Day 73 - Sleeping Bear Bay, MI
09 August 2016
Day 73 - Tue 9 Aug 2016
Anchored - Sleeping Bear Bay, MI
[photo: Some of the dunes as we headed into the Sleeping Bear Bay. They rise to over 400 feet above the water in spots.]
The night was quiet and peaceful, and I awoke extra early because I was fully rested at 0430. I checked the weather forecasts to see that wind and waves were now worse than last night, but I figured we would only have less than desirable conditions for about two hours. When Diane stirred at 0550, I asked if she was up for leaving soon and she said yes. I always explain that it is better to make miles before the winds and waves build as the day progresses, and she understands that.
We cast off at 0630 and enjoyed a fabulous ride with small waves on our stern. I went high-speed the entire way to get out of Grand Traverse Bay and into Lake Michigan as early as we could. Once we made the turn back SSW into the SW waves, I slowed down and it did get progressively less comfortable with time. Fortunately, for the price of some extra fuel and time, I was able to add a few miles to the trip and hug the shorelines to lessen the wave impact.
As we headed down the large Sleeping Bear Bay towards the shore most protected from the wind, we could see the 100-plus foot depths taper down to nothing rather quickly by the color change in the water. The bright blue water over the sand looked very much like the Bahamas or Caribbean. It was about 1145 when we set the anchor in purse sand, protected from the wind and waves as long as they did not veer much farther to the W. We tried to anchor where there were no homes directly ashore so that we would have a short dinghy ride to the beach.
Lunch was some pan-charred hot dogs (Diane likes them well charred) and sauerkraut. We hadn't had them in a long while and it tasted good. Not long after that, we got our stuff ready to go to the beach with the dinghy. Other than the beach visit, we don't plan to do any excursions ashore today for a change.
We had one section pretty much to ourselves, but rather than finding nice, pure sand on the beach and the surf, we found mostly round rocks and pebbles. To be candid, they hurt to walk on, and despite the beauty of the place, it was pretty disappointing. I had envisioned wading out to chest-deep water and lolling for a while, but every step was painful. I had to be content to sit in a somewhat sandy section right at the surf line and lean against the rubber dinghy.
Just like shelling on a beach where sea shells predominate, this beaches rocks or stones invited one to comb through to find all sorts of shapes and color combinations. Those that were wet looked great, but once they dried off, they had lost all their luster. We brought a handful back to the boat and might lacquer a few when we get home.
It was pretty warm in the boat facing into the sun all afternoon, but the breeze did help to moderate things. Supper was pan-seared lake trout with rice and glazed carrots. Unfortunately, that heated up the boat even more. After supper, reading on the flybridge in the nice breeze with a damp shirt felt really good.
It was nice for a change to be anchored away from everyone. The weather should let us move S to Frankfort tomorrow.