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July 15-19 From Mackinac Island to Harbor Springs to Charlevoix, MI

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010


We left Drummond Island & cruised through the upper part of Lake Huron to historic Mackinac Island (which marked the 1/2 way point of our “Great Loop Trip – 2800 miles) where we were fortunate to dock just below the old fort & right next to downtown.  The fudge smell wafted down the hill.  It really is a special island with only horse drawn vehicles, horses being ridden, bicycles & people walking through old town.  The first night we dined at the Grand Hotel, the largest summer hotel in the US with the longest porch in the world.  First time for a coat & tie since Lyford Cay in the Bahamas.  Friends Bruce & Brian joined us the next few days & we all enjoyed the island together.  From Mackinac Island we cruised under the Mackinaw Bridge into Lake Michigan.  We had calm seas & cruised into Harbor Springs, known as the “Palm Beach” of the north.  In the glory days of the Michigan auto industry, it is said that “70% of the wealth in America summered in Harbor Springs and the summer “cottages” are still there to prove it.  The next day we went on to Charlevoix, MI (actually Alan’s birthplace), one of our favorite Michigan summer resorts.  It has a great harbor with all the shops, parks, restaurants & pubs within a few blocks.  The seas have been calm & the weather perfect.  Actually we talked about the fact that, in 3 months of this journey, we had 1 day that we decided to stay put in port & went on again the next day.   We feel so fortunate!

July 11-14 Canada’s “North Channel”

Thursday, July 15th, 2010


One book on the “Great Loop” referred to the North Channel as “arguably the most spectacular cruising grounds in North America”.   After our 4 days we decided it is certainly one of the most spectacular, if not the most!!  We left Tobermory on July 11 with a bit of trepidation.  One of our friends with a lot of boating experience had emailed us that after a winter with frost that goes very deep, some of the boulders that are 20′ below the surface on the charts are now 2′ deep. We had purchased the latest electronic charts and felt fairly comfortable…  When in doubt we posted a watch (or 2 or 3) on the bow.  The last day we actually had to stop, back up & go around the side of exactly such a boulder.  A little disconcerting. Thank goodness for a fast reacting Captain!  The first stop was Killarney, the beginning of the North Channel & we stayed at the Sportsmen’s Inn.  We had “fish & chips” at the Red Bus which was a “must” according to the locals & several friends with North Channel experience who had emailed recommendations.  The next day we cruised into Baie Fine, one of the highlights of the area.  It looks more like a fiord than a bay.  Unbelievable rock outcroppings.  We took the tender (named “Little-Ho” by a clever friend) further in where the water was shallow & hiked with the dogs.  That night we spent in Little Current, a cute fishing village.  The next day & night we moored out in an idyllic cove in the Benjamin Islands; with our own private beach and no other soul in sight.  We took the tender & brought the pups to shore for some welcome relief and swimming.  Later that evening we packed a cookout with our crew, Steve & Summer, & went back to shore for a nice fire with brats & vegetables cooking on top.  The sunset over Tally-Ho was beautiful.  The next morning we cruised past the “northernmost” point on our Great Loop trip{Coordinates-46-09,645N–82-45,758W;just N of Bassett Island} & ended up on Drummond Island, MI, back in the USA where we cleared customs.  Awesome scenery the entire voyage… Onward to Mackinac Island… 

July 7-10 Cruising the coast of Ontario on Lake Huron

Saturday, July 10th, 2010


We left Detroit & headed north across Lake St. Clair & up the St. Clair River past The Old Club and Algonac once again for a first night’s stopover in Sarnia, ON, right by the Port Huron Bridge.  The next afternoon we ended up in Bayfield, ON, a really quaint village on a bluff overlooking the harbor & beach. Some beach sun and a few “brews” at The Black Dog Pub followed by a delicious dinner onboard by Summer completed a perfect day.  The next day was on to Port Elgin, ON where we had an old friend & a new one, Graeme & Brian onboard for drinks & then dinner (followed by a walk along the beach with a beautiful sunset and Lighthouse view) at their home in Southampton, 5 miles away.  They divide their time between Southampton & Toronto.  We hadn’t seen Graeme in 15 years.  It was wonderful catching up as we have done with so many old friends on this voyage! The following afternoon found us in Tobermory, ON.  We once again docked right “downtown” with quite the “peanut gallery” of spectators.  This will be our jumping off point for the top of the Georgian Bay & the whole North Channel which we have been told by many will be a major highpoint!! 

