To St. Joseph (Day 29-30)


The sculpture at the entrance to St. Joseph is called “And You, Seas.”

It’s the sounds of St. Joseph that grab me: trains that run right by the marina, church bells and live music from across the channel, the warning horn of the nearby swing bridge that’s about to open, and the deep honk of a freighter passing by.

I’m writing this post in real-time for a change, vs. a day or two later. It helps to be settled in a marina, with a good WiFi signal. It helps that we are not moving today. And it helps that there’s a strong south wind at my back, whisking away the humidity as I sit at the outdoor covered pavilion.

Under way, it’s the winds and waves that can challenge us. Ashore, it’s the heat and humidity. Weather forecasts warn us again today about “peak high indices of 100 degrees.”

Living on a boat makes one very aware of one’s dependency on A/C. I’m so grateful that Jeff installed an A/C unit on the boat, but it has trouble keeping up with these conditions. And whenever I cook in the little galley…well. I’ve been into fitness all my life, so I’m accustomed to dripping sweat from exertion — but not when I’m hardly moving!

I’m also more aware of my armpits than I ever wanted to be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I expected this down south, or at my home in Virginia, but not in Michigan. Shortly after we arrived yesterday, I headed for the beach….that white sandy beach that we’ve seen all along this east shore of Lake Michigan…and I stayed in the water a long time.

Steve and Joey are part of the top-notch marina staff.

This is a fabulous marina! Great arrival briefing, free bikes, free laundry, a ride wherever you need to go (I’m sure there are some limits!), daily cleaning of the outdoor grills, etc. And the adjacent train track is more comforting than disruptive, bringing a kind of “old-soul” sound.

About eight other “Looper boats” are in this marina with us. We met a couple from Germany and another from the U.K. – our first international Loopers, I think. I also met my first female skipper. Yay!!

We’re glad to learn we can stay here a 2nd night. I could get reservations for only one night, so we investigated the free wall across the channel for the 2nd night but heard a few stories about what happens there when a freighter passes by or a west wind kicks up. (Boat + steel wall + waves = damage!) We investigated a nearby anchorage, which also serves as a turnaround-basin for the freighters. No thanks! The courteous marina staff found room for us tonight, so we’re staying.

I hope the wind dies down just enough to take out my paddle board again. I took it across the channel last evening, to that free wall, and tied up there. (Most of the stores are on the other side of the channel.) That wall is pretty high. There’s no ladder. I had to hoist myself up. It worked, but…maybe not the best idea. Today, I’ll just take a cruise around instead.

Leaving South Haven. Putting one more lighthouse behind us.
The channel entering St. Joseph
West Basin Marina at St. Joe. has 100 slips — bigger than seems here. That’s Many Moons, at 10 o’clock. (It was a tight turn into that slip, right next to the fuel dock. It looks wider here than it is!) I found a slip map for this marina on their website. Very helpful when coming in! Why don’t they all do that? ๐Ÿ˜‰
We’ve learned to button up Many Moons (against the sun) as soon as we tie up. Sort of like putting a sun shade on your car’s windshield. That’s Sea-Batical behind us, another Looper boat. With a female skipper! ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe she shares skipper duties with her husband, I’m not sure yet.
The white-sand beaches of Lake Michigan’s east coast. We’re glad we chose this side instead of the rockier west coast. Lots of Loopers are making their way down that side too–but not as many as on this side.
I took this photo an hour ago, as a freighter entered the channel right in front of our marina. The rock wall you see marks the other side of the marina entrance. It looks like the freighter is parked, but it’s moving.
Local fishermen are obviously used to the freighters!

3 thoughts on “To St. Joseph (Day 29-30)

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