TWO days ago, September 3, 2016, we departed Mackinac Island with our destination being Charlevoix, MI. As we cruised under the Mackinac Bridge, we went from Lake Huron into Lake Michigan. There isn’t a sign, or really any noticeable line of demarcation…..it JUST IS!!!!!!
We cruised for about 7 hours this day arriving at Charlevoix City Marina. The marina is in a protected small lake called Round Lake which feeds into Lake Charlevoix. We reached the dock via a small canal that required the raising of a bridge.
We spent the night on the boat and the following morning, after performing boat chores, we were picked up by our Hilton Head friends, Wig and Vickie, for a land visit with them at their summer place near by. We were treated to a cocktail boat ride on Clam and Torch Lakes late in the afternoon.
Today, Labor Day, we have run a few errands with Mr. Wig being our UBER driver and are enjoying a relaxing visit overlooking this lovely small fresh water Michigan lake where Loons and Swans go swimming by.
Saturday, September 3, 2016 we departed Mackinac Island, MI, cruised under the Mackinac Bridge, left Lake Huron and entered Lake Michigan.
We docked at Mackinac Island Harbor on Thursday, Sept. 1st & 2nd. At this point of our Great Loop journey, we have cruised 2,295 miles, we are at the most Northern point we will encounter, this is Trip Day #127, and cruising day #47. As stated above, we have made the “turn” with Salt Lick’s bow pointed South. The third and final “inland sea”, Lake Michigan, awaits us.
SO – back to Mackinac Island.
The name, Mackinac (pronounced MackinAW), is derived from a longer Indian name meaning turtle. The shape of the Island reminded the Indians of a turtle’s shell. We arrived Thurs. afternoon realizing that the harbor is located right along the main street of the Island with the many shops, Mackinac Fort, and a park within a short walking distance. The next day we rode our bikes around the entire perimeter of the Island. We also rode up to the highest part of the Island to the Protestant cemetery. From there we wound our way to the Grand Hotel. We calculated about 11 miles of peddling!!
The waters of Lake Huron are beautiful with the South -East shores lined with hundred and maybe even thousands of “rock statues”!!
Other than the UNMARKED – ONE AND ONLY POLICE CAR, and emergency vehicles ( fire/EMS) the modes of transportation are strictly via horse, horse and carriage, or bicycle. Mackinac Island is a very different and special place. If one is addicted to fudge, you could visit a different fudge shop every day of the month!!! Tourism is the primary industry. The famous named hotel, The Grand Hotel (circa 1887), sits majestically up on a hillside overlooking Mackinac Straits , the harbor and the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge that connects Northern Michigan with the Upper Peninsula. There are many other smaller hotels, B&B’s, cottages and boutique hotels and rooms for rent. The access to the Island is via ferry or one’s own boat. The Island architecture is Victorian.
When exploring the Island, we climbed up a hillside 207 steps to view the ARCH ROCK. This provided a KODAk moment or two.
The above photo shows Hank at the Protestant cemetery searching for a colleague of his who died at a young age of brain cancer. Hank was able to locate her grave site to pay his respects. Who would have ever thought there would be an acquaintance that called Mackinac Island home!
From here we rode our bikes to the Grand Hotel where we enjoyed a late afternoon cocktail and snack while sitting on their “GRAND” porch!
Our dinner this evening was at the IROQUOIS HOTEL. Wonderful atmosphere, delicious food ( the best morels ), and good service. We topped off the evening with a 20 year old Port and homemade fresh peach ice cream. Good thing we had that long bike ride earlier in the day!
Here are a few photos of the many horses we encountered on the Island.
It has been 4 days since I last blogged. Today is September 1, 2016. For the past 4 days we have been cruising Lake Huron with our destination being Mackinac Island, MI.
After leaving Beach Harbor, MI we cruised to Harrisville, MI and stayed at the State Marina there. The State of Michigan has many state and city marinas that are very reasonable and also very good facilities. This was a long day of 70 miles, but was comfortable and easy cruising in a straight line. We saw only one fishing boat and one sailboat out on the waters. We rode our bikes into town and ate at a restaurant called “SHOTMAKERS”… THIS DINNER is now our standard for judgment regarding fried lake perch dinners. The best we have encountered so far!!!
We met a couple on a sailboat, the one we saw out on the water, Cheryl and Larry Timm. They had been sailing in Lake Superior most of the summer and were headed for home – Bay City, MI. SURPRISINGLY—- they did NOT know my friend Bayne!!!!! Cheryl is president of the Great Lakes Cruising Association. She very kindly offered her dock that she has at Duncan Bay, in Cheboygan, MI for a night as we cruised on towards Mackinac Island. The generosity and kindness of water friends along the way is amazing!! THANK YOU CHERYL.
Before arriving in Duncan Bay, we spent a night at Presque Isle State Marina.
I ONLY mention this, as when we departed Presque Isle…..we encountered waves of 4-5 feet, higher winds, etc. than what was predicted and broadcasted over the weather stations and NOAA. Talk about a rough ride — for 50 miles!!!! Any and everything that was not tied down or secured was tossed all over the boat. We were not in any danger, it was just a very long day of some very rough seas. Must say that we were mighty happy to be docked in Duncan Bay Boat Club marina.
We hired a cab — driver named Henry — to get us to Walmart for some supplies. We then headed to “This Old House” restaurant where Henry said had the best pizza ever! And IT was very good!. Henry then picked us up to return us to the marina. His wife had delivered a baby girl that VERY morning!!! Welcome to this World , Ms. Madeline Marie!
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
We made a short trip this AM (20 miles) to Mackinac Island State marina. We were very lucky to get dockage here on the Island due to this being the Labor Day holiday weekend.
THE APEX WE are at the apex — the most Northern point of this Great Loop adventure!! For one thing, I am cold. We traveled with long sleeves and our foul weather jackets on. From this point on, we are headed SOUTH!! 🙂 WOO HOO
HELLO TONAWANDA PEEPS!!!!!!!!!!
Wanted you to know I was thinking about y’all yesterday evening when I knew there MUST have been a concert at the city marina area. SO —- here is a look at what our Wednesday evening band concert looked like!!!!!! Hope all is well in your World. 🙂
When departing Mackinac Island we will be moving into the last of our Great Lake travels – i.e. Lake Michigan. Tomorrow we plan to further explore Mackinac Island, hopefully have dinner in the Grand Hotel, and maybe do a little shopping. There are NO cars on this Island other than ONE police car and fire and rescue vehicles. ALL transport is via horse and buggy/wagons and / or bikes. EVEN when boats deliver restaurant supplies , food supplies for shops, etc….ALL goods are delivered via horse and wagon. We witnessed this today when we saw a horse drawn wagon carrying lumber and building supplies along with some boxes of canned food goods!