Day 10: South to Port Austin

Magnolia heads south

Morning found us further down the coast than we had hoped and we were sure to make our goal of Tawas City before dark. With this happy thought we started our breakfast.

While our breakfast was cooking we had to take the self steering off in order to hand steer around an anchored motorboat, the crew who were sitting out the back fishing gave us a big wave as we went by and took a couple of photos. Probably so they could say to their friends later: "Look, the whole f**king lake and these two guys fly past at spitting distance".

However the rest of breakfast was peaceful, and as we finished we took another look at the chart and our course and realised that in order to make Tawas City we were going to have to jybe a couple of times in order to weather the corner of the bay. We decided to try one to see how it was and discovered quickly that the boat's motion picked up a lot on the other tack and even after heading four nautical miles further out to sea we were going to have dificulty weathering the corner of the bay as the wind had shifted eastwards.

While we were looking at our position we noticed that just across the bay was another port, Port Austin and that we just had to run southwards for around four hours to reach it. The decision was easy, we would make it further south and have an easier sail to do so.

Proving that mealtimes are destined to be interupted, it was lunch time when we spotted an unusual bouy in the water, further reading revealed it to be a fishing bouy - marking a submerged stake - and we quickly altered course to pass it upwind. We passed a three further groups of these bouys before reaching Port Austin.

Docked in Port Austin

Once docked (once again with very little water beneath the keel) we went to investigate the facilites and to ask if we could dump some expired flares. As with Hammond Bay the showers were excellent, "unisex" was how they were described but in reality that just meant that they were individual shower rooms. What luxury! Further investigation revealed wireless internet access that you could use from the boat, what more could we ask for!

Well, we decided to push our luck and walked the five minutes into town in order to have dinner out. The town was a delight, one of the few towns in the USA that you can walk around. We passed a supermarket and a hardware store on our way to the resturant that had been recommended to us by the marina staff. A nice place, good food and the staff were friendly even though they were clearly overworked.

We ate at the bar and left straight after we finished, the place was too crowded to want to hang around. A short walk around the town followed but it didn't reveal any further secrets so we heading back to the boat and to bed.