After Heather left, we had about 3 weeks to sail to Grand Marais, MN where I had a work commitment. Yeah, schedules no good with boating, but I do still have a full time job and business is business. As a backup, I could have left the boat somewhere and drove back. So we embarked on a whirlwind tour of Lake Michigan, the St. Mary’s River, and the south shore of Lake Superior before we crossed to Grand Marais, MN with a few days to spare. It turned out to be a leisurely trip. We sailed every few days and while in harbor we swam, worked, swam, worked, made food, and slept. It was an ideal relaxing great lakes break in period. We did some exploring ashore, but mostly kept to business aboard.
A big storm passed over us our first day out after Heather left
entry to the St. Mary’s River
we’re hiding well outside the channel so these 1000 foot long boats could cross.
Sault Ste. Marie is an ideal place for ship watching. Everything in or out of Lake Superior passes the marina.
Finally back in my home waters of Lake Superior and its vast expanses.
Every stop was my favorite stop, but this really was. The Whitefish point harbor of refuge is in a beautiful and remote location. We even had friends drive all the way from Muskegon to see us and we visited the nearby shipwreck museum together.
The Edmund Fitzgerald rests on the bottom near here. The bell was recovered and brought to the museum. A replica etched with the names of the lost sailors was returned to the wreck, at the bottom of the lake, and put in its place.
Pictured Rocks is one of those spots we must return to.
We also spent a few days in Munising where my Aunt, Uncle, and Grandmother met us for a day sail. Having them aboard was a treat for me.
After Munising, we sailed all the way to Copper Harbor which, like Whitefish Point, is also my favorite harbor. I have a lot of memories of family vacations when I was a kid. The town has changed very little since then.
view from above in Copper Harbor, MI
After lots of swimming in the 70 degree water of Copper Harbor, we sailed to the north shore and Grand Marais, MN with 45 degree water. Oh what a difference 100 miles makes. The sawtooth mountains are in the distance.
The mooring a friend let us use. We’ll be back here as a home base in 2016.
After some shore side travel and work, I moved the boat to the Apostles back on the warm south shore for Ethan’s 14th birthday party. Friends came from home and took the ferry to camp on the island. We spent amazing days hiking, swiming and swimming more. I think the kids were in the water 10 hours a day.
After the birthday party, it was westward to Duluth for an unceremonious return to my home town. 7 years boat building and 2400 miles sailing. We’re home!