August 4, 2015 –Tuesday – Government Bay, Les Cheneux Islands to Hessel, Michigan – 9.1 statute miles traveled

Since we had gone to bed so early last night we got up about an hour before sunrise and prepared ourselves and the boat for travel. We were on our way early and wound our way through some very narrow channels in the middle of several shallow bays surrounding these Les Cheneux Islands. The water was like glass and the world was peaceful.

We came upon another house built on an island but this one was unusual. It covered the entire island and had onion domes on it like it was a Russian temple. Looking at the chart we found that it was called Dollar Island. Vicki took several pictures as we went by.

Dollar Island in the Les Chineaux Islands

Dollar Island in the Les Chineaux Islands

We pulled into the Hessel Marina by 0830 and moored alongside an open dock. I had called on the radio a couple of times to find a slip assignment but there was no answer as the gal was just opening up and had not turned on the radio as yet.   We waited around until about 1030 when three of the previous nights transient boats pulled out and there was room for us.

Three boats down from where we moored was another Grand Banks 32. I went over and met Don the owner. The boat was a 1968 woodie that Don had owned for the past 37 years. He was 93 years old but you would never have known it. When I first met him I put him closer to my age and didn’t figure he was over 80 for sure. We talked GB 32s until Vicki got anxious to take a walk. He showed me through his boat and not much had changed in the two years between when it was built and when Sea To See was built. His was built in Hong Kong, however, and Sea To See was built in Singapore.

Don's GB 32 - a 93 year young guy who lives aboard at Hessel in the summer

Don’s GB 32 – a 93 year young guy who lives aboard at Hessel in the summer

We really enjoyed the little town of Hessel. Vicki tried to get reservations for dinner at the Les Cheneux Culinary School but they were booked so she made reservations for lunch. While we waited we walked the town and checked out the grocery store, Pickle Point Project Shop and E. J. Murtaughs Boat Works.

Les Chineaux Culinary School

Les Chineaux Culinary School

We have had the same financial advisor for about 30 years. He had told us that his mother-in-law lived in the Les Cheneux Island area and that she was instrumental in the creation of a wooden boat school and the culinary school. While sitting at lunch I overheard several comments from people sitting at the next table that made me think she was, perhaps, one of the women sitting there. As we were leaving I asked the receptionist if she knew this lady and she said “yes and she is sitting right over there”. I went over and introduced myself and, sure enough, this was the MIL we had heard about. What a nice and energetic person. We talked for awhile and then she offered to take us to see the Wooden Boat School in the next little town of Cedarville. Along the way we found out much about the history of the area as well as both the wooden boat and culinary schools. She also ran Pickle Point and the grocery store. It looked like she was single handedly working to stimulate the economy and bring some positive notoriety to the area. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

With the wooden boat school there were a lot of these around

With the wooden boat school there were a lot of these around

While it did not rain the wind started blowing around noon and the temperatures never got above the mid 60’s. We would sit in the aft cockpit for a while and read and then get too cold so move inside. We did this several times along with taking walks to look at all of the wooden boats that were coming into the village for the wooden boat show that was being held this coming weekend.

A boat associated with our financial advisors MIL.

A boat associated with our financial advisors MIL.

Don came over and we sat in the cockpit and talked for a while and then I showed him the intricacies of Sea To See. What a nice guy. Oh to be 93 and functioning as well as he.

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