On June 1, we attended Jamie Forte's high school graduation party in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Jamie is the daughter of Al and Laurie Forte--long time friends. Time has gone by so fast. It seems like it was yesterday that little Jamie entertained us with her cute little sayings. She will attend college at Michigan State University. Her graduation party was a tail gate party. The menu-- hot dogs, various chips, beer and wine (for the adults), soda and ice cream novelties. Pam and Brian McLenithan, Tom Kelly, Carl and I arrived early so we could help with the last minute party details and we stayed late to help clean up after the party. The party was lots of fun and Jamie was a wonderful hostess--taking time to greet all her guests.

The following 6 pictures were taken at Jamie's graduation party. The first picture is Carl helping with table decorations. Next picture is Tom Kelly, Carl and Brian trying to set up one of the tents (Pam is on the 4th corner of the tent frame but not in the picture). This tent is used at all the MSU football tailgates so it should have been a snap to put up. But for some reason--it was very challenging to get the frame to snap into place! Picture number three is of Jamie and her aunt Diane. The fourth picture is a shot of the party guests. Picture five is a shot of the party guests --look in the background and you will see the only ham at the party (Brian). Picture six is also a shot of the party guests--look in the background to the right and you will see the Guest of Honor, Jamie in her green dress, and the umbrella to the ice cream cart.

The first part of June was filled with various appointments---mostly down in Kalamazoo. We spent the night after Jamie's party with Pam and Brian and then drove to Kalamazoo. In Kalamazoo from June 2 through 5. Stayed with Ron and Jackie Baden one night. Picked up 6 months of mail that Ron and Jackie held for us. Jackie told us her good news--she will be retiring by the end of the year. Now, Ron and Jackie need to get real serious about finding a good cruising sailboat. Ron accepted a part-time job consulting with a firm in the Philadelphia area until the end of the year. Stayed two nights with Mark and Laura Eiler. We were supposed to go to Ben and Sam's soccer and baseball games but the games were called off due to rain. Oh well, we found things to do in the house. Both Carl and I enjoy spending time with Ben and Sam.

Stopped at Gun Lake to visit Dick and Polly Huff on our way back to the cottage. Dick bought a new sailboat (Lightning) so Carl and Dick went for a sail while Polly and I sat on the deck visiting. Great sailing conditions for the guys and great visiting conditions for us girls. After the guys finished their sail, Dick grilled pork tenderloins while Polly made a potato casserole and a salad. After dinner we hopped in the pontoon boat for a ride around Gun Lake followed by some great ice cream dessert and conversation until well after midnight.

The following pictures were taken of the guys sailing on Gun Lake. Notice that Carl wasn't going to get into that cold water--Dick maneuvered the sailboat right to the dock so Carl could hop off.

Enjoyed our time at the cottage. Carl focused on ordering spare parts and electronic items for our return to Trinidad. Every day we watched for UPS or FedEx to arrive. I enjoyed time in the garden, watching deer and reading on the deck. Of course, we waited for the warm summer weather to arrive without success--the temps stayed below 75 degrees the entire time we were at the cottage. Cruising friends, Craig and Kris on TILT, came up to the cottage from Grand Rapids one night for dinner, drinks and conversation.

The following pictures were taken from the deck. The first two pictures are of the garden and the last two are pictures of deer in the yard. I have a love/hate relationship with deer. I hate them because they eat my tulips, hostas and other fragile flowers. On the other had I enjoy watching them. The deer in the two pictures is a young buck that wasn't afraid of me.

Returned to Kalamazoo again on June 9th. Completed our annual summer clothes shopping spree at Kohls getting some terrific buys. Jackie Baden, Carl and I were invited for dinner at Sue and Jack Johnston's home (Ron was out in Philadelphia). Sue made some delicious fish with great side dishes and a fantastic pie. Stayed overnight at Ron and Jackie's. The next day went to our last appointment for this trip.

Back to the cottage to relax and enjoy the next two weeks before turning the cottage over to summer renters. Saw the latest Indiana Jones movie up in Ludington. Attended Pentwater's Annual Art Fair.

