Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Days 359-360     Snug Harbor Marina
Pentwater, MI
Friday, August 19 - Saturday, August 20, 2011

 Jeremiah and Seamoore leave Frankfort

 Green and red entrance markers to Pentwater

Crowded beach at Pentwater
 Snug Harbor Marina

View from Dream Catcher docked at Snug Harbor

The Antler Restaurant

Gull Landing Restaurant

It was a long run, but the winds and water were calm, so we traveled over 60 miles from Frankfort to Pentwater.   Pentwater is a charming lakeshore town with a very protected harbor.  It’s a great stop for the inclement weather that was predicted for Saturday. 
The downtown area is next to the marina, so we walked with Linda, Jeff, and Carlton to a restaurant called The Antler.  The Mexican food was outstanding.  We then enjoyed a nightcap at Gull Landing. 
On Saturday we awoke to rain and were glad that we had decided to stay for another night.  When the rain subsided the 2 of us walked downtown for a little shopping.   The Looper Train had a wide variety of appetizers for dinner on Dream Catcher.
Total miles:  63      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0
Day 358      Jacobson Marina
Frankfort, MI
Thursday, August 18, 2011

North Manitou Shoal Light

 Passing a freighter in Northern Lake Michigan

 Point Betsie Light

 Sand dunes are prevalent on the west coast of Michigan

Frankfort Harbor Light
Dream Catcher was docked next to the 130-foot yacht at the end of the pier

Nina on display at Frankfort

Betsie Bay Inn

The shoreline from Leland to Frankfort is part of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park.  With 480-foot-tall sand dunes, white beaches, and forests, the scenery is stunning.  In a recent Good Morning America search, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore earned the title of “the most beautiful place in America”. 
We arrived in Frankfort a little after noon and all 6 of us walked downtown for lunch at Dinghys Restaurant.  We then did a little shopping around town and went back to the boat for a relaxing afternoon.
In the evening we went to Betsie Bay Inn for dinner with Becky and Carlton.  The inn is an historic Victorian Hotel that in earlier times featured an underground tunnel to Al Capone’s nearby home.  The tunnel was supposedly used for part of his bootleg liquor business.  The inn has recently been restored and features 17 unique rooms.              
Total miles:  42      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0
Days 356 - 357    Leland Township Marina
Leland, MI       
Tuesday, August 16 - Wednesday August 17, 2011

 Leland Marina office

Docked at Leland Marina

Waterfall at Leland River Dam

 Lunch at the Cove Restaurant by the waterfall

 Reflections is one of our favorite shops

 Historic fishing boat at Leland "Fish Town"

Part of historic "Fish Town"

Again Lake Michigan was like glass for our 4 hour run to Leland.  We arrived before noon and walked to The Cove Restaurant in “Fish Town” for lunch.  “Fish Town” is a National Landmark District.  It is home to an authentic Great Lakes fishing tug.  Ancient ice and fish shanties now house an operating fish house and specialty shops.  The 2 of us have been here several times, and it is one of our favorite stops on Lake Michigan.   The looper train had dinner at the Bluebird Restaurant which is located in a beautiful setting with gardens overlooking the small Leland River that feeds into Lake Michigan.
On Wednesday we checked the weather and decided to pass on the predicted 2 to 4 foot waves.  We did some laundry, ate breakfast with Jeff and Linda at the Early Bird restaurant, and bought some groceries.   The 2 of us enjoyed shrimp cocktail and brie with mushrooms for appetizers before our meatloaf dinner on Dream Catcher.            

