Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mackinac Island Day 3

Can you imagine what it would be like to live without cars. Well imagine no more because Mackinac Island has biking, boating and horse transportation but no cars. So take a look at what it would be like on Main Street, Mackinac Island without your favorite automobile.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mackinac Island Day 2

This place is an ideal place to take a vacation and i would put it on par with Bar Harbor in Maine and Hilton Head SC. The main thing that grabs your attention when you get here is that there are no cars.
If you like fudge this is the place to go with just about 20 stores on main Street selling either it or ice cream.
The place is very historical with a fort overlooking the town.
If you also like biking, then this place has lots of places to ride including an 8 mile circuit at the water's edge. The marina manager kindly loaned me a bike for the 3 days while I am here.
Just east of town, there is a cool arch rock formed when 4,000 years ago the softer material dissolved when it was under water and left the limestone intact.
The Grand Hotel has the Michigan Republican convention going on this weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Mackinac Island

What a beautiful day it was yesterday. I heard reports of 80 degree temperatures here in upper Michigan and this town looks so picturesque. Because this place is referred to the Upper Peninsula, the people like to refer to themselves as Uupers. Anyway I am getting ahead of myself. I left at 9am and sailed at about 2.5 knots until the wind died completely around 2pm. Usually I turn the engine on under 3 knots but I was hoping against hope that the wind would pick up. I didn't arrive until after the dock Master had gone home so I threw down my hook and rocked until the ferries stopped around 9pm. This morning I will go into the marina and take a look around the island. No cars are allowed on the island so I will have to rent a bike. The weather forecast for the next week has the wind coming from the SSW which is the direction I want to go so I may be holed up here for a while.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

DeTour Village

Well they say it's an evil wind that blows no good. All the hurricanes in the Atlantic have meant warm weather up here. Today it was 60-70 degrees.......again and the warm weather is expected to be here all next week. Nobody is here because 40-60 is the average for this time of year.
Here is Main Street at 5pm. It's empty!
And this is the reason for the town's existence......the ferry over to Drummond Island.
Next to the ferry is a good nautical museum.
This steam engine is an example of something revolutionary back in 1895.

Today I am heading west over to Mackinac Island.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Milford Haven

You never know how your day will go when you are out cruising on a sailboat. Yesterday The forecast was for light winds and I planned on sailing for the Grant Islands, 20 Nm west of me. Well I got to them about 1pm and made a judgement call to continue because the winds were fresh and I was doing a good 5 knots. Well I ended up making a 9 hour, 45 Nm voyage averaging 5 knots all the way to Milford Haven with the fresh wind behind me enabling me to use my huge Genoa under a deep reach. What a fabulous sail! The seas were fairly flat, it was a beautiful day with wispy clouds and warm temperatures and you couldn't ask for better conditions especially at this time of year. I think I saw one boat all day long and even that was on the horizon. I don't like using my engine except for going in and out of harbor and I look for days like yesterday on the weather forecast to do my longer journeys.

This place is very pretty but compared with the North Channel, I would rate it only as average. I would normally post a photo but because the cell coverage is so poor here, you will just have to take my word for it.

Today I am headed south about 10 Nm to De Tour Village in the USA to clear customs and buy some food. I have practically no food left on the boat after being at anchor every night for a while. I did this on purpose because you are not allowed to bring fruits, vegetables or meat back into the USA.  Most cruisers just go in to Town Harbor and the customs people come out and inspect your boat. I belong to SVRS (small vessel reporting system) so in theory, I just enter the USA and make a phone call and they give me a report number and that is it. I do have to file a float plan before I leave the USA and they still have the right to come out to your boat and inspect it, however in the last few times I have come back to the USA, no one has ever come out. I do have a decal on the outside of my companionway that I buy every year for about $25 and I am supposed to fly my yellow quarantine flag within 3 Nm of port until I am cleared. I can take down my Canadian maple leaf courtesy flag and remove the Canadian clearance number from my starboard side.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Turnbull Islands

Yesterday was the first time I have ever towed my dinghy while sailing along and I must say that it was a success and I didn't have any problems. I towed it on the starboard side and I wasn't going very fast and not far but I will be a lot less hesitant about doing it in the future.
Mindful of the fact that I will be crossing over from Canada to the United States of America in a couple of days, I have been rationing my food and have hardly anything left on board until I get to De Tour Village. They don't allow any fruits or vegetables across the border and of course that is just about all I live on. The other thing is that I don't want any food on board the boat when I haul it out for storage in a week or so.
Today I am heading to the Grant Islands about 20 miles west of here. Winds will be light and downwind so I plan on using my giant yellow Genoa poled out wing on wing.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cleary Cove again

It is such a beautiful place that I decided to stay another day. A boat with a 5 foot draft is normally not able to get into this cove but because the lake levels are so high this year I was able to squeeze in.
I got my exercise rowing around in my dinghy checking out all the beaver homes.
These beavers must have some serious teeth to be able to fell sizeable trees like this one.
Today I am moving about 5 miles westwards to the Turnbill Islands.