Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to Grand Haven

Days on cruise:  147

Mid-day Thursday Cynthia took us back to the Lake Express ferry terminal, and once again we departed for a Lake Michigan crossing, back to the eastern shore.

The mid-lake forecast was for winds 15-20 knots and wave height of 4-6 feet. We were glad to be on a large ferry rather than on Next To Me.

Milwaukee has a huge wall protecting the inner harbor with downtown vistas in the background.


This is the ferry we were on, whose wake we crossed almost a week prior as we headed south on Next To Me. The Lake Express is 191 feet long by 57 feet wide.


The view from the upper deck, which we enjoyed while westbound on Tuesday, was not something we chose to see while eastbound on Thursday. In the Milwaukee departure lounge, announcements were made repeatedly over the PA system about the weather, and passengers who tend to suffer from seasickness were strongly urged to take anti-motion-sickness medication. They sell dramamine at the ticket counter. Several passengers apparently ignored that advice (no photos here, thank you!)


Jim and Sharon picked us up at the Muskegon ferry terminal and took us back to the marina where we’d left Next To Me while we were in Milwaukee. The next morning we moved back to the Town Wall in downtown Grand Haven as it wasn’t a good travel day, and we really hadn’t had a chance to explore the town.  Jim took Bob to West Marine to pick up some things he’d ordered and took a quick tour of our engine room. 

The river coming off the lake into Grand Haven has every imaginable kind of boat operating on it.


Friday afternoon we wandered through downtown and enjoyed a Street Fair. The weather was coolish (high of 68) and sunny.


Friday night we had everybody on our boat: Sherry and Randy, who are in Looper planning mode to begin next year, Jim and Sharon, and Henning and Joanne, who are just two weeks into their Loop on their 41’ sail boat, as well as H&J’s 14-year-old son Erik for awhile. Cocktails were followed by dinner at the American Legion (of which Jim and Randy are members). Fraternal organizations like the American Legion, Eagle and Elks are ubiquitous in the small towns along the Loop.  Many have dinner options several nights week, where both members and non-members are welcome.


Dinner last night was hamburgers at the huge cost of $6.00, for both of us!  If you wanted to, you could probably eat out most every night at these inexpensive venues.  However you’d not likely be eligible for the gourmand of the year award.

After burgers and beer, we  all came back to our boat for more lively conversation, seeing the Musical Fountain again (see post 3 days ago for photos and story), then everyone headed to bed.


We really enjoyed our time in Grand Haven, and Jim and Sharon were great to help us out with transportation, advice and their friendship! We hope to see them again on Kentucky Lake or in Florida this winter.

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