Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grand Haven, Michigan

Today is Saturday, August 30th, Labor Day weekend—how sad, the official “last” weekend of summer. We’re all aghast at how quickly the summer has flown by—even our children at home can’t believe it! We have been here in Grand Haven now three nights and we will stay until tomorrow, Sunday. Then we hope to anchor in Saugatuck and enjoy that “artsy” little town for a couple of days. We hope the crowds of this holiday weekend will lessen after Monday, and we can continue working our way down to Chicago with calm winds.

Grand Haven is a busy place! There’s lots of boat traffic here with several marinas all feeding through this one inlet onto Lake Michigan. We are happily parked at the town’s Municipal Marina along with over a dozen other Looper boats—all deciding to stay put for a few days. We hustled earlier this week, traveling long days—three in a row—and we’re all tired. So sitting still is having its’ rewards! We’ve “slept in” (7:15am!), worked on the boat, done laundry, Louis has waxed the inside hull and cleaned the teak cockpit, we’ve rented a car for Wal-Mart, West Marine, Napa, Home Depot, Staples, Hallmark, etc. Another Looper has had a birthday: Robert from “C-Life”—Happy Birthday Robert!—and many more. We’ve had 2 “pre-dinner get-togethers” so far, and we’re having a Looper hamburger cook-out tonight—color Louis happy—he gets to be the official cook over charcoal! As of this writing, there are 23 people signed up to come--yipes! Everyone is looking forward to the cookout because we've all been using gas grills now for months—and there’s nothing better than a burger over coals! (Thinking of you, Bean!)

We’ve taken the trolley on a tour of the town—it also took us to the State Park end where the pretty, sandy, beach is that we saw coming into the harbor here. There were trailers, campers and people everywhere. We were amazed to see so many people out on the beach and some actually in the water (burr!), but then we learned that one and a half million people visit that particular beach/park every year! Amazing—where do they all come from? The “season” here is so short that it makes it even more unbelievable, considering how much longer the season is where we come from.

Right behind us there is a coal-fired electric power plant—reminding us of Lake Hyco—but with only one “stack”. Barges that are 500-600 feet long bring in the coal to fuel the plant--the barges come right behind our boats! We’ve been here now three days, and I have yet to see any smoke coming out of the stack—must be a lot cleaner than home—and it’s very quiet too. It’s now Saturday (as I’m continuing to write this), and the boat traffic today is the craziest to date—I think everyone who has a boat is out on the water today (as they should be!) and they are all HERE! It’s a cool, clear, and beautiful day. TYJ. I am so glad we’re in a slip.

***Something of interest: Even with the “main street” (nicer shopping & restaurants) of Grand Haven being just across the street from us, our marina is part of a long, wide, concreted boardwalk that follows along the water’s edge for a good, long distance. There are all kinds of tee shirt and clothing shops, ice cream stands, trolley stops, hot dogs, popcorn, and taco stands, and a nice stretch where lots and lots of people: walk, bicycle, jog, rollerblade, walk dogs, push baby carriages, look at boats (“tied up” like us and “profiling” up and back, up and back, behind us), sit under beautiful shade trees, sit on benches and watch everyone else just going by. People watching is always fun! The parade of boats today has been especially spectacular. There’s even a grand-stand area where people gather every evening to watch the light show across the water--or dance, if the DJ is there—which he was Wednesday evening. The town of Grand Haven sponsors a sound, light, and “dancing waters” show every evening at 9:30pm—it lasts about 20 minutes. The music changes nightly, so it’s been fun to watch it each evening. It takes place right behind this marina (we sit on our stern and watch it from a bird’s eye vantage!), and we’ve watched it now for the last three nights. What fun—and what a good incentive for keeping the hordes of tourists downtown until 10pm! Tonight will be the last show for us, as we’re leaving tomorrow morning for Saugatuck. The nightly show is every evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day—and then only on weekends through the end of September--just another sign, along with the changing leaves here, that fall is right in our faces. Ugh. Also, there is the fabulous farmer’s market which is held right here on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. It is something we’ve all enjoyed and it’s been fun to be right in the thick of things for a few days. Happy Labor Day everyone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a "wanna be" boater who just read your blog from the start. Thanks for the daydreams. :)