June 24-26 A stopover in Put-In-Bay & on to Detroit while we spend a week in Saugatuck

Thursday, July 8th, 2010


It was an easy day crossing a smooth Lake Erie & tying up right in the middle of Put-In-Bay, Ohio, one of the big summer party towns in the midwest and boasting the” Oliver Hazzard Perry” Monument-3rd tallest in the USA.  The next day we cruised acrossed  Lake Erie & up the Detroit River passed beautiful lighthouses and the GM  City of Detroit where we docked for 1 1/2 weeks at the Harbor Hill Marina.  That night we had dinner with old friends Jon & Mark who spent the night onboard.  The next day the 4 of us drove to Algonac, MI & attended the annual antique & classic boat show there.  Algonac is really the home of Chris Craft boats since it was where the first plant was built.  We went to brunch on Jon’s wonderfully restored Chris Craft, Josephine, a 1948 Custom 22′ Sedan at “The Old Club” on Harsen’s Island & later that day drove across Michigan to Saugatuck for a big 4th of July weekend.  We had a picnic at an outdoor concert, entertained house guests, Michael, Stephen & Jonathon & watched the parade from our front porch.  On the holiday weekend we had a small group for a cookout & the last night we sat on Oval Beach, ate dinner & watched the sunset.  Great to be back in beautiful western Michigan for a while.  On Tuesday we drove back to Detroit, provisioning along the way & reboarded for our trip into Canada.  That night 2 new friends, Zach & Mike, stopped by for a boat tour & took us to dinner in downtown Detroit & a tour of the city.  The next morning we shoved off & headed north.

June 21-23 Left Toronto & onto Niagara Falls, Niagara-On-The-Lake, The Welland Canal & Mentor, OH

Thursday, June 24th, 2010


On Monday morning we left Toronto behind us, crossed the end of Lake Ontario & docked at Port Dalhousie, Ontario.  From there we visited Niagara Falls (had been 25 years since our last visit) & the quaint town of Niagara-On-The-Lake with it’s beautiful historic homes & interesting downtown.  Friends had recommended visiting it & they were right.  The next morning we got in line with 2 other cruisers (after a 6 hour wait) & started our trip through the Welland Canal system which connects Lake Ontario with Lake Erie.  With it’s 8 locks it lifted us 326 feet with an amazing triple lock in the middle.  We were dwarfed by huge freighters going in the opposite direction.  A unique & educational engineering feat.  We finished at 10 PM & tied up along the village dock in Port Colborne, Ontario.  The following day we did a long crossing on Lake Erie & ended up in Mentor, Ohio at their Yacht Club.  Tomorrow we plan, weather permitting, to cruise on to Cleveland, Ohio.

June 14-20 From Rochester, NY to Toronto, Ontario

Monday, June 21st, 2010


We had a great sense of accomplishment as we left the Erie & Oswego Canals behind us and did an overnight in Rochester, NY with it’s great lighthouses.  We cruised across Lake Ontario to Toronto, one of our favorite cities.  While our Captain & 1st Mate left for his high school reunion in Iowa we enjoyed our time alone, docked right on the restored harbor front.  The Rogers Center & CN tower, once the tallest building in the world, lay just to our north & the entire inner harbor & boating activity to our south.  We had 2 old friends, Rick & John, on board for drinks followed by dinner at their favorite restaurant & a private party for a friend’s celebration in the heart of the nightlife district.  We enjoyed museums, shopping, long walks with Dylan & Dugan, the beaches & great sightseeing.  Tomorrow we leave for Niagara-On-The-Lake, Niagara Falls & the Welland Canal.

June 10-13 Troy, NY to Oswego, NY, 33 locks on the Erie Canal

Sunday, June 13th, 2010


We spent the afternoon in Troy readying Tally-Ho by taking the mast & bimini top down to get her overall height under 20′ to accomodate the low bridges on the Erie Canal.  Early the next morning we enountered our first lock.  After that the canal split with the north route going to Lake Champlain & west (our route) going to Lake Ontario.  Our Captain, Steve, was very apprehensive about the low clearance, even after 4 measurings.  As it turned out, we had a couple feet to spare.  Interesting things along the canal, including a volkswagen bug on top of a smoke stack along with the usual array of odd houses, etc.  Dylan & Dugan got used to the locks going up during the 1st half & coming down the last half.  Quite an engineering feat with no 2 alike.  It was an amazing experience.  Toward the end the canal split again with us taking the Oswego canal to Lake Ontario & the Erie Canal continuing to Buffalo.  Even though our crew was very efficient it took all 4 of us at times to “lock-through”.  We put the boat back together in Oswego, right on the shores of Lake Ontario, with a beautiful historic lighthouse on the harbor point.  Tomorrow we start our 2 day run to Toronto, Canada.

