There exists a true working windmill here in Holland, MI. The upper part of the windmill was shipped here to the USA and Holland, MI from Amsterdam. An engineer came along with this big load of lumber and parts and with help of the locals here in Holland, they put it all back together! We went to see it today and had a short tour. All located on what is called Windmill Island. In early Spring it is full of tulip blooms. Today they were busy replanting the 1000’s of bulbs in preparation for next Spring.
Back to the windmill. It continues to grind wheat that is locally grown in Michigan. There have been only 4 millers in the life of the windmill. The miller of today is a female named Alisa Crawford. She is a certified , trained miller , trained in the Netherlands. DE ZWAAN is the brand name of the flour that is produced here. The method of the wind turning the windmill, when and how much canvas must be added to the blades, the tilt of the blades, and the direction of the blades is all a precise art. There are rollers near the top of the windmill on the exterior that will rotate the “whole blade” apparatus to catch the wind — N, E, NE, S , W, — you get it!!!! THAT is only done by Alisa and she must step along a large wheel to make it all move. And you can just imaging how large and heavy the grinding stones are. They , too, were shipped from the Netherlands.
For any of you who are “gear – heads”…….
Two other “attractions” were a parade organ.
And another carrousel, but this one was for children. Both were sent here to Holland, MI from the Netherlands.
TRAVEL UPDATE —- looking like we will be here for a couple more days. We have company, as a boat docked next to us is also doing the Great Loop. Hank and I sure do hope we escape off this Lake before the first snow falls. geesh!!!!!!!
We arrived back on Salt Lick after the wedding festivities, personal business, MD follow up appointments, and getting together with friends.
A special “shout out” to Dan McCormick, harbormaster at South Shore Marine in Whitehall, MI. He picked us up at the Grand Rapids airport Sat. morning, took us to a grocery store for supplies and helped us schlep it all to the boat. Dan is an interesting guy who until about a year ago was a pilot on one of the Great Lake’s ships that deliver ore, coal and other items to various ports around the Great Lakes. IMPRESSIVE His daughter is attending SCAD in Savannah, GA , so he and Hank shared a common bond with having daughters attend the same art college. Anyone cruising or traveling in this area MUST stop at this marina and give them your business. If not, at least stop by and say hello!! You will be most welcomed. Thank you Dan !!!!!
After getting settled on the boat we departed Whitehall and cruised to Grand Haven, MI. We departed around noon, so it was a short day and a good one to “RE-START” our adventure. Well, as luck would have it, Grand Haven was having their end of the Summer musical lighted water show. We were docked at the municipal marina, so we had a front row seat. Nice town with many quaint shops.
Before the evening entertainment, this young boy named Riley, stopped by the boat wanting to sell these painted bottles. When Hank inquired as to what he was going to do with the money, he said he was going to buy a fishing pole. Hank asked him to “hold on a minute” and into the boat he went to grab this fishing pole that has been riding around in Salt Lick for 10 years!!! And might I add, was not ever used during these past 10 years. Well —- young Riley was thrilled and kept saying ,,,’for real?” over and over. It was quite sweet.
PLEASE NOTE…….WILL GET VIDEO UPLOADED LATER OF A ‘SHORT” OF THE MUSICAL LIGHT AND WATER SHOW.
SUNDAY SEPT. 25, 2016 We departed Grand Haven with sunny skies and predictions of 1-2 foot seas. Our goal was to cruise to perhaps South Haven or as far as we could go. UGH —– the seas were about 4 feet instead and after 3 hours of uncomfortable riding, we made the decision to pull into Holland, MI. We are docked at the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club! Later in the day the winds really began to pick up and by the middle of the night on Sunday, it was really blowing! Monday brought approximately 25 knot winds, with seas up to 7-9 feet. OBVIOUSLY, we were going no where. And no where for today, Tues., Sept. 27th, as the waves continued to be high. We have used every line we own, and every fender, large and small to secure the boat. We were being thrashed around like crazy!
We are awaiting the arrival of navigation charts, a long mixed up story, but suffice it to say that they are being shipped here to us tomorrow. AND of course, tomorrow looks like a small window of favorable travel for us. BUT — unless UPS gets here early, we will not be departing until maybe Friday , if then, for our destination of Chicago. We have two days of cruising to make it there. Stand by folks for what unfolds.
