We awoke at the crack of 8am, looked at the cloudy skies, felt the fresh breeze, knew that we were only getting charged a buck a foot at the marina and made the call to stay another day. Because why not. We awoke at the crack of 8am, looked at the cloudy skies, felt the fresh breeze, knew that we were only getting charged a buck a foot at the marina and made the call to stay another day. Because why not.
Turned out to be a good call. Because AJ got a couple of firsts. First fish caught. Finally. And first set of kids he got to spend the day playing with. We ran into a Michigan family that we had briefly met in Little Current, Canada. They are returning from a trip to the Norther Channel and pulled in late yesterday afternoon. They decided to stay the day here as well. They have two boys (9,6) and a girl and the boys and AJ got to spend the day fishing and running around the marina.
We did get to explore Drummond Island a bit as well. If you look at a map, Drummond Island seems to be a strange fit for the State of Michigan, much less a fit for the United States. It is caught in a pincer from the Northwest and the South East by Canadian Land. Directly West is the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan Wisconsin which connects the Island to the mainland via a ferry. It is named after Gordon Drummond, the first Canadian born to command the military and the government in British Canada. Population here is just over 1000 people on one of the larges islands in Lake Huron. It is a wilderness playground. On the water there are tons of fishing boats, jet skis, pontoon boats, trawlers, sailboats, etc. Fishing is great (must be great if we are pulling in the finned creatures), water is clear and it is hard to get to, so you have to want to be here. On land there are jeep and four wheeler trails, hiking and wildlife galore. Kids are hurtling around on four wheelers like they do on bikes in suburbia.
The people are super friendly; we are still in the land of the wave. It feels more ‘Canada-friendly’ here, which makes sense since we are basically IN Canada. We got a courtesy car (see below) from the marina, an d as we drove around or when we went to lunch, lots of waving, lots of people saying hello. We ate lunch at what was billed as the ‘best Mexican restaurant in the UP,’ which made us wonder if it was the only Mexican restaurant in the UP. In spite of our doubts, it was excellent.
Rest of the day was spent screwing off. Because we can.
Courtesy car: Some marinas provide courtesy cars. Transportation to get you from the marina to the major provisioning stops, like grocery stores, beer stores or restaurants. Usually they are provided when there is a good distance between the marina and civilization. Not every place provides a courtesy car. It is interesting to see the difference in what is provided and what you have to give in order to get the car. The spectrum from loosest to most ’strict’ is below:
Some require absolutely nothing. Dutchman’s marina had a truck of questionable structural integrity. Key was always in the truck. Rule was if the truck was at front door of the marina, then you got to use the truck. No limit. No questions. No taking personal information.
Some require signing out car for a limited period of time. Brewerton had a courtesy car, gratis. Only limitation was that you could only take it for a max of two hours, then had to bring it back. If no one needed it, you could take it back out. Required because there wasn’t a darn thing that you could walk to from Brewerton without potentially getting hit by a passing car.
Some require a bit more information when ‘signing out’ the car. At Wright’s marina, we had to provide drivers license, insurance information and give them a $1 deposit for the key. If we didn’t bring back the key, we didn’t get our dollar back.
Some have you pay for car, unlimited use. Drummond Island Yacht basin falls in this category. For $12 whole United States Dollars, you get a car for the day. They take your name and boat name and that is it. Not that you can go far…you are, after all, on an island. But it is two miles to the grocery store, ice cream shop and the two restaurants on the island.
Some provide you the number to a taxi and tell you to have a nice day. Or the number to a car rental agency. Or you pull out your uber/lyft app.