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Great Loop Blog Day 22

The run from Petoskey to Traverse City had its moments. First, the autopilot wouldn't set; I'd true the Sea Moose up on course, engage the autopilot and it would turn the boat hard to port. It took several attempts to get it set, and given the number of small fishing boats just outside the entrance to the harbor I'm sure more than one of them thought we were drunk.

Once set we did our usual stay 500 feet to the right of the Garmin selected course to avoid shallow water. It was hazy but not too bad, visibility was about a mile. Around 10 AM we found ourselves headed into a wall of pea soup fog.

This led to two or three hours of the two of us attempting to make visual contact with every radar indicated target to ensure we saw each other. During this fun, I set the ICOM IC-502 to automatic foghorn mode and at that exact moment the autopilot went crazy again. Fun times!

The fog lifted as we rounded Leelanau State Park and headed South across Cat Head Bay - which doesn't look like a cats head at all - with the remainder of the passage being absolutely glorious, calm seas, clear blue skies and perfect temperature.

We stayed at the Duncan L. Clinch marina for two nights. Upon arrival we took a walk of a mile or two, as we usually do, to check out the town. Traverse City downtime is a lot like Petoskey, with more shops and fewer flowers. We decided to take advantage of the Marina's excellent laundry facility. An extremely nice couple sold us a $10 roll of quarters so we could wash everything. Next time we find a bank where we have an account I'm going to stock up on quarters.

On the second day we walked to CVS to get a prescription filled, and on the way we discovered The Cheese Lady, a wonderful cheese shop with an amazing selection.

We purchased a half pound of Applewood smoked Cheddar, and a half pound of Swiss Cheese from Switzerland. They are absolutely delicious and we are still enjoying them.

We passed the Grand Traverse Pie Company. As a fan of their pies I asked Darina if she was hungry, as it looked like a great place for lunch but she said no. I suggested we stop there for muffins for the next day. Stepping inside, we discussed the muffin purchase and I took Yorksie outside while Darina waited in line. She emerged with a sack of muffins and peach turnovers, suggested we sit down and relax and asked if I wanted coffee. Of course I did! She went inside again. Twenty minutes later I sent her a text message... she replied that it was taking a long time. OK, I thought... how long can two cups of coffee take? She emerged with a wonderful lunch of salad with grilled chicken, half a grilled turkey reuben, and of course coffee. What a delightful little trick she had pulled on me! We spent a good two hours in pleasant conversation enjoying our lunch, watching the people go by, and drinking coffee.

We checked out a local gourmet grocery store, and finding it ridiculously expensive for basic items decided we would rent bicycles and ride to Meijer which was approximately six miles one way.

Before we left I had been riding my ancient mountain bike eight miles a day in the morning while Darina jogged. It was great to be riding again. Darina, having not ridden a bicycle in a while, was positively ecstatic grinning ear to ear. The ride to Meijer took about 20 minutes and we loved every minute of it. I mounted our trusty GoPro Hero 10 to the handlebars of my bike on the way there, and on Darina's bike on the way home and we got some great footage for the Youtube channel.

When we got to Meijer and locked the bikes to the grocery cart rack we decided right then and there to investigate folding bicycles we could store on the flybridge.

It was a joyful experience to be at a real grocery store with everything and we bought all kinds of heavy stuff which we stuffed into the giant rucksack I had purchased for cruising. Riding the bicycle with the large backpack on was a new experience that was a bit challenging at first but I got the hang of it.

Back at the boat we put everything away, ate a smaller salad and went to bed early as we had to work the next day.

Next up we do our best to take advantage of calm conditions and make a mad dash down the Western Coast of Michigan over the course of five days.

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