Sunday, July 31, 2016

7/31 Discovering Frankfort

It was a sunny, Sunday morning.  The walk to church was along the waterfront and then a short distance up to church.  We passed the Chamber of Commerce, where they had this mural on the building.  
After church, we went to a good Jewish Deli, L'Chiaym.  I got an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox for lunch.  Yum.

After lunch, we took advantage of the heated pool here at the marina.  It was refreshing.  Then it was time to go off exploring.  When we were arriving yesterday, we saw many white buildings with red roofs.   They turned out to be the Coast Guard station here.
Next to the Coast Guard station was an art museum that displayed local artists.  It was a good take in and free.   Walking back up the hill, overlooking Bestie Lake was an historical marker that identified that this was where Fr. Marquette was originally buried when he died on the way back from Illinois to St. Ignace.
The view of Betsie Lake from there was so pretty.

Finally,  I walked up to the beach.  The dunes extend through this area of Michigan.  The dunes are high and the beaches are wide with soft sand. 
From the beach, one can see how large this safe harbor is. 
This very large ship was heading north and seemed to take up a good portion of the horizon.

Tomorrow, we will spend another day here.  We will be waiting for our forwarded mail to arrive.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

7/30 45 degrees latitude

It was a bright sunny morning as we pulled out of Leland, Michigan Harbor.  We new this would be a unique day as the Hydrophilic would cross the 45th parallel, half way between the north pole and the equator.  We kept our eyes on the GPS setting so we would not miss it.  We ended up slowing down and crisscrossing the parallel a few times to get the picture of our plotter just right.

The dunes on the shore of Michigan are prevalent in this area.  A well known dune is the sleeping bear dune.

I took pictures of many of the other dunes as we went past too.

Our destination was Frankfort, Michigan.  North Breakwater Light stands at the entrance to Frankfort Harbor.
We are at Jacobsen's Resort Marina.  It is very nice here.  They have food on premises.  They have a pool and a hot tub and every two slips there is a gas grill and picnic table for your use.  Yes, I had to do it.  They had Nathan's hot dogs. So for lunch I had to have two hot dogs in Frankfort. 
After lunch, we walked the one block to town before the Street Sale closed.  Main Street was blocked off and the stores had their displays in the streets.  We didn't buy anything but did run into the crew of Ocean Commotion.  They are leaving here tomorrow. 

After walking around town, I met another boater in the marina.  She and her husband are planning the loop in 2 years.  She invited me aboard their boat and we had some good planning discussions.

Lat 44 degrees 37.91 North
Long 86 degrees 14.42 West

Friday, July 29, 2016

7/29 Leland, Michigan-Fishtown

It was a real nice morning as we headed to Leland, Michigan.  We rounded the northern tip of Grand Traverse Bay and headed south down the west coast of Michigan.  The topography is unexpected here.  There are very large sand dunes.  The dunes were created long ago with the receding waters that created the Great Lakes.  The small sand still blows across the lake and builds up the dunes.  The dunes are protected by vegetation that grows in the sand soil.  Here is a picture of one of the dunes we passed.

 I had said that we weren't seeing a lot of large ship traffic on the Great Lakes.  Today, we passed this large ship on our way to Leland, Michigan.

Leland, Michigan is an unusual little town.  It had a strong fishing industry until the 1970's.  Today, although much smaller, there is still commercial fishing industry here but the town has also restored many of the buildings into shops.  The area is called Fishtown and is at the mouth of the Leland River as it enters Lake Michigan.  Note that the type of boat that is on this sign is the same as the Native American boat where I met the man the other day.  He sells his fish here in Leland, too.
The commercial fishermen still come in to the mouth of the river to unload their fish.  The Leland River running to the Lake with the boats on either side is very picturesque.

We walked around town.  We did a wine tasting but really only liked the Hard Cherry Cider, so we bought a bottle.  Then we went to a distillery tasting.  The Cherry Vodka was excellent, so we bought a bottle of that, too.  The town has a very large fish weathervane at the marina.

We saw this metal horse next to one shop.
I bought a Petoskey stone, stones with coral imbedded from the ice age,  from a young teen who had set up his table.  He searches for the stone himself. 

Thanks to Pokémon Go, I was directed to this wooden flag on a wall to an inn.

I love exploring these little towns.  Tomorrow, we head to Frankfort, MI.

