We were off the dock and at the bascule bridge for the 7:00am opening. The winds are supposed to be relatively light today for the entire length of our planned trip. We will set our sights on getting to Cheboygan with an option of continuing on to Rogers City if the wind and waves (and the energy of the crew) makes that seem like a good option.
It is beautifully calm when we first depart, but the wind picks up as we begin to cross Little Traverse Bay. Fortunately it is from behind us and is not a problem. As we clear Grey’s Reef, the winds lighten up again and our trip through the Straits is wonderful. Today is the annual Mackinaw Bridge walk and the Coast Guard has set up a safety zone around the bridge. Therefore, we need to have a Coast Guard escort as we travel under the bridge. The Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary have their escort system set up very well and we don’t even have to slow our speed as we go under the bridge.
Shortly after clearing the bridge, the wind begins to pick up again. We are getting more waves as well, but much of the chop in the water is related to the fact that we are getting over a knot of push from the current (which is against the wind). It is before 2:00pm as we pass the turnoff to Cheboygan and we decide to continue on, hoping to keep the assist from the current, but lose some of the wind.
The rest of the trip is OK. The waves are bigger than we would like, but not unmanageable. They are basically straight on the bow, so the side to side rocking is minimal. We pull into Rogers City before 6:00pm and take on fuel and get the holding tanks pumped out. We still have two long days ahead of us (if the weather cooperates) so we relax on the boat and have dinner on board.
|the sunrise over Little Traverse Bay|
|Skillagalee Light on a tiny island just south of Grays Reef in Lake Michigan|
|Grays Reef Lighthouse|
|abandon lighthouse south of Rose Shoal - this is lighthouse|
is at the western end of the Straits of Mackinaw
|St. Helena Lighthouse on St. Helena Island which is just off the|
coast of the Upper Penninsula about eight miles west of St. Ignace
|the Mackinaw Bridge, our escort from the Coast Guard Auxiliary|
and another U.S. Coast Guard boat (in the distance)
|there are still a few walkers on the bridge - the yellow school bus is |
helping transport walkers to St. Ignace where the walk begins or back
to their cars if they parked in the Upper Penninsula
|Poe Reef Lighthouse in northern Lake Huron|
|Forty Mile Point Lighthouse north of Rogers City|