Friday, August 23, 2013

Lake Michigan Sailing - Summer Vacation Part 4

 Charlevoix to Suttons Bay:

Back out on the lake we found another hot, placid day with no wind at all - so we set the auto pilot and found a good book and a comfortable place to sit and motored southwest towards the opening of west bay
One of the neat things we found on our journey was this loon that we passed about an hour and a half out of Charlevoix.  I've never actually seen one before but only heard a lot about them.  This was a very cool thing to see!

 On the way to Suttons Bay the temperature continued to climb and what little wind we had completely vanished.  The water started to look VERY inviting!  We shut off the engine, did a couple of hard turns to slow the boat down and left the wheel hard over.  We let out the dingy, dropped down the swimming ladder and double checked the kids life jackets and in we went!
 Of course Andrew wanted to row around in the dingy while the rest of us swam.  The water was incredibly warm!  Before we let him back in the boat we made sure to get him in the water to cool down.  It didn't take long and he was having a blast in the water too!  Elizabeth did great too swimming between the boat and the dingy.

  This was one of the highlights for the kids!

 The funny thing about sailing on Lake Michigan is that when you just pull over and jump in, you can be startled to find just how far away from you the bottom of the lake really is.  In this case, it was nearly 400ft away! 
 We arrived in Suttons Bay and some of the hottest temperatures we have experienced on our trip.  Once we got the boat all situated we headed into town for some dinner and Air Conditioning!  Dinner was fantastic! Kate and I both had Prime Rib and Lake Perch at the North Country Grill, just a couple blocks from the marina.  After dinner we headed to the beach for the kids to swim - where else!
 The next morning we were awaken not by the sunlight but instead the heat!  It started to get very hot in the boat and we decided it was time to get back out on the lake.  The breeze was picking up a big so we took the kids for a quick swim, got the boat ready to go and set sail for Northport once again.  We had a fantastic sail up, found a nice spot in the marina on the wall for the night and headed into town for dinner at the Garage Bar and Grill - if you go, you won't be disappointed!
 It turned out to be a Wednesday which meant Hugh Willey was playing once again!  The kids had fun dancing and listening to him play.  They especially liked his rendition of Barney Google with his goo goo googley eyes...  It was so much fun!

 It was nearing the end of our trip and the winds were going to start building out of the south so we headed back towards Traverse City so that we wouldn't have to beat into the weather very far to get the boat back.
 Elizabeth dicovered that she loves Michigan cherries almost as much as her father.

Elizabeth discovered   that she loves Michigan cherries almost as much as her father.We headed into Bowers Harbor to anchor out for the evening off of the old mission peninsula.  We enjoyed a nice swim with my parents and had a great dinner with Casey, Jennifer and Adelyn however as we sat there at anchor the wind and the waves continued to build. While 95% of the time Bowers Harbor is the best anchorage to be in today was not the case.  Fortunately the sun stays up a long time in Michigan and we had plenty of time to make the run down to Traverse City.  We gave them a call and found out they had room for us.  Up with the Anchor and off to TC it was.  By the time we left for TC the wind had built to 18 knots true right on the nose.  I was nervous about docking in this much wind with a boat that wasn't mine in a marina I didn't know... but fortunately we made it just fine.    

 After an evening in TC it was time to take the boat back.  Elizabeth decided that for our very short last leg she would dress the part of the pirate. 
Here is the boat, all cleaned up!  Thanks for the great adventure!

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