IN THE MEAN TIME –we rented a car today in Holland for a few errands and some time off the rocking and rolling boat. After a yummy lunch at Salt and Pepper Grill I talked Hank into driving to Gun Lake. This is a lake that I came to every summer for two weeks with my family. There were several other families that came along too — the Browns, Warrens, Jacks’s, Silkwoods, and maybe some others. I met Barb Handel ( from Columbus, Ohio) there one Summer and to this day, we still keep in touch! I wanted to try and find the old place where we used to go. As life happens, many things have changed. New homes where old lake cottages used to be. The cabins we rented are long gone, BUT the market where we would walk to for cokes,ice cream, treats, post cards,etc. was still standing. At least the building was. It is no longer a market, but other businesses are there. The gas station next door is still in operation. Odd as it was to drive down that road, it was a fond memory of years past. Dad and a few others fished ALL day long, while Mr. Bill Brown very patiently drove the rented ski boat ALL day long for us kids.
Tomorrow we will explore more of Holland, MI before returning the rental car. Then make plans for future travel yet to be determined. As I write this blog, the winds have decreased greatly and the noise of lines and fenders stretching and pulling and banging around has stopped. A good night for good sleep.
Before I leave this page tonight, I do want to thank some very special folks for special things that they have each done over the past couple of weeks. Dan, the man, as mentioned above; Dana Holler for the touching base phone call; David Martin for wedding party procurement, Jean V. for condo watching, Gloria and Meghan for airport arrival pick up, David Harter for rescue of water valve turn on, Jeannie Harter for taking delivery of all UPS shipments, and Carol Hueckelman for her visit. YOU ALL are the BEST!!!!
Carol and I met in 2002 when we both traveled on the same Galapagos and Machu Picchu trip. She lives in South Africa. Her friend Daryl, lives in the DC area, and the two of them became friends when Daryl was working with our USA consulate in Johannesburg several years ago.
Like the geese are doing now, we too are flying South. The blog will be resting for several days as we fly home for niece Meghan Shoemaker’s marriage to Justin Salerian on Sat., September 17th.
The past several days have been not favorable on the weather side of life. With a previous delay we felt we needed to “move” the past two days to get closer to Grand Rapids, MI where we have scheduled our flights home. Leaving Pentwater, MI this AM, we were never in danger, but the travel was MOST uncomfortable for the crew. Today for 4 hours plus, it was hands on the helm with five foot waves in pretty close sequence. We are safely docked at South Shore Marine in Whitehall, MI on a feeder lake to Lake Michigan called White Lake. It is calm, quiet and peaceful here. Dan, the harbormaster, will drive us to the airport in the AM. NICE.
ONLY for Ms. Meghan would we travel under these circumstances. 🙂 This captain is not going to do that again. It is exhausting and NO FUN.
Hank was able to experience seeing Monarch butterflies flying over the Lake as I was busy wrestling with the helm wheel. I never did see one. They were flying ONE at a time. About every 5-10 minutes, Hank would say “there goes another one!”. I think the Monarchs are headed to Nebraska where they will meet up with millions of others and then head South to Mexico. What a sight that would be to see. It is amazing that those delicate small creatures would take off on a windy 10-15 knot day and head West across the big lake. Nature never fails to amaze and impress me!!!
We are nearing the final legs of the Great Lakes phase of this Great Loop adventure. We look forward to cruising into Chi-town near the end of the month. And for the season of time, all “things” fly South —- birds, butterflies, man, and boats flying on water.
The internet connection last night was weak and gave me fits when putting together the blog….. Here is the continuation from yesterday with a few thoughts for today.
It was wise of us to stay put today, as the winds and rain have been strong. Tomorrow promises to be better, so we will move on down the road. Our scheduled goal is to be in Muskegon or Grand Haven by Monday for a plane departure Tuesday. My favorite niece is getting married September 17th. Auntie Janet and Hank are not going to miss this event.
