The Expedition

Two Girls and a Tree Named Makeba Circumnavigate Lake Michigan

Best friends, Amy Lukas and Mary Catterlin, set out to sail the perimeter of Lake Michigan and document the experience aboard a handmade canoe. Lake Michigan has 1,638 miles of shoreline total. The trip traversed close to 1,200 of these miles. We planned to travel 10-25 miles everyday, be it sailing or paddling. And as it turns out, our daily miles ranged from 7-43 miles per day, when we were able to get on the water. It took us exactly 3 months/93 days to come full circle. Much of our progress depended on weather, waves, and delays on land. So with that in mind, we spent a quarter of a year camped on beaches, campgrounds, sleeping aboard boats, and in the homes of many new found friends. Our journey began in Beverly Shores, Indiana, the very south end of the lake. From there, we traveled westward towards the Illinois and Wisconsin border, from island to island off Door Peninsula, along Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and back down through Michigan’s coastal waters on the east side. We only packed the essential camping and boating supplies as well as some extra gear for documenting the trip to share our experience with you. Outfitted with GPS spot devices, phones, cameras, and journals, we documented the journey and posted progress updates here whenever possible. You can hear our complete story of traveling full circle on the lake we love most by reading our book or watching our documentary HERE.


Watch our documentary trailer here!


  1. So awesome! Happened on this blog through a friend of mine on Facebook. Good luck ladies, will be following your progress!

  2. Very interesting. A friend linked me here knowing I'd be interested. A year ago I finished "runyaking" (kayaking waterway, running back to fetch vehicle) 2,400 mile from source of the Flint River (Oxford MI to the Statue of Liberty. 116 days over 8 year period.