Days on cruise: 133
Distance traveled: 36.8 miles
Travel time today: 4 hrs, 6 mins
Total trip odometer: 2,926 statute miles
Weather conditions were near perfect this morning: mostly sunny, mild temp, wind 5-10 knots, and tiny waves, so we headed south. On the way we entertained the notion of going west to South Manitoulin Island and anchoring out for the night, which seemed an attractive plan, but the weather forecast for tomorrow looked like we might get stuck there for a few days, so we skipped it. Wish we REALLY understood the weather better on Lake Michigan!
This is one of the challenges of the Loop: being in a new place almost every day where things are different from last week or last month, so the learning curve is constant, especially understanding the local weather forecasts.
We settled into the only marina in the 75-mile stretch between Charlevoix and Frankfort. After Frankfort there are harbors about every 15 miles, so once there we can begin to take more chances on the weather. There will always be the opportunity to “bail out” if the weather goes bad, with safe ports always nearby.
Leland is a “harbor of refuge”, which means no reservations are accepted because they never turn ANY boat down, requiring rafting of boats if they run out of dock space. We got a slip. As you can see from the photo above, they literally added a harbor along a shoreline where there wasn’t one provided by Nature. Such is the power of Lake Michigan.
Late in the afternoon we went on the Art Gallery Walk, a Friday night event in which the 7 local art galleries were open and some offered drinks and nibbles, and most of the patrons were dressed a little better than we full-time boaters, though we took showers, wore clean clothes, and Cathryn even put earrings on, which constitutes “dressing up” in our current lifestyle. But no mascara or lipstick.
This is an attractive little town, and we’ll enjoy cruising the streets to see it all tomorrow.