Saturday, August 25, 2012

Late August

August 16, 2012

Went to the morning broadcast of the Cruisers Net again and presented to Roy Eaton who moderates the net  a Tybee Light Sail and Power Squadron Burgee to add to his collection on the wall of the Conference Room of the Anchor Inn Hotel.  Michael of One September gave him one also from his yacht club in Virginia Beach.  Roy has quite a collection, approaching 100, and they are stapled to the wall of the room where he does his broadcast.  There was quite a crowd this morning and the marinas are filling up with the weather forecast to get ugly this afternoon.
After the broadcast we took the boat over to Wally’s Marina (about 500 yards) to get a pumpout.  The red “Full” light came on for the first time last night.  I guess we did not get a very good pumpout in Killarney which was only a few days ago.
Joy and the girls went shopping again this morning.  I blogged and worked on the boat.  Went to lunch at the Anchor Inn and just as predicted, the rains started about noon.  It has been a pretty soggy day, but they need the rain around here.  Maybe it will raise the level of the lake which is below datum for the first time in many years.

August 17, 2012

Friday and we’re still in town and everyone is getting edgy.  We go to the morning broadcast and there is another crowd.  You know that things are not good on the water when there are a lot of people at the broadcasts.  Things are supposed to get better tomorrow.  Not a lot happened today.  On Friday afternoons the Anchor Inn has a get together for all the cruisers at the bar.  They provide some hor’dovres and they sell a few drinks at the bar.  Imagine that.  Afterwards, we went to dinner for Pizza with almost all the Loopers in town.   About 16 of us I believe.  One boat could not make it.

August 18, 2012

The weather report is kind of iffy, but we decide to head for the Benjamin Islands.  This is one of the more popular stops for cruisers in the area.  There are about 4 different places you can anchor at and we chose the south cove.  It is only about 15 miles so we don’t leave too early.  Joy and Judy go to the pastry shop and the farmers marked and we leave about 10:00.  The winds are about 15 kts and as soon as we leave, the cloud cover started to come in.  All in all it was not a bad ride.  We have certainly had a lot worse and will have again.  Got to the cove in about 2 hours and slid in on the west side of “The Sow and Pigs” (rocky outcroppings which guard the entrance) and dropped the hook.  We are surprised to be the only boats there.

Time to go exploring and so we dropped the dingy and head for the shore to climb the rocks.  We get to the rocks and Joy gets out in her bare feet and slips and falls on the slippery rocks.  She lands on her tail bone and gets a cold swim as well.  She is hurt, but won’t go back to the boat.  So we did a little climbing and took some pictures and enjoyed the view.  It is pretty.

Got back to the boat and tried to nurse the patient but, she was not having any of it.  Just leave her alone and keep a safe distance.  She really is hurting.  The last time she hurt her tail bone, we lived in Charleston and she had an accident on a 4 wheeler.  It took her a year to get over that one.  Hope this one does not take as long.

The weather got a little worse in the afternoon and we had a pretty rockin’ time.  We were rafted  up with 1 September and that made it some worse.  It could have been a lot worse than it was I suppose.

This is where I fell and busted my backside - beautiful but slippery

August 19, 2012

Pulled the anchor at about 8:00 and did a fly by cruise through the main anchorage cove at the Benjamins.  I can see why people like it as an anchorage.  Beautiful.  Headed for Oak Bay Cove to anchor for another night.  Fred from Boreas met us at the entrance to the Harbor and gave us the locals way to get in.  Sure was a good thing as I would have never gone that way looking at the charts and I probably would have hit a few rocks.  We anchored and about the time we got settled in the winds started to pick up.  Ate lunch and took the dingy out for a ride.  It was really bumpy so I did not stay long.  Too bad.  Some great scenery.

Had docktails at 5:00 on 1 September and met some folks who came over from the next cove.  Good wine, nice people and all is well in the world.  The winds died down after dark and we had a very calm if not cool evening at anchor.

Docktail time

August 20, 2012

Pulled the anchor at 8:00 and headed to Beardrop Harbour.  It is windy and cool and overcast.  Not exactly a Chamber of Commerce day, but the Whalesback Channel is reasonably calm.  Only took about 3 hours and we are in another well protected anchorage.  This place is also popular and there are about a half dozen boats here when we arrive.  Since the weather is so lousy, we leave the dingy up and just enjoy the view from the boat.

By night fall there are over a dozen boats in the Harbor.  As the sun goes down, things begin to get real quiet.  Joy and I have dinner onboard.  Grilled chicken, baked potato and corn on the cob.  Life is REAL good.  Got to bed about 8:30.

Woke up in the middle of the night.  Don’t know what time it was, but there was hardly any sound.  Only occasionally water lapping on the hull of the boat.  The only light comes from the anchor lights of the boats in the anchorage.  Damn it was still.

