Mackinac Bridge (Day 15)

Glorious. That’s the only word to adequately describe what it’s like to pass under the Mackinac Bridge in your own boat at sunrise. I couldn’t stop whooping!

It also marks the official start of The Great Loop for Mainship Many Moons, since that’s where we first intersected its route. (Only 6,000 miles to go!)

We woke at 5 a.m. and were under way before dawn in order to beat the worst of the westerly winds. (Or so we hoped.) As we passed through the marina entrance, we disturbed the geese sleeping there, causing quite the cacophony of honking.

Within an hour, we were approaching the bridge, nicknamed The Mighty Mac, as the sky streaked with light pinks and blues. Soon after that, we were passing underneath it. And soon after that we watched the sun rise behind it.

Almost too much to take in!

Much too soon after that, those winds did kick up and they kicked our behinds for about six hours. Though we never felt sick or in danger, we struggled to stay on our feet as the waves hit our beam. I actually crawled on the floor at one point in order to retrieve fallen items. (When expecting rough seas, one secures loose items beforehand. “Batten down the hatches,” in Navy terms. I did. But these peculiar rolling seas loosened items that were previously deemed “secure!”) Boo the Cat came out of her daytime sleeping quarters to protest loudly. I wanted to protest too, but what good would that do, so I focused on the memory of the gorgeous sunrise. These photos tell the tale….

The Mighty Mac is a 5-mile suspension bridge that crosses the Straits of Mackinac and links Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

I’ve driven over it dozens of times, and even walked over it (during the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk), but never have driven under it.

The waters were calm as we passed under – but didn’t stay that way for long.

The sun began to rise at our stern even before we reached the bridge….

… and by the time we were past the bridge, it was nearly up.

Soon after we crossed under the bridge, the wind picked up and the seas became rough. In a wave-tossed boat, everything that isn’t in a secured cabinet ends up in a sink or on the floor. We normally keep a tidy ship! It was tidied up again as soon as the waves calmed down.

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