August 26, 2015 – Wednesday – South Haven to Saint Joseph/Benton Harbor– 24.3 statute miles traveled

We departed at 0705 EDT along with for a run to St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. The wind had finally died down and was off of our starboard. Because it had been so windy up until a few hours ago we expected there would still be significant swell to contend with and we were not disappointed. The swell was 3-4 feet off our starboard stern quarter. This meant we were not rolling violently but were pitching and rolling to a degree that Vicki gave up trying to read. She tried using a heat pad while exercising her back on the port settee but gave that up as she had to hang on tightly to keep from being pitched on the floor. Sooooo – the ride was safe but not comfortable.

In about three hours when we arrived at the St. Joseph breakwater and channel. There we found the swells bouncing off of the breakwater walls inside the channel such that large waves were heading in every direction with the reflection pattern. When finally we got into the harbor and were able to make a tight port turn into the West Basin Municipal Marina through a narrow gap in the breakwater we were relieved to have reached our destination.

Soon after our arrival “Time out” came in to the fuel dock just behind us. The crew was a fellow, Mike, from Victoria, BC and his brother, Peter, from Ottawa, Ontario. The brother was aboard while Mike’s wife had to be off the boat for a few days. They were going to moor in the marina for the night.

After they were fueled and tied up in their slip one of the dock hands was kind enough to take all four of us into the town of Saint Joseph in the marina van. We walked the main street checking out all of the stores and then went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. We met Mike and Peter at the appointed time of 2:00 PM where the van, with another dock hand driving, waited to take us back to the marina.

I asked the marina personnel whether a 26’ MacGregor sailboat named “Chinook” had arrived and they replied in the affirmative and told me which slip they were in. We walked around the marina and found Chinook. Mike and Sandy were taking a nap as they had started at about 0400 that morning from Holland. Not knowing this I called and Mike was awake enough to respond so came out and introduced himself. We talked for about a half hour getting to know each other. Mike and I had been in email contact several months ago when I found he was starting the Loop in Grand Haven and we would be on the lake at approximately the same time. Mike and Sandy are from Leavenworth, Washington. We were amazed that the three looper boats in the marina were all from the Pacific Northwest.

Later that evening Mike and Sandy came over to Sea To See and we all talked for a couple of hours. Part of the fun of this trip is meeting the people along the way.

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