Total miles:  36     Total bridges:  1       Total locks:  0

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 355      Charlevoix Municipal Marina
Charlevoix, MI
Monday, August 15, 2011

 The magnificent Mackinac Bridge

 Gray's Reef Light

 Unusual home on Round Lake

 Another home in Charlevoix

Overlooking Charlevoix Marina in Round Lake

Lake Michigan was smooth and beautiful as we cruised for 7 hours from Mackinaw City through the Straits of Mackinac and Gray's Reef to Charlevoix.  The Charlevoix Municipal Marina has been remodeled over the past few years and is very attractive with new docks, fountains, and lots of flowers.  We arrived a little before 3:00, walked downtown, and did a little shopping. 
Whitney’s Oyster Bar featured half price appetizers during happy hour.  We ordered enough that it turned out to be dinner.  Becky and Carlton went back to the boat, but we walked with Jeff and Linda and checked out a little more of Charlevoix.  It’s a very pretty city, and a great stop for loopers.     
Total miles:  58     Total bridges:  2       Total locks:  0
Days 353 - 354        Straits State Harbor Marina
Mackinaw City, MI
Saturday, August 13 - Sunday August 14, 2011

 Detour Light

 Round Island Lighthouse

One of the many ferries headed to Mackinac Island

Straits State Marina

Docked at Mackinaw City with a Maritime Museum on a retired Coast Guard ship in the background

The Mcneely bell

 Statue of Edgar Conkling (1812 - 1881), founder of Mackinaw City

Dinner at Monna Lisa

There was a light rain, but the winds were calm and the water was smooth as we left Drummond Island.  It remained that way until we arrived at the Straits of Mackinac where the winds picked up and so did the waves.  Of course, the wakes from all of the ferry boats didn’t help either.  We were all glad to arrive safely at the marina. 
We were also glad to see Bade Boomer!  It turned out that they had only slightly damaged one prop in the Benjamin Islands.  They switched out their props in Gore Bay and were back on the loop.  Along with Bruce and Chris we were joined by Jeff, Becky and Carlton for happy hour on Dream Catcher.   
On Sunday Chris, Bruce, Linda, Jeff, Becky, and Carlton went to Mackinac Island.  Since we have been there several times, we decided to explore Mackinaw City.  We rode our bikes downtown and checked out the shops and restaurants.  We decided on a pasta and mussels dinner at a restaurant called Monna Lisa.    
Total miles:  54      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0
Day 352     Drummond Island Yacht Haven
Drummond Island, MI, USA
Friday, August 12, 2011 

 Drummond Island Yacht Haven

 Docked at Drummond Island Yacht Haven

Looper dinner at Sunes

It was a good day to cross the North Channel from Blind River to Drummond Island.  The waters were calm and the 5-1/2 hour ride was smooth.  We checked in with customs, and we were back in the United States!  Hurray!  It was good to be back! 
There were a lot of loopers at Drummond including Crawdad, Grenan, Coconuts, Glory Days, and Sweet Pea. Carlton reserved one of the marina cars for the night, and all of the looper train chipped in on the $12 rental fee.  The 6 of us stopped for a few groceries and then joined fellow loopers for dinner at Sunes Restaurant.     
Total miles:  44      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 351
Blind River, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, August 11, 2011

 Whalesback rock in Whalesback Channel

 Blind River Marina with Dream Catcher on the far right

Library in English, Bibliotheque in French

The winds were calm for most of the run to Blind River.  But in the last hour the winds picked up, and we had a little rock and roll by the time we arrived.  We found loopers who had spent the previous night anchored in Beardrop.   It had been extremely windy and uncomfortable with everyone up all night to check their anchors and positions.  We were glad that we had passed on Beardrop. 
Jeff, Carlton, and the 2 of us rode our bikes a couple of miles to the downtown area of Blind River.  It is a small town with few shops or restaurants, but the people were very friendly.                       
Total miles:  30      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0
Days 349 - 350
Spanish Municipal Marina, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, August 9 – Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Entrance to the observation tower

 Seamoore, Jeremiah, and Dream Catcher on the far dock

 View east from the observation tower

Fuel dock at Spanish Marina

 We had planned to anchor at Beardrop in the Whalesback Channel, but rain and high winds were predicted for Wednesday.  The looper train decided to head for the safety of a marina.  Spanish is a recently-remodeled marina with facilities that include a lounge, laundry, and workout room.  We rode our bikes a couple of miles to the very small town and picked up a few supplies.
On Wednesday the winds picked up and produced white caps in the bay.  We were glad to be in the marina.  We tried the internet service and to our amazement it was one of the fastest that we have experienced on the loop!  Wow.  We took advantage of it and worked on the blog.                                     
Total miles:  17.5      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0