5/30/17 – 5/31/17: e left Big Bay at about 8AM and had about 25 miles to Marquette. When we woke up, the sun was shining, and we thought it would be a good day. As we left the harbor, we ran aground on a small sand bar. Ok, maybe the day won’t be as sunny as we first thought.
It took us about 5 or 10 minutes to get off the sand bar. Hard reverse did nothing. Hard forward also also did nothing. Once more hard reverse. Again nothing. Hard forward and we turned towards deeper water and moved an inch. Then another, and finally we were off. Once we left the harbor and entered the Bay, the sun disappeared, the wind picked up to about 25mph, and the waves grew to about 4 feet. We had these conditions our entire trip to Marquette. Oh, and a few sprinkles, too… But hey, we should be used to it by now, right?
The scenery along the way was beautiful, but this part of Michigan sure is remote. Between Big Bay and Marquette there were maybe 5 homes along the lake, and nothing else but trees, hills, and rocks. Quite desolate. As we approached Marquette, we saw the Presque Isle Rocks, which are about 1/2 mile offshore and are just that – a set of very big rocks in the middle of the lake which nothing grows on.
The marinas here were somewhat disorganized when it came to reservations. We wanted to stay at the main marina downtown (Cinder Pond Marina), but when we called to inquire about a slip, we were told there were no slips available that we could fit into, so we ended up at Presque Isle Marina, about 5 miles north of town.
The marina staff were very helpful, and contrary to what we had read, there was no pump-out available. The bathrooms and showers were very clean and nice, but the shower head was so powerful (both of ours) that it actually hurt to stand in it. There was so much pressure that water was spraying into the next room, where all of our clean, dry clothes were! It was actually pretty comical. We were just thankful they had showers after another cold day of sailing.
There wasn’t anything nearby for eating or shopping, and we didn’t feel like calling a cab to go to town, so we opted to eat on the boat. Thank God for Lloyd’s Barbecue Pork! Lol.
Update 5/31: We woke to heavy rain and 45 degrees, so we talked to the marina manager, Kevin, about moving to the other marina (Cinder Pond) for one more day. We were both tired of sailing in wet, cold conditions and tomorrow was supposed to clear up. He was extremely accomodating. He found us a slip, met us at the fuel dock for a pump out, and helped us get situated in our slip. While there was a little confusion about getting in here, we have to give Kevin and his staff a shout out for being so helpful and making things work. This marina has WiFi and laundry, so we caught up on our postings, and got some clothes clean!
We went downtown and ate at The Vierling based on the recommendation of two different people. This is a brew pub which features it’s own blends of beer that you can sample. While we didn’t have any beer, the food we ordered was really good. Kate had a parmesan encrusted chicken and Pat had cajun whitefish. We walked up and down the main Street, which has lots of little gift shops, arts and craft stores, and a wonderful candy store (Donckers). We took some samples back to the boat and it was so yummy we went back for some more (it was easy to justify a second trip since we would be leaving in the morning). Marquette seems like a really neat town, and the people here are very friendly. Several even said “hi” as we passed them on the sidewalk! We really liked Marquette and it would be fun to explore more of it, but tomorrow we leave for Munising, about 37nm away (43 regular miles for you land-lubbing folk).