Monday, August 6, 2007

Crossing Michigan (the Lake, not Avenue)

Monday, August 6, 2007, 7:15am – We pull out of Monroe Harbor and head into a curtain of haze hanging over Lake Michigan.

But wait, let’s go back an hour to discuss the “Preparation To Leave” process that Phil took us through. When it comes to the boat, Phil is a little like Hermione Granger in the first Harry Potter movie; Bernie is more a “close-enough” person. This is odd, because in other aspects of life (like filling in the checkbook and the proper use of filet knives and non-stick pans), it is the exact opposite. Bernie was given the task of disconnecting and rolling up the electric cords, which she valiantly did. She coiled them into a nice circle of 19-inch diameter. Unfortunately, Phil prefers that the electric cord be coiled into a circle of 20.345 inches in diameter. Sheesh!! But at least no one was kicked into the lake -- yet.

So, back to the trip.

The weather forecast looked good, only calling for areas of light haze, 5 mph winds, and waves 2 feet or less. So, at 7:15am, we released the lines and set sail.

Regarding the weather forecast, two out of three ain’t bad. Apparently, “Light Haze” is nautical talk for “fog so thick you can cut it with a plastic (instead of a sharp) knife”. Not dangerously thick, but annoyingly so. We could only go 6.8 knots. At this rate, we’d be in South Haven for Labor Day! Luckily, the “Light Haze” turned to “Diffused Sunlight” and we were able to speed up to 10.5 knots. But the water was calm – like glass - and there were very few other boats. We only encountered four sailboats the entire crossing. (Although Phil had hoped to see a big freighter or tanker on our trip, he withdrew that hope after seeing the “Light Haze”.)

Now, given the “Light Haze”, we really needed to use the instruments and charts to guide us to South Haven. Although usually “directionally challenged”, Bernie was put in charge of navigating. So, we are writing this from Gary Indiana Municipal Harbor. (Kidding)

Other than a stop to add some transmission fluid, the trip across was pleasantly uneventful. We arrived at the entrance to South Haven Harbor about 3:45pm (Eastern Time). We were ecstatic to be able to see colors other than shades of silver and gray that we’d been seeing the whole trip. The gold sand dunes … the red harbor light … the blue sky … the orange indicator light saying the starboard engine had cut off. AAAAAAAH!!!!! And just as we were attempting to pull into the slip. Man, I thought only the people at DuSable jumped up and pulled out their boat hooks when we came in. But luckily no one panicked and we did get into the slip OK. The guy in the boat next to us actually slept through his near-death experience.

After securing the lines, then hooking up the electric and water, it was time to eat. We realized that we’d only had a scone and a granola bar during the whole trip. So we were hungry. Bernie had cooked – a lot – during the unexpected layover in Chicago, so we had quite a tasty dinner. It was

  • Lemon-Thyme Summer Squash Soup
  • Leek Crepes with Herbs de Provence Goat Cheese
  • Garlic Chicken with Lavender Tomato Piperade
  • Diet Coke with “special” flavoring

Alright, not your typical boat food, but Bernie doesn’t want to waste that money she invested into that culinary training at Kendall.

For dessert, we went local: Ice cream at The Chocolate Café in downtown South Haven.

We’ll stay in South Haven either two or three nights. Haven’t decided yet.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to blueberry country!

Alicia said...

Sooner or later you will have to diverge from Diet Coke with special flavoring to . . . Boat Drinks.

Great Lakes Cruising said...

Yes, but the Captain's special flavoring makes you go "Arrrr!!!"