Sunday, August 27, 2017
St Ignace, MI to Charlevoix, MI
Calm seas greeted us this morning for a fairly long run from St. Ignace, by Mackinac Island, to Charlevoix. We do not usually do 50+ miles in a day; just so that Cally can keep a schedule for shore dooty.
First up was going under the famous Mackinac Bridge. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me.
I’ve spent 30 years by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
We passed a lighthouse.
One Looper, Lucky Us, was behind us for a bit but cut off to another shore point. Ellis Island, another Looper, caught up to us and then passed us. They were headed for the same marina, but we never got to see them before they left early the next morning.
We arrived at the channel into Charlevoix about 3:10pm. There is a bridge that opens only on the half hours; we thought we would have to wait until 3:30pm to enter. While we wait in Lake Michigan by the cut, Rip sees a barge coming. Seeing it turning for the channel, Rip decides to pull in behind him and go thru when he goes thru. Yep, by 3:17pm, the bridge is opening for him and Rip is right on his stern … all the way through.
Little did we know, Steve from Gypsie’s Palace was watching us approach on his AIS and knew Rip would come on in with the barge (because, “that’s what I would do”). Steve, Larry, Debbie and April came over to take lines and get us settled into the slip. Nice to see these guys again AND not during an emergency.
Charlevoix is a fun little town with nice shops (no chain stores
here) and nice restaurants.
The marina is right in the middle of it with nice docks, nice boaters lounge/laundry/bathrooms, etc., great park setting for Cally to roam, a splash pad for kids and even an amphitheater!
Before we even get the boat hosed off from all the little tiny black flies that hitched a ride across the lake … April calls with an invite to join them to tour John Winn’s boat house.
You may have seen this on TV, we have. Matter of fact, when Rip came around the marina … he saw the house and recognized it immediately. John Winn is Founder of Four Winns boats. John has done the Loop 3 times and is also a AGCLA Harbor Host. One of the many people throughout the loop who sign up to help loopers who are in there area. Help might consist of taking someone to the store, advice on restaurants, knowledge of professional service people or receiving a package in advance, then delivering to the looper once they arrive. Anyway, the tour of John’s boathouse, which is built into his home, is amazing and extraordinary. It is a mini museum of boats, motors, toys, etc.
The boats (one of which is his first boat and one that is only 1 of 2 known to exist) are suspended above the water (or lowered into the water) by a track & motor system.
His expansive workshop is equally impressive, too. One wall is shared with the house portion; many rooms overlook the boathouse.
John was so very gracious with his time, his stories and the history of so many things in his collection.
After the tour, it was dinner out with GP & OED! Great little restaurant called Terry’s.
The next morning, Sat, GP & OED were off to parts south; we stayed for groceries, Rip needed a haircut, etc.
Lunch was late and a rare treat for us … hamburgers! We had been told of the Diary Grille and that we must have the Wahoo burger. Story goes it was a Dairy Queen, but the owner didn’t like being forced into buying the frozen meat from DQ, so he dropped the franchise and went out on his own. He grounds the beef fresh daily, or so we are told.
Huge, old style hamburger was great!
Sat evening we went to Halleluiah for docktails; where Gold Loopers Dave & Barb gave us pointers on all the possible stops between here and Chicago. Tips like where beaches were, which stops do not have grocery stores near and which marina’s they prefer to stop.
Then, we treated were treated to a concert held at the amphitheater in the park. We didn’t have to leave the boat to enjoy the music. At night the trees that line the shopping street & park are lighted … quite festive!
Sunday was more laundry, meeting other loopers, reading and general quiet time.
Tomorrow, hopefully, we will start a 4 or 5 day run of moving daily to get to a spot where we can hold up for the next potential weather front that will stir up Lake Michigan to a point we don’t want to travel.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Day 126 … Thursday, August 24, 2017 … 51.7 miles; 6 hours
Drummond Island, MI to St Ignace, MI
Cool start to the day at 52 degrees; Rip turned on the diesel heat to take the chill out of the air this morning … and it is LATE AUGUST! Still, the wind had died down from the last 2 days; so temps were comfortable and only got better and sunnier as the day continued.
6 Looper boats & 3 locals had holed up at Drummond Island Marina during the wild winds … all were leaving about the same time this morning. We managed to get over to the fuel dock for a pump out before the others went for fuel and pump outs … we could have waited an hour or more if we’d been last in line. Without needing fuel, we were in & out quick.
Nice flat seas today. Mostly open water, except for the passage thru DeTour. We are in the land of big water and bigger boats again. We haven’t seen the large ships since we left the Hudson River back in early June. I doubt it will be much different than the big ships in the Chesapeake Bay.
We passed Mackinac Island. We do not plan to stop there nor take the ferry over to hang out. We are ready to keep moving on, for now.
Bonus, we catch back up to Firestorm! Though we are going separate ways tomorrow; I am sure we will catch back up again down the lake somewhere. We had 2 Amazon deliveries waiting for us and 3 prescriptions filled & ready to pick up at the local pharmacy. Plus, there was an Ace Hardware beside the marina … Rip needed for hose parts. That should keep us busy for today. Well, that and docktails with Firestorm! Tomorrow am we will head on to Charlevoix for 2 days.