Posted on July 7, 2016
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?
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
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’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.
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.