Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trip to Bois Blanc Island, Michigan

August 26, 2008

Not that we're anything close to experts but in the three times we've been on Lake Huron, we've never seen it like this.

On Tuesday, August 28, we had a good weather forecast and decided to move from Lime Island down to Bois Blanc Island (pronounced locally as "Bob-Lo") which is four miles off of Cheboygan, MI. We had initially planned to go to Whitney Bay for another day of anchoring before moving to Bois Blanc but a very windy (20+ knots from the wrong direction) made us put Whitney Bay on a future cruise list.

After the fog lifted from Lime Island and we felt safe venturing out into Freighter Alley, we headed out. Our plan was to fuel up and get a few provisions (coffee and fruit) in Detour Village then head over to Bois Blanc. We hadn't been out of Lime Island very long before this big guy started chasing us. "Who are those guys?" we kept asking each other. As it turns out, it was the Stewart J. Cort, a regular St. Mary's River commuter. We slowed down even more than normal as we were afraid our wake might be giving him a rough ride. Hopefully he appreciated our gesture.

We'd never been this side of Detour Village and saw an interesting sight.

We asked about this at Detour and they told us that a guy had purchased it with plans to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. The original foundation, though, wasn't strong enough to hold it and it collapsed to the ground. The person is currently living in a tent on the property but says that the funding exists to turn his plans into reality. Go Big or Go Home. Good luck to him!

After finishing up in Detour, we headed out again to a very calm sea. It was, at times, difficult to discern the sky from the lake. At one point, a passing boat's wake created a false horizon line. It was pretty cool to see. Even in the North Channel, we never saw the water this calm (OK - maybe at 1:30am when Bernie was out watching the stars and saw them reflecting in the water).

Before getting to Bois Blanc, we added three light houses to our list.

At 6 cruising hours, it was a long trip (compared to the short hops we've gotten used to). But soon we saw the gigantic flag that marks the Bois Blanc Dock. We pulled in by ourselves and even moved Meridian a little to ensure that we were not obstructing the ferry dock (marked by dark blue posts). We'd read in the GLCC notes that the Bob-Lo Tavern was a good place to eat and that they kept a courtesy car named Hester, keys in ignition, in Slot 27 in the Township Parking Lot. Alas, Hester seems to be no more. She wasn't at the parking lot (and some pretty tall weeds in Slot 27 led us to believe she hasn't been there in awhile) and she wasn't at the Bob-Lo Tavern either. (We will do some updates to the Harbor Report for Bois Blanc.) So we biked over in time for Tuesday Taco night. Dessert was ice cream at Hawk's General Store (which also has wi-fi.)

When we returned to Meridian at the Dock, we were just in time to meet the harbor master/deputy sheriff who stops by to collect marina fees each evening. We had a nice chat with him about boating adventures and the island. He gave us a recommended bike route and some general island information (including how to contact him in emergencies). It was a nice welcome!

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