After a peaceful night in a deserted marina in Tawas, MI, we departed early for Mackinaw Island, MI. This was to be about an 8 hour trip so getting going before the wind picked up would help. We noticed last night that a bunch of bugs landed on the boat. This was only the beginning. The farther north we got, it got much worse. When we stopped for fuel about half way to Mackinaw, we were totally inundated with "midges". These are in the mosquito family but thank god don't bite: http://www.mosquitoes.org/Midge.html However, there are thousands and thousands of them swarming all over us. When you are outside and stopped, you literally can not open your mouth or you will get a lunch you did not bargain for. I took a couple pictures of the side of the boat covered with them. There may have been 100,000 of them stuck to the boat - you can imagine how many were flying around.
The midge was not the only excitement of the trip. I got the pleasure of hitting the first dock. We pulled into fuel at a marina that was fairly small. After fueling for 30 minutes and only getting 11 gallons out of the hose, we decided to go north to the next marina to a working fuel dock. I backed away from the fuel dock, got caught by the fairly strong wind and in the process of turning to head out, got blown into the dock behind the fuel dock. Out of some miracle, it appears despite hitting the corner of the dock with some force, no damage was done. Further inspection will certainly happen later but I may have dodged the bullet.
Seas are smooth today with a wind behind us. Things look good for the entire trip into Lake Michigan where we will likely again encounter rough seas for the trip down the west coast of Michigan. It also looks like Friday AM is the best day to cross the lake into Chicago so we have some time to make the journey down the lake.
Boating season has clearly not begun yet in Michigan. Almost all of the marinas we come into a totally empty and some have no one working. This has the small benefit of making it cheaper to stay there for the night when no one is collecting money. Or this is a sign of the times, as Erica likes to say, regarding the overall economic situation of the country (CEC).