June 7-9 Cruising the beautiful Hudson River Valley

Thursday, June 10th, 2010


Monday morning Trip’s brother, Rick, & 2 of our friends, Jeff & David, joined us on board for our 3 day Hudson River adventure.  It was exciting to see NYC fade away in our wake & move on to the rock cliffs of the Pallisades & the mountains beyond.  We docked at the Hyde Park Marina & had a wonderful tour of West Point Academy.  Later that evening we celebrated Jeff’s birthday with a fun dinner on board.  Tuesday we toured the Franklin D. Roosevelt mansion, museum & presidential library followed by a wonderful lunch at the Culinary Institute of America & a tour of the Vanderbilt mansion.  We continued cruising up the winding Hudson to Kingston, NY & docked right in front of the Hudson River Maritime Museum.  Wednesday morning we toured historic downtown Kingston (1st capital of NY), had a scenic luncheon on board & dropped our guests off at the Albany Yacht Club.  We continued a short distance to Troy where we will lower our overall height to under 20′ by dropping the mast & the bimini top to continue westward on the Erie Canal.

June 4-6 The Big Apple

Monday, June 7th, 2010


After leaving Cape May we had scheduled another stop in New Jersey but with calm seas running on the outside we decided to just push on & enjoy an extra evening in New York City.  It was amazing cruising into the city, passing the Statue Of Liberty & seeing the NY skyline from the harbor.  We docked at the 79th Street Yacht Basin, a great location to enjoy the Upper West Side.  We shared an evening with 2 old friends, Robert & Brandon for a great dinner & a night out on the town.  We had fun shopping, walking D&D in Central Park & catching up on the sights & magic of the city.  Our last evening we endured gale force winds on the Hudson & hosted a cocktail party (the show must go on) on board with old NYC friends, Gray, Brian, Pat, David, Wiggy & Cole as well as family,Diane, Rick, Rady, Catherine, and Bridgette.  And now we work our way up the Hudson. . . .

June 1-3 Baltimore, MD to Cape May, NJ

Saturday, June 5th, 2010


We left Annapolis the day after Memorial Day & headed north, under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, past Ft. McHenry & ended up in Baltimore a couple hours later.  We docked downtown at the Inner Harbor Marina, right across from the old schooner, Constitution.  Beautiful backdrop for Tally-Ho.  After checking out the sites with Dylan & Dugan we had great old friends from our horsey days in northern Virginia (Stephanie, Andrew, Cathy & Arnold) on board for drinks & dinner.  The next morning we headed to the mouth of the Chesapeake & took the C&D Canal across to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, stopping overnight at the Summit Point Yacht Club half way.  The next day it was on to Cape May where we visited our old friend Curtis & his partner, Will.  Curtis gave us a tour of all his projects in Cape May & we caught up over a delicious dinner at his hotel, The Virginia.  We were docked right downtown by the old fishing boats.  Great area.  Check out the photo of Captain Alan docking the boat along the boardwalk.  The next day was a long one as we decided 1/2 way to push on to New York City.

May 23-31 A wonderful week in Annapolis, MD

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010


We really had a great time catching up with friends & family in Trip’s old “stomping grounds”.  We saw Trip’s sister Kate, husband Jamie & our 3 neices, Mimi, Bridget & Meredith & nephew, Chase, for several fun times together.  We also had a cocktail party (of course we did) & included old friends of Trip’s from his days growing up here as well as some of our Washington, DC & Virginia friends including Chuck & Georgette, Alan & Keith, Ellen & Derrick, etc.  We probably ate crab, in some form or another, almost every day.  Crew, Steve & Summer, were fun to watch at their first crab feast.  We docked right behind the Annapolis Yacht Club, which put us a couple blocks from downtown & all the activity.  Great people & boat watching!   A week culminating in an amazing Memorial Day celebration at the Yacht Club, all viewed from the fly on Tally-Ho.  Now off to Baltimore!

