A Detour to Alpena

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. We intended to make Presque Isle today, but we ended up here, at Thunder Bay Shores Marina:

We decided yesterday to spend an extra day in Ossineke, due to the choppy water. That meant that we left a day later than everyone else. Which means that they took their very nice dinghy. Which means that we had to use our little dinghy in the super lumpy water.

So we entered the boat, soaked, after a half-hour ride out. But we’d spend two days in one place and were ready to go.

Then we looked at the gas guage.

Time to stop in Alpena, for a quick fill-up. We entered the marina, found the gas dock, and asked the attendant to fill ‘er up.

The look on her face said it all. Uh-oh.

We tried, but there was only a gallon left on site. She called her manager, who said there should be a new shipment coming in today. We waited for some time, then decided that we didn’t want to be arriving in Presque Isle at midnight. So $30 later, we had ourselves a slip.

Every marina has its own personality. Tawas was a constant party. Harrisville was a popular stop for boaters on long trips. Alpena was a very quiet serenity. We’ve only seen one other couple here, but they are very friendly and willing to share their charts of the North Channel with us, for our trip next year. (They are also sailing out of Bay City, which seems to be the case with everybody we meet!)

This marina also has a unique characteristic: it is near a grocery store! Usually, marinas have their own tourist-trap “camp store,” where everything is overpriced. But I borrowed one of the loaner bikes and picked up some charcoal, dish soap, and lunch meat, without spending a lot!

We also had a great time walking downtown. Alpena has a great antique shop, as well as many other little shops. If I didn’t have dinner ready to grill, we definitely would have stopped at the John A Lau saloon for some most excellent burgers!

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