Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crossing Over

Upon arriving in Naubinway, we spotted a few sunfish sailboats in the bay!  Finally a few boats to sail with!  We took Makeba over to them and asked where the post office was since our next supply pick up was in town.  The man we pulled aside, Larry, said we only had 15min to get to the post since it was 12:45 and they closed at 1pm!  So we quickly followed Larry into the harbor and jumped in his truck to catch a ride there.  We picked up our package at 12:58pm.  Thank. You. Larry!  So after taking us back to the boat, Larry soon invited us over for lunch and to wash up if we wished.  We accepted since we needed to pack up our newly aquired  supplies and were in desperate need of a shower.  Long story short, we all got to talking and decided to stay in Naubinway to wait out the storms headed our way rather waiting them out across the bay in our tent.

So Larry offered to have us trailer the boat so that we could do some repairs.  Here's a photo of his customized truck with our handmade boat.  -What a pair!
Getting to work patching the sail and stripping the damage from Makeba.
The boat's been leaking lately and we'd been searching for the source.  Perhaps this rotting knot in the bottom of the boat is the culprit!  Let's clean that out.
So with no time to waste, Larry set out to help us in every way possible.  We filled the knot hole with epoxy-  that thing soaked up nearly 2 cups of resin... not sure where it was going!

Amy and Larry insisted on putting a quarter in the knot hole and after a while Mary agreed.  Here it is!  No one checked the date before putting it in but it's probably not the right year for Makeba's dated finish.  Mary's going to have to let this feature grow on her!  -Shipbuilders plant quarters in the mast heads of boat's with their appropriate year of completion.  This makes it easier to date shipwrecks in many cases.

Looking better already!

Mary and Larry patching Makeba in Larry's garage.
This certainly is a customized piece of transport, Larry!  Here's his fuel cap.
After spending two nights in the Wyse residence, we got back on the water to continue on our trip.  The morning was exciting, to say the least.  We left with 15-20mph NW winds.  The cold front was moving in making it look and feel very much like a south end october surf day!  We sailed close to shore, hoping to use the land for shelter, eventually resorting to paddling to stay safe.  We were moving at 2mph just sitting for a water break!  That's our average paddle speed! We used our bodies as sails while we paddled because it was getting a little too exciting with our actual sail up. We landed on a strip of beach by Epoufette.

Windy and cool, so we decided to make a driftwood fire. Pasta for dinner tonight! Hot Cocoa for dessert :)

The next morning we set off in choppy waters. And the waves only grew - we were able to sail, but about 15 miles in we had to pull over because it was getting to be too much for our little boat.

We beached Makeba and we talked to the first couple we saw walking down the beach - Terry and Rick let us know that we had landed at the Hiawatha State Forest Campground. Impeccable navigation skills without even knowing it! It was a lovely beach and a very nice campground. After chatting with our new friends and drinking some delicious coffee we decided to set up the tent and nap.  We woke up to a white van pulled into our campsite... what?
Mary went to investigate...
What?! Crazy New Yorkers had pulled into our site, avoiding the parking spots right next to our spot. They were literally 20 feet away from our tent. Really guys?! Waking us from our afternoon naps. They retreated quickly to their van after Mary told them that they were on our site. Just adding a little adventure to the day!
Adding more peanut butter and nutella to a pancake dinner? Never a bad idea.
Later we chatted with a friendly family from Manitoba. They later brought us some smoked salmon and dark chocolate - staples in general stores and gas stations up here in the UP!
We were able to see our first sunset over water since the first days of the trip. We've been watching the sunrise over the water in the morning, but there's nothing like a good sunset over Lake Michigan to remind you of home!

The next morning we set off with the Mackinac Bridge in mind... We had to get around a couple of points and bays before seeing it, but then we finally saw it! Gorgeous! It seemed like it took forever to actually reach it, but we were eventually able to sail under the bridge! We decided to stop on the other side of the bridge for the evening at Straits State Park and make the actual crossing in the morning. 
At the campsite we attempted to make dinner over a grate-less campfire pit. Burned fingers galore as we tried to balance our pots on rocks. And it took forever to cook. And when it was done it was absolutely awful. Pizza it is!
Oh, pizza, how we love you :)
We woke up at sunrise to try to make an early crossing before winds picked up too much. We paddled out, got under the bridge, and then looked at how fast we were going. We weren't even moving after a few minutes of paddling. Whitecaps were starting, the current was running, and the winds were directly in our faces. This was not going to work. We turned back around, assuming we would camp another night and try again in the morning. Once we checked the weather we soon realized that the next week was not looking favorable for crossing such an unpredictable stretch of open water. Oh jeez, not another week of weather days, please! We decided to think it over and trek to the McDonalds that we had seen. This was no easy trek, we tried to take some trails through the park, then had to take the road and walk along the interstate to get here...I'm not even sure if it was worth it, but we sure were glad to have some warm greasy food after a disappointing morning.
Our friend Andrew, a ranger at the park, gave us the 2 minute car ride from McDonalds back to our campsite. Well that sure was easier than the walk there! After deliberating, we called our friend Larry from Naubinway. He offered to trailer Makeba across the bridge. We took him up on the offer after looking at the weather forecasts once again. It wasn't how we expected to get across the straits, but by golly we made it.
Makeba was just flying!
Once we got across, we were able to stay at our friend Jim's  - he has a camper on the beach and let us stay in it. What luxury camping!
Beautiful view! 
Loving these sunsets over the lake once again!
I guess it's pretty here.

Going to have to watercolor this one! 
Setting off at sunrise. Cold morning at the beginning of a long day around Wilderness State Park and Waugoshance Point. It was one of the roughest days yet - paddling against the wind on both sides of the point. We were so happy to arrive at Cross Village in the evening. Can't we get a break, Wind? Looks like these next few days are going to be windy as well - can't someone tell the winds to just stop for awhile? Or at least blow in our favor? So much for going downwind on the way home. But we will get home! Just may be a few weeks :) See ya'll at Thanksgiving!

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