Monday, August 20, 2007

Leland: the Windy Port

When we arrived in Leland on Wednesday afternoon, the weather was sunny and warm with pleasantly light winds.

That changed rapidly. That first evening the wind changed direction and picked up until it was blowing at a steady 20 to 25 knots out of the northwest. And it kept doing that, except for a brief period Thursday afternoon, until late Friday night. The sight of a red pennant flying below the US flag at the harbor, signaling a small craft advisory, became a fixed part of our stay in Leland.

On Friday morning, we watched the passenger ferry depart from Leland Harbor for North Manitou Island. It was pretty rough out there, and the boat was bouncing around a lot. But it’s clearly a very seaworthy boat.

After about ten minutes, though, the boat turned around and returned to port. We asked a couple of passengers what happened . . . the fourth wave that broke over the bow also broke out the windshield!

After hearing that, we decided we’d stay in port until the weather calmed down.

And that was probably a good thing. Here are some photos of the lake, looking in all directions from our boat that was safely tied to the dock.

Looking North . . .

Looking South . . .

Looking West . . .

And here’s the harbor entrance, with breaking waves that we did NOT want to cross!

However, while the high winds and large waves (five to seven feet) kept most boaters in the harbor, there was a different group of people who live for these conditions. The beach located south of the harbor was filled with surfers, sea kayakers, boogie boarders and kite surfers. Here are a few photos of the kite surfers.

By Saturday morning the wind died down, and was forecasted to stay calm, so we were able to leave for the next destination – our first overnight anchorage (i.e., no slip, no water, no electricity, and no nice protective harbor wall) at South Manitou Island.


snowiscool said...

So now you are going to see the manatees on the island?

sister of snowiscool said...

ooohhh I like manatees ;-)