3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 22 and 23, 2011, Friday & Saturday

Friday, Lime Island State Park to Mackinac Island State Park, MI:  Another beautiful morning and St. Mary's River was very calm. We were only 8 miles from DeTour and we were back in Lake Huron for the last time.  After a nice day on the water we checked into our marina and went for a walk around the Island.  It was very busy with a lot of tourists riding bikes and a lot of horse drawn carriages as Mackinac Island does not allow any motorized vehicles.  There were all kinds of shops on the main street and there must have been at least 20 "Fudge Shops" within a 6 block radius.  I don't know how they can all keep in business.  This was the first marina that we have seen full in a long time.  We called for reservations and they were full but this is a "Harbor of Refuge" so the had some slips available on a first come first serve basis and we lucked out.  We had a very nice meal at the Seabisquit restaurant.

W84 36.839

CO's comments:  Too damn many people.  I will never, ever, come back to this island.

Saturday, Mackinac Island State Park to Beaver Island Marina, MI:  We got going by 07:00 to try and beat the storm forecast for this afternoon.  It was a very foggy and overcast morning but the lake wasn't too bad at first.  By 07:55 we enter into Phase 22 of our journey; Lake Michigan.  As time went on the lake got a little rougher and at it's worst we had 3 foot rollers at our starboard and a very strong wind at our port making steering the boat challenging.  We got to Beaver Island without any thunderstorm.  They all went south of us.  As of right now, it doesn't look like our luck will hold for tomorrow, but we will wait and see.  Beaver Island is very quaint, not at all commercialized as Mackinac Island.  We walked the town this afternoon before dinner.  We met newbie Loopers from here that will be starting their loop next week.  They had that same excitement in their eyes and voice that we had last year at this time.  It's hard to believe that we will be done in just 4 to 6 weeks.

N45 44.940
W85 30.686

My sister Sharon at Mackinac Island
with Mackinaw Bridge in background 
Me at Mackinac Island with
Mackinaw Bridge in background

Leaving Mackinac Island on 7-23-2011
Mackinaw Bridge on 7-23-2011

CO's comments:   On our way to Beaver Island a boat tried to call the harbor on Channel 16 to no avail.  Another boat came on and told him to call Channel 9; he did with no answer.  The boater called back and asked if they could be of help.  He said he left Charlevoix this morning and wanted to get to Beaver Island.  Charlevoix is 55 miles from the Mackinaw Bridge and 33 miles from Beaver Island.  He thought he could see the Mackinaw Bridge from his present location.  A second motor vessel asked him if he had his charts and he said no.  Then was asked if he had a chart plotter and he said no, but I have a compass.  He was advised to go ashore and buy a chart of the area as "Grays Reef" is very dangerous if you do not stay in the channel.  The guy did not know where he was and said he didn't need a chart.  That is the last we heard of him til we got close to Beaver Island, then we heard him on the radio again saying he was at the north end of Beaver Island and he couldn't find the harbor.  He ended up flagging some boats down to bring him into the marina as he ran out of gas.  Unbelievable; totally unprepared.

Mackinaw Bridge from our bridge
Passing the "Indiana Harbor" on 7-23-2011

Kim Jo III at Beaver Island Marina
Main Street on Beaver Island

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

George Kemp Marina, Sault Ste Marie, MI to Anchorage/Tie-up at Lime Island State Park, MI:  We got back to Sault Ste Marie on Tuesday but yesterday the weather did not cooperate so we finally got going this morning.  My sister Sharon is doing Lake Michigan with us.  She is a big help and we are glad to have her.  We left this morning and went up 30 feet in the Canadian Lock and then we went out into Whitefish Bay/Lake Superior for a short while and then turned around and went down the US Locks on the way back.  We all felt that the workers at the Canadian Lock were much more friendly and helpful than the workers at the American Lock.  It was a beautiful day to be on the water.  We stopped at Lime Island State Park about an hour north of DeTour, MI.  There is a wall to tie up to for just $15.00 per night.  This is a very nice area with lots of trails for hiking, a museum house, an old school house, and the remains of the old lime kilns that were used from 1910 through 1961 when they closed.  We saw at least 12 Freighter (Lakers/Steamers) go by us today on the St. Mary's River; a very busy day.  My friend Joyce is the cook on the 1,004 foot Steamer, "American Spirit", and her husband is the Captains; cool!

Leaving the Canadian Lock on 7-21-2011
Entering Whitefish Bay/Lake Superior
Entering US Poe Lock
Leaving the US Poe Lock
Kim Jo III at tie up at Lime Island State Park, MI
One Room School House on Lime Island
Lime Kiln Ruins
View from the hill at Lime Island
One of the steamer/freighters that passed us on 7-21-2011

Steamers never stop; they pick up their supplies, mail, etc on the run

N46 05.269
W84 00.755

CO's comments:  I damn near got hit again while tied up at a dock.  If the dinghy had been up on the back of the boat they would have hit the dinghy.  Supposedly, the four aboard had just finished captains school!  Where the hell did they get their license from?

I have never been boarded in over 5,000 miles by the US Coast Guard but the other day I went for a ride in my dinghy and all of a sudden sirens were blowing, lights were flashing, so I stopped.  The US Coast Guard came along side and asked if I have ever been boarded and I looked up at them and said "No, not in my dinghy".  They wanted my registration and proof of ownership.  Luckily I had my life jacket with me but I didn't have a whistle so they gave me one.  I asked them if they did this often and they said no; but it had been pretty slow!