Day 27 – Beaver Island to Leland, Some Fog, The Bluebird, another beautiful sunset

We left Beaver Island after breakfast at the Dalwhinnie restaurant. They have their own bakery and bake excellent Cinnamon and Pecan rolls in addition to very good breakfast selections. Teresa had the Irish skillet and I had French toast, all were very good.

Leaving Beaver Island Harbor it was sunny and clear, but not too long after we were out into Lake Michigan the fog rolled in.  The visibility was 1/2 to 3/4 mile so it was not that severe.  The radar and GPS were greatly appreciated in those conditions.   Part way through the crossing, the fog lifted.   We eventually caught up to Jacob and Nellie who left the island two hours before us.

Tying up on the end dock, we had a great view of town and the manitou passage.  After the girls went shopping in town, we went to dinner at the BlueBird Restaurant.  As usual, the food was very good. Try the “BlueBird’ white fish if you are in the area.  After dinner we watched the “sunset movie” along with many people lining the shore and hill behind the marina.  I expect Sanctuary was in a few thousand pictures tonight with all the cameras and phones snapping pictures on shore.

DSE_4521 Breakfast on the porch at DalwhinnieDSE_4523 DSE_4524 DSE_4525

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Entering Leland HarborIMG_20140804_150700742[1]



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Sunset in LelandDSE_4552 DSE_4558 DSE_4562

Crowd on shore watching the sunsetDSE_4566 DSE_4570 DSE_4576View of the Manitou passage from the flybridge on Sanctuary.



Day 25/26 – From St.Ignace to Beaver Island, Under the Big Mac, Finally in Lake MI

We left St. Ignace for Beaver Island and plan to stay for two nights.  We crossed under the Big Mac bridge and FINALLY have Sanctuary back in Lake Michigan. Sanctuary is so excited to see the fresh clear blue water of northern Lake Michigan.

We’re also celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary on the Island.  We docked at Beaver Island Marine.  Henry and Mary  treated us to dinner at the family-owned Circle M restaurant to celebrate our anniversary, and it was very good.  If you’re on the island, be sure to eat there.  After dinner, the island treated us to an outdoor concert, complete with fireworks.

DSE_4374Brain and Pam’s boat docked at St. Ignace as we were leaving for Beaver.  They should be here on Beaver tomorrow.


DSE_4381 Sanctuary heads for the Big MacDSE_4383 DSE_4386 DSE_4389 DSE_4392 DSE_4393 DSE_4400 DSE_4401

Sanctuary is finally on Lake Michigan.


Light House at Grays ReefDSE_4422 DSE_4427 DSE_4432 DSE_4438 DSE_4446


Anniversary Dinner at Circle M restaurantDSE_4447


Beaver island Classic CarDSE_4450

Concert in the park on Beaver IslandDSE_4454 DSE_4455 DSE_4457 DSE_4460 DSE_4462 DSE_4464  Beaver Island sunsetDSE_4470


Tomorrow we plan to continue touring the island.



Day 23/24 – Alpena to St. Ignace, Some light houses, Some big waves, and friends greet us in port

We left Alpena headed north to Cheboygan or St. Ignace (whichever the wind & spirit took us) getting an early start at first light.  The lake remained calm for most of the day.  At the point to turn for Cheboygan or St. Ignace, conditions looked good to continue on and finish in St. Ignace where we were planning to meet family &  friends.

Once we were well into the pass between Bois Blanc island and the lower peninsula, the  wind and waves picked up.  At one point we got splashes all the way up to the flybridge creating a nice roller coaster ride.  I think Sanctuary still was thinking she was at Cedar Point in Sandusky. We slowed down and continued on. A smaller power boat followed us for a long way using us to break the waves for them.  Once through the pass and near the UP, we were sheltered from the waves.   In port Brian and Pam, and their crew Tim, met us on the dock. They announced that dinner was already planned for us–what a great surprise after a very long day on the water! It was great to see our LYH friends and share dinner & drinks with them in port.

This was Jeremy’s last day traveling with us.  his mom drove up and stayed overnight on the boat. This was Karen’s first sight of the boat and her first sleepover on Sanctuary. Jeremy’s leaving today. Henry and Mary are in route and plan to travel with us for the next leg of the journey.

