Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Straights State Harbor, Mackinaw City to Petoskey Municipal Marina, Petoskey, MI — August 2, 2013

We planned on moving today but the sky did not look great when Candy and I came out for our walk.  The wind seemed light.  When the walk was over I checked the forecast and it did not sound terrible but then I looked at the radar and there was a line of showers crossing Lake Michigan from the Upper Peninsula down to the middle of the mitten.

It was an easy call to say we would sit this out.  The rain started within the hour and it rained pretty good for about 2 1/2 hours.  The sky started to clear about 11:00, the radar looked good and the winds still seemed light.  We decided to move to Petoskey if the water was as good as we thought once we got into the Straits.

The chop was about 1+ foot for the first 15 miles or so and then the winds picked up a little and there were a few whitecaps.  The wind was out of the west northwest and on our starboard bow.  I wanted to make the turn at Grays Reef so we would be headed south and the wind would really be a non-issue for us. The sky was sunny and that made the day better.

There were quite a few boats out considering how the day started.  We passed several sailboats headed south and several headed north.  They must have left early and decided to travel in the rain.  Pretty gutsy considering there was some thunder and lightning.

The wind was pretty unpredictable because it lightened up after we turned south and that was fine but the last 15 miles or so into Petoskey it got stronger out of the west.  It was good we left when we did and did not have to travel into the wind.  Lake Michigan has not been good to us and it is not on our list of favorite Great Lakes.

Petoskey harbor is a nice harbor that is built out into Little Traverse Bay.  The breakwall extends out quite a distance and the harbor is nestled in behind it. The marina is part of an overall development that the City has done along the waterfront.  There is a large park adjacent to the marina and a ball field with lights and a concession stand.  The park also has a museum and the Bear River drains thru the park with a rapids as the river falls approximately 15′ into Little Traverse Bay in the last several hundred feet.  The residents and visitors do make good use of the park and there are a lot of trailer boaters that launch their boats here.

One of the neat features is that the City put in a tunnel so you do not have to cross traffic on the main highway to get to downtown. Candy and I took our last walk of the day thru downtown last night and there were quite a few people in the downtown area.

The marina is all fixed docks and with the low water level, the docks are quite high off the water.  We don’t have a particular problem but I would prefer the floating docks with the easy step off the swim platform.

The winds today are probably 15 knots out of the northwest and it is supposed to continue tomorrow so we may stay a 3rd night.  The winds for mid-week are supposed to be light and variable which would be really nice.