St Ignace Marina was a great stop w/ good access to restaurants, swimming for Zeke & friendly staff. Best Whitefish tacos! The long ride under the Mackinac bridge and over to Beaver Island was a little bumpy for us, but Zeke had quite a difficult time. We stayed away from the freighters, but even from a distance their wakes rocked us hard several times as the moved at full speed thru the open water east of Mackinac Island.
Beaver Island is a throwback in time with a few quaint shops, local bars (Beachcombers and Shamrock) and lots of local history, some involving a Mormon settlement on the island. It was pleasant enough, but much of the open shoreline near the marina was cordoned off from riffraff like us. But we did manage to find a hidden spot where Zeke could swim with the ducks!
Northport, near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Grand Traverse Bay was our next destination on Thursday, Aug 26. We thoroughly enjoyed the town and the marina, which was great as we were grounded for 4 nights due to weather. One storm was so intense it tore our flexible solar panels off our bimini. Luckily, the didn’t blow over the seawall and we were able to recover them with minimal damage! While there we met a number of loopers, several couples “practicing” for their 2022 loop, and we saw some interesting boats, including this tug docked behind us on the seawall!
Finally, on Monday, Aug 30 we were able to head to Leland and although we again had quite a choppy ride we enjoyed the change in scenery! The nearby beach was beautiful, but the huge crashing waves intimidated Zeke. Had dinner on the boat (chix, wild rice and salad) and enjoyed the sunset as the strong westerly winds died down.
Started out early for Frankfort MI this morning (Aug 31) with north winds pushing us in a southeasterly direction past Sleeping Bear Dunes and North and South Manitou Islands. Would’ve loved to anchor out at S Manitou, but no pets are allowed on the islands. Passed Pt. Betsie lighthouse on the way into Frankfort and saw many monarchs migrating across the open water today. Found good food and beer at Stormcloud Brewing Co…. Nice logo too! We’ll wait here for favorable winds to cross the big lake to Wisconsin, maybe Thursday…