We plan to stay in St. Ignace today and leave for Beaver Island tomorrow, of course, depending on the weather. Today it started out very foggy and still has some pockets of fog on the lake.


DSE_4331 Leaving AlpenaDSE_4333 DSE_4337Alpena harbor light


Middle Island Light House near AlpenaDSE_4347DSE_4350


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DSE_4357 Presque Isle Light House

DSE_4369Sanctuary tied up for the night in St. Ignace


DSE_4372 Steve, Teresa, nephew Jeremy and (his mom) Karen — last day on board for Jeremy who heads home today.DSE_4371We will miss our first mate Jeremy! He was such a great help & companionship for us. (Plus, he did stuff Teresa didn’t want to do).

Day 22- Sunrise side of the lake, Covering miles on Lake Huron, No land in sight, and a brief shower

Continuing north on Lake Huron today, the day was uneventful.  We started out with 1′ or less waves, but soon they built up to over 3′ on the nose.  It did not affect progress much, but didn’t make for the most comfortable ride. By the end of the day, the lake had quieted back down to the 2′ or less than NOAA had been advertising.

We watched a small rain shower form over land and approach us on the lake.  The rest of the day was mostly sunny until evening.  Since we were well out into the lake, there was not a lot of scenery today.

We docked for the night at the municipal marina in Alpena.    Jeremy had his first experience being out in the lake being completely out of sight of land.  He called in on the radio and reserved us a spot in the marina … another first for him.


While outside getting ready to go and looking at the sunrise, the phone rang and a “peeping Vicki” called to describe what I was doing on the back of the boat.  The marina in Harbor Beach has a webcam on the boats.  Vicki and Bob found it and were virtually with us on the boat again.

DSE_4310 Sunrise side of the lake


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No land in sight anywhere …

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Brief rain shower





Sanctuary tied up for the night in Alpena

Day 21 – Wave goodbye to cousin Bill, Under the Bluewater Bridge, and on to the tip of the thumb

We traveled from Port Huron out into Lake Huron to the top of the thumb, ending the day at Harbor Beach Marina.

To start the day, Jeremy walked to Chef Shells Catering and Roadside Cafe for amazing donuts.  We enjoyed those very much.  If you are in Port Huron be sure to stop down town on main street by the river.

After a very long wait for fuel and a pump out, we got under way out into the St. Clair river.  The current in the St. Clair river at this point is very strong, cutting our forward speed in half.  Once out into Lake Huron, we resumed normal progress.

Bill was waiting on shore for us next to the Bluewater Bridge and waved as we went by. He used his towel as a signal to be sure we didn’t miss him. He had just finished his workout on the tread mill and swimming. At a fraction of his age, I’m not sure I could keep up with him.

After the Bluewater Bridge we passed Fort Gratiot Light House, the same one we climbed and toured from land yesterday.  So now we saw it from both views.

The trip up Lake Huron was calm, and mostly cloudy with one passing rain shower.

For dinner, we grilled BBQ chicken & corn on the cob on the boat and finished the day at Harbor Beach.


Port Huron River Street marina

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Leaving the marina waiting for the bridge tender to open the bridge DSE_4245 DSE_4247 DSE_4248 DSE_4249

Bill waving at us from shoreDSE_4251

Blue Water Bridge connecting USA to CanadaDSE_4260 DSE_4261 DSE_4263 DSE_4275 DSE_4277

Fort Gratiot Light HouseDSE_4290 DSE_4293

Rain shower on the way


Harbor Beach Light House on the pier.DSE_4299 DSE_4302



Sanctuary snugly tied up for the night in Harbor Beach.



Day 19 – Up the Detroit river, across Lake St. Clair, up St. Clair river, docked before the storm

We waited to get started for a little while this morning because of the fog. Once underway, we passed under the Ambassador Bridge and continued on to Lake St. Clair.   Just into Lake St. Clair, there was a stuck freighter (the Federal Rideau). I wonder if they have unlimited BoatUS towing and what that tow boat looks like?

Many ships continued to come and go.

Traveling up the river is interesting seeing all the different cottages and mansions.

