Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Monday, August 31

First an update on Sunday, as forecast Sunday was still windy, no day to travel. At least the skies had cleared and it was a nice day for a stroll around Mackinaw City. We had breakfast in town.

Then after lunch (when it warmed a little) we walked over to stroll thru Mackinaw Crossings. This is a new pedestrian plaza surrounded by shops. In the center is a fountain that feeds a stream that runs down to a pool at the far end.

Next to Mackinaw Crossings is a large waterfall that is part of an adventure golf center.

Across the street was a large arts and crafts show with 60 or 70 vendors in tents. Diana stroll the displays while I walked down to check the new state harbor marina. It is a beautiful new 130 slip facility that just opened the last week in July, very few boaters know it is here. We got another picture of the old icebreaker and Diana liked this fancy clock and flowers at the end of main (Central) street.

For my birthday dinner, Diana did individual chocolate cakes in the microwave. It is a receipt she saw last spring and made sure she had all the ingredients onboard. Who knew you could bake a cake in less than five minutes.

Now for Monday.

From Mackinaw we were looking at a long day somewhere to get to the west side of the lake. We decided that today looked like a good day to run straight west to Manistique. It would be 76 miles (almost ten hours) but a straight shot once we were under the bridge. The forecast was 5 to 10 NW going SW in the afternoon waves one foot or less, other than 45 degrees a good day.

We were off the dock by 7:30 and under the bridge just before 8:00. The prospect was for driving over 70 miles by compass. I can steer by the compass but it is much easier with a visual reference. As fortune would have it there was a freighter in front of us by about 3 miles, he was on our heading. He was just a little faster than we were but I was able to use him as a visual reference for 50 miles, he was just a spec but then slowed and finally turned north to go into Port Inland. It was only a couple more miles and I had a tower on shore near the Manistique Harbor entrance.

The weather was clear with the predicted 5 to 10 from the NW. About 1:00 it went to the SW as forecast, but instead of remaining 5 to 10 by 2:30 it had built to 15 to 20 and the waves were 2 to 3 feet. It was a very uncomfortable ride for the rest of the day; everybody hunkered down and made the best of it. Just before 5:00 we made the breakwater and on into the marina. Everyone was relieved to be tied up in calm waters.

At least now we are in a position to run down the Wisconsin shore. It will be one day from here to Washington Island at the north end of Door County, and then there are many harbors going down the coast.

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