Long Run to Bois Blanc

There were high winds forecast on Friday, so we left Rogers City at 6:00 a.m. Our hope was to make Hammond Bay before the worst of it came up, then head to Mackinaw. We saw our last sunrise over the water (as we have arrived in the Straits, which I will get to later…).

The whole way, the wind was calm. There were 1-2 foot rollers–nothing to worry about. We passed the light at 9 mile point.

Rob repaired our new skipper, which we inherited from his family. Meet “Otto VonHelm”…

We saw a rare sight in this day and age–a tugboat with a string of barges.

We arrived in Hammond Bay around noon. It was getting a little bumpy, but was manageable. The wind was coming from just the right direction for us to make McRae Bay, on the North side of Bois Blanc Island (pronounced “Bob-low”). We have wanted to anchor out there, because it’s supposed to be beautiful.

Between Bois Blanc and the mainland, there are a lot of shoals (and shipwrecks). So there are random lighthouses, in the middle of the water.

Midway to the back of the island, the wind suddenly picked up to what we later learned was over 20 mph. We dropped the sail, but the boat was still healing to the side. We decided that it was not safe to anchor in this, so we came about and anchored in Bois Blanc’s marina.

Bois Blanc is a really neat island, with 45 full-time residents. They have a two-room schoolhouse, a convenience store/breakfast restaurant, and a bar. We spent three nights, stuck here, on our honeymoon. During that time, we really got to know the residents, and one couple even let us use their shower! Sheriff Whipple is their harbormaster and sheriff, and we were disappointed that we got there after he left on the ferry, as he is always an interesting person to talk to. Last night, the island was desolate, except for people coming and going on the ferry.

Today, the wind was also supposed to be high, so we left for Mackinaw City at 8:00. The 3-hour run was rather uneventful. We did see the Alpena, a freighter that we know well.

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