The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Headin' South On Lake Michigan

Sunday the 14th we finally got decent enough seas to cruise south from Bay Harbor to Leland, Michigan.  We had 2 to 4 foot waves, but, they were following seas, so other than pushing us around a bit, the ride was pretty comfortable. 
Leland is a tiny little fishing town.  In fact, the harbor, built behind a big sea wall, is a “safe harbor”, where they must take boats in if weather conditions are bad.  There is a little canal from the harbor through the historic “Fishtown”.  We had lunch at “The Cove”, which has a patio right over the canal, from which Carrie took this photo of Fishtown.
The marina itself is fairly small, but we all remarked we had never felt more like we were in a “zoo” and we were the animals on display.  I thought it was just me.  I usually do not back into slips, because I want to be able to launch my dinghy if the mood arises.  Backing in here was my only option.  But, it turned out everyone else felt the same.  The locals made sport of walking the docks, stopping to look and comment on virtually every boat, and even walk down the fingers of the dock to peer inside if they felt they needed a better look.  It was kind of odd, but what the heck, they were harmless, and very nice.
Once Around in Leland, MI
The next day Moonstruck and Once Around set out south once again to our next port, Frankfort, MI.  We are staying in a very nice marina called, Jacobsens.  Frankfort is a little bigger town and has several good restaurants and shops to visit.  It is on Lake Betsie, just off Lake Michigan.  It too is a BIG fishing town.  The salmon are running, and there is a parade of boats in and out of the inlet each morning and night.
Part of mains street, Frankfort, MI
We saw scores of boats outfitted like this...but the Admiral liked the name of this one.
Our first full day here, Tuesday, the Admiral wanted to get some exercise.  Actually, she wanted me to get some exercise.  So, we got the bikes down for a four mile trek to the Betsie Lighthouse, which we had passed along the way the day before and which we were told was great to tour.  Reportedly, the only real steep part of the ride was the hill right at the end…yeah, right.  I swear, even the local buzzards began circling over me very early on this ride.  I don’t think they thought I would last the hour…
buzzards circling overhead
Neither of us has ridden in a while so we were both feeling a little rubbery legged as we reached the lighthouse.  Of course, we found when we arrived that the tours only took place on the weekend.  So, we had to settle for these exterior shots.
sorry, lighthouse closed...
And, we were a lot more rubbery legged when we arrived back at Once Around.  The nap was great, though.
Last night (Tuesday), Carrie and I had one of those picture perfect evenings and meals.  We barbequed filets, made some pasta “aglio olio” (corrected spelling after hearing from Poseidon), broccoli and a tomato/avocado salad.  Add a ’91 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet, some good music…and we were in heaven.  We watched the local fishing boat parade, and even saw a couple of nice ones landed a few hundred yards from our slip.
Today was honey-do day on the boat.  The first mate did laundry while I made a pretty good dent in my boat list. 
Don’t think we were bored, though.  Marinas can be full of surprises, and today was one of those days.  Take a look at the variety of vessels we saw come in today…I can’t make this stuff up!
A navy vessel??? Is there much action for them in the Great Lakes?
This yacht had its' own ground/water transportation on board with an amphibious car!

The "Nina"

The "Pinta"

Those last two were exact replicas of two of three of Christopher Columbus' ships.  The "Santa Maria" was unexplainedly missing.  I'm sure Jacques the Pirate probably had a hand in it.  Anyway, you have to admit we had a diverse showing of water craft come into the harbor today.

We think we will be heading for another town down the east coast of the lake in the morning, Luddington, I think…of course…the weather gods will have to cooperate.

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