Of all the trials we have to do to complete the Great Loop, this one is the most daunting: Navigating Lake Michigan. With most of the other large bodies of water (Delaware Bay, the Atlantic off New Jersey, Hudson Bay, Lake Ontario, and the Gulf of Mexico to come) we need to prepare and select a day to travel. Just one, sometimes two. This, however, will go on for weeks. And it can be bad for weeks. Last year, loopers were stuck for two weeks waiting for a decent day to proceed.
On top of that, there's a plaque by the marina that explained why the Mackinaw Straits were the windiest waters in all of Michigan. Yay.
That said I'm happy to report that day one went swimmingly. Seas started around one foot, maybe a bit taller, but smoothed out to less than six inches. Nippy to start, around 55 degrees, but it warmed up, especially as we turned southward to have the northern breeze on our back.
|Heading under the Mackinac Bridge|
We docked in the Petoskey City Marina, which is very close to downtown. We got a slip assingment when we called en route only to discover it was too narrow for us. They stuck us on a t-head which was bumpy and a long walk for dogs. We asked to move and got a WAY better slip.
Darling town, by the way. Less touristy, and more useful, than Mackinaw City. That's a good thing.
|Abandoned light house marked our turning south|
|A couple of swans welcomed us to Little Traverse Bay.|