We finally left Mackinaw City and headed north. After much hemming and hawing. All Monday morning in fact. Ben and I went back and forth about which route to take so many times. We’ve lost all ability to make a decision it seems! The huge plus to heading around the top of Michigan and over to Presque Isle was being able to cross Lake Huron and get to Tobermory the same day the Wilsons arrived there. Perfect timing. Travel with friends. And all the kids reunited. But….what if the forecast was wrong again and we got into the middle of our 90 mile open water crossing at the widest point of Lake Huron and it was bad??? What then?? Or what if we got to Presque Isle and then we are stuck with more bad water? So, maybe we should head north towards the North Channel instead? I texted the friends on Let’s Go we had met the previous day. They took off around 9 or 10 AM Monday to head to Drummond Island. I watched them head out and we knew that as the morning went on, the water was supposed to improve. They reported that it was just fine. Maybe 1-2′ waves but just fine. We had planned to leave around noon. Ben was getting some work done and we needed to fuel up. As the morning went on we heard from Let’s Go again that it was up to 3-4′ waves and was not super comfortable. Hmmm. Now what? Then Marshall sent us a video and that helped. It wasn’t too bad and he reported that after about an hour it improved a lot. So, we decided we couldn’t sit still any longer and had to give it a try.
We definitely had some waves but it wasn’t bad at all and as we got further north it smoothed out. All the waves were behind us so we kind of rode with them. We decided to head to DeTour Village instead of Drummond Island. We stopped at Drummond Island last September and just didn’t find anything to do. DeTour is right across the water and is on the mainland. Also very tiny. There is a ferry that runs seemingly nonstop between DeTour and Drummond.
DeTour Village is a sweet little town. Emphasis on little! But after a couple of weeks on the water, we were ready to get back to seeing the tiny towns that we find so fun to explore. They are just so other worldly compared to Chicago. Obviously. We got the bikes out. Kids rode them around. They don’t need to be locked up. Just toss them in the bike rack and they’re fine. We walked up the one main street. One tiny, little street had 3 churches on it! And 3 restaurants. But only 2 are open on Mondays and the 3rd is just a sandwich shop. We marveled at the adorable post office. It reminded me of Cape Vincent, NY.
And the adorable coffee shop.
And the one gift store in town. And the small, charming house with the garage at least 3x the size of the house. It turns out many of the houses are summer vacation rentals. Fishing seems to be big business here as well.
We opted for dinner on the boat because at first sight the restaurants didn’t look that great. But we did stop in the very small local IGA where we could at least grab some fruit and a few other items.
The next day we decided to stay put rather than cross into Canada. We had planned to head up into Canada into the North Channel and go to a small town named Thessalon. But it was purely going to be a stop over. It was 30 miles there and then 50 to Gore Bay. We decided to stay put instead and leave early Wednesday for a long day all the way to Gore Bay. One less docking. One less hookup of the power cords. So, while Ben worked, the girls rode their bikes and I took a long walk with them. It was a busy few days for Yacht Devices orders so we headed to the post office to drop off a package. I asked for a receipt (postage label is already on the package). The lady asked how she would give me a receipt. Ummmm…..usually the package gets scanned and the postal worker hands me a receipt. “We don’t have that new equipment here” was the reply. Hmmmm. Ok! Well then I guess I don’t need a receipt.
Off to explore more on bikes. Someone said to me tonight that my girls are very free. When we are out of the city, they are. It’s WONDERFUL. They can be independent and carefree and do all the things I did when I was a kid. They look to me for permission and to check if something is ok all the time. I said go! Watch for cars! Don’t get lost. Just go ride your bikes. I found them a dead end street and they rode a couple of miles before turning around and getting back to where I was walking. I love that they have that freedom and independence in these small towns.
Lazy day with some time on the boat playing cards. Then back into town for another trip to the post office (I didn’t ask for a receipt this time, just handed over the package). Then off to get milkshakes and check out the local gift shop. In addition to local items it had used books! So we grabbed a couple of those and headed back to the boat.
Another boater had tried the restaurant I shied away from the night before and said it hit the spot so we went there for dinner. It was great! And as we were sitting in the dining room a bunch of people from the marina piled in. They had all just come from the North Channel so we swapped stories and got some not to be missed recommendations of little islands and bays to visit. Better yet….a man with a sailboat with a 7 foot draft showed us on charts where to go.
We all enjoyed our stay in DeTour Village and will likely stop there when we check back into the US.