Great Loop Blog - Actual Day 15/16
Initially the blog was only going to cover days we were moving. After 16 days out this is proving difficult to stick with so I am switching to elapsed days. As of today we are 16 days in and approximately 300 nautical miles from home.
We lingered in Alpena as it was the Admirals birthday and I had ordered flowers. They arrived and were well received.
We started our day as we usually do on calm weekdays, putting Sea Moose on auto pilot and enjoying breakfast on the foredeck with Yorksie. We shot some great video that will be in an upcoming You Tube episode. Rounding North Point we carefully navigated past Sugar Island, and set out across the Thunder Bay National Marine Wildlife Refuge.
The rest of the passage to Presque Ilse was one of the best days so far. Lake Huron was incredibly flat, the sky was deep blue, and the trip was filled with islands and lighthouses to look at. We seemingly had the whole lake to ourselves, at one point I ran the radar out 25 miles and did not see a single vessel. The water was deep and impossibly clear.
Arriving in Presque Ilse we docked at the fuel dock, as I had been running on Tank 4 and wanted to measure fuel consumption again at 1850 rpm. The plan was to run to Mackinaw City at 1750 and compare numbers.
Presque Ilse is a beautiful anchorage and Marina. We initially planned to anchor here, but with the forecast calling for 25 knot winds we chose to use the Marina. The "city" of Presque Ilse is a single store that has a little of absolutely everything but not a lot of anything. As we needed to wash the forward cabin sheets that Yorksie had peed on, we bought two Klondike bars to get quarters and sat outside eating them and enjoying the smell of the pine trees.
Cell Service and Internet here is one bar if you are lucky and no service the rest of the time. In a slow series of agonizing calls to the DNR I updated our reservations to take into account our spending a day on Mackinac Island on Sunday. Of course with no phone and no internet no work was done and we slept in to a glorious 9 AM.
Departing around 9 we found rough seas with five to six foot steep waves and occasional eight to nine footers in series. These were the biggest seas in open water Darina had ever experienced and she was a little wide eyed at first, but soon settled into a gleeful mood as we pitched up and down taking them 10 degrees off the bow. The official forecast was for one to three footers!
We hoped that things would calm down as we rounded Presque Ilse but they did not, so we headed farther offshore in the hope that the 200 foot depth would smooth things out. Finding the Internet again we checked the forecast and they were now calling for five to seven foot seas with occasional nine footers. We pushed on.
When one has done a lot of work on the boat, and are in heavy seas for the first time, a lot of things go through your mind. Did I crib the tanks sufficiently? What was going to break loose? What would happen if Tank 4, which was full and supplying fuel to the engine, broke free of it's 2x2 oak cribbing and landed on the engine? Would the microwave come crashing down from the cabin ceiling? What about the thruster motor.? Fortunately nothing came loose.
Yorksie got seasick for the first time in her boating career.
We shot some great video of the conditions inside the salon, that will be on You Tube. After an hour conditions were worsening and I made the decision to abort to Cheboygan and head for Rogers City. This cost us a good 10 nautical miles - and required that we run broadside to the swells for one hour.
Arriving in Rogers city we met half the loopers we have met so far, plus a new couple who were four days out. I changed all the marina reservations - again - eating change fees. Darina gave the boat a bath while I edited Video.
Turned on the A/C and it errored out. A reverse back flushing of the water intake using my trusty Dewalt drill and pump got it back in service. How we sucked grass and mud into the A/C in 200 feet of water will be an enduring mystery. We went for a walk to check out the town.
Our first stop was at Nowicki's Sausage Shoppe where we picked up a package of Alpena made polish sausage with pork, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese that we cooked on the grill on the boat later in the day, We enjoyed two waffle cones with black cherry ice cream from a different ice cream plant and they were delicious
For reasons we are not entirely clear on Rogers City is obsessed with Elephants and Pigs. There was an elephant statue outside of the Sausage Shop, and another shop offering free Elephant rides. Perhaps a local can fill us in here?
At the local butcher shop we picked up fresh frozen whitefish, and we hit the "Save More" grocery store for a few odds and ends,
We went to bed relatively early for us as we needed to start work at 2:30 AM. Around 7 we went out for our morning stroll, and found these lovely Apple Fritters at the local bakery that we enjoyed in mariner's park.
And of course we took a moment to take a selfie
Off to Cheboygan. We'll see if the forecasters got it right this time...