July 8, 2014

Day 296 - July 7, 2014: Petoskey, MI

 Lake Michigan once again!

I was excited this morning to get going as we would be passing under the Straits of Mackinac Bridge and entering Lake Michigan headed for Petoskey. It felt good that we were on the homeward leg of our Great Loop voyage.

After rising and coming up to the pilot house, I looked out and was shocked that I couldn't see more than 50 yards beyond the boat. It was totally fogged in. I walked the dock and ran into a local boater who said that this was fairly common in this area this time of year. With our very good radar, and having had some experience previously running Lake Huron in a total whiteout, I felt confident we could venture out.

The first challenge was avoiding the tour boats that enter and exit Mackinac Island many times each hour. As we moved out into the harbor, the tour boats were properly making securite calls informing others of their presence, and I did the same. Watching their presence on the radar allowed us to stay clear. Soon we had moved free of the tour boat traffic, and by the time we got to the bridge, the fog had cleared enough to get a picture.

The Straits of Mackinac Bridge
Almost immediately afterwards, we were socked in again, and we ran west off and on in the fog all the way to Gray's Reef where we turned south. The familiar shoreline's high dunes and sandy beaches welcomed us along the way, although the wind started picking up and it got a bit lumpy.

Familiar dunes and sandy beaches on Lake Michigan
We had arranged to meet Ida and Brian, who are good friends from California and now have a summer home here in Petoskey. As we pulled into the Bayfront Park Marina, they surprised us by being just a few slips down the dock with their new sailboat, Daisy May! They have the perfect boat for going out and cruising Little Traverse Bay. We spent the afternoon at their home, enjoyed dinner in town, and later went back to Great Laker for the sunset.

Ida and Brian on Daisy May
Anne and Ida

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