As we were ending the day’s travels, a storm heading our way. We ducked into port at St. Clair and thankfully able to dock before the storm. The worst part of the storm went south of us, so we just got rain and some strong wind.

After the storm passed, we dined on excellent seafood cuisine at the Voyager Restaurant.



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Ambassador Bridge


Detroit Skyline



DSE_4104 If you saw the movie Captain Philips, this is the same kind of rescue boat (the small orange capsule suspended high above the stern of the freighter). Scary idea to go off the back down to the water! DSE_4108


Sanctuary tied up safe and secure for the night.

Day 18 – Finally out of Sandusky, Progress up the Detroit river, and Docked at the birth place of the Edmund Fitzgerald

We finally made it out of Sandusky!   After a more than 30-day delay for repairs, we are traveling again.  Since we left the Sanctuary blog travels at day 17, we will call the restart of travels day 18.  We traveled the rest of the way across Lake Erie and started up the Detroit river.

Jeremy received knot tying lessons along the way.  We passed a few light houses and many islands today. The hope was to make it to Lake St. Clair, but we were getting tired and decided to pull in just down river from the Detroit Ambassador Bridge at the Great Lakes Steel Boat Club.

This is a small private marina and was a ship yard many years ago.  We shoe horned Sanctuary in along the wall at the end of the marina.    The Edmund Fitzgerald was built and launched here.  Next to this are the old Boblo cruise boats used in the filming of one of the Transformers Movies.   We saw many ships going by in the river today.  Teresa was surprised at how close we end up to them in the channel.

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South Bass Island Lighthouse


Marblehead Lighthouse


Detroit River Lighthouse

Day 14 – Big Wind, Big Waves, Glad to make port, and an Amazing Sunset

We had planned to go to South Bass Island, Put In Bay today, but the weather predicted for the lake to get rough in the afternoon.   So we planned a shorter trip to Lorain, OH with the idea we would be in before the bad weather was predicted to arrive.  As usual, the prediction was almost right.

The last hour or so the wind had already arrived and the waves were getting larger and larger. The admiral was not happy, even though the boat handled it very well.  Having 33,000 pounds pushing back on the waves helps knock them down some, but still does not make for the best day on the lake.  We were very glad to make port at Lorain OH.

Since the ride was rough, we celebrated by going out to lunch at the marina restaurant.   If you’re ever in the area, I would highly recommend the Jackalope restaurant.

Bob, the husband of the clothing shop owner at the marina, took Steve to the store for needed supplies–another act of random kindness.  We’ve experienced many acts of kindnesses along the way. On the way back to the dock, the owner of a Main Ship trawler asked if we needed to go anywhere. He was willing to transport us. Later that evening, there was an amazing sunset.

View from restaurant deckLorain OH_Panorama1


Light House at Lorain harbor


DSE_3188The waves look better from this viewDSE_3202DSE_3206

DSE_3232Sunset with waves splashing looked like hot molten lavaDSE_3234

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Lighthouse illuminated at nightDSE_3265




Sanctuary tied up for the night at Lorain Harbor – Spitzer Lakeside Marina


Day 13 – back on the lake, another state, and a thunderstorm

We left Erie, PA today traveling west on Lake Erie to the port of Eastlake Ohio, staying at Chagrin Lagoon Yacht Club.  The day was mostly cloudy, but after one thunderstorm passed, the sun came out.  We watched one storm approaching on the radar and altered course to miss it.  Radar on the boat is great! When the next storm hit, thankfully it was minor, just heavy rain and wind. We remained dry in the fully enclosed flybridge.  Much more comfortable than it would have been in the cockpit of our sail boat.


Some views from the Bicentennial tower at Erie, PA from last nightDSE_3121DSE_3106DSE_3120 DSE_3113




Love our full enclosure in a rain storm!




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After the storm……DSE_3152




Sanctuary safely tied up for the night in Chagrin Lagoon Yacht Club, Eastlake, Ohio.



Day 12 – Maintenance, Laundry and visit with friends on land

Thunderstorms predicted for today, so we are staying in port at Erie. This also gives us more face time with dear friends, Bonnie & Rob. **Win-Win situation**

The oil needs changing, the brown smile from the canal needs to be removed,  the laundry needs to be done, etc……

Then we plan to continue west on Lake Erie tomorrow.