Saturday, July 10, 2010

Leaving Frankfort, MI at 0700 this morning.

Boat traffic in Grand Haven, MI this afternoon.

George Gershwin's, "Summertime" first verse, began to play in my mind this evening. "Summertime and the livin' is easy, fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high.” This does not apply to many Americans right now but I love the tune of the song. Some Canadian marinas are busy and the east side of Lake Michigan is way too busy at least on this weekend of my journey, and yet the "recovery" for many Americans is not happening. I have so much to be thankful for, not only for family but what this country has provided me. I give thanks along this journey knowing that many people in our world are less fortunate.

Yesterday, from DeTour, MI I traveled through the Mackinac Straights, around Mackinac Island and down Lake Michigan to Frankfort on the eastern shore. Intermittent fog and use of waypoints on the GPS was the rule of the day. Once again my horizons were land on one quadrant of the compass and a horizon of water on the other three. This is a huge lake and the small boater is constantly aware of potential weather changes that can happen quickly. One reason for this trip was to build on past experiences and my interest in weather, navigation and decision making. A constant assessment of current circumstances and the potential for those to change, taking nothing for granted, seems to be a good rule of thumb for most endeavors.

Today the water began with swells into my direction of travel limiting speed to 15 mph. Later, the water calmed and the shoreline with many sandy beaches was my view several miles to port. Accommodations, without reservations are almost nonexistent and the price for average amenities is near $200 - I dislike traveling on weekends. I almost camped on the beach yesterday after calling 7 hotels that were booked, but that would have prevented me from making accommodations for today as there was no phone or internet service unless you were near a town. Sunday nights and weeknights are manageable. The coming week should find me navigating the great Illinois and Mississippi Rivers... the "big waters" left behind, the Great Rivers offering their own challenges, and my own nostalgic version of Summertime playing a river tune.

Including a video this time - it's the stern view showing fog yesterday morning.


  1. Hearing the sound of the water and seeing the view from the stern gives a more realistic picture of your speed. It was fun to see.

  2. I just looked at the map. The distance you've covered in a relatively short period, against substantial obstacles, is a remarkable achievement. You should be so proud!

  3. I started the trip 2different times from Jefferson city mo on the Missouri river and made it to the Grand Mariner Marina both times in Mobile Al and stayed several months but never finished i read every word of your story and admire your determination I've got the urge again thanks for a great trip

  4. What a great blog. After all said and done how many gallons of gas did use.