So the weather has stuck us in Ludington for who-knows-how-many-more days. There’re worse places to be stuck, but Ludington has run its course. We’re fighting the urge to let boredom push us into certain death, since in the harbor it’s gorgeous.
But the big water outside the harbor has four-footers from the west, building to eight-to-ten by Saturday. That’s way too many feet. Grrr.
Mostly we feel bad for Shannon, who now is forced to sleep most of the day in a sleepy Michigan town rather than sleep most of the day while we cruise. But at least she got in a little kayak time.
Ludington is sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake, which is named for Father Jacques Marquette. There are murals all over Ludington, including one depicting that time the good Father shrewdly traded a cheap Chinese rifle and rusty hatchet for all of the Natives’ ancestral lands and then they made s’mores on the beach.
Ludington also is about mid-way down the Michigan coast, and at about the narrowest place to cross Lake Michigan over to Wisconsin. The S/S Badger is the last coal-powered steamship on the Great Lakes, and ferries things and folks across to and from Wisconsin. The Badger coming in is a big time for the locals in Ludington, who flock to the lakeside to watch. This either speaks well of the boat or speaks poorly of the town, of course, since the boat docks twice a day. We flew the drone over to check it out up close. There may or may not have been a black-box obscuring the screen with a no-fly warning and it was getting dark, so we didn’t get the best of the video possibilities but it’s all we have.
Since this is lighthouse country, we strolled out the north breakwater to the cleverly named North Breakwater Lighthouse.
Inside we found a photo from November 10, 1975.
That’s right, this is the Lake Michigan tip of the storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior the same day. The significance of all that of course is the unexpected opportunity to work in another Gordon Lightfoot line. Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The next day we drove a rental car up to the Big Sable Point Light.
From the shore the waves looked pretty big.
From the top of the lighthouse they still looked pretty big.
Until recently, we’ve slept quite well aboard Misty Pearl without incident. About a week ago though—at 3 a.m.—someone was shrieking “Help! Help!” and banging on the hull. Clearly some woman was dying. The below-deck hallway isn’t particularly wide, and there are odd angles and steps to get to the salon and out to see what’s happening. It’s hard enough for klutzes like us to avoid what we call boat bruises in broad daylight; at night it’s impossible. So hearts racing we leapt up and bounced off the corners like groggy pinballs (but without the pleasing electronic sound of scoring points). Turned out Mallory was having a bad dream. Relieved, but still tough to fall back asleep.
One night in Ludington—at about 1 a.m.—someone was on the foredeck shining a flashlight, the beam of which bounced down into our cabin. Clearly some dude was trying to steal the kayaks or the flybridge chart plotter or warming up to drop through the hatch and murder us like Herb and Bonnie Clutter. So hearts racing we leapt up again, pinballed off the corners again, and started yelling at the intruder. Turned out Shannon decided to retrieve something she left up there. In the middle of the night. Relieved again, but still tough to fall back asleep. In both instances, our loyal guard dogs stayed on the bed. As far as we could tell, at most they were annoyed at the ruckus. They’ve both proven to be pretty worthless in a crises.
We’ve now seen Mamma Mia 2, washed the boat, done laundry, been to the grocery store and Lowe’s, picked up yet more medicine for Benny, taken the obligatory tourist photos, and seen about all there is of Ludington. The blog post for the rest of this stop might be pretty thin unless we stumble into something interesting.
*Shout out to John Fogerty.