After a couple of relaxing days in Suttons Bay, we headed northeast out of Grand Traverse bay back into Lake Michigan to Charlevoix, a distance of around 28 nautical miles port to port.
The municipal marina is on Round lake, a small pool between Lakes Michigan and Charlevoix. As such we needed to enter the harbour by going under a lift bridge. Initially it was open, but as we got closer it went down. Given that our choice was to wait another half hour before it opened again, I called the bridge operator on channel 09 to ask about clearance. She told me that another boater had checked it a while ago, and it ranged from around 9 feet at the extremes, to around 14 feet it the middle. Given that our air draft is 12’8″, and our zenith was in the center of the boat, we decided to give it a go. Melodie was out back talking to everyone along shore (surprise, surprise – suddenly best friends with people who were complete stranger 10 seconds ago), and they were all encouraging us to go for it. She was very enthusiastic; because they were. My question was “do they really feel we can get under it, or do they really want a great video they can post of a boat crashing into the bridge as I foolishly make my way under it?” Hmm.. So, putting some faith in the bridge operator, and perhaps even more faith in whoever it was that measured the clearance, I carefully lined MnM up to go directly under the center of the bridge. As we got closer, several people on shore gave us a thumbs up, and one a thumbs down – who to believe!! Anyhow, we continued, and IMO cleared it by about a foot.
Once in Round Lake, we Calle the marina on channel 09, and after about a 20 minute wait, got our slip assignment. A really nice spot close to the walkway and facilities.
Charlevoix is a lovely town, with lots going on and things to see.
While were only able to spend one night here due to its popularity, we had a great time. SO, we went up into town, wandered around, and found a great little Mexican spot off the main drag called the Cantina (highly recommended).
The next morning we hit “Smoke on the Water” for breakfast, and I had Eggs Benedict, with the kicker being that the ham was replaced with beef brisket – GOOD IDEA!! Melodie had their specialty champagne soaked French Toast, which was also “very lovely” according to Melodie.
The marina was fully booked, though at the end of the day there were a couple of slips available. I must admit that the marinas we have encountered on this northwest tip of Michigan are truly outstanding, with excellent facilities and close proximity to town. In addition, the weather has been splendid,consistently in the 80’s with clear skies and important to us – calm seas.