Tuesday, August 13 – Frankfort. Spent a quiet and lazy day working on the blog and reading. We had dinner plans with Mark & Patty from Speedy Delivery. They came over to our boat for a cocktail then we headed to dinner at Dinghy’s which was a 5 minute walk from our slip. Enjoyed a nice dinner and bottle of Meiomi. (photo of Patty dining on giant turkey leg) Frankfort is a quaint little town and was originally named after a man named Frank. Frank’s neighbors chided him about the fort he built around his house to protect his doors from the snow drifts and thus calling it “Frank’s Fort”.
Wednesday, August 14 – Ludington. Departed for Ludington early in the morning and while it was a bit swelly, it wasn’t bad. We arrived at Harbor View Marina and were given a slip on a T head. As stated before, most marinas are accommodating so that we can tie our tender to our hip and leave it there while we dock the boat. After settling and checking in, we headed for lunch a couple blocks away at Jamesport Brewing Company. Bob and I took a seat at the bar to watch some baseball and enjoyed a fabulous lunch. The salad combinations with the dried local cherries, nuts, blue cheese and fat free cherry dressing is so good. I will definitely try making it if I can get the dressing. Bob asked the bartender if he could watch the Yankees play but the local stations weren’t picking it up without a cost. Can’t imagine why they prefer to watch the Michigan teams instead. Photo of boat transom. Name of boat Mai Tai complete with recipe.
Later in the day, we took a long cruise around the harbor on our tender and the timing was perfect. The SS Badger was making its way into the harbor and we were up close and personal. The Badger is the last coal fired passenger ship in the U.S. and in 2016 was designated as a National Historic Landmark. And one that moves! The 410’ Badger crosses the 60 miles to Manitowoc, WI with passengers and vehicles every day. It’s a 4 hour cruise one way and some passengers do the round trip in one day. So while staying at the marina (about 100 yards from her berth), one hears the horns announcing its departure and arrival. That evening, the Badger had a special dinner cruise to celebrate the “end of summer”. August 14th! The ship was packed for its cruise around Lake Michigan from 8pm to 11pm. And of course, we heard the ship’s horns announcing its return at 11pm.(Photos)
Thursday, August 15 – Pentwater. Departed early for the short run to Snug Harbor Marina in Pentwater. Wanted to get there early to get to the farmer’s market which was to be from 10am to 1pm. Took our cart and I headed there while Bob worked. This farmer’s market was a bit bigger than the others we have attended and I purchased some tomatoes, corn, peaches & cheese. Afterwards, I stopped by the small grocery store and bought a few more items. Mark & Patty from Speedy Delivery were on their way back from the market, as they had come in yesterday, and we agreed to hook up for drinks and dinner.
Bob and I went for our usual afternoon tour of the harbor in our tender and later caught up with Mark & Patty. We walked into town, about 2 blocks, and ate at Gull Landing. Bob and I thought the food was excellent. I had the pecan encrusted walleye over kale and a side of acorn squash and he had the meatloaf. Delicious.
Friday/ Saturday, August 16/17 – Grand Haven. Departed for Grand Haven (50 miles away) early and about 30 minutes after Speedy Delivery departed. We had a couple of other towns or safe harbors charted in case the lake was acting up but we made Grand Haven in just over 3 hours. Along the way, we made reservations at Grand Isle Marina instead of the municipal marina as it was full. There is also a town wall you can tie to for $10 overnight and it was open but the comments on Active Captain reported that the wall was very bumpy at night due to the boat traffic and the swells coming in from the lake. Later about this.
Our Garmin charts indicated that the Route 31 Bridge we would have to cross under was only 15′ high and with the high water, we were concerned we could not get under it. The bridge only opens once an hour and does not open at 12:30. Having just missed the 11:30 opening, we would have to wait for 2 hours. We hailed the bridge tender on VHF but he was not sure of the clearance because the clearance boards were under water. Our friends on Speedy Delivery, having heard the exchange on VHF, reported that their paper charts indicated the bridge height at 25′. As luck would have it, we passed under with at least 10′ to spare.
We were assigned a slip on the VIP dock which was next to Mark & Patty on Speedy Delivery. Mark & Patty rented a car in the afternoon from Enterprise and invited us to dinner in town. We enjoyed a nice meal at the Kirby Grill Room and walked about the waterfront after dinner. Grand Haven is known for their water fountain and light show on the waterfront. We got to see the fountains spraying up but the lights don’t come on until 9pm. We walked by all the boats that were tied up at the town wall and were so glad we weren’t staying there overnight. The boats were all rocking and rolling. We did spot and say hello to a few loopers on the wall.
On Saturday, Mark & Patty were heading to Costco and invited us along for a provisioning trip. Costco was about 35 miles away but it was a treat driving through the countryside of Michigan. We came back a different way which was more scenic with small agricultural farms growing a variety of crops. Bob and I loaded up on provisions (water, wine, meats, cereal, etc) and we also stopped in at Best Buy and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Later in the day, we took Mark & Patty on a tender cruise through some of the waterways of Grand Haven. Mark & Patty have a tender but have not been able to use it because their launch & retrieval system is broken. They would be staying in Grand Haven for at least a week while they made some repairs to their boat. They enjoyed the cruise and told us they had “dinghy envy”.
We bid them farewell as we would be leaving in the morning knowing that we would probably catch up with them at some point on our way south. We enjoyed a nice dinner of salmon on board.
Sunday, August 18 – Holland. The weather forecast called for winds to pick up later in the morning and for rain around noon. We departed at 7:30 am in order to try and reach Holland (20 miles) before the winds picked up. So glad we got under way early as it started to get bumpier and bumpier the closer we got to Holland. Came into the harbor, made our way to the Yacht Basin Marina, fueled and pumped out and got into our slip just before the storm hit. Storm not too bad but thunder all around, rain and definitely windy. Whew!
Our friend Brian Dekkinga has his Hinckley office here at the Yacht Basin Marina and arranged for us to stay in their reserved slip for a few days. Nice marina with pool, restaurant, laundry, ship’s store, parts store, convenience store and service facility. We have arranged to have the seals replaced on our steering ram so will be here for several days. Bob also has a big report due so timing is perfect.
We enjoyed an afternoon cruise around part of the harbor with plans to grill chicken and dine aboard. Our dear friends Brian & Sandra Dekkinga stopped by in the afternoon to drop off one of their cars (a truck) for us to use while we are here. Did I mention “dear friends”? Really. how many people lend you their cars? Anyway, we shared some wine and stories before they headed home which is 2 miles away.
Well that wraps up another week of our adventure. Stay tuned for more!