Sunday, 23 August 2015

Portage Lake anchorage to South Haven Lake Michigan

After we left White Lake we travelled to Portage Lake.  It is a small lake with no Marina but very popular with the locals to come in off of Lake Michigan for the day to swim, barbeque and even stay the night.  We were with 4 other boats that also anchored that night.  The water was 75 degrees F.  It was very refreshing.  Steve, myself and Dexter all enjoyed a refreshing swim!

Only calling for 5 - 10 mile an hour winds the next day so we are moving on down big ole Lake Michigan.  The pictures below show Lake Simcoe in comparison to Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is the picture on the left and Lake Simcoe is being pointed to in the picture on the right.  Our boater friends at home can respect how Lake Simcoe can kick up in heavy winds.  Lake Michigan is a Lake to be watched closely for winds and waves and given utmost respect.  Always count on more winds and waves than are predicted. 
Our trip the next day was 30 miles which takes about 4 hours.  We were only about 8 miles in when the waves started to kick up, more than predicted.  We decided to tuck in to a small lake in Holland.  Just as we approached the entrance Steve left the helm for about 10 minutes.  By the time he came back I had turned the boat around and headed for our original destination of South Haven. (He just thinks he's the captain.)  The waves had calmed so I made an executive decision to carry on. 

South Haven is a very busy town.  The busiest we have stopped at yet.  There are two beautiful beaches on each side of the entrance. 

There was a veterans celebration just as we entered the entrance to the town.  Boats were coming and going. 

 When we arrived at the Marina they had us tie to the dock wall.  We were actually lucky to get a dock at all for the evening.  Boats from Chicago (yes we are getting close) and other places in Illinois will visit this port on weekends.  We did not have a reservation which we should have but again very difficult to time your arrival when waiting on Mother Nature.  I did call earlier but this facility did not offer a refund if you didn't show regardless of the weather and at the time we didn't know if we would make it or not.
Once we were there they were very accommodating.  We settled in and then Steve dropped the dinghy for a ride down the Black River

Dexter loves to have bow watch....or bow wow watch lol.
The shoreline existed of dock after dock with many fishing boats and pleasure boats.  Spotted one with a great name!  Right Mom and Dad!!!
As we approached our boat after our dinghy ride we were stopped by the Sherriff.  He started by saying we were not in trouble......well that's a good thing.  Then he asked us where we got our boat registration numbers from on our dinghy.  I laughed and said "oh we just made them up" but then quickly recovered by saying..."we're Canadian!"  They said they wondered if we were from Canada.  We had a short chat and they were on their way. 

A few hours later while we sat on our boat we noticed many people walked and driving to the end of the pier.  We wondered what was happening so we decided to take a walk.   As we were approaching the end of the pier everyone was walking back so what ever it was we figured we had missed it.  Turns out everyone was going to the end of the pier to watch the sun set.  We missed the best part but it was still very beautiful and hard to believe looking out at the Lake that it could be so mean at times. 
There was an old light house at the end of the pier.  I went inside to snap a picture and was followed by a very knowledgeable man about light houses.  He pointed out all the spots that were rusted and where the sun would now shine through.  They are planning on restoring the lighthouse. 

 The following morning the Harbour Master came out and asked us to move to the Northern part of the Marina off the dock wall.  The winds were supposed to kick up and even though we were inland she said that spot will have you rocking uncomfortably in the wind if we didn't move. 

We will be here for another few days as there is a small craft warning due to winds until Monday night and even then not looking favourable to travel until Thursday. The Harbour Master told us there were a couple more Loopers in the Marina.  Going to do some exploring tomorrow and possibly meet some new Looper friends, "One Bay at a Time."

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