Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mackinaw City to Harbour Springs (rough ride) to Charlevoix to Frankfort Lake Michigan

We were up early and planned to head for northern Lake Michigan. Listened to the weather and decided not such a good idea so we just went across the channel and stayed at Mackinaw City. The minute we pulled in to the dock we had so many people approaching our boat asking where we were from, where we were headed. We met the sweetest couple. They have been boating for 60 years. When I was out on the dock talking to them she said "oh you are Canadian!".... Wasn't quite sure how she knew.....then she told me....."you said it's really windy out there EH".... It's the eh....I told her you've got me...eh is your version of y'all. We laughed as she told me how she has many relatives from Canada.  I was hoping to get a picture of them but when I went back out they had gone boating. They had to be well in to their eighties.
Stayed the night in Mackinaw City and watched the tourists line up for the ferry over to Mackinaw Island.
Left then next day for Harbour Springs and took a shot of the Mackinaw Bridge from underneath.  The bridge appears to be grill type surface so you can see the vehicles passing overhead.
  Thought the winds were to be only 10 MPH with waves 2 feet or less...that's what weather said.  Easy trip to our next destination.....well you would think.  It was about 45miles, which travelling at 7 knots (1 mile = 1.15 nautical miles) we figured would take us approx 6 1/2 to 7 hours. We were about 1/2 way there when the winds picked up to 20 MPH which is a huge difference on the water.   If we were close we would have turned back but there was no turning back. When you're half way there it's half way either way.  We always batten down. We put the coffee maker in the sink....it either bounced out or came out when we went sideways.  We were on the bridge and it wasn't safe to even go down the ladder to check on anything as we could have been tossed ourselves. The second half of the trip actually took us 4 hours in very uncomfortable weather but the boat can always take more than the crew.
 Made it safely to our anchorage that day and stayed for 2 days to wait out another windy day.  We had a great time watching young kids that belonged to a sailing club sail off of our stern. They loved Dexter!

After 2 days at Harbour Springs we left for Charlevoix. It was only about a 2 hour ride. Found a nice anchorage close to shore so we could swim and kayak.  Dexter loves to swim beside the kayak.  The lake had a swing bridge that opened every hour and 1/2 hour that allowed passage in to the lake.

We only stayed one night there because winds were supposed to be very calm and we had a 70 mile journey to our next destination....about 10 hours. We were both awake at 4am so it was anchors away!!  The world is actually a very pretty place at that time of the day. Who knew?!  When we left we were relying totally on our instruments as it was pretty dark.  Then the sun came up on our stern as we travelled in flat calm water.....so peaceful we were both having trouble staying awake.

Apparently some us can't take the early mornings so I snapped a picture while he was catching a nap.
I didn't know until I started to update our blog that he did the same....busted!
Dexter made it 10 hours without even asking to pee. I need a Dexter bladder!  The water was flat calm all the way but a little foggy.....actually pea soup foggy. We used our radar and chart plotter to tell us where we were going....very much like navigating at night but I'll take fog over wind any day. Fog doesn't break shit!

Arrived at Frankfort Michigan at around 4pm. Met the crew of  a 150' boat. This is what their dinghy looks liked.  The boxes you see at each end is actually the holding tank from the bathrooms on the much larger boat.  Not many docks can accommodate a boat this size so this is how they get pumped out. 
And this is what their boat looks like.  We had a good chat with the crew of the boat.  When we asked where they were from they said "no fixed address".....gotta love that!  The one we chatted with was Australian.  He asked what we were doing and when we told him he said "You will use much less fuel and have much less paperwork that we do."

Staying put tomorrow as they are calling for thunderstorms and strong winds.  The town of Frankfort is just up the street from the Marina so we will explore that tomorrow.  Gonna be a good sleep tonight.  Love living "One Bay at a Time"

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