CHAPTER 7        AUGUST 9, 2007



The beautiful turquoise and very clear waters of the Great Lakes are most enjoyable. And - no jellyfish and great fishing! Most towns have municipal marinas that only charge $1 a foot including power and water – quite a good deal!

On Aug 7 we re-entered the USA via DRUMMOND ISLAND and went through customs, and then spent the night at DeTour Harbor Marina. The next few days were in ST IGNACE at the municipal marina, where there were plenty of otters and minks! See picture of Ray next to a giant old ship rudder. On Aug 11th we took the 20-minute ferry ride over to MACKINAC ISLAND (see pics) for one of the most memorable days on our trip. Mackinac Island is about 3 miles by 2 miles and has NO motor vehicles, only bikes, horses, and many beautiful flower gardens. We took the 2 hour long expertly narrated horse and buggy tour of the island, including a stop at the famous stone arch. This was followed by a spectacular lunch at the GRAND HOTEL(see pics), which has the world’s longest porch – 660 feet! The movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed on the island and in the hotel. Later we toured the hotel’s beautifully landscaped grounds and stables, toured a butterfly garden, toured Fort Mackinac, and checked out the stores in town before taking the ferry back to St. Ignace. The next day we left St. Ignace and passed under the famous 50-year-old Mackinac Bridge (see pics) which brings you into Lake Michigan.

We will continue to cruise down the east side of Lake Michigan (Michigan side) until we cross over to Chicago IL. Most of the towns have municipal marinas, wonderful landscaping, parks, bike paths, and great sandy beaches. Many of us "loopers" (people on the great loop cruise) are following the same path. Many evenings we enjoy cocktail parties and other gatherings with lively discussions of our travels, as we pass from one port town to another. There is great comradely among the loopers.

On Aug 13th we arrived in PETOSKEY, a lovely town where we spent a few days waiting for the winds to die down. To get from the marina (see pic) to the wonderful downtown stores and restaurants, you pass underneath a busy road via a pedestrian tunnel. Next we spent a few days in CHARLEVOIX, yet another great stop where we spend a few days waiting for wind and waves to die down (see pic). While there, we took in the sights by biking to an area of town that is famous for its Earl Young houses (see pic) built in the 1930’s, very uniquely styled stone houses with wavy roofs. Then we biked over to Castle Farms (see pics), a wonderfully restored castle with gorgeous grounds and ponds. On Aug 18th, we were in NORTHPORT, and then spent a couple of days in LELAND, which was a delightful stop with lovely shops and the historic Fish Town (see pic) that the town is trying to preserve. After leaving LELAND, we passed by a state park on the Michigan coastline called SLEEPING BEAR SAND DUNES (see pic), which tower almost 500 feet tall! On Aug 20th we arrived in FRANKFORT for a few days to wait for the wind and waves to die down. FRANKFORT was another wonderful stop, with great shops and stores convenient to the marina, and a beautiful sand beach. See picture of us by the Frankfort Lighthouse. Aug 23rd and 24th were spent in the quaint little town of ARCADIA. We enjoyed their Historical Society/Museum very much. They had an eclectic assortment of wonderful items from this early lumbering town, and much information on America’s first lady pilot, Harriet Quimby. Next stop is MANISTEE at which point we’ll be about half way down the Michigan coast.

So far we have traveled 1588 nautical miles, plus the previous 1000 miles when we brought SUMMERTIME up the Intracoastal Waterway from Charleston SC to Old Saybrook CT in 2005.  We look forward to hearing from friends and family – please keep the calls and emails coming!