Going 10 mph on Lake Michigan...just doesn't seem right. After vacationing our entire boating lives on this lake at 25-30 mph, 10 mph seems like tortoise pace. But here we are. We left South Haven on Wednesday morning, August 14, at the leisurely pace of 10 mph heading south to New Buffalo. This is the farthest south we have ever ventured on the Michigan side. Linda's cousins, Kevin & Migs, live just a few blocks from the Municipal Marina, so we looked forward to making this stop to visit with them. We had a great time for the two days we spent there. Note to captains...if you want any help docking at the Municipal Marina, you need to ask the young lady in the office. She seems to find it more important to run for ice cream and talk on the phone than to help boaters into their slips. The marina staff are however, very thoughtful in that they made us feel right at home with the "green yard" around our boat (see picture).
The Stray Dog is a walk up the hill from the Marina, and we ate there for both lunch and dinner the first day. Very busy, but decent food and a fun atmosphere, albeit a bit loud. Their porch overlooks the marina and you can see the lake out in the distance. If you need fuel, New Buffalo is not the place to fill up. Head down the 10 miles to Michigan City. Fuel in NB was over $1 more/gallon than South Haven. We had such a good time with the cousins the first night, we decided to repeat again on Thursday night. Migs loaned us her car on Thursday and Linda was able to get the laundry all caught up. Conrad didn't believe she would ever use the drying rack on the boat. It works beautifully on the back porch. Also was able to stock the refrigerator. New Buffalo's farmer's market is on Thursday afternoons and one block from the marina, so that was very convenient. We had a great dinner at the New Buffalo Yacht Club, said our good-byes to the family, and tucked in for the short trek across the lake to Chicago on Friday morning.
And now let the fun really begin...we were about 10 miles out when we decided not to go to Hammond, IN for the night and to try to get down the CalSag channel a bit in order to get our first lock under our belt. The Chicago skyline was there, but hazy. As we headed into the channel, looking at the first bridge we were going to go under, a huge ship followed us in and we wondered what we were in for. We passed under bridges and interstates that we have traveled on by car many times. The nerves were a bit frayed from the many barges in the channel and the fact that the bridge attendants wouldn't open until that ship was in position to "have us for lunch." Conrad had to remove the dinghy lift and pull down the radar prior to entering the system. And then there were a couple of questionable bridges that Linda had to go out and look over the radar arch to make sure we were going to get beneath. We did make it through the O'Brien lock, our first of many to come, uneventfully. We were able to free float the lock and just below the lock is the Sunset Bay marina, where we are slipped for the evening. wake-up call: 5:00 am.
Just about to publish and turn in and looked outside to the beautiful sunset. This must be the reason they call this Sunset Bay Marina.