day.

We will be home soon……check our pictures!!!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 11th

This weekend - starting on Thursday - is Pentwater's annual "Homecoming", with many activities.  The big day is today with a parade and fireworks tonight.  Nikki is excited because she remembers last year's parade, where the parade participants throw candy out to the audience along the parade route.  It's a little like Halloween, only in August, and you don't even have to go trick or treating to get the candy!!!  I'm sure she will come back to the boat with a huge bag of candy, as she did last year!

It is now mid-afternoon and some good friends have stopped by to see us - Lee and Mary Hyslop - Lindal Cedar Home dealers that Jim and I always had alot of fun with when we were still involved in that business.  As it turns out, it is almost time for the parade to start - and the babies are sound asleep on Bruce and Leann's boat - so I volunteered to stay and babysit them while they all went to the parade - it was no big sacrifice on my part because first, I love to babysit & secondly, it was a very hot and humid day to be watching a parade, whereas the boats both have air conditioning.  As it turns out, the babies continued to sleep until the parade was over.  Afterwards, we had a nice visit with the Hyslops, along with Bruce and Leann who know them also. Nikki was perfectly content examining her bag of "loot" from the parade.  That night we watched the fireworks which were quite nice.  The Hyslops had already headed back to their boat, which they keep at White Lake at Whitehall,  MI.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 12th

Bruce and Leann & family left this morning for home as Bruce had an early morning meeting on Monday.  We decided to stay one more day as we knew the lake wasn't going to be "at its best" today....that is one of the good things about being retired - no schedules.  Also, we didn't want to slow them down, as their boat does go a little faster than ours, and we knew they wanted to get home as quickly as possible.  There were left-over "swells" on the lake from a storm that had gone through the day before; however they made good time getting home in spite of the "rolley" lake & we were happy they made it safe and sound.  They were in no danger traveling today; however, it can just be uncomfortable!! 

After they left Pentwater, I decided I wanted to give the "Nauti Gal" one last cleaning inside before we left for home, so that's how I spent part of today!!  My two oldest grandkids tease me about being "Mrs. Clean"!!!!

Not long after I finished my cleaning, we got a call from some good friends, Bob and Shirley Oates, from St. Joe, who were up in the area visiting a cousin.  They wondered if we were still in Pentwater, because they know that is one of our favorite places.  We said "yes, we were" and invited them to the boat ..... we had a nice visit with them and then they felt they should head back home. It was nice of them to stop!!!


MONDAY, AUGUST 13th

We are headed home!!  We left Pentwater at approximately 9:00 this morning...we have a few small "rollers" left over from Sunday, but once we rounded Little Point Sable it smoothed out.  It is a pretty day, but a little cool.  We should be home in six hours.

We had a wonderful time, but have agreed that trying to go all the way to Lake Superior by boat is a bit much, but we can now say "we've done it" and are now satisfied!!

The great thing about "leaving" for a while is.....it is even greater getting back home!!  We have missed family and friends, and it is good to be back!!  Thank you for "following us" once again on another Chapman Adventure.  We hope you enjoyed it and didn't get too bored....I enjoyed typing the log, and Jim enjoys taking and uploading the pictures!

I am typing the last of this log on Jim's computer because.....something - a bug and/or virus - has invaded my Word Processing in my computer.  I started getting these......0000000000.... and couldn't use my computer.  Then, the next thing that happened, when I was on the Internet, I started getting the same thing.  So, I obviously have a very sick computer and won't use it until I can get it fixed.  I don't want to give this "thing" to anyone else.

So, you may not hear from me via email for a while folks - if I am able to use Jim's computer once in a while, I will try to send an email, but he uses his computer alot, so I repeat.....you may not hear from me for a while - as soon as my computer is "well", I will email.

We have arrived and are in our "slip" at the West Basin at 2:45 p.m.  It is good to be home and I will be calling or seeing you soon!!!!!!