Pentwater (Day 24)

Did you know that rough seas can often bring warmer water? At least that’s my memory of Lake Superior. The wind blows the warm surface water to shore, or some such.

It’s true in Lake Michigan today. I felt like a kid, romping in the surf. A good feeling. I needed it.

Sometimes this boating-as-lifestyle gets a little tiring. Plan the next route. (And the one after that. And after that.) Check the weather (again) — both near-term and long-term. Check on pier availability. Budget! (Sort of.) Plan meals. Do laundry. Try to sleep while the lines squeak. Take time to socialize, because that’s how you get information.

And, in Pentwater, there’s the stress of temporarily losing a pet. (See previous post.)

Sometimes you just have to play a little. Today was a day for play.

And gratitude, too .. for the people who helped recover Boo last night. A nearby boater had knocked on our hull about 10 p.m. to report a Boo sighting. I bolted toward the street, listened carefully, and heard her bell. She’s skittish around strangers, so I sat down on the grass and called gently. She emerged from the bushes across the street and crossed, warily dodging a passing bicyclist. When I caught her in my arms, applause erupted from the condos across the street. It was a “neighborhood rescue,” and everyone was pleased. Especially me!

Thus relieved and relaxed, we enjoyed the day to watch fishermen return with their catch, take a long-ish bike ride, shop a bit, buy iced coffee drinks, and watch Sunfish races in the harbor. As the wind grew steadily all day, I grew determined to check out the surf. So we took our bikes to the beach, and … wow. Beautiful! The pier was closed and the red flag was out. People were still swimming, within the buoy markers, and I took a dip too. The water was deliciously warm! I was about to leave when Jeff pointed out three teens being pulled dangerously close to the break-wall. (There was a local warning out today, about swimming on that very side of that very wall.) A woman on shore was yelling to them but they couldn’t hear. I entered the surf again, as hastily as legs-in-water can move, to shout and wave my arms in the direction they should move. Such relief when they heard us over the sound of the surf and moved to a safer area! (I was pretty sure I wasn’t up to a life-saving move. I was a lifeguard in my teens, but I’m in my 60s now!) Turns out the other woman was the teens’ mother. She thanked me. I’m sure she had “a talk” with them later.

People do get swept off and into these piers when the water is rough. Their photos are displayed in some places as warnings.

But not today.

Our local friends, Dawn and Mike, stopped by for a brief visit. Later, we enjoyed live music at two different venues. (Not bad for such a small town!) Then I gave Boo a test-run with a leash. She didn’t like it, but she also didn’t fight it much. I hope she comes to see it as her only path to outdoor freedom. Of a sort.

Boating is also freedom of a sort. You are always bound to the weather, or your partner, or your level of tolerance, or the kindness of marina managers. That’s the thing about freedom. It usually comes with conditions, or sacrifices. Or both. There’s a kind of fight in much of the land today about individual freedoms, and how they should be balanced with collective “freedoms.” Some people would like it to be simple. It isn’t.

Some things are simple, though — like going to sleep in a rocking boat with my cat purring next to me. In that moment, I don’t care about the noise or the motion. In that moment, I need nothing else. (Photos and captions below.)

Fishing is big at these Lake Michigan harbors. This boat next to ours has about 40 poles on it. We laughed about its name, and called ourselves “Beverly.” (Since our boat is so old, compared to most we see. Get it??)
So fun to have friends drop by when you’re traveling on a boat. Somehow it’s more special than a standard house visit — maybe because the coordination is more intense.
I just came out of the surf (and look it!). Jeff looks like a sailor, doesn’t he?! We’re a little rough. But smiling!
No joke.
The red flag means it’s not safe to swim near the break-wall. Some are a little too close to comfort for me.
Our bikes are invaluable on this boat journey. Jeff’s yellow jacket is perfect for safety.
Lake Michigan. ‘Nuff said.
After sunset, wonderful live music by a band from Chicago.

4 thoughts on “Pentwater (Day 24)

  1. I loved what you said about freedom – I’ve been so frustrated with hearing and seeing the protests against masks and vaccinations being about “Freedom” when meanwhile all the rest of us are affected by the surge in infections and deaths. Sigh… Once again, your words and photos took me along with you vicariously (because I know I would NEVER do that kind of adventure myself!!!) Love you dear brave wise friend. PS so happy Boo’s back, and Jeff looks fine!


  2. From your words and pictures, I feel your relief and the need for playtime. You are a remarkable, Mindful Mary! Warm water surf in Michigan?

    I found a lost cat in the dead of a beastly winter in Utah. He was a gorgeous Siamese Himalayan, thin and ragged. I never did find his owner, but I had him for 12 years, always hoping his family knew he was safe and treasured. I thought about him and am happy for Boo and you!


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