Grand Traverse Bay

Stuck, stuck, stuck this morning from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. When will I learn to turn on the radio?

Poised to enter Grand Traverse Bay after an excellent night under the clay cliffs of Northport’s big lake shores, I packed and launched. Nevermind that there was hardly a puff of wind – I had a schedule to keep. Kicking back on the trampoline, I lollygagged, loafed and waited for the wind to stir. After a couple of hours creeping north and getting some annoying texts from Jeff Gibbs in Traverse City such as…

“Are u really going to make it today?”


“From the tip of the leelanau to tc is equal to two thirds or more of the distance you’ve already sailed in six days?”

I tuned into the NOAA report and heard that there were east winds of 6 knots at Traverse light, just a couple miles north of my dead calm position. So where was MY wind? I began to paddle out of the land shadow…

Riding a northeast wind past Cat head Point, I passed Traverse light and turned south.  The rest of the afternoon and the better part of the evening was spent running with the wind, surfing.


I fired an update to Jeff predicting a landing at 8:00 pm, then at 7:00 pm moved my ETA to 9:00 pm. My actual arrival turned out to be 10:00 pm. Approaching Traverse City took forever. At sunset I still couldn’t see any landmarks, buildings even lights – just low hills funneling into haze. All the while surfing like crazy, bob sledding down trenches and half pipes of water. Finally lights appeared, but to my old flatscreen eyes they were just sodium colored star bursts in patterns that may or may not have suggested familiar features. The starbursts resolved slowly with much tacking to and fro, standing rigging clanging in the now fitful wind. To anyone watching us from shore, Hello World and I must have seemed dark specter slightly out of control in the blustery twilight.

Using the giant candy cane / fake lighthouse / massive power tower near where I believed to be second street, I landed tentatively just west of West End Beach and walked Hello World to where I saw some other boats anchored. I perched her on the beach and ran in check the proximity of the volleyball courts. I had hit it pretty nearly. I called Jeff and asked him to come for me in 30 minutes, while I offloaded and set an anchor. Took me more like 45 minutes but Jeff was a sport about it all, eventhough I had my wires crossed as to where I would meet him. We finally found each other and went back to his place for an epic bowl of pasta and sauce.

From 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, a trip and personal record of 33.95 miles.

This morning I borrowed his bike to check out the boat and scarf a breakfast burrito from the local organic food joint, just across the street from West End Beach!




This entry was posted in 09-09-11, Around Lake Michigan, Hello World, latest news and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Grand Traverse Bay

  1. heikilee says:

    Wow, it couldn’t be flatter ! how about that business

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