August 21, 2012

Pulled anchor at 8:00 and followed 1 September out of Beardrop Harbor.  Boreas and Karma are headed for Thessalon.  We are headed for Meldrum on the south side of the North Channel.  The skies are bright blue and it is cool.

About 45 minutes out we pass Scott Island on our starboard and I yell to Joy to get the camera.  There is the bear you have been looking for.  It is a little bit away, but it was having a good time on the shore.  I think she got some good shots.

About half way to Meldrum it looks like we are headed into a thick fog bank.  Thankfully, it is not as thick as it looks and visibility is only slightly limited.  When we get to Meldrum the skies are blue again and the weather is warm.  Got fuel at the dock.  Their pumpout is broken.  They have new floating docks.  It is a good thing as the old ones are in really bad shape.

Ain’t much in Meldrum except a good restaurant.  Only about 40 people in town so I don’t know how they stay open.  I guess they get a lot of transients and tourists.  This is our last night in Canada so we will see how good the food is.

I had to crop and blow up these pictures some what so you could see the tiny spec from the distance but it is a bear

August 22, 2012

The food was good.  Very nice little restaurant with only 2 waitresses who did all the serving, tended the bar and made the drinks, they may have even cooked the meal (Not).  Real nice setting in an old house that has been expanded into a small bed and breakfast type place.  Got rid of all our Canadian currency.

Left the dock about 7:45 and headed for Drummond Island to clear customs.  It took about 4.5 hours to get there and the wind was getting stronger the entire trip.  The sun was bright and the water was either dark blue or teal green depending on the depth and everything went well except the docking.  Not one of my better landings.

Customs was a hoot.  The Officer started to ask some questions and we answered them.  How many people on board?  2 people and 3 cats.  (That was the end of the boat search as he was alergic to cats) Do you have a safe on board? yes. Are you carrying over $10,000 in cash? Are you kidding?  May I see your ID's? Here are our passports.  Please wait while I run you through the computer.  Thank you very much have a nice day. (Everyone else that we traveled with was boarded and searched to some degree - bless my 3 lovely cats!)

On to DeTour Village and the state dock.  Still pretty windy.  Better docking job.  Little town.  I think kind of cute and clean, but not much there.  Had dinner at the local bar and had real hand made real juicy hamburgers that came back wrapped in wax paper with hand written labels telling what each one was.  Also had a Miller Lite for the first time since we left the US and entered Canada.  Canada does not sell Miller products.  Crazy.

The first US flags on land we are beginning to see as we approach Drummond 

August 23, 2012

The next stop is St. Ignace, MI at the state docks.  We could not get reservations at Mackinac Island until tomorrow so we are going to St. Ignace.  We could not have asked for better weather for the trip.  Bright blue skies, almost no wind, and Lake Huron was like a mill pond.  Took about 5.5 hours but it was REAL smooth.

St. Ignace is a nice little town.  Great grocery store who brought the ladies back to the boat with their purchases.  They even drove them to the fish market so they could buy some fish from another store.  Great service.

The local area has a strong native american history.  Lots of Indian type of merchandise in the stores.  We enjoyed walking through the town.

Had dinner at a local seafood restaurant on the lake.  Good food.

August 24, 2012

Today's trip is only about 6 miles so we do not get in too much of a hurry.  Called to Mackinac Island and the slips won't be ready until afternoon.  Had breadfast in a local diner which has been there for a hundred years.  Joy and Judy went shopping.  Michael and I went back to the boat to get ready.

Left the dock about 11:30.  Trip took about 45 minutes with dodging the Ferry boats (lots of them) going back and forth to the Island.  Mackinac Island is really well kept.  Very neat and clean.  The docks are well run and neat even if they are a little bouncy from the coming and going boats.

We walked up to the main street of town and the crowds are something.  The shops are the typical tourist shops selling T-shirts, knick-nacks, etc. and above all Fudge.  There must be at least 20 Fudge shops in town.  There are also several restaurants.  It appears that many of the shops are owned by the Grand Hotel which is of course the largest thing on the island.

There are also bike rental shops everywhere.  Since there are no motorized vehicles, everything moves by bicycle or horse drawn cart of some kind.  Bikes are the most common mode of transportation.

Had dinner at Goodfellows and got back to the boat around 8:30.

