Category Archives: Sailing in Lake Michigan

St. Ignace, Michigan – August 2nd

It’s been a few days since writing in the blog as we have entered the USA and I can’t use my turbo hub to access the internet. We are in St. Ignace, Michigan, safely docked at the marina. There is all sorts of bad weather surrounding us, so this is a good place to be. We tried to get reservations for Mackinac Island, but the marina was full.

We left Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday and traveled up the St. Mary’s River to Harbor Island. It was very warm so we went swimming for an hour and then received a text message from Jim and Sharon. I guess the US border patrol spoke with them while they were anchored in the same spot as we were a few hours earlier and suggested that they go and check in to US Customs. We always thought that you didn’t have to check in as long as you did not go on the land, but that is not true. As soon as you drop your anchor, you are considered illegal unless you have checked in. (Jim and Sharon could have had a $1000 fine as well as losing their boat).

So, we hoisted the anchor and headed over to Drummond Island and checked in with the Customs officer. Then, Jim and Sharon’s friends, on the Nancy D, had us over for supper. We then left and re-anchored were we were in the afternoon.

Big sky at Harbor Island

We left early in the morning and went as far as Government Island and anchored there for the night. We left really early this morning so that we would avoid the storm and are now at St. Ignace. We might go to Cheboygan tomorrow. We’ll see. Eventually, we will start heading back home…

Parasailing over to Mackinac Island

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Sailing in Lake Michigan


Highlights of our 2010 Trip

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from our trip. We had a great time!


Mackinac Island to Harbor Island July 14 – 15

We left Petoskey VERY early on Wednesday morning because we had to go quite a distance (50 miles which is a lot on a sailboat). The day was uneventful and we arrived on Mackinac safely even though we had to dodge the ferries and the huge wakes that they left. I immediately went downtown and spotted an identical T shirt that I bought in Petoskey the day before for $5.00. It was $22.95 on Mackinac! The Mackinac markup, I guess, was working overtime!
I only shopped for a few minutes – there were many people all walking at a snail’s pace, eating waffle cones or fudge, and that smell combined with horse manure was overpowering. I decided to go bike riding instead and cycled around the island three times (I know – slacking in my old age). Dennis kept himself entertained by visiting with the people we are traveling with (they have a much bigger boat!).
We were happy to go to Mackinac Island but also happy to leave. The ferry traffic kept our boat bobbing up and down constantly, and the cannons going off made the island a very busy place! The showers though, I am happy to report, were clean, high flow, fairly hot water, but you had to push a button to get the water. In all though, they did the job.
This morning, we motored all the way to Harbor Island near Drummond Island. It was uneventful except for the attempted rescue of the white bucket. Dennis was cleaning the deck and somehow dropped the bucket overboard. We tried to get it, I made two passes around it, got very close but by the time we made our second pass, the bucket was submerged four feet. I assume that it sunk to the bottom of Lake Huron.
Our troubles with the wind meter continue to plague us – either that or the wind speed has been zero for the past week! I guess we’ll have to try to get our money back from Fogh Marine – that will make for an interesting discussion I’m sure!
We are anchored out tonight on Harbor Island and are really enjoying the peace and quiet. Marinas are fine for a night or two, but anchoring is much nicer. I went kayaking for a while and then we went snorkeling. There wasn’t much to see but the water is warm.
Tomorrow, we are headed off for Blind River. We have to replace the bucket!

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Posted by on July 15, 2010 in Sailing in Lake Michigan


Mackinac Island

We are on Mackinac Island. Bad weather is coming our way so we may stay put. We will see in the morning.

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Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Sailing in Lake Michigan


Climbing The Mast

Dennis had to climb the mast today so that he could re-install the wind meter (which currently is NOT working) but that’s another story. Here are some pictures – I took some from the dock and Dennis took some from the top of the mast. Enjoy!


Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Everything Else!, Sailing in Lake Michigan


The trip so far…. (Parry Sound to Beaver Island)

OK –  I have actually a few minutes to sit down and write something! This boating business is keeping me very busy. You wouldn’t think that it would, but I really haven’t had time!

So, everything is going really well on this trip. I think the boat is well set up – we have all the amenities of home. We are very comfortable living on it and have established a good routine starting with coffee in the morning. At home, we have the coffee on the automatic timer, but that would not be very practical on the boat, so Dennis gets up really early (usually 5:30) and wanders around the anchorage or marina until he hears me stirring. Then I make a lot of noise, so he quickly makes my coffee. It is an excellent way to start my day and I would highly recommend it to fellow boaters.

It we are travelling then we have learned to “batten down the hatches” and secure everything. You never know what will happen on the water, so it is best to be prepared. We learned that the hard way (of course!). Trying to get down below in rough water is very unpleasant  because it is so hard to hang on to things. We have to lock all the cupboards, lockers, and drawers (easy – just press the button on each), close all the windows – I guess sailors would say hatches), put all the dishes safely away, and bring the important things up in the cockpit. The important things include the life jackets, radio, hats, water, saltine crackers, blanket (for me), and cushions.

We are also getting better at docking the boat which is the most nerve wracking thing of the day. Anything can go wrong in a few minutes. Dennis, I have to say, is an excellent driver (if that is the right word) and I once in a while can actually accurately throw the lines to the dock handlers. When it is windy though, like in Drummond Island, it is a challenge.

Now, on the day we left Gore Bay, we had very calm weather and motored the entire day but about two hours before we reached Drummond Island, the wind came up and we had a bit of a rough time. Nothing disastrous happened, just a lot of pounding into the waves. Anyway, by the time we reached Drummond, the wind was really howling. We had to dock because we had to clear Customs. Luckily, this very nice couple helped us, otherwise it would have been terrible!

Once we cleared Customs, we immediately went for a walk and beelined over to the Bruce Roberts steel boat – Dennis’ dreamboat! Our recreation then, consists of looking at other boats…

Anyway, the trip has been lots of fun! We have learned to pack our food properly, so we have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The best idea though was to buy frozen bread from The Mad Hatter Cafe in Parry Sound and keep it in the freezer until we need a loaf to bake. Their bread is excellent! That is the one thing on the trip that is not good – buying decent bread so this has solved the problem.

The other really good thing is my iphone. I can access the internet from almost anywhere which I am enjoying. I check the weather and the news, update various things, and keep in touch. Now that we are in the US, it is a bit more expensive ($1.00 per MG) so I just check once a day and then use the wireless at a marina.

I am getting lots of exercise too! I have started jogging (every few days). I am not very fast but can go 8 km so that helps a lot. When we are at an anchorage, I swim or kayak around. That helps too but it is the jogging that really makes a difference. I haven’t even ridden my bike once!

So, this trip has been great! We are now on Beaver Island and will head over to Petoskey tomorrow and then work our way back into the North Channel.

For entertainment today, we are all going to watch Dennis climb the mast to put up the wind meter. Hopefully it will go smoothly!



Mackinaw City

We are in Mackinaw City at the Straits Marina. The entire Great Lakes Cruising Club is alongside. Our boat is pretty small compared to them! Oh well, we’re lucky to get a dock! Beaver Island tomorrow.

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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in Sailing in Lake Michigan