Below, left to right: ready to sail beneath
the mackinac Bridge. hannah flies high
above the dunes. Author Kevin Walters.
first mate isabel keeping watch.
ally deposit on top. The view, looking down at
our anchored sloop, was impressive. But the
real reward for a difficult climb is the run and
tumble back down, and the thrilled screams of
my girls as they raced for cooling water below.
A well-rounded education includes culinary school, and so, this past summer, we
sailed Island Bound to Wisconsin’s Door
County peninsula to take in a traditional fish
boil. Anchored at Fish Creek, we went ashore
early enough to watch the cooking process
and hear a bit about the history. Centuries
ago, Scandinavian settlers came to harvest timber and other natural resources, and gathered
for communal fish boils.
A Li TTLe mATh
I’d be shorting my kids if I didn’t provide
them with some practical examples of the
makes for a nice day of sailing in the right
conditions. Being the most remote inhabited
island on all the Great Lakes almost guaran-
tees an interesting past, and Beaver Island
didn’t disappoint. The locals told us of James
Strang, leader of a Mormon sect in the mid-
1800s, who moved to the island with his
followers and declared himself polygamist
king in an elaborate ceremony. He was even-
tually murdered by disgruntled disciples, and
the rest of his followers were run off Beaver.
Strang left a colorful trail of history still fasci-
nating people on the island today.
BAY BREEZE YACHT
CHARTERS, based out of
Traverse City, Michigan.
Monohull sail, catamarans,
Time for science
A sail out to South Manitou revealed amazing
rock-collecting opportunities on the low-lying
eastern shore. The surf has pounded this shore
for hundreds of years, leaving enough flat,
smooth granite stones for a stone-skipping
contest that could last until the next ice
age. We spent a few wonderful days explor-
ing the other natural wonders, such as the
boisterous gull rookery, and the
beautiful camouflage of a yel-
low sac spider preying on a
butterfly among the shoreline
flowers. Venturing deep into
the interior of South Manitou,
we discovered an abandoned
one-room schoolhouse. The
girls peered through the dirty win-
dows, imagining sitting in the old
wooden desks when school was in session in
the 19th century. The large crescent-shaped
harbor on the Eastern Shore was the only suit-
able anchorage, though it only offered Island
Bound protection from north-northwest winds.