Adventures in Grand Haven

So here we are, at our end point for the summer. We’ve been having fun here, but we’ve been without electricity, so I haven’t been able to update.

Now, we’re in a slip, complete with hook-ups and showers, but I mistakenly took home our computer with a card reader, and brought a computer without one. So the pictures will have to wait until tomorrow, when we go back home.

In the meantime, here are some stories about our adventures:

Beanie and the Wave
We arrived at the sea wall on Tuesday, which gave the three of us time to play on Wednesday and Thursday, before getting ready for Rob’s moped rally over the weekend. One of the first things we did, of course, was explore the river walk.

Wednesday was a crazy day, with waves breaking over the end of the pier. The red flags were up on the beach, and few people ventured out far into the water. The pier itself was safe, although we got a little wet as we made our way toward the light house.

Rob and Beanie–with her life jacket on–made their way to the front of the light house, where a wave crashed right in front of them (they were still a safe distance from the edge). Beanie thought this was amazing and couldn’t stop talking and singing about it as we walked back to our slip.

Fun Downtown
There is always something going on here! We bought Beanie a lighthouse shirt, got free ice cream, cinnamon rolls, and coffee, and explored the splash park and playground.

Remember Tawas, our first port of the summer? And those pancake-covered hot dogs that I fantasize about? Well, they’ve got a stand here, too! Yummy…

The Musical Fountain
On the wall, we were right across from a hill that had “Coast Guard City” written on it. At night, there is actually a musical fountain on that hill. Downtown becomes absolutely crowded at least an hour before it starts. Local artists design the shows, and there is something for everyone–usually, there is a classical song, a current pop song, a song from the ’80s or ’90s, etc. Beanie was fascinated by it, then she began dancing to the music. She would look, to make sure the people nearby were watching her. If they weren’t, she would seek out a new audience.

Crunchy Guests
The overwhelming majority of Michigan Natural Parenting members live in Grand Rapids. And many of them have been stalking us this summer…

We knew we would stop in Grand Haven! But we hadn’t counted on the rough Lake Michigan weather making it our end point. This was kind of a bonus.

Dawn, a music therapist, came to visit while we were on the sea wall. We enjoyed the sunset, and Beanie kept her entertained. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures…

Today, Jenn and her family came to visit. Beanie showed them the playground.

And then there was Emily and Keegan, with their two .ittle ones. On Sunday, we decided to take the boat up the river to Riven Haven, our end point. It was a short motor, so we invited them to come along…

Up the River (and Back Again)
So, we rented some life jackets and piled everyone into our boat. Emily took the pictures (which you will see tomorrow), while I helped navigate.

This trip did require precise navigation, because then channel gets narrow at one point. It is shallow as well, but the marina owner assured us that a boat with a 3 1/2 foot draft could make it in, if we stayed in the channel. And the river is a muck and seaweed bottom, so we wouldn’t damage the boat if we ran aground.

First, we learned that the depth sounder can’t get a reading in muck.

Then, we learned that running aground in muck sounds a lot different than running aground on rocks. We tried to plow through. We tried the center and both sides of the channel. It wasn’t happening. We later learned that the water levels are down by 6 inches, from the drought this summer. We turned around.

(Thank you, Emily, for taking the pictures of the river trip!)

The real fun began in the morning. I saw a nice looking marina on our way back, so I drove there (our phone battery was dead, and we could only charge it in the car). They didn’t do sailboats. They recommended the marina down the road. Full.

This place said I would probably have to go back to Muskegon. No, wait a minute. All the sailboats go to North Shore. I should try them.

I called North Shore, and, happily, they had room for us. And they’re backed up, so–darn it!–we just have to keep our boat in a free slip for a week or so.

It’s a rough life.

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