Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ludington, Pentwater, Muskegon
Thursday the 18th we pulled into Ludington, MI around 1 PM after a five hour cruise from Frankfort. The lake gave us 1-3’ seas coming at our starboard beam, so we rocked and rolled our way down the coast, but not really too badly. When we pulled into the Muni Marina it was time for fuel (ouch, $4.15 per gal.), another pump out (Jan, we miss you) and a water fill. The pump was running very slowly, so it took us an hour or so to fill up as Moonstruck waited patiently behind us for their turn at the diesel spigot.
After our fill, we tied up in our slip, had a very late lunch aboard, and talked through the next couple of week’s schedule. We are excited as heck, because Dina, Darrin, Ben (7) and Lia (5) are coming to join us for several days at the end of the month. Carrie made reservations for Once Around at two different marinas along the Michigan shore for the days the kids will be with us. We have plenty of time between now and then to get to the first one before they arrive, and hope to do one leg of the trip with them aboard if (and only if) the weather and lake conditions are good. Last time my granddaughter, Lia, was aboard our other boat in California, we spent four days on a mooring. As they left she asked, “Nono (Italian for Grandpa), can your boat move?” Can’t be havin’ that happen again!
Preliminary planning in place, Carrie then disappeared below for a late afternoon catnap. When we travel, like today, her day starts about 6:30 AM, and that’s well before Mrs. Howell’s normal wake-up call. After she woke, we took a dinghy ride around Pere Marquette Lake, checking out the marinas, fishing boats, and the coal burning car ferry, the Badger. It is the last coal burning ferry still running on the Great Lakes.
Think he has enouogh fishing gear on a 25' boat?
I haven't a clue...
Definitely NOT a loop boat!!!
This one's for you, CJ
Sometimes we just like the boat name...
Saturday we had Michigan visitors! We have known Karen for ten years or so. She is a transplanted Californian, whose best friend is our neighbor and good friend, Laurie.
Karen on the fly bridge of Once Around...
...catching up with Carrie.
Over the years on her visits to see Laurie, we have gotten to know Karen and become friends as well. When she heard that the Loop would bring us to Michigan she was excited and promised to visit us. She and her boyfriend, Pat, brought us a gift basket of “Michiganalia”; books, food, Michigan (State!) University hat, etc. Both she and Pat love Michigan and all it has to offer and were glad to hear how much we liked their state, their lake, and their marinas. We had lunch on board Once Around, cruised with us through the harbor on the dinghy, and generally had a great time ending with pizza delivered for dinner.
Karen and Pat aboard Once Around
Sunday we and Moonstruck took the short cruise to Pentwater, only a dozen miles or so down the coast. We pulled into Snug Harbor Marina about 10 AM, which gave us most of the day to explore the town and (as always) fit in a few chores.
We loved Pentwater. We discovered a neat little nautical antiques shop, which was also a ship’s store. Kind of like a small West Marine with real cool old stuff too. The crew of Moonstruck was with us, and Doug bought Judy this wonderful can of “Never Dull”, a stainless steel cleaner that came highly recommended by the shopkeeper (“Even the US Navy uses it”). Doug told Judy it was an early Christmas present for her…what a guy! I bought some too but one sharp glance from the Admiral and it was clear whose “present” it was on Once Around!
Something Special and Godspeed both cruised in that day, and all eight of us enjoyed dinner together in town at “The Gull”. For my southern California boating friends, it reminded me of the patio bar (Doug’s?) in Two Harbors on Catalina Island; outdoor bar, dining on plastic tables, live music, etc., except it was on the main street of this little town instead of the Pacific Ocean. We all caught up on each other’s adventures over dinner and discussed what lies ahead. We had some great laughs, especially when we talked about the escapades of Something Special. That story deserves its’ own post, so if I can do it justice, you will read about it later.
We would have loved to stay in Pentwater for a couple more days, but the weather gods had brewed up some pretty nasty lake conditions predicted for Tuesday thru Thursday of this week. If we wanted to get a travel day in, we would have to bid farewell to Pentwater and travel Monday. Moonstruck had a date with a boatyard in Muskegon, and Once Around is supposed to get her new radios installed there this week as well. So, reluctantly off we went, followed by Something Special. Godspeed planned to stop short of Muskegon, in Whitehall.
The morning mist at sunrise in Pentwater.
We had a great run of 45 miles or so, and landed at Great Lakes Marina in Muskegon by lunchtime. Carrie and I dined aboard Something Special last night. (Billy, you didn’t leave us much of that delicious chocolate cake!). We were joined after dinner by Moonstruck who had Tom and Marilyn, friends from Florida, visiting them. It was a beautiful “calm before the storm” evening.
The coastal forecast is for 6-9 foot seas along the eastern shore by Wednesday…but we are safely tucked in and will ride out the wind, rain and thunderstorms here. With luck the boats will be ready to go when and if the weather breaks the end of the week. Meanwhile, I am sure the Admiral has plans for my time in one way or another.