We departed Charlevoix and headed South to our destination, Leland, Michigan. The seas were rocky and travel was most unpleasant. Cold water splashed up onto the fly bridge….gggrrr. Waves were 4-5 feet. Have realized those heights make for very nasty travel. ALL is judged by the Albemarle Sound experience 10 years ago. So in that regard, it wasn’t THAT bad. Once we arrived in Leland/Fishtown we made our way off the docks and within a short few minutes walk we were having a great bowl of fish chowder and beers at THE COVE. This town sits along Leland River, according to the charts, and Carp River, according to the locals. After lunch we wandered around the village stopping to pick up a few food items for the galley.
TODAY — FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH
We head out early, found less than one foot seas, barely any wind and off we cruised for 75 miles!!!!! Our cruise today was lovely and a heck of a lot more comfy for the crew than yesterday. Today we passed SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE PARK. The skies were very cloudy, so the photos do not do justice to these magnificent sand bluffs and cliffs. It is my feeling that we will be seeing many more of these as we travel further South along the Michigan State shore line.
TOMORROW —- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2016
NOAA and all other weather sources indicate seas of 4-6 feet, Westerly winds, and thunderstorms. We will be staying put and docked here in Manistee, Michigan along the Manistee River. Thus –“WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!!!!!”
WILL GO AHEAD AND POST THIS TONIGHT……..HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE INTERNET AND NOT BEING ABLE TO UPLOAD THE PHOTOS…..WILL SEND THOSE TOMORROW – MAYBE!!!!
Hank and I have spent the past 4 days being hosted by Wig and Vickie Baumann at their summer place here in Northern Michigan. We toured ALL around the area seeing the sights of Petoskey, Alden, Bellaire, Boyne City, Little Traverse Bay, Harbor Springs, and other places I have forgotten. We waded in Lake Michigan in search of Petoskey Stones…… ancient stones, that when wet present a beautiful crystal design in the color of chocolate milk. Many are polished and made into jewelry. We took two sunset cruises on their lake, Clam Lake, as well as on Torch Lake and Grass River. Grass River is bordered mostly by a nature preserve. It is very wooded with a strong fragrance of the cedar trees. So refreshing.
It was great fun to be driven around in a faster boat by Captain Wig, giving Hank and I a break from the duties of helm and navigation work. Thank you both for a lovely time. We were able to get items we needed and especially for Shoemaker to find shoes for niece Meghan’s wedding. Was beginning to think I would be attending in my bare feet!!
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
Vickie and I went kayaking on the lake first thing this AM. THEN — we all piled into Wig’s tour bus and off we went to Petoskey — shoe shopping, Iphone store, and other stops were made.
OUT – LAWS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD…………
We made arrangements to meet up with Bobbi and Randy Schlueter, fondly known to us as the “out-laws”, who were vacationing in this area. Bobbi’s brother, Rodney and his wife Leigh Ann were traveling with them. After our connecting in Petoskey, we drove for several miles to this restaurant called THE CROW’S NEST — WAY the heck North of Petoskey. Had a fun time catching up on news, and enjoying a fresh perch dinner.
Our drive back to Clam Lake took us thru what is called the TUNNEL OF TREES. A beautiful drive along the coast of Lake Michigan. We saw several deer along the roadside munching their dinner of greens. A long, yet fun day.
As I write this, we have vacated the Lake house and are now back on Salt Lick here in Charlevoix, MI. Hank and Wig went for lunch at one of Papa Hemingway’s old haunts in Petoskey. Hemingway spent a lot of time on nearby Lake Walloon. While the guys were at their watering hole, Vickie and I met with friends of Vicki’s from Switzerland when they all lived there years ago, Karen Salee and Connie Eaton.
After returning to the boat, the Schlueters and Burts arrived with late afternoon foods to share with us all. We all visited for a while and then the Baumanns departed with plans made for Wig to meet with them tomorrow for a round of golf. Later on, after further visiting with the out laws and sharing a bite to eat, we said a farewell to them too. I guess I should clarify who the “out-laws” are. Randy’s son, Justin, is married to Hank’s daughter, Libby. :Now you know the rest of the story. 🙂
Tomorrow , as the ones we have said goodbye to swing away at little round white balls, we will depart Charlevoix and cruise South along the West side of the State of Michigan. Family and friends (old and new) are the best!!!!!