JUNE--Freezing in Michigan from Pentwater to Beaver Island!

The first half of  this month continued to be way too cool for us with highs in the mid 60's and lows around 50. Hard to believe that on June 6 the low was 32!  Finally warmed up to 70 the week of June 15 and warmed up to 80 by the weekend! It is a good thing I packed two pair of jean for each of us and warm jackets which became our daily uniform. Wore one pair of jeans while the other pair was in the washing machine with a continual rotation of wear/wash/wear/wash.

Worked on my garden removing leaves and pulling weeds. Before we return to Trinidad in September, I need to thin out the irises and day lilies which means the garden will get bigger (a good thing because it means less grass to mow). The garden does look good considering how little attention it gets when we are cruising. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be if the garden was watered and fertilized.

Purchased a new flat screen LCD TV for the living room in the cottage. Also, subscribed to basic cable TV because cable TV is bundled with high speed internet. In other words, we wanted high speed internet while cable TV was just an bonus. Having cable TV made the switch from analog to digital TV much easier--all the old TVs in the cottage were not digital so we would have had to buy converter boxes.  Boy do we love that internet! 

Started taking long walks for exercise---- 45 minutes working up to a 90 minute walk plus climbing the beach stairs (82 steps) without stopping to rest. One day, we stopped to tour the lighthouse at Little Point Sable during our walk--climbing 130 steps to the top without stopping to rest.

The following pictures were taken during our walk to the Little Point Sable Lighthouse. The first picture is Carl standing on the beach. Picture two is Little Point Sable Lighthouse-- a 107 foot brick tower activated in 1874.  Picture three is the lighthouse's third order fresnel lens. Picture four is Carl and I out of the observation deck at the top of the lighthouse. The last picture was taken from the observation deck looking DOWN.

Drove down to Grand Rapids on June 7 to visit friends Kris and Craig (TILT). Kris and Craig cruised the Bahamas this past year so we caught up with what was happening in the Bahamas. Kris and Craig know a lot of the same cruisers we know so it was fun to hear about everyone. Kris made fantastic lasagna for dinner and a egg souffle for breakfast. From Grand Rapids we drove to Kalamazoo for Carl's dental appointment and a meeting with John Wolfe our financial advisor--we can continue cruising!

The deck furniture at the cottage was in pretty bad shape so we replaced it. Found a nice used rectangular glass top table with 6 chairs all in good condition (the cushions are slightly faded) in the local newspaper. Picked up an umbrella to match the cushions at Meijers. Spiffed up our old round table which seats 4 by painting the top. Inspected the plastic chairs for cracks having to dump two of them. The round table is a nice place to sit down for breakfast in the morning.

Our cottage renters for June 13 and June 20th canceled citing economic reasons.  On the 19th, I concentrated on one last cleaning of the cottage interior while Carl powerwashed the deck and mowed the lawn. Then moved onto IRISH EYES (Pam and Brian's trawler) for about 16 days. Pam and I shopped for groceries in Muskegon on Friday afternoon buying enough stuff  for 3 days. Saturday, Pam and Brian had social commitments back in the Grand Rapids area so Carl and I stayed onboard. We went on a long walk and then lazed around the boat. Sunday, we spotted a car in Charlevoix that is, Carl drove our car up to Charlevoix while I drove Pam and Brian's car. Left our car in the Charlevoix Airport parking lot and drove Pam and Brian's car to Pentwater where we met up with IRISH EYES.   Our final destination on this trip is Beaver Island. Because we arrive at Beaver Island by trawler, fly from Beaver Island to Charlevoix  we need to have a car waiting for us!

IRISH EYES started the journey to Beaver Island on Monday with Frankfort as the first day's destination. The trip to Frankfort was ideal for a trawler---flat seas and lots of sunshine. Rode most of the way to Frankfort on the fly bridge. In Frankfort we stayed in the city marina, bought a few groceries and walked around town. In the morning, Pam, Carl and I walked the bike trail over to Elberta (about 45 minutes). Saw a large snapping turtle (her shell was about 14-16 inches) laying her eggs just a few feet off the bike trail. Her baby turtles will have to cross the bike trail as well as a busy highway to get to the water when they finally hatch!

