On Friday, Aug 19th, after clearing customs on Drummond Island we set a course for Mackinac Island, Michigan. We were #5 on a waiting list for a slip at the marina but were told we could anchor in the bay while we waited for a spot to open up. The holding was poor and after 5 unsuccessful attempts we called the marina on our radio and were told we could get a spot at the ferry dock. It was a unique spot and not easy getting off and back on to the boat but the island was well worth the effort.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, just bicycles, horses and horse-drawn carriages. It felt like we had stepped back in time as we strolled along the boardwalk overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. We could hear the clip-clop of horses hooves just outside our boat on the ferry dock as the ferries were unloaded with hay that is shipped in for all the horses on the island.
We visited Old Fort Mackinac and enjoyed a rifle firing demonstration before heading on to our next destination, Beaver Island. We anchored for one night off the island before getting underway the next morning. We were forced to turn back, however and spend a 2nd night on the island due to high winds and huge waves on Lake Michigan. We spent the 2nd night at a marina because we were dragging anchor and enjoyed browsing in the little shops along the main street.
From Beaver Island we headed south down Lake Michigan. We travelled down the east coast which we were told was the more scenic route with it's tall bluffs. Our first port of call after a 91 mile stretch was Frankfort, MI. The next day we stopped in White Lake after 99 miles. Lake Michigan is a huge body of water and the 3rd day we felt like we were on the ocean, with huge but comfortable swells. However, the weather looked like it was deteriorating and the forecast was not favourable so after a short 22 mile jaunt we stopped in Muskegon. The staff at the Muskegon Municipal Marina were so helpful. They offered to drive us to West Marine where we needed to get some supplies and then later in the day to the local laundrymat.
We were directed to a lovely, little restaurant called the Tipsy Toad Tavern. The food and service were both great and there was live entertainment. We were anxious to put the Lake Michigan part of the trip behind us so we continued on the next morning to South Haven, a lovely little spot where we planned to make the crossing to Chicago. We are very excited about visiting Chicago, the Windy City. The weather has been very windy lately, not nice out on big, bad old Lake Michigan!