At home in Leland…

Today we shook off the cobwebs and started moving. When I say cobwebs I mean the real thing. Jan spent the morning killing all variety of spiders and taking down the webs. With the short breeding season here they must instinctively realize they have a fraction of the time to eat and reproduce so they go at it pretty hard. Now we will have to spend some time at our next multiple day layover cleaning all the splattered spider parts off the flybridge windows.

At last a decent weather day to leave Petoskey. The winds were light and the blow from previous days had left a two foot rolling sea but grouped tightly so as to leave no respite for those on the boat. This went on for several hours until we were across Grand Traverse Bay and then relented.

This is some deep water out here and readings of over 500 feet deep were not uncommon. I saw higher depths on the chartplotter but we did not cross those areas.

Our destination was Leland, an old time fishing village now turned tourist mecca. The terrain drastically changes in this part of Michigan as we begin to see high sand hills and white sand beaches. The harbor at Leland is a tight affair with a current driven by winds coming over the seawall but we managed to get in quickly and safely.

The town is neat and filled with shops, restaurants and interesting sights. We spent the afternoon touring and at 1700 the crews of numerous Looper boats gathered in the brand new boater’s lounge for docktails.

Dinner followed at The Cove which Chef Mario Vitali has rated as one of his favorites for casual dining. They are famous for a drink named the Chubby Mary which is a Bloody Mary garnished with a smoked chub with it’s head sticking out of the glass for $11.95! Lucky for me they did not have any smoked chub available today for I would have had to sacrifice for the sake of a picture for our readers. I did have the finest fried perch I have ever put in my mouth and that is saying something because at the University of Georgia I dined many times at the famous Swamp Guinea where they served all you can eat.

A short stroll around town revealed several unique methods of transportation.

There is no TV available whatsoever except in the boaters’ lounge so tonight I am watching a DVD that Alex and Lucas would love. It is called Hellboy II which just shows I am still a kid at heart.

By the way we have some personal milestones to report. Grandson Alex has started a new school and loves it. He is even volunteering to become a safety officer. That is like throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch. Grandson Lucas has taken up playing the saxophone perhaps thinking it may one day help him pick up girls. Like he is going to need help. He is the best looking kid you ever saw with killer eyes. If I looked like him I would still be in high school. And finally granddaughter Maggie is starting her first year of pre-K and is so eager to learn. She turns 4 very soon and we will miss her birthday party which has a princess theme naturally. Her father John has a birthday soon and we have not forgotten but may be late acknowledging.

Well that about raps it up except for an interesting character we met today on the street. His name was Eric and he looked about 11-12 years old. He had a table set up on the sidewalk with an umbrella to provide shade and he was selling Petoskey Stones. For two years this young boy collected these himself. He sorted them by size, cleaned and oiled them with vegetable oil to show off the patterns, and was selling them with a goal to raise money for a laptop computer which he says he will need for school soon. What a salesman he was. His parents should be proud and if all kids were like this one I would never worry about this country again. We all helped him reach today’s sales goal.

As the sun sets slowly in the west over Lake Michigan we look forward to making Frankfort tomorrow as the lake appears to be settling down. This is good as we will have to cross it over 60 miles in just a few more days and we need calm.

The end…