This post’s title, of course, aludes to the fact that many of the  place names on our charts are all locations from the early Hemingway stories that were the first adult fiction I ever read.  To see Petoskey, Walloon Lake, Horton Bay, etc. on the plotter as we sail by takes me back a long way.

I’m told there is a guy in Horton Bay who cadges drinks from Nick Adams aficianadoes by way of the fact that his grandfather was at Hemingway’s first (out 0f four) wedding at the church there.  The wonderful book The Paris Wife has increased his cocktail consumption substantially.

You can understand why upper Michigan attracts summer visitors from all over the Midwest.  Miles of wild dunes and forest, and towns with a lot of real charm — fewer fudge and tee-shirt shops, more galleries, bookstores and bakeries.  I don’t think there are as many daytrippers here — to commit to getting up this far, you are going to stay a while.

Charlevoix is the epitome of a Looper destination:  brand new municipal marina — new docks, boaters lounge, all-babe dock staff (which John appreciated), on a park and 100 yards from Main Street.  Having a bakery and grocery store two blocks from the boat is a real luxury when everything that comes aboard is lugged by hand or bike.

Then Leland, which has a working fishing port “Fishtown” only half of which has been turned into shoppes.  And some real whitefish boats so I could  finally figure out how they catch them from the strange vessels you see out on the water.

Last night Arcadia Lake — again, a real Up-in-Michigan experience.  There are almost no natural harbors along the lake, so where there is a lake close to shore, they cut in a channel and MAKE a harbor.  So we came in off the lake at were transported into a perfectly calm, pristine environment where we were the only two boats at anchor.  Put Arcadia in New England and you’d have to walk across the boats to get to yours.  Steaks on the grill and an early night.

The problem with all this is that all these terrific harbors and charming towns happen to be on Lake Michigan.  It is totally unreliable.  Regardless of the forecast we have had wind and waves from every direction.  Yesterday we were supposed to have light, variable winds, waves less than 1 foot.  Within a half-hour of going out, John was losing his Eggs Benedict overboard in five footers.  By the time we got to Arcadia it was flat.

As we move into industrial southern Michigan, I just want to get off the lake and into the Chicago museums and Wrigley Field.

We are starting to encounter more Loopers since we are all getting to the point where we’d better stop hanging around Canada and Michigan and head into the rivers.

Charlevoix Marina

Bakery Steet, Charlevoix

Miles and miles of dunes and forest — no harbors, very few houses or people

These have got to be 1000 feet high – water in this spot was 400 feet deep.

Leland Fishtown Shoppes — passed on the cheese, got some smoked whitefish

Falls in Fishtown

Whitefish Boat — They fish in lousy weather all year, so all the boats have roofs. They set and the nets from the windows in the side.

Lake Michigan is dangerous enough — and then one of these bad boys comes by