Saturday, August 7, 2010

Return To Belmont

We arrived back at Belmont around 5:00 am central Saturday after leaving at 3:00 eastern Friday, about 15 hours on the water including swim.
We sailed for the first 3 hours until the wind died and motored the rest of the way. We had a westerly headwind the second half so only motored at around 5 knots and 2500 rpms.
The highlight of the trip was a sunset swim. We swam 20 miles southwest of Saugatuck in 200+ feet of water. The lake was the warmest of the trip--it felt nearly 80. With mask I could make out the prop from two boat lengths. Looking down the water was an intense shady of midnight blue.
We took all the safety precautions we could. Each swimmer had a PFD with him. One person stayed with the boat while people were in the water. While motoring at night we treated it like the race: Everyone wore a PFD with light and was tethered to the boat.
More including lots of pictures to come.


From Grand Haven we sailed the 20+ miles to Saugatuck. There was a small craft advisory because of 10-20 knot NW winds and 3-5 foot waves but A LOT more fun than on the trip to Frankfurt. We sailed with only the genoa and regularly reached 8+ knots surfing down waves.
We stayed at Tower Marine in Douglas which is one of the nicest marina's on the trip. It's clean and friendly with laundry facilities. It's across the lake from Saugatuck fin Douglas but easy access via water taxi, Interurban bus, or regular taxi.
We left Friday afternoon to return home early Saturday.
More about Saugatuck as time permits.

Grand Haven

More to follow on Grand Haven. We had a fantastic time at the Coast Guard Days carnival and good drinks served by Pete at Rosebud.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It's a neat, historic town on the river.

Cruising to Manistee

After careful consideration, we decided to continue on. Arcadia is only 8 miles from Frankfurt and all agreed we could make it at least that far no matter the conditions.
We found small waves and a light wind from the southwest, right on the nose. When we reached Arcadia we decided to motor on.
We motor, however there are two other sailboats sailing with us. They headed the same direction and tacking back and fourth but aren't making the same progress as we are motoring.

The Long Sail to Frankfurt

It was an overcast morning with light showers at South Manitou Island Monday morning. We raised anchor after nine and headed toward our next destination, Frankfurt, Mi. The forecast was for southwest winds in the teens and 1-3 foot waves (near shore) or 4-6 foot waves (open water). It was much worse.

We had 20+ knot winds most of the way with 5-7 foot waves and a period of 4-8 footers. We saw several 10+ foot waves. You know a wave is big when you stand in the cockpit and look up as it goes by. What should have taken 5 hours took. It was a miserable ride.

To me, sailing in rough weather is like suffering through a hangover. If you sail (drink) enough you're bound to encounter it. You hate it while suffering and swear of sailing (drinking). As soon as it passes, you think it wasn't so bad and start to look forward to your next sail (drink).

We finally made it to Frankfurt. The only casualty was the CYC Cruising Sail Fleet burgee which came came untied from the flag halyard and is now in Lake Michigan somewhere.

I talked to several other boaters who were on the water today and all agreed the forecast did not accurately predict the weather on Lake Michigan. One group was trying to sail from Charlevoix to Door county and was diverted.

We had a nice dinner and had a few drinks before bed. While recounting the day's experience, each of us disliked different parts. Brian was fine the first half but started to feel queasy the second half. Dan hated evry minutes but shut up, venting heavily after we arrived. Bob tried to study but didn't get much done. I hated the first part but found encouragement after finding shelter behind Point Betsie and again after seeing the Frankfurt lighthouse.

A Beneteau 36.7 was motoring with us and, from watching him, the motion wasn't as severe as it felt. The reality is none of us enjoyed the sail down.

Tuesday we'll decide if we continue on or contine to recover.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

South Manitou sunset

Tomorow we continue south. Now we enjoy our position.
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View from the harbor

Brian, Bob, and Dan walk along the beach at South Manitou Island. Donnybrook is anchored, farthest right in this picture.
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Donnybrook at anchor...

As we paddle towards the South Manitou Island beach in Samman.

Samman on the beach...

While Bob and I wait for Dan and Brian to return. Donnybrook is anchored in the background, farthest boat to the right.
Samman is our 8.5 foot Tropik/Bombard Aero inflatable tender. When not used it's deflated, rolled up, and stored under the V-berth.
We hiked nearly 8 miles round trip, across South Manitous Island to the 500 year old old growth ceder forest then beyond to the dunes. On the way back we passed the old school house and some of the farms.
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View from the other Side

This is the South Manitou Island harbor from the dunes on the west side of the island. Dan, Bob, and I hiked the 6 miles from Donnybrook to the dunes.
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