Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday, 16June2011: Charlevoix to Mackinaw Island

Weather:  Sunny then overcast and cool.  Winds:  Variable but strong.  Seas:  1-2ft

Long, challenging day.  Departed Charlevoix on the 0930 bridge raising in company with the Catalina 42!  Once out of the channel, raised sail in east winds and made 7.5kts.  The Catalina motor/sailed and stayed even with us.  Once north of Little Traverse Bay, winds lightened then freshened from the north.  The Catalina dropped sail and motored...turns out all the way to Mackinaw Island, and they eventually disappeared ahead.

There appeared to be a storm front south of us and Beaver Island looked tempting.  Made a reservation, but pressed on.  Vicinity of Dahlia Shoals, tacked back NE.  Once north enough to get past Ile Aux Galets, tacked back NW.  The storm to the south is not gaining on us and at this rate, with the north winds, we can make Mackinaw Island.  I cancel the Beaver Island reservation.

The challenge now was getting through Greys Reef.  Winds continued out of the north.  Next tack to the NE took us through, just to the south of the abandoned light house.  The water is clear and the reefs are clearly visible, plenty of depth for us!

So, finally past Greys Reef, strong north winds with negligible seas and our course is east!  What more could we ask for?  Should be a great run to Mackinaw Island.  Winds became easterly about 30 minutes later.  Attempted to continue sailing, taking the NW tack.  Vicinity of St Helena Island, the winds died.  It was now about 1730.  Marina closes at 2000 and does not take reservations.  Wants to hear from us once we enter the harbor.  The good news?  The clouds had parted and the sun felt good!

Iron genny.  HR makes around 5kts @2100rpm.  Found she will make about 6.5kts @3500 rpm as I continuously checked distance to go vs current speed and clock.  No idea what the fuel consumption is.  Motored under the Mackinaw Bridge.  Now I've driven over, flown over and motored under the bridge.  Just past the bridge, contact Mackinaw Island to confirm there is still slips available.  "We don't take reservations."  "Yes, I know.  I just want to know if I should turn right (Mackinaw City) or continue to Mackinaw Island."  "We have slips."

Pressed on.  Once inside the breakwater, contacted the harbor master.  "Are you the trimaran coming in?"  "Yes, but we fold and only need 12.5ft."  After much confusion, the slip assigned is the NW inside corner of the T.  Other than the slip is where everyone and their brother walked by, it is wide enough to extend an ama.  We do.

Suddenly there is a face peering over dock at us.  The lady introduces herself as one of the new owners of the Catalina 42 and invites us over for dinner, explaining she knows just what a slugfest we  had experienced!  It is now about 1945.  Tired, hungry, we tie the dogs out on the net, grab a bottle of wine and go!

Turns out the lady is a pediatrician and there are two couples aboard, bringing the boat from Muskegon to the new home port of Duluth, MN.  We swap stories and they regale us with some of their horror stories, they had us in stitches and their horror stories, though usually self induced, made Kelly realize what she had experienced to date was tame, doing much for her confidence!

A wonderful and welcome evening.  Ceili, dog #2 did not think so though and proved she will do #2 anywhere, leaving a present on the net for us.  Cleaned up and took the dogs for a much needed walk.

Lesson Learned:  HR will make 6.5kts @3500rpm.

Lesson Learned:  Speed over course is not the same as speed over ground.  HR made 8kts during the tacking, but our speed over course was more like 5kts.  About the same as motoring.  Need to keep this in mind, advantage to sail or motor?