Monday, July 9, 2018

Blind River and Mackinac Island

Blind River was our final stop in Ontario, and we felt right at home in this small but well-appointed marina.

We spent 2 nights here.
We cruised through the North Channel quickly- it seemed to us that the best scenery is out in the many anchorages rather than along the route we traveled. We did not want to anchor because taking our dinghy off and on of the boat could easily hurt Mark's back. And anchoring without a dinghy to explore is not nearly as much fun.

Modern day voyageurs

We left Blind River at 4:30 a.m. to take advantage of the calmest winds crossing over to the United States. We checked in using an app called ROAM, which was a piece of cake- no need to stop or make a phone call.

We didn't travel in the dark very long.
The cruise to St. Ignace, MI, took about 7.5 hours.  Here we met our friends Bob and Kathy who are on their sailboat heading to Canada. St. Ignace is just across the water from Mackinac Island, so of course we had to visit that famous tourist spot. I was a bit skeptical but the island is absolutely beautiful! Even though it was a perfect Sunday, the ferries carried very few people and the island was not crowded. About 500 people actually live here, and who knows how many tourists stop by. I learned that the name is pronounced with a silent C- "Mackinaw" even though it is spelled "Mackinac". That clears up years of confusion for me!

We took the classic (slow) ferry to the island with friends Bob and Kathy.

The famous Grand Hotel

If you are not a guest here, it will cost $10 to walk across the porch!

Lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan all connect in this vicinity. The water is a beautiful blue and crystal clear.

The marina area with a wigwam in the foreground 

Of course there are no cars on the island, but there are lots of bicycles and horse drawn carriages.

The pooper scoopers valiantly try to keep up with the horse poop. There is still a definitive odor in the air.

Flowers are everywhere.

It feels fantastic to be back in the U.S.

Stone church
Fort Mackinac

I love history, so the fort was a must-see.

The fort as seen from the harbor

The fort changed hands between the British and the Americans after the War of 1812.

These actors, sang, danced, shot the cannon, etc.

Looking through a peep hole

We had lunch at this tea room, catered by the Grand Hotel.

The "Mesabi Miner" headed to Duluth.

One of innumerable fast ferries 
We need 2 good weather days to finish our Loop! At this point July 10-11 looks promising. We have flexibility in choosing our end point. We purchased our original boat in Sturgeon Bay and then crossed Green Bay to Menominee, MI, and later crossed over to Leland, MI, Escanaba, and Fayette. So we can legitimately cross our wake in any of those places. If the current wind/wave forecast holds, we will go to Beaver Island tomorrow and then have a long ride to Menominee the following day where our son can meet us with our truck and trailer. We will see- nothing is definite yet. But we are so excited about finishing!

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