Lat 45 degrees 1.47 North
Long 85 degrees 45.76 West

Thursday, July 28, 2016

7/28 Another day in Northport, MI

We had a significant storm last night.  Thankfully, we had decided to keep the air conditioning on and our windows and hatches were closed.  The skies were still pretty grey over the lake when we woke up.

When we came in yesterday, within 2 hours three different people had told us to have breakfast at Barb's Bakery.  So we walked the two blocks to town to try out the donuts and cinnamon buns.  They were terrific.  My sister's name is Barb so I had to get the picture to send to her. 

The skies finally cleared while John was doing marina planning for our trip down the shore of Michigan.  The Northport Harbor looking over the Great Traverse Bay was so pretty.
 The Marina looked beautiful too. 
For lunch, we walked uptown again.  The afternoon was warm and after my walk around town, I walked to the beach.  The beach is right beside the sailing school and it was fun to watch the various sailboats darting back and forth.
I went for a swim in Lake Michigan.  The water was very clean and clear but brisk. 

Towards evening, Loopers George and Caroline from the boat Lydia E walked past our boat.  I had bought a bottle of Michigan wine and they joined us on the fly bridge for some wine and cheese.  It is so nice to share experiences with other loopers.  George and Caroline are originally from Maine. 

Tomorrow, we head to Leland, MI. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

7/27 to Northport, MI

It rained hard last night and the morning air was fresh and clean with light winds.  We said good-bye to Petoskey and cruised out of Little Traverse Bay and across the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay to Northport.  Northport is a small town with a population of 500 in the off season.  In the very small area museum run by the local historical society, I learned that the first school was built in the 1890's and the first high school in 1910.  The 2016 graduating class had 10 students in it.

The marina is at the foot of town.  In 1920, the train station was built.  It is now a personal residence with a caboose on the rails in the back yard.  The decorations are unusual but it welcomes all to the marina.

From another boater, I learned that all Native Americans can use the marinas in Michigan at no cost.  Below is the type of boat they typically use.  I spoke with the fisherman in the picture. 
He told me that the boat name Waabi-Maang meant White Loon in his native language.  He fishes primarily for whitefish that he sells commercially in Leland, Michigan.  He told me he occasionally fishes for trout.

I walked around town.  It is a very cute town with lots of art galleries.  Many were formal galleries with impressive artists' works.  One place was much kitschier. Among the antiques and refurbished items was this very rare Chairy Tree, a nod to the cherry trees of the area.

We plan to stay here tomorrow and enjoy the town some more.

Lat 45 degrees 7.76 North
Long 85 degrees 36.78 West

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7/26 to Charlevoix and Traverse City, MI

Last night, we rented a car to do some grocery shopping and to explore a little today.  We headed south from Petoskey on Highway 31 which would take us to Charlevoix and Traverse City.  The route followed the lake for the most part but more inland than we expected.

Our first stop was in Charlevoix.  This town is on the east side of the lake and opens onto Lake Charlevoix.  It is a quaint town with lots of shops and a large marina on Round Lake that spills into Lake Charlevoix.  The waterfront has a fountain and lots of boats to look at.
 In the center of the marina waterfront, they have a trout habitat.  It demonstrates the trout habitat and behavior from the more elevated streams and rivers to the lakes. 

Charlevoix is also known for Mushroom Houses.  From the 1930's forward, Earl Young, an architect designed and developed the land and built what became known as Mushroom Houses.  His philosophy was somewhat like Frank Lloyd Wright that homes should meld into the environment.  He used local stone and very few linear accents.  There are over 2 dozen of the homes in the town including a restaurant.  Here are a few we toured.

We headed to Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of United States.  Over 80% of the nation's cherries are grown here, thanks to Peter Dougherty who planted his first cherry tree in this area  in 1852.  The cherry industry was born.  We passed orchard after orchard after orchard of cherries.
In addition to buying cherries, you can buy pies, sodas, beers, jams, candies, and cherry fudge.  I love cherries and may soon turn into one.  Just today, I had a salad with cherry dressing and dried cherries, some fresh cherries and a Grand Traverse Pie Company ABC (apple, blueberry, cherry) pie.

In Traverse City, we were impressed with this graphic of the snowfall in Leelanau County in 2013-2014.   20 feet, no thank you.

Along the highway, we learned that we were at the 45th parallel.  We will have to watch our GPS to see when we cross this with the Hydrophilic.

