To South Haven (Day 28)

South Haven certainly was a haven for us because of a generous and very welcome visit by my cousin and his wife. (And their fabulous poodle, Bailey.) Jeff and I hate to shop, but it is necessary — and hard, when you’re living on a boat. Leon and Sandy made it a lot easier. They had a car!

Leon is a 1st cousin on Dad’s side. (I have a lot of 1st cousins — 91, to be exact!) I’m the youngest of my generation on that side, meaning all of those cousins are older than me, and I feel a certain responsibility to carry the family legacy forward. Although I’m trying to keep the family tree, I certainly don’t know all of my cousins. But Leon, I know. He is so special to me, and his wife Sandy likewise. They remind me why family connections are so important….

We’ve been coordinating for a few weeks to arrange a meet-up. One Looper said it about right: “When someone wants to visit you, tell them they can choose the place or the time but not both.” Leon and Sandy were flexible, and determined. They drove across the state to meet us when we were ready, then drove us to stores, and then drove us and our purchases back to our boat.

All this during another hot-and-humid day. So … we didn’t get to see a lot of South Haven. Again, logistics and weather trumped sight-seeing. Once shopping was done, it was too hot to walk around much or take out the bikes. I did see enough to know that I would visit here again. The marina here is right in the midst of town, adjacent to a popular walking path, and it was nice to feel the energy of “the locals.” (In Saugatuck, everyone we met was a tourist!)

Walking on the piers is a popular activity. (But unwise when the seas are rough.)

Michigan is a big state. There is so much of it I don’t know — and, to be honest, didn’t care to know. As a native of the gorgeous Upper Peninsula, I confess to a certain snobbishness about the Lower Peninsula … a snobbishness I didn’t even know I had. That unconscious bias has been corrected! (Travel can do that. 🙂 )

We listened to live music next to the marina for awhile — the third time we’ve done that on this trip. After sunset, I took a delicious dip in Lake Michigan. There’s something about dropping beneath the water surface in the dark, when the air and the water are warm, that is just … delicious!

Today’s run from Saugatuck was a short one — about 20 miles — and began with a gorgeous sunrise. (We anchored out last night in a protected cove just inside the harbor entrance, and were on the big lake in minutes.) The next leg will be short too. We considered going to New Buffalo, some 35 miles away, but decided on St. Joseph instead. We’ll decide when we get there how long to stay there.

PS: We continue to meet new Loopers and re-encounter ones we’ve already met. We stay in touch with some while under way, sharing tips and asking questions. This is one of the attractions of “doing The Loop”…the new and renewed social connections. I know they will strengthen with time.

Underway at sunrise en route to South Haven. The eastern shores of Lake Michigan have been a pleasant surprise to me, even when I can’t see the shore due to the sun.
South Haven’s marina was clean and well-run … but they were challenged to clean the goose poop!
I’m including this dark-ish photo to show the crowds on the grass near the marina, listening to live music. Boaters are listening too. You can see the harbor entrance and its tall flag in the background.
We’ve seen so many piers jutting out into Lake Michigan, but this is the first we’ve seen that’s lit up like this.
Leon and Sandy are some of the most generous people I know. I fell in love with Bailey! Everyone does, it seems. Her mother was best-in-show at some big dog show. Maybe that’s why she’s extra-special. (Poodles get a bad rap sometimes because of the haircuts you often see, but they are some of the smartest dogs.)

4 thoughts on “To South Haven (Day 28)

  1. I just realized why I”m getting confused – I saw this in a post on FB and commented there! Nice to hear the days that are funs and aren’t scary and sea-sick inducing!


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