Leaving Thunder Bay, A Beautiful Anchorage, A Small Craft Advisory, and PISH

Yes, we are still alive!

We’re expecting limits to cell phone coverage (our internet access is through our cell phone), but we didn’t expect it to happen so soon. We were able to check in on Facebook and make short phone calls, but our coverage was so spotty that we were not able to upload photos.

So, what have we been up to?

First, we finally did it. Moonraker is no longer in Thunder Bay. It was calm when we left.

Here is Misery Bay, the place where our season ended last summer.

As we got out of the lee of the point, the water became more and more rough. We were beating into the wind, under power, with huge, square, “Thunder Bay waves” coming from all directions. It was drudgery. Remember how foggy it was during our trip last year? Well, this year, we could see the lighthouse clearly, but we couldn’t hold the camera straight in the waves!

Here is marker 13. Go around it (we didn’t last year)…

This is Middle Island light. You can actually rent the keeper’s house and be governor of your own island for a night. We might try this, for a getaway, sometime…

The keeper's house

Once we were out of Thunder Bay, things smoothed out a lot. We still weren’t able to sail, but we did grill hot dogs.

Then, we passed the Stoneport freighter dock…

And, finally, we anchored out in the harbor and were treated to a beautiful sunset.

There weren't any other boats anchored out, but a lot of sailboats were on moorings.

Since we got there late, and had a rough run, we decided to stay there on Saturday, to rest and recover…

Here’s our view, in the daylight…

We cleaned up the boat, relaxed, and rode the dinghy to shore. There, we picked up some provisions at the “boater trap” across from the marina (and its prices seemed low, compared to the price of groceries in Ossineke/Alpena…), and ate dinner at the yacht club’s restaurant. It was nice to enjoy some coffee (I haven’t been able to get grounds that aren’t horribly overpriced, so we have been doing without) and a hot meal. We planned to leave port the next day.

Then we looked at the forecast. Thunder storms. All day. We stayed anchored out during the day, then went to get showers in the evening. The marina let us tie up at a dock and pay $4 for the three of us to have showers, before returning to our anchorage. The showers were so warm that I actually had to turn the water down, so it was worth every penny.

During the evening, we dragged anchor as the winds picked up, so we moved in closer. The anchor held, but it was not a smooth night. None of us slept well, as we were rocked back and forth (to the point where things were falling off of the counters), and we kept watching to make sure we didn’t drift.

The storm affected the cell phone tower, so we lost service. We weren’t able to check the weather online, or let anyone know we were leaving. It was really rough, as we made our way out of the bay today. But it was manageable. We saw many sailboats leaving, under sail, and we decided to see if it would get any worse. The NOAA channel on our radio told us to expect 20 mph winds, and that there was a small craft advisory. Those last three words were enough to bring us back to the harbor, to the marina this time. There was no way we were spending another night anchored out in this.

So, here we are, in a slip, in Presque Isle. Everything here says “PISH” on it, and it took me awhile to figure it out. It’s “Presque Isle State Harbor.” And PISH seems to have the cheapest laundry I’ve seen at a marina ($1 for each machine). And the PIYC has free wifi, which is how I’m able to reach all of you. So we’ll spend the night here, at a very sheltered dock, then we’ll head to Rogers City tomorrow morning. It’s going to be high winds again, but if we leave early, we should miss the worst of it.

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