September 19, 2018: Left Presque Isle Bay (Pronunced Preskeel Bay) Wednesday morning (8:20am) hoping to reach Cheboygan, Michigan by 5pm. 17 miles north of my departure, the easterly winds picked up producing larger waves and swells. The rain joined in with the fog and looking at the chart plotter I was not in the mood to cruise another five to six hours to Cheboygan. I pulled in to the Port Calcite harbor where the largest open pit limestone mine in the world is located. I checked out Rogers City Port of Refuge on the chart. Turns out, Rogers City harbor was right next store to the mine. I was very happy to get off the lake, out of the swells, and it’s was only 11am in the morning. Of all the marinas that I have visited, Rogers City is at the top of the list as one of the nicest ones. The harbor is well protected, the docks are in excellent conditions. The fuel dock is well maintained and has all the services a boater needs between stops. This is a municipal marina run by the city. All the facilities here are neat and in working order. The staff is extremely helpful and pleasant. There is a park next to the marina and a beautiful beach. The town is an easy walk within two blocks and has a variety of local stores for shopping. I went to Jack’s barber shop for a haircut. Jack’s been in business since 1963. “Andy”, took over the business from his dad who opened the shop on November 1, 1963. Andy was an environmental engineer and decided the corporate life was not for him. Now he cuts hair in the town where he grew up. I got a great haircut and an earful about the town. Many of the workers in town are employed by Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company. Limestone is a raw material essential in industry for making steel, chemicals, and concrete. You can read all about the limestone mine here:
Some of the freighters that transport the limestone are 1000 feet long (think three football fields). About 3pm, Rich Brand (www.capturedheartbeats.com) came paddling in to the marina. He left Presque Isle Bay an hour after me and paddled seventeen miles along the lakeshore for six hours. He had enough of the rough conditions and decided to take refuge from the lake. Rich can paddle thirty miles a day when conditions are favorable. During the afternoon, I watched the staff use their nifty boat hauler to pull boats from the lake and store them on trailers or cradles for the coming winter.
September 20, 2018: Thursday, the marine forecast was predicting windy conditions (25 knot winds) and waves two to four feet. Not a good day to be on the lake. I spent the morning hanging out in the laundry room doing laundry and chatting with, Wayne, the harbor master. He was drying a binder full of papers that got wet in one dryer while I was using the other dryer. He mentioned that last year there was a guy rowing around the Great Loop in a dinghy with just oars and no motor. He also told me about an elderly couple that is a day or two behind me doing the Great loop in the same direction (counter-clockwise) as me. This will be their twenty-ninth year around the Great Loop. Their boat is called the “Manistee” and is painted orange. I’m looking forward to hearing some advice from them. I walked a mile to the Ace hardware store and bought a small ceramic space heater for those chilly days and nights in port. I can also use it to warm the engine compartment to help get my diesel engine started on cold mornings since I have access to shore power when in port.
September 21, 2018: Another day in Rogers City, Michigan due to Gale Warnings posted. Here was today’s forecast:
FZUS53 KAPX 211408
Nearshore Marine Forecast
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
1008 AM EDT Fri Sep 21 2018
For waters within five nautical miles of shore on Lakes Huron…
Michigan and Superior.
5NM East of Mackinac Bridge to Presque Isle Light MI including
Bois Blanc Island-
1008 AM EDT Fri Sep 21 2018
…GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING…
.TODAY…West wind up to 30 knots. Gusts up to 40 knots. Isolated
showers in the late morning, then scattered showers in the
afternoon. Waves 7 to 10 feet. Waves occasionally around 13 feet.
.TONIGHT…North wind up to 30 knots with gusts to around
40 knots. Isolated showers. Waves 7 to 10 feet.
.SATURDAY…West wind 10 to 15 knots. Sunny. Waves 2 feet or
.SATURDAY NIGHT…West wind 5 to 10 knots. Mostly cloudy. Waves
2 feet or less.
The wind is just howling today and I now have five lines tied between Katrina II and the dock. The wind is broadside to the boat causing it to heel a bit as it pushes the hull away from the dock. It should be interesting sleeping on the boat tonight since the wind is expected to be gusting until midnight. Yesterday was cold and damp. Today it’s sunny and warm despite the wind. Saturday the wind is expected to be light and I should be able to make a run to Mackinac City. In the meantime, I’ll hang out here in Rogers City. I hope to go to the movie theater tonight. It’s been restored and still has the classic big screen like the Bijou theater, in Morrisville, VT had years ago. In the meantime, I visited Mr Mustache and Company toy Shop. It’s wonderful toy store with a great selection toys and no plastic junk. The owners are very nice and friendly (they would have to be with raising seven kids and now twenty-seven grandkids). I also went to Plath’s Meats. Fourth generation family business since 1913. It’s famous for its cuts of meats, smoked meats & fish, and baked beans. This is the butcher shop that used to be in every town. Wicked good beef sticks! I bought a thick, smoked pork loin for supper.