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We left Sturgeon Bay on Saturday morning and headed for South Manitou Island about 50 miles from Sturgeon Bay. The wind was from the southeast, making a nice ride on a close hauled course, but later it switched to the south and the waves became bigger causing the boat to roll back and forth with every wave. To avoid the disturbing rolling motion we pointed the boat too high for a time ( more close hauled ) and then later to stay on course we pointed her too low (surfing the waves on a very broad reach). At 2 PM, about 25 miles out into the lake, we began to see the 500 foot high sand dunes of the Sleeping Bear National Park on the east end of Lake Michigan.
At 7:30 PM CST we docked at the ranger station to make a pay phone call to our family. By 8:30 we were anchored in a quiet spot in the crescent shaped harbor. On Sunday morning a thunderstorm rolled through just before breakfast, but we were in a good spot as the wind was not from the east. We had eggs and Canadian bacon with American fired potatoes shortly after the storm.
We did motor about three or four hours on our trip over when there was little or no wind. Since I was trying to use up last year's fuel we did not have much to start with. When we got to South Manitou our fuel gauge said it was one needle thickness away from the E mark, and I wanted to know just how much fuel that was. Therefore, I turned on the fuel pump and attached a 1/8th" ID hose to the purging valve outlet that normally pumps back to the tank. When it started to sputter air there was only one quart of fuel in the container, so that is what we had left. I put it back into the tank, purged the lines by running the electric fuel pump and opening the purge valve while its output was again connected to the tank return hose. Then we pulled the anchor up without using the engine and headed toward Leland MI using just the sails. Four hours later we arrived in Leland where we immediately filled the tank with 37 gallons of diesel. At 37 gallons it started to spit out the vent in the back and foam at the inlet side. Then we enjoyed a very nice dinner next to the water fall as the sun was setting.
On Monday morning, we headed northeast to Charlevoix in the Little Traverse Bay area. We crossed Grand Traverse Bay close hauled with four foot waves and strong 25 MPH winds from the north. The main was double reefed and the genny was reduced to 50%. In Lake Charlevoix our 2.5 HP Nissan ran only for about 30 seconds on three occasions and produced a lot of white smoke even though I filled the tank, so we could not get to shore the first night to make our phone call to our family as the wind was too strong for rowing. However, I called on the radio to ask if anyone would make a call for us and sure enough the Lake Charlevoix Municipal Marina made the phone call for us.
I took the 2.5 HP Nissan to the shop the next week and they told me that I had diesel fuel in the tank. Evidently, I was worried about running out of diesel; and put diesel into two of the gasoline canisters last fall and completely forgot about it. One of those embarrassing senior moments. Next time I will buy some brown canisters.
We stayed in Lake Charlevoix till Wednesday morning when we headed to Harbor Springs . Then on Wednesday night the weather forecast called for thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday so we started thinking about crossing Lake Michigan a bit early.
Thursday morning we left Harbor Springs at the break of dawn. There was little or no wind and our plan was to go to South Manitou Island and then on Friday make the 45 mile trip to Washington Island. However, when we got to the north end of Grand Traverse Bay we realized that continuing west to Washington Island was only an additional three hours and we could make it a half hour before dark. So we headed due west past the southern tip of the Fox Island shoals and then straight for Washington Island using just the motor while traveling along at six knots. (6.6 miles per hour). At this speed the coolant temperature in the engine was a steady 195 degrees. I still have something wrong with the cooling system even though it has improved a lot since adding the new high capacity raw sea water pump.. One month later we changed the water heater plumbing and that dropped the max temperature into the acceptable region.
We arrived at our anchorage site in Washington Island's protected harbor behind Detroit Island just as the sun was setting. but too late to go paddle the dingy to a marina to call the family. I tried to ask someone to call for me, but no one answered the request. The next morning, however, one fellow did respond and called my family. Some day we will have a cell phone also. One that works all over Lake Michigan, I think they are called satellite phones.
We motored from 5 AM to 8 PM a little over 15 hours to travel the 85 nautical miles.
On Friday the waves were six feet and the wind gusts were over 30 knots out on Lake Michigan. We were super glad we decided to go across a day early. Friday afternoon we sailed to Sister Bay and had dinner at the Al Johnson Restaurant. After dinner we walked over to the municipal marina and found the folks that made the cell phone call for us on Friday morning. Later we anchored in Sister Bay for the night to watch the sun set.
This page was last updated on: January 4, 2017
This page was created on July 31, 02
The Merit 25 called Showdown that we had our eyes on as she sat by the side of the road with a for sale sign in the fall of 01' just south of the Door County line on 57, but first things first. I don't think Judy will be able to adjust to a tender responsive boat anyway, and Sankaty is wonderfully comfortable almost all the time. Showdown is going past our bow, with her new owner, as we sat in the Ephraim anchorage on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday we went to Ephraim in the hopes of going to the Second Story Restaurant on Saturday night, but we could not anchor close by and the winds stayed high way too late so we ate on the boat. While in Ephraim on Saturday night we missed the thunder storms as they went to the south of us.
Sunday morning we zig zagged our way down through the Strawberry Islands to Fish Creek where we stopped at the Municipal dock and had brunch at the SummerTime Restaurant. After brunch we sailed straight west to Menominee in a 22 knot southwest breeze with 3 foot waves for two and one half hours. Once we got to the western shore of Green Bay we made a come about and went straight south in decreasing southwest winds right into Sturgeon Bay about two and a half hours later. We got through the five o'clock bridge opening and made it to the car just as the Sunday night thunderstorms arrived with considerable furry.
Climbing a wave Sunday noon on Green Bay heading towards Menominee in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.