Les Cheneaux Islands is a group of 36 small islands, some inhabited, some not, along twelve miles of beautiful Lake Huron shoreline at the far northeast end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. "Les Cheneaux" is French for "The Channels" and the islands were aptly named for their many large and small channels. The villages of Hessel … Continue reading Les Cheneaux Islands and Soo Locks
Friends Bob and Kristen flew to Drummond Island with Mike in his vintage Cessna. I drove the dinghy from our Harbor Island anchorage to Drummond Island Yacht Haven and then drove a loaner SUV to the rustic Drummond Island airport to meet them. The DI Airport Executive Lounge We transferred Bob and Kristen‘s luggage from … Continue reading North Channel Island-Hopping
We and Radian Journey left Drummond Island Yacht Haven and traveled a short 2.4 miles to a quiet, serene anchorage at Harbor Island, a horseshoe-shaped island with a narrow inlet leading to a large anchorage that felt like a private lake. This was only our fifth anchorage out of more than 100 stops along the … Continue reading Harbor Island Anchorage
The Drummond Island Yacht Haven feels like a summer camp from generations ago. Simple, practical buildings. Low waterside sheds house small slips for fishing boats and boats used to commute to nearby North Channel Islands. Visitors come here year after year. Sailboats and powered cruising boats use DIYH to refuel, fill water tanks and provision … Continue reading Drummond Island: Peaceful North Channel Harbor
Our wind/waves apps Windy and Predictwind predicted winds increasing from 6mph to 19mph today, so we set a VERY early alarm to get across the Straits of Mackinaw before higher winds arrived. First Mate Rhonda coiling lines as we left the Cheboygan River This looks like a carnival ride, but I think it is a … Continue reading Straight Across the Straits
Between the first and second photos below, we rocked and rolled in 2-4 foot waves for more than three hours. We were heading mainly north and the waves were mainly from the west, so our boat rolled from right to left with every large wave. We tried traveling closer to shore, and we tried tacking, … Continue reading Rolling to Cheboygan
Our trip on near-flat Lake Huron from Harrisville to Presque Isle took us past historic lighthouses and picturesque islands. Another early morning departure??!! Presque Isle (pronounced “eel”, from the French) is a tiny peninsula in the North Woods of Michigan. The PI State Harbor is very nice, and very remote. Todd, who owns Woody’s, the … Continue reading Presque Isle Pleasure
Earlier this week we traveled to Harrisville Michigan, a small harbor town in Northeast Michigan. Again we found a beautifully designed and well built marina, good staff and amenities, and a hospitable town. Harrisville Harbor Welcoming Committee Loaner bicycles The Harrisville Harbor also serves serves commercial fishermen. We had to re-provision, but the marina courtesy … Continue reading Harrisville Hospitality
Today we and Radian Journey left Harbor Beach at 0700 on a 55 mile trip north across Saginaw Bay to East Tawas, Michigan. The bright orange morning sun was brilliant on the surface of Lake Huron. Saginaw Bay has a reputation for high winds and dangerous waves, but today the winds were light and the … Continue reading 6,000 Miles to East Tawas
The port of Harbor Beach is the world’s largest man-made freshwater harbor. The Army Corps of Engineers built the harbor and its made-from-a-kit lighthouse between 1873 and 1885 to provide refuge for Great Lakes freighters and passenger vessels on Lake Huron. In the early 1900s, the original wooden cribs filled with field stones were strengthened … Continue reading Harbor Beach Lighthouse
On Friday at 0700, we left the dock at riverside marina in Port Huron, waited for and then idled under two lift bridges in the downtown area, and turned to port (North) into the deep St. Clair River. As we got closer to the US-Canada bridge and approached Lake Huron, we felt more and more … Continue reading Thumb of the Mitten
For most of our Great Loop voyage I have considered upgrading our 2003-vintage 40 pound Delta main anchor. I should have acted sooner, but yesterday I finally bit the bullet and bought a 55 pound Rocna. The Rocna anchor design was developed in 2004 by a sailor who had cruised more than 100,000 miles and … Continue reading New Toy
Before we left on our Great Loop voyage, I created a spreadsheet with a rough and tentative schedule of possible stops along the way. We review and update that tentative itinerary every few days. When we had firmed up our schedule to be in Saint Clair Shores for two days, we contacted our niece Annie, … Continue reading Annie!
