Many Moons’ Last “Loop” Leg

Mainship Many Moons has completed the last 32-mile leg of her 6,200-mile journey which I call “The Great Loop-Plus,” as she returns to the marina where it all began.

Captain/Skipper Jeff and Navy Captain/First Mate Mary feel rather sad by this “last leg of the journey.” The boat doesn’t seem to care.

Funny how that old boat is almost a living thing to me now, with a personality – and my trust and affection. So it has a small water tank, too little privacy and many quirks. So it drives like a water ski boat. (I never did master driving it in tight spaces.) Yes, I craved to leave its confining spaces — and did. But I also came to love the soft rumble of its sturdy diesel engine. My ear tuned into its sounds until I could tell when something was “off.” I learned that it can handle heavy seas better than me…and that it has all we need to survive and often thrive.

I guess I came to love that boat–not like a guy loves his boat, I suspect, but a kind of love nonetheless.

So, now, the final milestone that truly completes the trip. We left at 0600 on July 30, 2021 from the tiny marina in Pequaming, on Lake Superior. I remember that morning well. Jeff was eager to see how far he could get. I was “just getting him started,” expecting to leave in a few weeks or months. Now, 19 states and more than a year later, we are back where it started.

Soon, our floating home will be hauled out of the water and towed to its winter storage in Jeff’s yard. (The cruising season is short here on the 47th parallel.) When will she see the water again? Sometime next June, I suppose. We both have other things to do. For me, the focus remains on my waterfront camp – which still lacks a cabin – and other land-based trips and making time for Mom. But am I thinking about another journey on this trusty old boat? Oh, yes. Maybe not such a long one. It did become a trial, for me, at times. It’s important to learn from trials, don’t you think? As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” I still have more learning to do. But we charge onward, don’t we? Because life is indeed short…and the older you get, the shorter it seems. Yes, it’s important to take time to reflect. Learn. Evolve. Improve. And then carry on! Where? Stay tuned!

Photos and captions of our last leg in Lake Superior, below.

Many Moons arrived at Huron Bay on July 10 and has remained here since, anchored out just off Camp Many Moons (300 feet of waterfront that we have developed but not yet built). We’ve spent many nights on the boat, even though we have a comfortable camper on shore. We paddle back and forth using this little canoe and a paddle board — sometimes in the pitch darkness. Here, Jeff paddles the canoe back to shore to get provisions as we prepare for the final leg.
As we pulled up the dual anchors, we realized we were stuck on the bottom. (The “seyche,” or tide-like effect, in this bay can be a foot or more.) No problem. Jeff pulled on the stern anchor until we were freed.
Leaving Camp Many Moons behind, we felt a bit sad. Over the past few months, the boat became part of the view from shore.
As we passed Point Abbaye Natural Area, a rugged point which connects Huron Bay to Keweenaw Bay, I resolved to get my tent out there for a night’s camping before I return to the East Coast. (As I recall, the name is French for “linking two bays,” or something like that. French fur traders once plied these waters.)
The Huron Islands were visible as we left Point Abbaye behind. Several years ago, we made a trip to the islands in Jeff’s 20-foot fishing boat. I miss that little boat. Small boats can go places that bigger ones can’t.
Jeff tried his hand at fishing while we slowed down. Nope. Nadda…again.
Approaching Pequaming Marina, the water tower visible on the right and remains of a Ford factory on the left. This is considered a ghost town by some and a forgotten history trove by others. It was originally settled by the native Ojibwe tribe which still has a very big presence in this area. (Pequaquawaming means “the headland” in the native tongue.) Read more about this fascinating and odd place by clicking here.
The piers at this marina are tiny, but we’ve stayed in more challenging places–like inside an old boat lift! Once again, we used our bikes to navigate on land, as we did throughout the Great Loop. This time, we used them to get back to our cars, about 8 miles away.
Dredge equipment on the Pequaming shoreline. After navigating shallow waters and shoals for months, and passing several working dredges in the inland river system, we appreciate their necessity even more.
Many Moons will remain here until scheduled for the boat lift, which will return her to land for the winter. I wonder if Jeff will leave that gold burgee (small flag on the bow) on the boat all winter to fly proudly in the face of the fierce north winds. After all, it’s a badge of honor, kind of like my Navy medals. It means this boat and its skipper has completed The Great Loop. Not many boats can boast that, especially a 40-year-old, single-engine trawler from the U.P. I wouldn’t blame him if he never takes it off. (To see statistics from Many Moons’ Great Loop journey, click here.)

7 thoughts on “Many Moons’ Last “Loop” Leg

  1. Hi Mary, I would like to communicate with you on other matters of family history. I do not have your email address other than Many Moons. You already have my email address through Many Moons.
    Cousin Bob

    Robert L. Hanson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Creigh. In this bay, they call it a seyche. It’s also been called the washtub effect. (Think of water sloshing back-and-forth in a tub under its own momentum.) It does act like a tide except that it changes every half hour or so…


    2. The amount of rise/drop seems random to me, but must be affected by winds snd the moon and even seasons. We were just discussing how the level seems more dramatic in September than iin other months. I have researched this but have never found anything useful..


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