Friday, August 29, 2014

Grand Haven to Saugatuck MI

On 8/23/14 we left Pentwater for Grand Haven, MI.  When we were in Charlevoix we met Captain Jim of Change Order, a 63 foot Sea Ray.  He recommend we stay at his home port, Holiday Isle Marina, while visiting Grand Haven.  The Holiday Isle Marina is located on Spring Lake and there is a Holiday Inn attached to the Marina.  The first night we were there a live band was performing on the boat next to us!  Saturday night party on the dock!

When we found out the Holiday Inn was pet friendly we decided to get off the boat for a night.  We enjoyed a nice looooong shower; not worrying about how many times we flushed the toilet; slept in a king sized bed and enjoyed having TV and being able to watch the 49ers beat the Chargers!  What can be better than that!  On Monday, 8/25 after a morning of rain, thunder and lightening we decided to check out the town of Grand Haven once the weather system had passed.  We had a nice lunch in Grand Haven and toured the 6 blocks of downtown.

Tuesday, 8/26, we left for Saugatuck.  Once again Change Order Jim had suggested we stay at the Ship N Shore Motel/Botel! Saugatuck is a great little town with lots of shops and restaurants.  Wednesday there was a band in the park playing all varieties of music.  Wish we could stay longer but the Labor Day traffic was coming to town starting Thursday.  So, we will be off to Michigan City, Indiana!

Arriving in Grand Haven, been there done that! 
Grand Haven Coast Guard Station
Quite an American Legion building
Free wall you can tie up to for the day
Lots of boats here in Grand Haven
This is the Holiday Inn at the marina in Grand Haven
Coming into Saugatuck
You can see Panacea at the Ship N Shore Motel / Boatel
Great place within walking distance to everything
The student captain went back to school so the ride is closed for the season
The ole Duck vehicle 
Some more of Saugatuck

Looking across from our dock in Grand Haven

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lake Charlevoix to Pentwater MI

We did stay an extra day in Charlevoix because one of the loopers we traveled with sent an email and said they were coming into Charlevoix to celebrate a birthday.  Turns out they didn't leave the next day from where they were because of visibility.  So we surprised Todd one more time at breakfast in the morning and finally said our goodbyes.  Back at the boat, we did our final preparations for departure early in the morning for a seventy mile destination of Frankfort MI.  We left at 7:30 am and had a beautiful glass water trip the whole way.  We arrived in Frankfort around 3:30 and the only thing we did was walk to the post office and walk Chloe.  I made one of Jan's favorite, patty melts, for dinner and we went to bed early for our next destination, Pentwater.  We left at 8:00 am and again had glass water but heavy fog.  Fog is a good thing on Lake Michigan because that means no wind which means no waves.  I love my Garmin radar and could see anything in the way.  The fog finally lifted and we pulled into Pentwater around 3:00.  Everything is within walking distance and we walked with Chloe the whole six blocks of the town and bought a few things along the way.  Leaving tomorrow for Grand Haven.

Sorry, just had to add this of our son Gary who lost over 70 pounds in the last 18 months and finished the Tough Mudder in Lake Tahoe to support Wounded Warriors
The Blueberry is complete
Here is your typical ship of the Great Lakes

For all you Michigan people, this is The Sleeping Bear
This puts Pismo to shame
Lighthouse at Point Betsie
Lighthouse to the entrance of Frankfort

Really?  I don't think they have any fishing rules in Michigan
Tied up at Frankfort
Frankfort behind us while at our dock

This is Lake Michigan on our way to Pentwater 

Pentwater lighthouse entrance

This why we like no wind

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mackinac Island to Charlevoix Michigan

Okay, regarding my last post I was told to add that I had switched fuel tanks because I noticed the boat was listing to port which usually means there is more fuel in on side than the other.  I should have accounted for the wind which was blowing into our starboard side which made me think I was listing because of fuel.  Anyway I screwed up.  Oh well, it won't happen again.  We left Mackinac Island on the 17th and headed for Charlevoix, one of Jan's bucket list items.  Charlevoix is the home to a renowned artist by the name of Todd Warner.  If you ever been to our house you would know of the art sculptures of the whimsical artwork thoughout our house.  We also have brought some pieces with us including the first one we bought call "Blueberry".  Blueberry is a giraffe that has a bird sitting on the top of his mouth.  When we moved onto the boat somehow the small bird didn't make it and Jan has been determined ever since to have him replaced.  Since she has been in contact with him throughout our trip he said he would make a new bird for her Blueberry.  When we arrived on Sunday he met us on the boat and we developed a friendship that I'm sure will last.  We all went out to dinner that night and met for breakfast in the morning.  He helped make arrangements for Chloe to get groomed and introduced us to a good friend, Justin, that is working with him to develop a website and promote his work.  On Tuesday he picked us up and drove us to get Chloe groomed and invited us to his home and studio in the Michigan country.  His house is on twenty acres in an absolutely beautiful setting.  While we were talking in his studio he was making one of his creations from clay like it was nothing!  He showed us his house and took us wherever we had to go for errands.  If you read this, go to Facebook and search Todd J Warner and become friends.  Here's a fact, if you have ever watched the movie "Up" the bird called "Kevin" is actually one of his creations that he never got recognition.  Thank you Todd for everything and hope to see you again soon.  We were going to leave this morning but decided to speed and extra day.  We also found out our boating looper companions for such a long time "Limelight" came in and we had docktails last night.  Tomorrow off to Frankfort.

