Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right

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img_5055Off this glorious morning to Manistee.

Apparently Saturdays are great for fishing, because there were small boats bobbing about everywhere (although not in this artsy photo.)   Mostly they were fine and we did much waving.  But a few seem to think it a bother to let a 56,000 lb trawler pass unmolested.  Everyone can see us coming literally miles away, poking along in a straight line.  Like ants watching a fat slug approach.  The fellows aboard Fishing Lies thought it quite funny to cut across our path from port to starboard and then slow to a crawl about 30 feet off our bow.  They actually laughed when we stopped to keep from hitting them.  This is on the fifth largest lake IN THE WHOLE WORLD, mind you, so it’s not like there isn’t room to maneuver.   After an exchange of pleasantries that brought Dana running to the flybridge, they realized we had snagged their lines.  We could hear their reels spinning as we pulled away, exchanging more pleasantries right up until our line cutter did its thing.  We figure right now they’re probably feeling pretty grateful for the life lesson.

Although we had an awesome day for cruising, things turned more sour about an hour from Manistee.  The wall only is long enough for a few boats our size, and the boats from last night wanted to stay around.  The dock master said to check back at noon.  But we were past the cool breakwater lighthouses and in the scenic canal by 11.

How about topping off with fuel at Seng’s Marina?  That should kill 30 minutes or so.  Maya was quite helpful in getting us set up, and apologized for their 5-gallons-per-minute pump.  We needed 450 gallons.  That’s a lot of minutes.  We got the starboard tank full just fine, but then they ran out.  Wait what?  Balancing the tanks should be easy but isn’t.  Grrrrr.  The bridge guys, however, were as good as we’ve encountered.  The dude at Maple Street popped it up so that we didn’t wait a heartbeat.  The dude at the Memorial Bridge was confident we could get under but came down to watch at mast level just in case.  We hadn’t planned to go into Manistee Lake at all, but the bridges made it a non-event.

img_5066Now for the best part.  After our third trip to the Grand Rapids airport in the past week, we returned home with Shannon and her mess of luggage in tow.  We loved having Mallory with us and we wish we had them both at the same time, but at least we will have one of them for another week even if all the car rides do confuse their brothers.  We think the boys will get over it.

Unfortunately we had no time to explore Manistee, so can’t really comment on its worthiness.  There are high winds on the menu for Tuesday and Wednesday—plus the new water pump is acting up—so we’ll probably have a few days to see what Ludington is all about.  We’ve heard good things.

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