My brother Don joined us in Traverse City for a few days of Lake Michigan Great Loop cruising. Traverse City friends Kristen, Allen and Bonnie joined Don and me for a cruise up the East Bay, around Northport Point, and down to Leland. Rhonda helped us off the dock in TC and (after a few … Continue reading Lovely Leland
We caught the 0700 drawbridge opening in Charlevoix for a trip around the East Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay, past Mission Point in the center of the Bay, and on south to the Clinch Muncipal Marina in downtown TC. First Mate at the helm An Earl Young house on Round Lake Leaving the CVX … Continue reading Traverse City Extravaganza!
We stayed in Charlevoix, Michigan for two days, enjoying this charming town. Downtown Charlevoix and the city marina lie on the shore of Round Lake, connecting to the Lake Michigan channel on the west and Lake Charlevoix on the east. Charlevoix’ small downtown has many unique shops and restaurants that we enjoyed. The area has … Continue reading Charming Charlevoix
We heard that strong currents in the Straits of Mackinac (a narrow band of water that links Lakes Michigan and Huron) could produce 3-6 foot waves and that the best time to transit the Straits is early morning. So we rolled out early, left the slip quietly to not awaken our dock-neighbors, and were out … Continue reading Back in Lake Michigan Again!
Fort Mackinac, the Indian Barracks, and stately Victorian cottages just ashore of our Marina. We looked forward to Mackinac Island for most of our Great Loop voyage. We planned that this island would be our re-entry to the USA after enjoying a few weeks in Canada's Georgian Bay and North Channel, but Canada closed its … Continue reading Incomparable Mackinac Island!
St. Ignace, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is on Lake Huron at the north end of the Mackinaw Bridge. St. Ignace and Mackinaw City at the south end of the Bridge both provide ferry service to Mackinac Island, which is about 5 miles away from both ports. French Jesuit priests founded the St. Ignace Mission in … Continue reading Say Ya to Da UP, Eh?
Here are some statistics about our voyage on America's Great Loop, plus Nebo Tracker's summary of our July travels. R&R: St. Ignace, Michigan Departed: September 8, 2019, Holland, Michigan Travel Days: 116 Miles: 6,340 Fuel: 7,752 gallons Locks: 77 Anchorages: 5 Waterways Traveled: Lake Michigan, Calumet River, Cal-Sag Channel, Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, … Continue reading Captain’s Log 7/31/21
While we were in Cedarville, Michigan in Les Cheneaux Islands we, our friends Alvin and Dianne, and Ray and Diane from Radian Journey walked to the nearby Great Lakes Boat Building School for a tour. GLBBS has a well-designed facility and an impressive trade school curriculum, offering one-year certificate programs in either wood boat building … Continue reading Great Lakes Boat Building School
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 drawbridges 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 current … 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, and I 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 … 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
We had not planned to stop in Vermillion, Ohio. We hoped 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 decided to escape into this small lakefront town. Vermillion was a sweet surprise! … Continue reading Vermillion, Ohio – Sweet Surprise!
Lake Erie was relatively flat the day after Rhonda returned to the boat, 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" marina that adjoins the lakeside Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, enjoyed an good upscale Mexican lunch … Continue reading In Cleveland, R&R means “Rock N Roll.”
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