Ferries taking visitors and employees to Mackinac Island

Houses on Mackinac Island shot from a distance

The Grand Hotel

This is just one of many of the local carriage tours they offer
This is a view of the fort from the marina

This is the Grand Hotel Carriage

August 25, 2012

Ivy and Bob from Karma came over from Mackinaw City on the ferry.  We all went on a carraige tour ride around the island.  Went by the many of the old buildings downtown, City Hall, the Fire Station (yes they have fire trucks), the Public School, the Golf Course, the Grand Hotel (it costs $10 per person to walk in if you do not have reservations and a lot more if you do have reservations), the Butterfly House, the Blacksmith Shop (closed), the Horse Stables for the Grand Hotel (very nice place to live if you are a horse), Arch Rock, the Fort Mackinac.  Nice tour.

Had lunch at the Village Inn (owned by the Grand Hotel).  Had dinner at the Yankee Rebel (does not appear to be owned by the Grand Hotel).  Both were very nice.

Long day.  I slept well.

A view down into the fort

August 26, 2012

Joy's knee started to hurt her yesterday and she lounged around the boat today.  Judy, Michael and I rode around the island on our bikes.  It's 9+ miles around and thankfully mostly flat.  Very beautiful ride.  Had dinner at the Iriquoi Inn and it was wonderful and expensive.  Just like you would expect.

August 27, 2012

Awoke to a rather dreary morning.  It was drizling, not real windy, just kind of dreary.  Michael and Judy wanted to wait a little while in hopes that things would clear up a little.  They ride outside up top so it's much nicer when the weather cooperates.  And it did.  Left about 8:30 and the morning got better as we went along.  Left Mackinac Island headed for Harbor Springs.  The lake was smooth and the winds were low.

We went under the Mackinaw Bridge about 45 minutes after we left the dock.  Man that thing is REALLY LONG.  We headed west for about 2 hours and then headed south.  Took about 5.5 hours to reach Harbor Springs.  VERY NICE Marina.  This is not the low rent district.  However, the price at the Michigan State Docks is the same as every place else.  This joint just fills up faster.

August 28, 2012

Decided to take a dingy ride, along with 1 September, to Petoskey about 3.5 miles across the bay. It was a beautiful morning and Little Traverse Bay looked like a mill pond.  The ride over was wonderful.  Joy's knee is still bothering her so we took it easy going over.  Arrived at the Petoskey docks and tied up next to the ramp and walked into town.

This place is nothing like what I have read.  This is a very nice town with attractive streets and very comfortable surroundings.  Walked around for a while and ended up at the local West Marine and bought Joy some new seats for the boat and a pair of shorts for me.  Walked to the Twisted Olive for lunch and after waiting for half an hour had a wonderful meal.  Then headed for the docks.

My how things can change in such a short time.  The winds were up and there were white caps on the bay.  We loaded up the dingy's and headed out following Mike and Judy.  Joy and I put on our PFD's, which we never do when we are just riding around, and rode out into 3' - 4' waves across the bay.  (That is not a misprint.)  Not a lot of fun in a 10' inflatable.  However, things went well and we got across without incident and arrived back at Harbor Springs safe and sound.  Whew!!!!  We really should not do that.

August 29, 2012

Off to Charlevoix.  Fred, (Boreaus), our tour guide, has arranged for another perfect traveling day.  I followed him out of the marina about 8:00 and headed out with 1 September bringing up the rear. They did a fly by of Bay Springs Harbor and then we headed for Charlevois.  Took about 3 hours total, even waiting for the bridge.  We even did a short trip into Charlevoix Lake.  Who paints these pictures?

Arrived at the dock and cleaned the boat a little.  Boy does it need it.  Went to dinner at Terry's, a rather nice restaurant.  This is a nice traveling group, but we will have to break up here.  Boreaus is going home after this stop.  Too bad.  Fred knows this area REAL well.

August 30, 2012

The winds are really supposed to pick up today.  Possible 45 mph.  We are staying put until Saturday.  Joy is going shopping and I am cleaning the boat.

Went for a walk this afternoon around town.  Went to the library which is just about the nicest I have ever seen.  Very nicely decorated old school.  Very attractive.  Then walked up the street to see the Mushroom houses.  Very cute.  Then to the beach to see the waves.  Then to the Ice Cream/Fudge Shop for some Ice Cream.

Concert in the park tonight.  Country.

Mushroom houses

just had to get their feet wet
Cute knee brace for the beach

A beautiful end to a lovely day
August 31, 2012

I thought the concert was pretty good, but some of the others did not think so much.  The band was called "Sister Wynona" or something like that and it was old style country.  Patsy Cline music and stuff like that.  It was a nice evening in the park right by the marina.  We could have stayed on the boat and listened it was so close.

I spent most of the day cleaning the boat.  Joy spent most of the day shopping.  Funny how that worked out.  Oh well.  The boat needed it.  And still needs it by the way.  Had dinner with One September as tomorrow is their 38th Anniversary.  Very nice meal at the Weathervane Restaurant. Early to bed as we leave in the morning for Leland.  Charlevoix has been a very nice stop and we would like to come again.