Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stopover in Muskegon

After two full days in South Haven, it's on to our next stop. This evening we are in Muskegon, which is about 60 miles north of South Haven.

The trip up here was generally uneventful. We gassed up at the South Haven Yacht Club in South Haven before leaving - ouch! Over 200 gallons at $3.69. It took over 45 minutes to pump! Still, gas cost less than we expected.

Before leaving South Haven, we had a nice omen. While preparing to loosen the lines and leave the slip, we looked up and saw the largest, most complete rainbow either of us have ever seen. Right over the harbor exit!! It was much too large to fit on the camera lens, but we did the best we could.

Once again, the lake was extremely calm. During most of the day it had that glassy look to it, with only one foot swells - hard to even call them waves. It was very overcast though, and drizzled every now and then, so we once again got used to the "silver" look. At least this time we never lost sight of shore - which, by the way, is pretty impressive over here. This side of Lake Michigan is lined with large sand dunes. From the water, you really get a feeling for how massive - and unending - they are. Unfortunately, we were too far out to get good photographs of them. Hopefully we'll have many more chances.

There's one thing you don't escape out on the water: BUGS! We were well over 5 miles out but there they were - gnats, mosquitoes and spiders. How do they get out there and how do they survive? Believe it or not, eucalyptus oil, as a spray, worked great for us in keeping the mosquitoes completely off of us and the gnats from sticking around too long.

There was a little incident as we neared Holland, Michigan. Holland is the city in which Meridian was "born". She became rather excited and did a little dance as we passed the Holland Harbor entrance.

Upon nearing Muskegon,the wind picked up and the lake got a little choppy. It also started raining a bit harder. All in all, though, it was still relatively calm - nothing like some of those autumn runs we've had up to Waukegan that some of you have been "fortunate" enough to experience.

After entering the channel to Muskegon Lake, you pass the USS Silversides, a WWII submarine, and the USCGC McLane, an old Prohibition era Coast Guard cutter.

We're spending the night at Hartshorn Municipal Marina. At first glance, it appears to be a pretty basic marina and is not in the same parklike type of setting that we're used to . However, we recommend it to anyone coming this way. It's located on Muskegon Lake about three miles in from Lake Michigan. As we were making our way to the marina, the wind picked up and it started raining. The folks from the marina, without being asked, showed up at the dock and helped us tie up. (Also, when we were making arrangements to come in, they let us know which side we'd be tying up on -- we'll be spoiled by the time we get back to Chicago if this keeps up.)

Hartshorn is relatively small compared to many marinas we've seen, but it has a really nice character to it. Lots of picnic tables close to the slips. And each slip appears to have at least one - probably two - parking spots that are also right by the slip. Bike racks are also available for slip holders. There are covered picnic areas, and grills scattered around. A good percentage of the slip holders decorate or personalize their slips. A bicycle trail runs beside the marina and takes you to Lake Michigan (one way) or all the way to the other side of Muskegon Lake (the other way) The staff, as well as the other boaters we met, were all extremely friendly.

Hartshorn is located close to Heritage Landing, where they are currently holding the Unity Christian Music Festival. We hear the music clearly from here, and it adds a pleasant effect to the evening.

By the way, we don't talk about it here, but there's a pretty good Inept Boater Blog story that will come from today


diane said...

Ahoy Cap'n Phil! We forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday! And if you want a nice bike ride, try the Hart-Montague state trail, a bit to the north of where you are.

diane said...

Ooooh! Now you are getting to my favorite part of the state! Wave when you go past White Lake. Ludington is really nice, too.