Busytown

You all remember the Richard Scarry books, right? The impossibly busy cities, with a hundred (labeled) things happening at once, so a kid could stare at the same page for hours?

We had to pick our way through a racecourse at the harbor entrance filled with these beautiful boats--Northern Michigans, conceived in Harbor Springs for one-design racing

We had to pick our way through a racecourse at the harbor entrance filled with these beautiful boats–Northern Michigans, conceived in Harbor Springs for one-design racing

Welcome to Busyharbor.

We’ve been hanging out in some pretty quiet spots, but Harbor Springs for the Fourth of July weekend is a par-TAY. We came in from the lovely little town of Northport on Saturday afternoon, and it was like that opening scene in the movie “Jaws”—people everywhere, from Jet Skis to tubers to kayaks and SUPs to floatplanes to big sailboats sailing deep into the harbor, and our first taste of actual superyachts taking up entire branches of the municipal pier.

We dropped almost all of our chain in 65 feet of water, towards the back end of the designated anchorage, and settled in to watch. (Hughy—remember when you told me that 300 feet of chain was too much? Joke’s on you, my friend…) There’s a whole category of boats here who just motor upwind, then shut off the engines and slowly drift downwind until they’re about to hit something. Then they power up and do it again. There are also tons of beautiful powerboats who clearly did not neglect their buffing regimen, doing really long loops of the harbor; they pass us a few times throughout the day. Why motor around, when eventually the world will drive by you?

 

Some of the fancy yachts motoring past our boat

Kids ready for fireworks, prime spot on the boom

Kids ready for fireworks, prime spot on the boom

Weirdly, we don’t seem to be getting much love from the Hinckley picnic boats and the Cobalts. We’re accustomed, in our Midwest-nice manner, to give a wave to a passing boat. Most of these guys seem to have perfected that gaze that looks right through you, as though scanning the party for the cooler people. My approach is more like that of a puppy, or enthusiastic second-grader: Hi, guys! Where’re you from? I like your boat! Aren’t boats great? Hi! ……*crickets*. You know who always gives the wave? The professionals. Harbor Police, staff driving tenders for the megayachts, guys from the local yard—they’re all about the wave. Hi, everyone.

We had pretty good seats.

We had pretty good seats.

We’d heard good things about the fireworks here, so we decided to stick it out for a few days at anchor and take a short break from our regularly scheduled Projects and Upgrades. We’re still struggling to find parts to repair the seal on the lower unit of the outboard for the dinghy, and had no luck here, but we stocked up on some groceries and met our weekly requirement of ice cream. T and I also lucked into a personal tour of the lovely racing boat, Talisman, proudly docked among the powerboats. T’s thinking of converting his bunk to a pipe berth—he likes the leveraging system.

Hard to convey the awesomeness of the small-town Fourth of July parade, but this guy was Person of the Year!

Hard to convey the awesomeness of the small-town Fourth of July parade, but this guy was Citizen of the Year!

We went to the small-town parade, and watched a great fireworks show right off the stern of the boat. And when the fireworks were over, there was no driving home–we just went downstairs and went to bed.

5 Comments on “Busytown

  1. Are you still around little Traverse ? We’re on Gallifrey in Petosky right now!!!!

    • Sorry we missed you, Bart! We’re up in Canada now, eh. Maybe you guys should say goodbye to Green Bay for a bit and follow us to Cuba!

  2. Hey guys!
    I just came across your blog. It’s funny: we purchased a Beneteau First 38 built in France in November 1983 and shipped to Lake Texoma, Texas (sounds familiar?). We are doing extensive repairs of the boat since last September, and are planning to take her South, like yourself. I think we should exchange emails!

    Olivier

    • That’s hilarious! Email us at SailingMilou at gmail dot com. Let’s talk!

  3. We are happy for you. It seems like you are enjoying your journey. I am reading with interest your emails. Say HI to Michu.

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