 Tomorrow, we hope to head for Northport, MI.  The last census there was 500 people.

Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25 Another day in Petoskey, MI

Last night after I blogged, all of a sudden, the fog rolled in.  We have heard that the fog can roll in quickly on Lake Michigan, and I believe it now.  This first picture is with the fog last night. 
This picture is looking across Little Traverse Bay this morning.  What a difference.

Today, the winds were up and the seas were choppy.  In the afternoon, after I did some shopping, I walked out on the jetty to the Petoskey Light.  I got this picture of the waves crashing over the jetty with the light in the background.
I also walked all the way to the light for a close up picture.

This morning we toured the Little Traverse Historical Museum.    It is located in the original train station for Petoskey and is just a short walk from the waterfront.  They are very proud of Ernest Hemingway, who vacationed here as a boy and set some of his early writings in the area.  Petoskey stones are unusual stones in this area.  The stones are fossilized coral and have patterns from the coral embedded in them. 

I walked up the falls where Bear River empties into Lake Michigan.  The bridge over the falls was decorative.
The water rushing past on its way to the lake was so relaxing. 
Back on the waterfront, there were several people flying huge kites.  They had seven kites in the skies.  They had them staked in the ground because they are so hard to hold.  Some of them were 19 feet across.

We rented a car and will go to see Charlevoix and Traverse City tomorrow.  The ride along Lake Michigan promises to be scenic.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

7/24 Sunday in Petoskey

It rained hard in the early morning and we woke to a warm and humid day.  We skyped with Anna and Abigail in Houston before heading to downtown for the 10 o'clock Mass.  Mass was standing room only.  We were not the only vacationers there.

It was bird day by our boat.  When I walked out the back, quickly this Canada goose came swimming over.  Clearly, he was disappointed that I did not have a treat for him.
On the next finger slip over, the gulls had lined up into the wind.

After lunch, while John napped, I explored the town.  What a neat town it is!  My first stop was the post office to mail a letter then on to explore.  There were all sorts of upscale shops.  There was a deli that sold their own mustards.  I had to buy their hot and spicy mustard that is just excellent.  In another home goods store, I found the perfect sized ramekins to replace two that have broken along our way.  In one store, they were $15.00 a piece.  I found them in another store for $3.75.  Yeah.

There are little green spaces throughout the town.  I took a picture for a family from Detroit who was trying to get the whole family in one picture.  The Perry Hotel is a famous hotel for this area and looked lovely.  You can see Lake Michigan in the background.  This was across the street from where I met the family and caught a Pokémon.
  On Tuesday, we will rent a car and drive to Traverse City to see a little more of Michigan.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

7/23 On to Lake Michigan to Petoskey

We chose our weather well.  It was a beautiful, warm day as we left the Mackinaw City Marina and headed under the Mackinac Bridge.  We have been on Lake Huron in the marina.  Under the bridge, Lake Michigan begins. 
Heading under the Mackinac Bridge
Suspension from the Huron side
Under the Bridge
Looking back at the bridge from Lake Michigan
The winds were low and the lake was flat.  We could see for miles.  At first, we headed west to round the tip.  There is an abandoned light house, but you could tell it served as the end of many waypoints, including ours. 
We rounded the light house and headed south staying about 3 miles off the Michigan shore.  We passed Sturgeon Bay, Michigan (there is a Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin too) and headed into Little Traverse Bay.  The light breeze was even lighter as the sun beat down.  It was really warm for the first time in a while.

We arrived at Petoskey City Marina.  The harbor is very nice.  The Petoskey Light welcomed us.  It is on a jetty.  There were lots of adults and children jumping off the jetty on this hot day.  The town layout is great with a playground and park right on the waterfront with a clock tower and bell.
We had our mail forwarded to the Petoskey Town Hall and it was waiting for us in the Marina office along with some water filters that I had ordered from Amazon.  Great service.

We had not eaten lunch so we opted for an early dinner.  There are signs that point you to Downtown, shopping, and restaurants taking a viaduct under a road and up the hill to town.
On the way back from dinner, I got this photo of the park walkway that ends at the clock tower and framed the light house in the harbor.
The temperatures are supposed to be in the high 80's and low 90's  tomorrow.  There is a municipal beach on the other side of the jetty.  I hope to give it a try.

Lat 45 degrees 22.61 North
Long 84 degrees 57.56 West