Yesterday at 0700 we left the quaint small town of Vermillion Ohio. The weather was hazy and windy with some rain. East winds on Lake Erie and a long fetch produced 4ish-foot rolling swells. Since much of our travel was from south to north, the waves were often on our starboard beam, so we rocked … Continue reading Lumpy Lake Erie to Michigan
It wasn’t our plan to go to Vermillion, Ohio. We planned to travel to Kelly’s Island, but Lake Erie had a different plan. After leaving Cleveland and being bounced and rolled by 4 to 5 foot whitecaps for a few hours, we had enough and decided to escape into this small lakefront town. Vermillion was … Continue reading Vermillion, Ohio – Sweet Surprise!
The day after Rhonda returned to the boat, Lake Erie was relatively flat, so we traveled a long 101 miles from Erie PA to Cleveland OH. By early afternoon we had tied up at the "Rock N Dock" located next door to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, enjoyed an good upscale Mexican lunch … Continue reading In Cleveland, R&R means “Rock N Roll.”
This cheeky slogan used by Buffalo Bills fans and other Buffalonians (yes, that is a word) shouts out the rabid fan support enjoyed by the Bills in this upstate New York city. After a couple of days in Buffalo with new First Mates, our nephews Trey and Drew, we discovered that this city has more … Continue reading Two New First Mates
Early in the morning on Saturday we left Wolverine Park Marina in Erie, idled under the glass skybridge, past the Bicentennial Tower, and into the channel out to Lake Erie. Just before 8AM we passed the Erie Coast Guard station along the channel. We noticed a trio of uniformed Coast Guard service members standing quietly … Continue reading An Unexpected and Meaningful Moment
Our Nebo Tracker sent me this summary of our June 2021 Great Loop travels. From the Chespeake Bay to Lake Ontario, it has been a fun and eventful month for us. We are excited about our next (and final) weeks of travel on Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan!
The morning of July 2 we were in Michigan and R&R was at Bootlegger’s Cove Marina in Wilson, NY, a US marina that is very close to the Canadian border. Correction…R&R started the day there. R&R in a Welland Canal lock (without her regular Captain or First Mate) Captain Bill Barnaby drove R&R 67 miles … Continue reading Remote-Control Boating
Oswego is a small city on Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Oswego Canal. Our tie-up spot for the night at Oswego Marina was a wall next to the fuel dock. As we prepared R&R for departure, I was shocked to see the first mate on a boat just ahead of us climb all … Continue reading To Lake Ontario and Beyond!
Today we boated in the rain through our last section of the Erie Canal, turned right at “Three Rivers”, and cruised the entire Oswego Canal north to the city of Oswego on the shores of Lake Ontario. Three Rivers Three Rivers: Erie Canal left, Oswego Canal right. Rhonda has become a pro using lines or … Continue reading Hello, Great Lakes!
The Erie Canal was built at a very high cost between 1817 and 1825. It crossed upstate New York between Albany and Buffalo, linking the Hudson River with Lake Erie. At the time it was the nation's largest artificial waterway and largest public works project. The Erie Canal connected New York City with the interior … Continue reading Erie Canal – Yesterday and Today
Little Falls town wall As we navigated the Erie Canal, we stopped at a number of welcoming small towns. Many of them had town docks alongside the canal with room for boats to spend the night. We spent two nights on the town wall at Little Falls, New York, and enjoyed it! The town has … Continue reading Little Falls, Big Fun!
Rhonda here! Navigating on the Erie Canal has been an unexpected pleasure for this first mate! All I knew of this historic waterway was from a song I learned in elementary school about a guy and his mule named Sal who hauled barges along the Erie Canal back in the day. Maybe you know it … Continue reading I’ve Got a Mule, Her Name is Sal