From Frankfort we traveled to South Manitou--once again flat seas, sunshine but this time we had a million bugs. It was so bad that we finally had to go inside to get away from them. Anchored in South Manitou's Sandy Bay. Had lunch and then hopped in the dinghy for a ride to the Ranger Station. Just as we pulled up to the dock, a Ranger asked us for a favor. A sailboat had dragged its anchor while the "owner" was on shore. We saw the owner rowing after his sailboat that was adrift but he could not catch-up with it--he was too slow and the wind was pushing the sailboat farther and farther away! Brian and Carl dumped Pam and I off at the dock and then hurried over to the owner. Carl hopped in the rowing dinghy while the "owner" hopped into Brian's dinghy. Brian and the "owner" scurried out to where the sailboat's anchor caught on the opposite side of  the harbor just off Gull Point. Thank goodness, the sailboat's anchor hooked on a sandy spit so no harm was done to it. The "owner" was transferred from the dinghy to his sailboat where he lifted anchor up and motored over to where Carl was left rowing the "owners" dinghy. Brian picked up Car--- rescue complete.

The next group of pictures were taken onboard IRISH EYES. First is a snapshot of Pam and Carl. The second picture shows our competent captain (Brian) and Chief Engineer (Carl). Next is a picture of the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse and the last picture is Carl at the helm--running a trawler is hard, hard work!

Moved the next day to Charlevoix where we anchored in Round Lake. Tom Kelly on GORTA MOR came up from Boyne City. The two trawlers rafted off each other. Pam, Carl and I continued our morning walks. Walked by the Earl Young homes (A local architect who designed stone homes--the exterior walls are built of local limestone, fieldstone, red stone, boulders and Onaway quarry stone. His homes are often called "Mushroom Houses or Hobbit Houses). In the middle of one walk we turned a corner and suddenly deja vu--"This is the street where Dave and Carol Loring on PASSPORT live. We continued to walk down the street locating their house. Carl knocked on the door boy were they surprised. Talked for a few minutes before continuing on our walk. Carl and I met Dave and Carol later that day for lunch. Dave and Carol cruised the Bahamas last year so we talked about our sailing adventures.

The following pictures were taken in Charlevoix. The first 5 are pictures are Earl Young's Hobbit Houses and one of the house's fence. Very cool places. The last picture is Dave, Carol, Carl and I outside of the Villager Cafe where we met for lunch.

Friday morning,  GORTA MOR and IRISH EYES headed to Beaver Island. Carl and I traveled with Tom on GORTA MOR. Once again, good conditions for a trawler. Both GORTA MOR and IRISH EYES took a dock at the Beaver Island Yacht Dock. Friday afternoon, friends Ron and Jackie on AtSAIL pulled into the Yacht Dock on their Hylas 49. It was good to see them and the first time we have seen their boat. Sat onboard AtSAIL all afternoon catching up. In the evening, Ron, Jackie, Pam, Brian, Carl and I had dinner at the Shamrock followed by Gelato at the Harborview Market.

The following pictures were taken during our time with Ron and Jackie who are long time friends from Kalamazoo. Both of them recently retired, purchased a sailboat and started cruising on Lake Michigan with plans for long term cruising. It was a pleasure to run into them on Beaver Island. First picture is Carl and Ron sitting at AtSail's nav station. Picture two is Captain Ron with his First Mate Jackie. The third picture was taken at the Shamrock--Pam, Brian, Jackie, Ron and Carl.

Staying on Beaver Island until July 6 so we have developed a bit of a routine. Start each day with a cup of coffee followed by a 1.5 to 2 hour walk. In the afternoon there is time for internet and reading. Either prepare dinner on board or go to one of the local places. In the evening, Pam and I watch a movie on IRISH EYES while the guys move over to GORTA MOR to watch a different movie. One evening all of us went to a concert (Claudia Schmidt and the Jump Boys) at the Beaver Island Community Center. Claudia Schmidt lived on Beaver Island--she owned a restaurant called the Old Rectory. She sings folk, blues and jazz plus writes poetry---this concert was primarily jazz. I really enjoyed her show.

Another daily event on Beaver Island is the 3:00 PM Guinness Hour at the Shamrock Cafe. While I don't usually participate in this event, you can count on Tom being there! Tom walks over for 1 glass, sometimes 2 glasses but never 3 glasses--someone usually joins him and they normally sit at the bar. One afternoon the entire gang was there---Pam, Brian, Al, Carl and I so we gathered around a big round table.

The next two pictures were taken during Guinness Hour. The first picture is the leader of the hour--Mr. Tom Kelly. The next picture is Al, Tom, Pam, Brian and Car.

The weather continues to be cool to downright cold---an all time record low recorded the night of June 29 and into the early morning hours of June 30. I wore jeans, a heavyweight fleece jacket and my foul weather jacket on our walk the last day of the month to keep warm. Hey, this is summer and very unusually cool. It has to be 35 to 40 degrees warmer in Trinidad.

Submitted by:
Marilyn Thoreson
June 30, 2009