May 21,22 Catching up with family & friends at The Tides Inn, Irvington, VA

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010


We left Norfolk, VA, passing all sorts of military ships, barges, etc.  The largest naval harbor in the US.  After a 5 hour cruise up the beautiful Chesapeak Bay with calm waters & sunny skies, we went a few miles up the Rappahannock River & docked at The Tides Inn.  We had 2 great days catching up with Frederick, Jenny & their 4 adorable girls, Rowland & Frankie (old horse friends from Virginia) & Trip’s sister, Beth, husband Jim & our 4 neices, Devon, Maggie, Olivia & Ellie.  The Tides Inn was a great place for entertaining aboard. 

May 19,20 Roanoke Island, NC & Norfolk, VA

Friday, May 21st, 2010


After leaving Beaufort we put in a long day going through the Pamlico Sound & inside the Outer Banks to Manteo, NC where we spent the night.  Cute fishing village with a great lighthouse.  The next day we cruised up the Outer Banks through Coinjock, NC, a popular cruising stop on the ICW.  From there we made it to Norfolk, Va, after negotiating our first lock (only 100 or so more to go) & docked right downtown in the restored waterfront.  Reminded us of Baltimore, MD.  We had our friend Betsy on board for a tour & cocktails.

May 14-18 Cruising Charleston, SC to Beaufort, NC

Monday, May 17th, 2010


The first day out of Charleston we continued meandering through the SC low country with stops in Georgetown & North Myrtle Beach.  We crossed over into NC & spent 2 nights in Wrightsville Beach.  From there we were able to check out downtown Wilmington.  Next stop Beaufort, NC.

May 4-13 An overnight in Beaufort, SC & on to Charleston

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


We docked at the Downtown Marina in Beaufort & had friends Don & Gloria over for a drink.  We spent the night & cruised to Charleston the next day.  We docked near the old market at the Maritime Center & drove to Tryon for a week to get caught up while Steve & Summer worked on a “to do” list.  When we got back on board we hosted some of our NC/SC friends, Maude, James, Gary, Shelley, Mike, David, Becky, Jim, Jane, Polly, Nick, Laura, Steve & Joann on board for a cocktail party & luncheon cruise along the Battery the next day. 

May 1-3 An overnight in Brunswick, GA & on to Savannah

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010


After a day running in the ocean we passed Jekyll & St. Simon Islands & docked right downtown in the historic district of Brunswick.  Watched the Kentucky Derby with mint juleps & had a great meal in the fly bridge.  The next day we opted to go back to the ICW & meandered through the beautiful marshes on our way north to Savannah.  We spent 2 nights docked downtown in front of the Hyatt & enjoyed all that Savannah has to offer.

April 29, 30 St. Augustine

Saturday, May 1st, 2010


We spent a couple nights at the Municipal Marina, right downtown & next to the Bridge of Lions.  What a treat!  Oldest town in America!  Lots to offer.

April 26-28 Cruising the ICW

Saturday, May 1st, 2010


The first night out of PB we stayed near Port St. Lucie, the next night near Melbourne, where Alan’s relatives, Chris & Tony, got off & headed home, & the following near New Smyrna Beach on our way to St. Augustine.  An amazing amount of dolphins in the ICW.

April 24, 25 First stop, Palm Beach

Saturday, May 1st, 2010


On April 24 we cruised along the coast to Palm Beach & tied up at the Brazilian Docks, just a few blocks from Worth Avenue.   Our main reason to be in PB was to be part of a big 50th birthday celebration weekend for our friend Matt.  It was the last hoorah in a 3 month long celebration.  Oh well, one’s 50th is a big deal.  That night we went to a birthday party for him at the home of some Chicago friends, the next day our friend Jeff took 30 people for a birthday brunch cruise on his 112′ Westport, a beautiful yacht.  Late in the afternoon Alan’s neice & her husband boarded to join us for a few days cruising north.  That night we had a cocktail party for 20 friends & (hopefully) wrapped up the celebration.  The next morning we headed north to continue our journey.

April 22, 23 Get ready to continue our Great Loop Trip

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


We flew back to Ft. Lauderdale with Dugan & Dylan & prepared to head north with our new Captain Steve & 1st Mate Summer.  We entertained 4 friends from Ft. Lauderdale, Olivier & Doug (who we met in Asia) & Stephane & Shawn onboard.