Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just Around the Corner

We are just around the corner from home. It's still a long corner, but it's starting to look shorter and we can almost see the finish line. This is a gorgeous sunset from when we arrived back at our friend Kim's house. We made the 11 miles in 3 hours, beating out a gloomy rainy afternoon. The evening gave us a beautiful ending to the day! The next morning we were able to head out and get past the Muskegon break wall - ferry waves and all. The rest of the day there were large rolling waves. We were able to sail to Grand Haven even though some of the waves were starting to get a bit scary. Some of the largest swells we've seen on this trip!  Luckily they were being "gentle giant whales," as we like to call them, not big breakers so we were still able to ride them.
Pretty lighthouse! We went into town to see if we could pick up some mail, but had no luck. When we arrived back at Makeba the waves had only grown, so we decided to call it for the day. Look at that spray!
Remember our canoe friend Scott who we had met on Washington Island? He took his canoe around most of Lake Michigan starting on the Grand River and making his way counter clockwise around the lake. He guessed we would be around Grand Haven the second week of September - lucky guess! We were able to meet his lovely wife Jennifer and daughter Claire.
That night we went to a hibachi grill - FIRE! Yummy, yummy.
In the morning Scott made us blueberry pancakes and sausage. We loved getting to share more time with him and swapping more fun adventure stories!
We set off from Grand Haven with our fun new friend Tim. Tim just finished a long distance kayak trip where he traveled from the Soo to the Sea. He met us on his sea kayak to paddle along with us for the beginning of the day. We paddled for a short while, but then took advantage of the nice east breeze that was blowing that morning. Once we put up our sail Tim was still able to keep up with us, but we were making him work! He couldn't believe that a log was beating his sea kayak (We couldn't either!) We waved goodbye and we were off! We put in a long day and ended by Holland. Here we were able to connect with our friend's daughter and husband. Thanks for the the great tacos, Jodie and Mark! When we set off in the morning it was very choppy and the south wind was already picking up in our faces. We knew that it would be a short day. We got a sad 3 miles and took a break - we were hardly moving when we paddled.
We took our break by a small town park. We climbed to the top of a nearby dune and got this tremendous view from the top. Three more mile south we could see the Saugatuck pier. At the bottom of the dune there were a ton of private property and no trespassing signs. No houses in site, just a dune. Can you seriously own a dune on the beach?! Why can't everyone just enjoy the beach?
Sometimes we see these signs when we are forced off the water because of wind and waves. We can't really help where we land; luckily we haven't had any trouble with the property owners thus far.
Private dune. Let's go climb it!
After about 3 hours of sitting on this beach the wind died a little and started to switch. We decided to try to go at least to Saugatuck. Paddle, paddle, paddle. Exhausted, but we made it!
We pulled up on Oval Beach and watched this cool ferry boat pull out of the channel. Then look who found us! Mary's parents came up for a surprise visit! They took us out for some delicious pizza.
Thanks for the banana bread, snacks, and hand/foot warmers! Hopefully we don't have to use those much, but we will be glad to have them if it does get that cold at night. Can't beat Lake Michigan sunsets!

The next morning the weather was looking against us again. We paddled literally 2 miles and got kicked off the water. Luckily we were still close enough to walk to Saugatuck for the day! A cute artsy town to explore for the day.
Indian art!
Adorable penguin kids flip flops! But can you imagine the clumsy 5 year old wearing these?
Mary, just fitting in.
The evening forecast was looking like big storms with high winds. We were able to meet up with our friend Tim's brother in law's dad Dave! (Love all of these crazy small world connections we are making on this trip.) He offered us his sailboat to sleep in instead of weathering the storm in our little tent. We of course took him up on it!
Warm and dry!
Just exploring the inside of the boat - cool glasses, eh? The boat rocked and creaked all night. Not the most restful sleep, but we were so happy to be out of the storm regardless.
This morning you could still see the storm that passed in the night. Strong north winds sticking around, so it would be a weather day. This low pressure system over us isn't giving us too many windows of opportunity to make our distance home any shorter!
Curled up and listening to the rain. Want to head out into the rain for breakfast, Mar? Of course! Let's go explore the town some more!
Out the hatch and into the rain...hopefully we are able to get around this corner of the map soon, but we are having fun getting there, however long it takes :) Less than 100 miles to Beverly Shores!


  1. Hi!

    I'm a friend of Loreen's and have checked your progress this summer after she showed Makeba on her blog a year ago. I was able to trek with her for 3 days on her initial journey. Tonite I noticed that you visited with Scott, Jennifer, and Claire...and I laughed... Loreen was my college roommate and Jennifer and I are high school classmates...very small world with weird and unexpected connections. Bon Voyage and godspeed to your homes!

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  3. Use of waters, beaches and banks of navigable streams (if you can float yourself in a tube on it at any point during the year-it is navigable) are protected by federal law and centuries of precedent. Waters are owned by the state & federal nation. Even where land adjacent to waters are privately held the right of water use is guaranteed. .....Don't expect all land owners (or all local sheriffs) to believe it but this is true. ....Dunes, if they are above the highest-high tide or flood line, if private, may be restricted. There is an exception. If there is a traditional access route, or if the least intrusive route to the public waters crosses private property, that access point is protected for the public as well.