Petoskey, Michigan

Sunday June 28th – We left Charlevoix this morning. We were shooting for the 10:30 am bridge opening to make our way back out into Lake Michigan and continue heading north. While we were in Charlevoix, several people mentioned to us that we should stop both in Petoskey and Harbor Springs. We hadn’t necessarily planned to stop in these 2 towns, however we really had no firm plans and no where we had to be other than where we are.

First up this morning, a bit of a housekeeping task. We had to stop at the pump out dock to empty our holding tank. For those of you unfamiliar, all our waste (human variety) goes into our 40 gallon holding tank under the floor boards of the boat. When that gets full, as it inevitably does, it must be emptied. We haven’t emptied the tank since we left Manitowoc. Thankfully it seems around Lake Michigan the marina staff are at hand to perform this less than pleasant task and we are happy to tip them well for doing so.

We tried to time our exit from Charlevoix to avoid the ferry boat, Emerald Isle, that goes between Charlevoix and Beaver Island. The channel heading under the bridge and out to Lake Michigan is fairly narrow and we don’t want to be in a position of sharing the channel with the large ferry boat. We avoided the Emerald Isle however, as luck would have it, her sister ship, the Beaver Islander was making her way back into Charlevoix as we were leaving. So, once the bridge opened, we waited for the Beaver Islander to make her way into Charlevoix before we made our way under the bridge.

This time, going under the bridge was way less anxiety provoking then when we came in. I think we are getting the hang of these bridges.

Today is a relatively short journey from Charlevoix to Petoskey, only 16 nm. So, we were not in a hurry to leave this morning, no need to get up early and no reason to be in a rush. Hey, we are retired, we don’t have time to be in a hurry! I also must tell you that, for the most part, we have had fabulous weather day after day and today is no exception.

We arrived in Petoskey around 2 pm. The marina in Petoskey is fairly affected by the high water in Lake Michigan. You can see how low the docks are to the water in this photo. Anytime a boat came in and created any sort of wake the water would wash over the dock next to the boat. All along the west coast of Lake Michigan, as we would call various marinas to inquire about a dock for the night, we would ask about the condition of the docks and the high water. My rule of thumb was: Can I walk on the dock with my socks on and not get them wet? Petoskey is the first marina we have encountered so far, that I can safely say, yes, I will get my socks wet.

Petoskey is one of the largest towns we have stopped at so far on our journey. It’s situated at the eastern end of Little Traverse Bay. One of the things Petoskey is known for is the Petoskey stones. According to Wikipedia, a Petoskey stone is both a rock and a fossil, often pebble-shaped, that is composed of fossilized rugose coral, which can be found in the northwestern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. When dry, the stone resembles ordinary limestone but when wet or polished, the distinctive mottled pattern of the six-sided coral fossils emerges. In 1965, it was named the state stone of Michigan.

What Is Petoskey Stone, and Where Can You Find It?

The marina sits next to a beautiful park like setting on shore with the main town just up the hill from the shoreline.

Conveniently there is a tunnel that takes you under the highway that separates the marina from downtown, so it was an easy walk up the hill to check out the town. The town has lots of ornate Victorian era buildings that contain cute shops and restaurants. However, since we are here on a Sunday, lots of the shops are closed today.

After a walk around town, one gets thirsty and hungry, so we stopped into the Beards Brewery which overlooks the marina. Our boat is right behind those two big trees in the middle of the photo.

Ok, so if you are in the north country and anywhere in close proximity to Canada, you might start to see some Canadian dishes on the menu. We saw Poutine on the menu at Beards Brewery and had to try it. For those unfamiliar, Poutine is a Canadian dish that includes french fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. Poutine is a Quebec slang term meaning – “a mess”. It was a delicious mess. This version did not include the traditional brown gravy and instead was topped with a beer cheese sauce. You gotta eat this with a fork people.

We topped off our day with a glorious sunset right from our boat at the dock.

We decided to stay in Petoskey for 2 nights. So, Monday we got up slowly, enjoyed our coffee, wrote a blog post and generally lounged around. Taking a walk around the marina, we met another couple aboard an Island Packet 350. They had just bought the boat a week ago! He was from Philly and she was from Oregon, however they recently purchased a home in the area and moved the boat here. We talked for quite awhile about shared plans to sail in the Caribbean, comparing Island Packets and swapping sailing stories. It was awesome meeting another couple with an Island Packet. Perhaps we will see you Kevin and Joanne in the Caribbean one day!

I cooked dinner and we had another great sunset view from the boat in the evening. Tomorrow we are heading to Harbor Springs!

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