Coming thru the draw bridge to Lake Charlevoix

The City Marina

Todd Warner
Creative genius at work
This is his pet Emu named Al
Thank you Todd for taking me to the groomers 

Bluebird back to normal with his bird on top
I love you Todd
Earl Young Mushroom Houses in Charlevoix

This is a boulder house not by Earl Young

Jan's new captain
Our new friend, thanks again for everything

DeTour to Mackinac Island

We left for Mackinac in the morning and had only one footer waves on our nose and decided since it was so nice we would make a straight line to the island rather than hug the North shore in case of rough water.  We were doing fine for a while as we noticed the wind picking up and the waves now maybe three feet.  No big deal, the boat was handling it fine and the ride was not uncomfortable.  After a while longer it was now four footers with an occasional five, so we decided to put Panacea on plain because it was a better ride and we were about 12 miles from the island and wanted to get there quicker.  Then as Captain Ron would say "if it's going to happen, it's going to happen out there," and both of our engines shut down and we were dead in the water.  I knew immediately we had run out of fuel in the port tank and raced down to the engine room to switch tanks to starboard and try to prime the fuel lines to start the engines.  Mean time anything that wasn't tied down was on the floor and flying back and forth, including Jan and Chloe.  I must say it is very uncomfortable in a boat in four and five foot waves just tossing you back and forth.  Jan thought we were going to tip over and became very anxious even though I tried to reassure her we were fine.  After several attempts of starting a engine I found out very soon that my batteries were dead, so I thought.  Average Looper and Navigator were about 10 miles away and Jan called them on the VHF and they in turn called the Coast Guard.  I was down in the engine room and didn't know all this was going on until I came out and Jan was talking to the Coast Guard on the cell phone.  I informed them we were dead in the water and needed a tow into Mackinac Island.  Another boat called Untied, that was also at the DeTour marina, had heard the conversation on the radio and changed their coarse and headed to give us any assistance.  Meanwhile stuff is still flying all over the place and making a hell of a racket.  We got our life jackets on, including Chloe, and waited for help.  Untie got to us first and circled until the Coast Guard showed up a little over an an hour after calling them.  We were not taking on water and we were not in a life threatening situation, just uncomfortable.  When the Coast Guard got to us they dropped off one their men and he, Mike, calmed Jan down and tried to figure out what to do.  The boat they brought out was one of those inflatables with the aluminum cabin and two outboards.  It only had a towing capacity of 10 tons and I was 12 tons.  When going over all that was going on he suggested turning off all our power to the batteries except for starting the engines.  That's is when I noticed with all the rocking and rolling going on and when Jan was on the radio she accidentally switched off the engine switches and several others trying to hang on.  I went back down into the engine room and started to prime the starboard engine and finally got it going.  With one engine we started for Mackinac with Mike onboard and the Coast Guard boat escorting us into the marina. we were at Mackinac Island, one of the destinations of any looper.  No motorized vehicles are allowed and the only way to get around is by foot, bicycle, or horse.  Since there were a lot of horses the town had that unique smell of what the country was like before the combustable engine.  Best way to get around is with the bike.  The day we were to leave the lake conditions were 4 to 6 feet with an occasional 8 so we decided to stay an extra day before heading to Charlevoix.  Loved Mackinac but way too many tourists.

Our hero, Mike is on the left, 17 year veteran.  Thanks to all of you for helping us.

Looking from our boat to Mackinac Island

That is the fort on the hill 

This horse and cart carry the luggage from the ferries that come in every 15 minutes from St. Ignac and Mackinaw City

No cars are allowed here.  Everything is done by horse or bicycle
This is the carriage to take you to the Grand Hotel

Finishing breakfast at the Pink Pony

There's Panacea looking out from the Pink Pony

Looking down main street

That's City Hall and other city offices
The Grand Hotel

Largest porch in the world 660 feet
You just have to have a seat on the porch
Hey Dwyer, this is the place for your next anniversary
Saw this over a doorway to a room
Apparently five or six presidents have stayed here.
Looking down on the pool from the forth floor

This could be you arriving to the Grand Hotel
Entrance from the driveway, I mean horse way
House on Mackinac

Fort Mackinac on the hill built by the British to protect them from those nasty French Canadians
Private residence across from the marina

Looking out the back from our boat
The Pearl Mist cruise ship.  If you can afford it do it!  Only 100 staterooms.  Google it.
Someone got married
As we left Mackinac Island the Grand Hotel is looking at us
Lighthouse on Round Island across from Mackinac Island