Monday, August 12, 2013

The East Coast of Lake Michigan

Before departing Leland, we had another beautiful sunset.

We departed Leland the next morning for Frankfort with another good day forecast to be on the water.  It definitely turned out to be ideal water conditions - sunshine, blue skies, and flat water!  

As you run the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, it is pretty much the same story every day - about 20 to 40 miles of sand dunes, beaches, then an inlet to a town.  Repeat.  We believe this is the tallest sand dune on the shoreline - over 400 feet. This area is part of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park, voted the "Most Beautiful Place in America" in 2011. After reading how Sleeping Bear Dunes got its name, Rhonda decided it should be called "Worthless Mother Bear Dunes," but with that name it probably would not have been in the running for the most beautiful place. (It really is gorgeous.)

Depending on what scale you want to imagine, this looked like a nice sand trap on a golf course or the crater of a volcano.

We are starting to see a few ships again.

More sand dune shots.

There was even a golf course built into the sand dune shoreline.

The cruise guides say this is the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan - Point Betsie.  That immediately gets the gears turning in Rhonda's brain asking how they collect the statistical data to support that claim.  She thinks like that, all of the time.

We got to Frankfort and decided to refuel and pump out the holding tank.  We carry 500 gallons of fuel and last fueled in Brewerton, NY on the Erie Canal.  We have traveled 883 miles since then and still had 125 gallons on board, but I don't like to run much lower than that.  Glad we were able to get through all of Canada without having to buy their diesel fuel at about $6/gallon - it's $3.91 here.  Soon after we got to our slip for the evening, another Looper boat docked next to us.  We had not seen or heard of this boat and noticed their Looper flag looked brand new.  They noted that they had just started, and Rhonda asked how many days they had been looping.  The wife said, "One."  So, that was pretty cool that we met them on their first day of beginning the Loop.  We invited them over for chocolate cheesecake and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mark and Becky aboard "Mara Beel" on beginning their Loop journey.  Here are the two boats side-by-side.

Frankfort is a nice town.  Flowers.

A pretty cool fish with the Petoskey stone look.

Lots of swans.

And the beach is just beautiful.  There were lots of kids and families just having good clean fun.  Lots of benches along the shoreline and as sunset approached, there were lots of residents walking toward the beach to enjoy both.

Rhonda's brain got to turning again with this sign - there was one just like it at Petoskey.

It all looked pretty safe to us.

The water is crystal clear - this is about 10 feet of water.

We left the beach and took a bike ride through the residential area.  While all of the homes were neat and well-maintained, this was Rhonda's favorite.

The detail of the trim work on many of the homes is really something to see.

We continued down the coast the next day to Ludington.  This is the "most visited" lighthouse on Lake Michigan, and Rhonda's brain thinks that statistic might be more easily confirmed. Of course, if it is the most visited, she thinks it would also be the "most photographed!"

We literally dodged local fishing boats most of the way down.  By the way, they are trolling for king salmon but catch five different types.  As we entered the bay at Ludington, lots of the fishermen were heading back in to beat a storm building up in the distance.

We are going to delay at Ludington for several days and are very excited that our dear friends from Muskogee, OK, Mike and Shirley Wise, are going to join us on the boat.  They will be here tomorrow and we have no schedule or particular plans, just enjoying each others' company.  There will probably be a few games of dominoes played - we'll keep you posted.

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