Start: Mackinaw City Municipal Marina, 0711
End: Garden Island, middle of the northern part of Lake Michigan, 1430
Total Distance: 41.6 nm
Average Speed: 5.79 kts
We leave Lake Huron and Enter Lake Michigan at 0730 this morning when we pass under the Mackinac Bridge. If we head straight down, we have only 280 miles to Chicago, Illinois! But little chance of that happening! First stop today is an anchorage at Garden Island. It is part of the Beaver Island archipelago in northern Lake Michigan. It is a five mile (ish) long, uninhabited island.
The day is perfect for this run. It is cloudy, but we are used to that. The best part is we have an Easterly wind at 5-10 mph that will (gently) push us to the island.
The trip is uneventful. We put up the genoa for most of the trip and make pretty good time. We are traveling with Anielia, though they had to wait to leave until 0800 after a pump out. We take the northern route to the island which meant I had to put the autopilot on a heading of 270(ish) and six hours later turn off the autopilot to get us into the anchorage. Steve/Meagan took the southern route which was the faster route and so we arrived at the anchorage at the same time.
Garden island anchorage is a bay on the eastern side of the island and offers good protection from the waves that we had today. The water on Lake Michigan is high (as is the water all over the Great Lakes) and we pull in pretty close to shore and drop our anchor. It is a lot like Hope Island anchorage–gorgeous clear blue water allows you to see down ten feet to the bottom. There are four boats, including ours, at the huge anchorage. And the island is close to the boat.
Steve and his boys paddle their dinghy by our boat on the way to land, and we drop our dinghy and AJ, Lucky and I join them on Garden Island. The island is uninhabited but there are trails that are fairly will maintain (along with helpful maps) and some old buildings that can be explored. We blazed into the forest, found a trail and headed for those old buildings. Along the way we startled about 20 snakes and all sorts of wildlife. The buildings are there for anyone to use if they require shelter from a storm, and it would have to be a heck of a storm if you need shelter in those things.
Hike back to the dinghy, out to the boat, change into swim suit and then we swam, paddle boarded between the Anielia and Serenity in the 30 degree water. OK. It wasn’t 30 degrees. But it was COLD! Then we went over to Anielia for dinner (hamburgers and hot dogs). Then back to Serenity for some sleep in our quiet anchorage.