Friday, September 4, 2015

Leland to Lake Macatawa, MI

Leland Municipal Marina, Leland, MI, Sunday, August 30

The skies looked a little ominous as we left Harbor Springs on Sunday, August 30.

All was well on the trip, though, and we made our way down to Leland, MI, where we met our friends Tom and Sue.  We first met Tom and Sue on the 2008 Loop trip when we were all stranded on the Illinois River due to flooding.  Since then, we've kept contact with them and saw them this past winter in Florida.  They have sold their boat and are spending the summers in their RV now.  They were in Traverse City, MI, this week and that allowed us to get together.

We walked into town and had a delicious meal at the Riverside Inn.  We talked and talked, trying to catch up on each other's adventures.  ;-)

Arcadia City Marina, Arcadia, MI, Monday August 31-September 1, 2015

We woke up on Monday thinking we could make a move down to Arcadia...but the weather had worsened a bit.  Waves were to reach 3 feet at times.  After looking at several weather predictions, we decided to chance it and go on to Arcadia.

Yikes!  We galloped, lurched, clutched our way down there all day!  The waves were coming from the southwest and tended to hit us on the beam.  We varied our course often...enough to make it more bearable, but still not good.

When we finally pulled into the protected Arcadia harbor, we breathed a sigh of relief.

We'd be staying two nights in Arcadia, we decided, because we were beat!  Mark, the harbormaster, was very helpful and enthusiastic.  Arcadia has a summer population of 2000.  During the winter, 200!  It's a beautiful area.  It's so quiet and dark at night, you've no excuse for not sleeping!  ;-)

Next morning we walked into town, small as it was.  Wayne then walked to the convenience  store for a few supplies and I walked to the beach park for more stones.  ;-)  That afternoon we busied ourselves with boat chores.

Nice little neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and flower garden accents...

Gorgeous old church, of course..

As I was headed to the beach, I passed a lady who had found a nearly perfect dead Monarch butterfly.  She said there were many more this year than in years past...

Park at the beach..

My afternoon was spent doing laundry (had it all to myself again) and blogging.

The marina has a gazebo with  chairs for lounging, many picnic tables set up on the greens, a park next door...what more could a weary traveler ask for?

Pentwater, MI, anchorage, Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We'd like to be in Michigan City, IN, by September 7, so we have set out a course to hit Pentwater, Grand Haven, South Haven...then Michigan City by Saturday.  I know.  Don't make such long-range plans when traveling on a boat.  Well, the weather looks like it might we'll see.

The trip to Pentwater today was comfortable.  We still had a few waves from the southwest...but the winds were not as strong as they were on Monday.  We stopped at Ludington Municipal Marina on the way down to fill up on their cheap fuel: $2.49/gallon.

Coming into Pentwater we could already see the busy little town from the breakwater.  We had a time finding a good anchorage with shallow enough water.  We finally settled on a spot just across from the Pentwater Yacht Club, amid mooring balls.  A man came from a house nearby and asked us nicely if we'd mind moving the boat over a few feet because the yacht club was having races that evening.  We gladly complied...and it was fun to see the sailboats get ready for the races....

Wayne and Lucy heading for shore that evening...

We got up early the next morning ready to go to Grand Haven.  But...the skies looked stormy.  On checking the local radar it looked like a thunderstorm was to roll through the area we waited a while to take Lucy in and leave.  

I took Lucy for a walk then and caught a few snaps of the little town area.  Looked like a place worth spending some time!  We've already decided that we will do a trip by car next summer and visit many of these small towns we're breezing through right now.

Whitehall, MI, Crosswinds Marina, September 3, 2015

The water today was on our beam constantly!! We zigzagged back and forth to keep from being battered sideways by the waves...and finally decided we'd had enough.  We baled out and went into White Lake, MI, and a little town called Whitehall.  Here we are coming through the breakwater...with a long way to go to our slip, across the lake.

Funny thing happened on the water today, though, in spite of the ill-directed waves.  We saw something out in the water from a distance....

And it turned out to be a large flock of birds!  Didn't see them close enough to identify what kind...but we'd never seen that many birds congregated on the water like that!  They started flying off as we approached...

We got a slip at the Crosswinds Marina, within walking distance of town, for a sweet price of $1/ft, or $32.  For that we got a slip, electric, secure wifi...and a courtesy vehicle!  We borrowed the vehicle for a grocery run...and on the way we stopped for lunch at Pekadill's a recommended sandwich shop. Good lunch and, oh, they had ice cream.  You guessed it!  We then went on for groceries and came back in time to collapse for the day.  

Eldean Shipyard, Holland, MI, on the Macatawa Lake, Friday, September 4, 2015

As we left Crosswinds and headed to Lake Macatawa...calm, calm waters on White Lake.

Still looking good as we left the harbor for Lake Michigan...

By weather predictions this was to be, as Wayne calls it, a "bluebird day." ;-)  And, it was!  The wind had switched from a SW direction to a NW (for most of the trip...turned W as we got closer to our destination).  We got a great push as we rode along at over 8 mph and arrived at Lake Macatawa around 1:30PM.  We had called ahead for a slip at Eldean Shipyard since we're in the Labor Day weekend and there are a lot of boats out and moving.

Lake Macatawa is a big cruising destination for those on Lake Michigan.  The lake itself is if the BIG lake is mucky you still might be able to enjoy boating on Macatawa.  As we approached our destination we saw a large beach on the port side with many out enjoying this holiday weekend...

 On the starboard side of the entrance was "Big Red," the lighthouse at Lake Macatawa.

We'd been given our slip number, Z 23, after making our went there and got all tied up and plugged up before checking out the surroundings.

This is a HUGE marina!  It took a while to get from Z dock to the office, but in doing so we saw how nice this facility is.  There's a pool, restaurant (Pipers, which was, unfortunately, closed for the season), and several boater lounge/shower/bathroom buildings to accommodate the large number of boats.

"Our" building, at the end of our dock...

 The BBQ area on the left..

And a cute little turtle to keep us company!

We signed in...then walked along a designated walkway to get to "Big Red."  As we approached a guard gate, we saw a sign saying that the lighthouse isn't open today...only a couple of days a week.  We were ready to turn around when a man stepped out of the guard house and asked if he could help. We told him our intentions, but that we knew, now, that the lighthouse wasn't up for viewing today.  "Are you from out of town?'  Yes, Tennessee.  "Oh, well, then, you can go on over!  We let out of towners go on over to the lighthouse."  

Great!  Then he gave us a map outlining the walking course and stressing there were private properties all along the way.  But the path didn't go all the way up to the lighthouse.  "Can we go in the lighthouse?"  Oh, no.  Only on a couple of days a year.  

We started out along the path anyway...then realized that if all we were going to get is a view...we probably had a better view of the lighthouse as we came into the harbor.  I had taken a picture, but the light angle was not good.  I'll try to grab a better one as we leave tomorrow morning...

We still got some good pictures of our boat on Z dock...dark top mid-picture with life ring showing up on side...

And a view of the harbor...