Dad left Island Bound on Wednesday in Ludington, so now it was my turn to try some solo cruising for a couple of days to see how far north I could get the boat before my wife and kids joined me for the rest of the journey. I woke up around 5:30am on Thursday morning and left the dock at about 6am. Winds were 10-12 knots from the northwest, so I was forced to motor around Big Point Sable. As I rounded the point, I put the sails up since my course would now be more northerly and I should be able to sail close hauled. I put a single reef in the main because the NOAA forecast called for some wind gusts to 20 knots and I wanted to be prepared for the conditions before they arrived. Island Bound didn’t seem to mind the reef because she made between 5 and 6 knots, even while sailing so close to the wind.
Even though I’m single-handing this portion of the cruise, I’m not the only crew member. “Otto” our autopilot (Autohelm ST1000) does his job very well. He never complains, he never gets tired, he never eats. He just steers the course that I tell him to steer. Tending the sails, fixing meals and navigating would be very difficult by myself if it were not for Otto.
I covered 44 nautical miles on Thursday and made port in Frankfort. Another storm system is moving through the area Thursday night until Sunday. I’ll stay in port on Friday and catch up on work, blogging and bill paying until Erin and the girls arrive on Friday evening. Then the plan is to spend a couple of nights at my in-laws' cottage on Lake Charlevoix until Sunday evening when the weather starts to clear. Hopefully we’ll be able to head out Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. The options are fairly open and include Leland, South Manitou Island (anchoring), Charlevoix, Harbor springs and Beaver Island. From there we’ll move north into the Straits and inch closer to the Lake Huron’s North Channel.
Below are a couple of video logs from day 4 (Ludington to Frankfort):