Below are pictures taken in Pentwater during the Annual Art Fair. The first picture is a shot of the shops along the main street. The next three pictures were taken at the art fair---yes, one vendor brought their pot belly pig to the art fair. The last picture is the sign for one of the bar/restaurants in Pentwater.

After the Art Fair we drove to Montague to visit with Al and Laurie Forte on board 9 LIVES. While 9 LIVES was for sale, the Forte's planned to use it this summer. Carl and I were going to help Al move the boat from Montague to Beaver Island sometime around June 24. However, earlier in the week, Al and Laurie received an offer for 9 LIVES. The deal included money plus another smaller trawler (36 foot Sabreliner). So--Pam, Brian, Carl and I joined Al and Laurie on board 9 Lives to talk about the offer and make alternate plans for us if the sale went through. It was a tough decision for Al and Laurie. Long term, they want to get out of boating and build a cottage on Beaver Island. Was this the right decision? It was fun to talk about the possibilities over dinner. Carl and I went back to our cottage after dinner to wait for Al and Laurie's decision regarding 9 LIVES. The alternate plan discussed was for us was to cruise on IRISH EYES up to Beaver Island with Pam and Brian if the Forte's accepted the offer. Either way we would be cruising on a trawler up to Beaver Island. Yipee!!

The following pictures were taken on 9 LIVES. The first picture is Carl and Al talking about "the offer". The second picture is Brian who was sitting on the opposite side of the back deck. The last picture is Pam sitting in the main salon while Laurie and I were tossing the salad.

The next day---the decision regarding 9 LIVES was made. The offer was accepted--we were cruising to Beaver Island with Pam and Brian. The next few days we concentrated on getting the cottage ready for renters and packing our bags. Pam drove up to our cottage to pick us up and return to Muskegon where IRISH EYES was at a dock. Brian and Carl got on board and headed to Pentwater. Brian had new radar installed so the guys played with the radar all the way to Pentwater. In the meantime, Pam and I stopped at Meijers to buy food for the cruise. Pam and I then drove their car to Pentwater where we would meet the boys in about 4 hours. To "kill time", Pam and I had leisurely dinner on the deck at Gull Landing  in Pentwater while listening to a good jazz band. After dinner, Pam and I walked to the Lake Michigan Beach and then returned to the marina where we met the guys.

Had a great trip up to Beaver Island. Stopped in Frankfort for one night. Found the hometown movie theater in Frankfort was no longer operating. Pam and I went window shopping before stopping at the grocery store (needed bread). From Frankfort we went to Charlevoix where we met up with Tom Kelly on GORTA MOR. In fact, IRISH EYES and GORTA MOR rafted off each other for two nights. Two Irish boats tied together swinging in the wind. While in Charlevoix, Pam and I went to the Art Fair and to the Charlevoix Library's book sale. On Sunday (6/29) Carl and I hopped on GORTA MOR to ride with Tom to Beaver Island. Brian and Pam on IRISH EYES led the way with Tom, Carl and I on GORTA MOR following close behind.

The following pictures were taken on the cruise from Muskegon to Charlevoix. The first picture is of the lighthouse at Point Betsy (north of Frankfort). The second picture was taken in Charlevoix at 45 degrees latitude--half way from the equator to the north pole! No wonder we were chilled in Michigan. The last two pictures were taken at the Charlevoix Art Fair.


It was great to be back on Beaver Island. Last time we were there was July 14, 2005--the first anchorage for the "Marilyn and Carl Sailing Adventure". Brian and Carl caught a flight back to Charlevoix on Monday around 5 PM. Al and Jamie Forte picked them up in Charlevoix and drove them to Muskegon where Al, Brian and Carl boarded Al's new boat (not yet named). The three guys left Muskegon at 10:30 PM Monday and traveled all night arriving in Beaver Island at 10:30 AM Tuesday. While our husbands were gone,  Pam and I went out to dinner with Tom to Stony Acres. The 3 of us had a great dinner. Pam and I returned to the boat to watch "Terminal" with Tom Hanks. The wives had fun while the husbands were "at sea". Yes, we were happy when they arrived safely in Beaver Island but we were hoping for one more night without them around!

More to come about Beaver Island in next month's activity log.

Submitted by:
Marilyn Thoreson
July 10, 2008