We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Frankfort, but yesterday there was a good, stiff wind.
Out of the north.
So, after a week long stay, we put Lake Betsie to our stern.
It was rough and windy–25 knot winds and waves that were at least 5 feet (with some larger rogues). But we were going downwind, so it was nice and smooth. We tried flying the spinnaker, but we weren’t quite going downwind. We raised the genoa and started out on a beam reach. It was fun sailing and not too rough–and we making 7 knots! We flew to Portage Lake, our destination, and decided to continue on the Manistee.
Eventually, we changed course and did some downwind sailing. This is not as exciting as reaching, so we let Otto take over.
Much sooner than expected, Manistee appeared off our bow.
We needed to come in on a broad reach, which put the waves to our side. It was then that we realized exactly how rough it was. You can’t feel the wind when you’re going downwind or beam reaching, but the broad reach put us right in sideways land. It was fun, and we went really fast, but we were glad it was only for a short while. We actually had a couple waves break over the side of the cockpit. We both got our showers for the day!
Normally, we drop the sails without altering our course, but that wasn’t safe to do in the high winds. So we came about and beat into the wind for a few grueling minutes. With the jury-rigged topping lift (which works well and is completely safe), the main drops right on my head, so I got to contend with that while beating into the wind and trying to keep things as smooth as possible for Rob (who was topside).
Things were much calmer in the well-protected Manistee river.
Manistee Lake was rough and now well-protected, and we had reservations about anchoring out there. However, we didn’t want to make both bridges open again so soon. So we decided to anchor out, cook dinner, then go back up the river to a marina. We saw another sailboat (we later learned it was an Islander) anchored out by the S.S. City of Milwaukee. We gave that area a try, and found it to be quite calm and protected. There was a boat launch with fresh water and restrooms nearby, so we stayed for the night.
You can stay on the City of Milwaukee for $25 a night. We plan to give this a try in the fall!
The wind shifted during the night, and it was rough in the morning. Today is a definitely not a good day for sailing, but it is a great day for exploring Manistee! We talked to a couple in Frankfort, who said that we had to stay at the municipal dock, because it’s very nice. We found ourselves an excellent wall slip, and are enjoying an excellent facility with a great location.
Right after we tied up, a freighter came up the river.
Beanie, of course, had to ham it up for the camera. She got waves from everyone on the freighter, and she greets all of the people who pass us on the riverwalk.