Friday, August 29, 2008

Charlevoix to Frankfort

Monday, August 25th.

We left the lovely Charlevoix this morning, getting up before sunrise (6am--ugh), putting on our jeans and sweatshirts (it was 55 degrees!), wiping the dew from the boat, untying our power cables and lines, and waiting in a 8-boat line to cross through the only bridge out onto Lake Michigan again—which would open for the first time at 7am. Thankfully, I can’t say I’ve seen as many sunrises as Louis, but this one this morning was especially beautiful. It was a crystal clear morning. The winds of the past four days had died, Lake Michigan was beginning to calm down, and 5 Looper boats were ready to travel and take advantage of the good weather: “Wanderin L & M”, “C-Life”, “Sunshine”, Phantom….” , and “Bella Luna”. “Southern Comfort” and “Ithaka” decided to sleep in and take the 8am bridge opening, but they were ready to travel too.

We got out on the clear waters of Lake Michigan and it was a little rough for about an hour, but then the “seas” calmed down, and the lake became as flat as it could be—and we’re thankful too—we will be going 65 miles today, almost twice as far as we’re now used to going. We’ve been spoiled—as I’ve said here before—we really like 30-35 mile days! It’s so calm that right now I’m sitting on the flybridge (1:15pm) and writing this in Word—to be “posted” at a later date!

On our port (left) side are these humongous sand dunes—600-feet-high—and a half mile off shore, the water’s depth is 350 feet deep! It’s hard to imagine just how high these dunes are, and how much fun it would be to slide down them! Back about a mile, there was an abandoned, rusty tanker off to our starboard—it must have mistakenly been in waters too shallow or been caught in one of these notorious Lake Michigan storms or fog—it’s listing heavily and stuck solidly very close to the shoreline. I wonder how long it’s been there—none of us Loopers know!

We should reach Frankfort by 4pm this afternoon—making for a long, but pleasant day on the water. Frankfort was supposedly named for Frank Martin, who arrived in the area in 1855. He promptly built a log stockade around his home to ward off the winter snow drifts and his neighbors called it “Frank’s Fort”—the name stuck. The town sits on Betsie Bay, which is fed by the Betsie River (thinking of you Betsy!). Five boats hope to stay at the Municipal Marina tonight and have ribs for diner at the locally famous restaurant, Dinghy’s. Yum—we haven’t ordered ribs yet on our trip—what with all the great fresh fish up here! “Ithaka” has decided to go into Leland for tonight and “Phantom wants to anchor out in a pretty spot. (We’ll all catch back up with each other in a few days.) “Prime Time” seems to be about a day ahead of us, and we have no idea where “Victory”,"Sandpiper", and “Mojo” have gone! If tomorrow is another day like today, we’ll be on the move again south—days like today will get “fewer and far between” as August comes to a close.

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