To Frankfort (Day 20)

The Mainship Many Moons passed the 500-mile threshold today, celebrating with one of Frankfort’s celebrated sunsets.

Is that a milestone worth noting when the goal is 6,000 miles?? I’m not sure. The “ultimate milestone” seems very far away, in both time and mileage.

Certainly other boats travel much faster than ours. We see them pass us, to port and starboard, all day long during this fair-weather passage. Many Moons is a trawler, traveling between 7 and 8.5 mph. Thus, it took us 3.5 hours to travel about 25 miles today.

I don’t mind the speed — or lack thereof — except when the seas are rough. (Then, I’d like to get it over with.) Today, the seas were smooth yet again. The harbor at S. Manitou Island this morning was glassy-flat, and it was hard to leave! But the waterfront town of Frankfort is welcoming, if hot. During my mid-afternoon trek to the grocery store, I stop under a shady tree more than once.

An evening paddle-board to watch the sunset at the lighthouse refreshes me. Tomorrow, we expect to take a longer trek down Michigan’s west coast, to busy Ludington, where the ferry crosses Lake Michigan. We’ve debated whether to cross over to Wisconsin and follow that shoreline down to Chicago. We’ve received lots of advice about that these past three weeks and opinions run strong for both options. (Key factors are the prevailing winds and the availability of harbors.) For now, we plan to stay on the Michigan side. There’s still time to change our minds though.

Today, I sketched out a possible route and timeline to Chicago, using my navigation apps to chart distances from one harbor to the next. It could take us a few as five days or as many as…well, we’ll see. I like to have a Plan A and a Plan B, knowing we might ultimately choose a Plan C. It’s interesting to me that some people resist planning. I remember some of my own employees shuddering about it, as if it limits their creativity or freedom somehow. A plan is a plan, not a commitment. It focuses effort and reduces waste. It’s meant to be adjusted. I have a strong independent and creative streak too, but I guess my decades of federal and military service shook the “fear-of-planning” out of me. I think the taxpayer got more bang for their buck out of me, and my teams, as a result.

Anyway. Tomorrow, we plan to continue heading south. But, of course, anything could happen. 😉 Meanwhile, one of those “anythings” did happen today – a chance meet-up with a former colleague from the Department of Homeland Security. (I did my last eight years of federal service at DHS.) He was visiting a family get-away spot just five miles from here, and happened to notice via Facebook that I was nearby, so joined us for a beer. Social media can be a good thing (as well as bad).

One final note. Following the coastline today, we saw clear evidence of the erosion that we heard a lot about last year. I think about the people who build waterfront homes in a known hurricane zone. Aren’t they sort of, um, “asking for it?” But I doubt Michigan’s coastline residents saw this erosion coming. The photo below shows a waterfront stair that ends half-way down.

The stairway ends half-way down…evidence of erosion.
Chemist and former DHS colleague Mitch Erickson joined us for a catch-up at a local watering hole. Fun!

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