Where Was I Last Year?

Where was I last year? Yeah. I know. The XO and I were doing The Great Loop. But here’s the thing: there were so many ports, and so much stuff going on, that I can’t help thinking of it as a single entity, as just “The Great Loop.” It’s like my brain hasn’t yet processed and organized all the little bits of information. I want to remember everything. To assist my brain in that formidable task, I started consulting our ships log on a daily basis. Between the log and our old calendar–which the XO faithfully marked every day–I know exactly where I was one year ago.
As the memories came flooding back, I quickly realized that in each and every port there was a memorable event. All I need to do is tie that memory with the place.
For instance: one year ago, in the second week of September 2017, we docked in Lexington, Michigan. At the marina restaurant the XO found twenty dollars on the floor. Free Lunch!
XO: “Remember Lexington?”
Rick: “No. Not really.”
XO: “The place where I found Twenty bucks.”
Rick: “Oh yeah. Paid for lunch. You had a reuben, I had a cheeseburger. We docked near the breakwater. There was awesome people watching.”

Free lunch.

Lexington Harbor breakwater.

From the port of Lexington we limped into Port Sanilac with a broken belt. Also memorable because they actually had a replacement belt.
From there we cruised to Harbor Beach, Mi. The log book says simply: “Futile attempt to anchor in weeds.” I remember a four-foot ball of weeds clinging to our Mantus anchor. It was the first and only time it failed to set.

Harbor Beach lighthouse.

After four tries we gave up and pulled into the Harbor Beach Marina. Turns out it was a good move because the weather really kicked up and we had to stay three days. It’s so much better to be tied up in a protected marina.

Twilight in Harbor Beach.

Next was Port Austin. Our assigned slip was next to a floating duck blind. Duck hunting is very popular here. Hunters will camouflage a skiff and float it to the area they wish to get the ducks. This particular skiff was huge. It was like a clubhouse with a kitchen,TV, running water, barbecue, and a full bar. It was fairly obvious this craft didn’t leave the dock. Several guys were drinking beer and cooking brats on a smokey charcoal grill. The XO and I were starved half to death after our 6 hour trip and it smelled so wonderful. Jeez! My stomach was rumbling. Suddenly there was a knock on our hull. It was one of the “hunters”. A big burly man with a round face and ruddy cheeks. Like Alan Hale dressed in camo.
“Thought you guys might be hungry,” he said with a smile bigger than lake Huron. In his large hands he held two of the biggest, most beautiful bratwurst sandwiches I have ever seen. Cooked perfectly and slathered in mustard. We were speechless. It was my first taste of bratwurst. From then on brats were a staple on Ginger Lee.

Port Austin morning.

And that’s only some of what happened in the second week of September 2017. It was one hell of a week I tell ya. It seemed as if fate had intervened for our safety, happiness, or simply for our amusement.
But wait! There’s more! There are 52 weeks in a year. It will be difficult to absorb and organize so much, but I will enjoy doing it.

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