The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Muskegon, Grand Haven, Saugatuck

Muskegon was “Get stuff done time” for several of us Loopers.  Moonstruck was hauled, checked out, repaired and back in the water over night.  Jolly Tolly had their new dinghy lift installed and Once Around got some new VHF radios…almost.  Nothing ever goes quite as planned with electronics, and this was no exception.  More about that later…
Here, Judy and Evelyn do their best Vanna White, showing off Jolly Tolly's new dinghy and lift.
Even Once Around's dinghy got some attention.
The Nina and Pinta showed up again...are they looping too?
Which made for lots of company for us on the dock.
We did have an absolutely GREAT Looper dinner in Muskegon, thanks to Jolly Tolly who had rented a car (if that roller skate qualifies to be called a car) and rounded up the crew of Something Special, Moonstruck and Once Around for a fabulous time.  It may be the last time we cross paths for quite a while with Ron and Jan from Jolly Tolly, because they are already in Chicago and are focused on getting down the rivers ASAP.  We will catch up with them on the Tennessee River (their home port) or perhaps in Florida this winter, as they plan on heading that way after a month or two at home.  One way or another we will find each other…I’m sure.
The “one day” installation of the radios did not go quite so well, although by the end of the first day I did have a working radio.  In my former life, I would have been really stressed out, ticked off, and generally nasty towards the guys doing the work.  Not this year…I’m on vacation.  With a good working radio (better than what I had before they started) I could get to our next stop, Grand Haven, MI, which we entered on Friday, 8/26.  It was a short run down the coast and conditions were near perfect.  Something Special followed us, and Moonstruck was an hour or so behind.
Grand Haven was a terrific stop.  The municipal marina there was a block from the center of town, so we had shopping, restaurants and whatever else close at hand.  As we pulled into the slips on the main channel entering the area, we noticed the large grandstand adjacent.  We found out in short order that these filled every night for the lighted musical fountain show…which was directly across the channel.  So we had a ringside seat on our fly bridge!  It was really pretty incredible.  It was another small town extravaganza that was totally a surprise.  I don’t know if the photos do it justice, but we enjoyed it and looked forward it for the next two nights as well.
The harbor entrance to Grand Haven, MI
The musical fountain...
...and again.
Getting around Grand Haven was easy too...yes Heather...we got on the "Short Bus" for a ride to the grocery store and Walmart!
I started laughing the minute I saw this.  I had to explain to Carrie, the last time I saw "Myasis Dragon", it was on a sign in a certain cabinet shop...remember Uncle John?
It must be “Looper season” in this part of Michigan.  We saw (in addition to the three of us who had come in together), Dockers Inn, Glory Days, Benelle, Last Chance and Seamoore.  Our prayers go out to Becky and Carlton on Seamoore that she recovers quickly and they can be on their way soon. 
Once Around and Something Special pulled out of Grand Haven this morning (Monday, 8/29) because the weather and lake conditions were perfect for a trip to Saugatuck.  Moonstruck will join us here on Tuesday.   More importantly (no offense Moonstruck), our grandkids (and their parents) will be here Wednesday for a several day visit!
Entering the Saugatuck area.
This little place caught our eye...
Saugatuck looks like a great little town.  It is on Lake Kalamazoo (honest) and is yet another awesome Michigan boating community.  Carrie and I had lunch with Sid and Evelyn then walked the town a bit.  She found a place for a pedicure, which gave me an hour or so to get back to the boat and nap…uh, I mean do chores.  When I finally woke up I found her in the salon drying her toes…
Not napping...drying her toes!
We took a cocktail cruise of Lake Kalamazoo (I swear, I’m not making that up).  Sorry, no pictures…my photo assistant forgot the camera.  I’m sure we’ll have another chance in the next day or two.  Tonight we had dinner at a little Bistro with outside seating and terrific Walleye, among other things. 
The radio guys are due here at 9 in the morning “to finish up”.  We’ll see…

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