The Great Lakes: Midland, ON to Chicago, IL / June 14-July 12, 2003

June 14, 2003 / Midland, ON to Tobermory, ON

    We planned a long run for today, so we got away early, at 0645. Of course, this far north, it was still well past sunrise at that hour. Weather conditions were favorable for crossing Georgian Bay to reach its western boundary, the Bruce Peninsula. About an hour after we left Midland, we cruised into an extensive bank of fog, which we didn't expect, as we also had some wind. This fog must have been created by the differential between air and water temperatures--we saw water readings as low as 37.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Hey, nobody told us we might need an icebreaker attachment on the bow. Water depths were also notable--deeper as we proceeded northwest, reaching as much as 523 feet. After our 4-foot readings last week, we figure we have given the boat's depth gauges quite a workout.

    After traveling for about eight hours, we finally reached Cabot Head and rounded the peninsula. We had counted on a run of not much more than 80 miles to reach our destination, Tobermory, but it was still two and half hours away--what gives? Oh. Those were 80 nautical miles, not statute miles. The needles on the fuel gauges were headed south, while we still needed to go west another twenty miles. We called the dockmaster in Tobermory to tell him we'd be late and to get instructions where to tie up.

    Not long after making that call, we saw a man on a sailboat waving an orange distress flag. We approached the sailboat to see what the problem was--the captain wouldn't respond to our radio hail. When we got close enough for shouting, we learned that his motor had quit; he thought it was the fuel pump. He wanted a tow, not being in any other danger. We weren't sure we had enough gas to get ourselves to Tobermory, much less to tow a big sailboat for twenty miles into the wind. When we offered to call the Coast Guard for him (thinking he must also have radio problems--or no radio), he said he'd call them himself. And he did. What really puzzled us was why he couldn't just put up his sails? There was plenty of wind coming from the west, and while it would have called for some tacking, he might have made better time than we did. The Coast Guard responded to his call and dispatched a cutter from Tobermory to fetch him.

    We arrived in Tobermory about 1900, having traveled 102 statute miles since morning. Tobermory is a picturesque village, with not one, but two harbors--Little Tub and Big Tub--each of which is a deep, rectangular glacier-made cut into the hillsides. Little Tub is the harbor for recreational boats, and it's the home of several scuba-diving companies. Scuba diving? Yep--and the attraction is shipwrecks. Remembering the water temperatures we passed through today, we'll pass on that activity. Give us the Caribbean instead. Dockage in Tobermory runs $1.00/foot, plus $5.00 for electricity, and another $3.13 for Canadian GST tax. If you want a water connection, you'll have to tie up on the wall in front of the harbormaster's office; no potable water on the floating docks. Fuel is no longer sold in Little Tub harbor, but you can get gas or diesel at Big Tub Harbor Resort. We paid $.809/liter, and filled up with 800 liters of gasoline. And the squirrel rating? Maggie gives Little Tub Harbor a two .

June 15, 2003 / Tobermory, ON to Killarney, ON

    We felt much better having full fuel tanks, and we planned a course northward for Killarney, Ontario. The winds had shifted to the north, so we took the advice of the staff at Big Tub and slightly altered the route to stay in the lee of Fitzwilliam Island and consequently encounter fewer and lower waves to bounce across. It was good advice, and by the time we were north of the island, the wind had died down. Water conditions were mostly smooth for the rest of the day.

    As you approach the North Channel, the Cloche Mountains look like they are covered in snow, but in fact, what you're seeing is exposed quartz. Small islands of pink granite, landscaped with some scraggly pines, make their own contributions to the rugged wilderness scenery. Lonely but lovely red-roofed white lighthouses--automated nowadays--perch on rocky outcroppings and warn mariners of the shoals encroaching on the channels. Eerily beautiful on a sunny day, it must be terribly forlorn when the weather is gray and rainy.

    Finishing our 55.1 mile run at 1555, we docked at the Sportsman's Inn in Killarney, where we were pleased to get a phone line for Internet and e-mail messages, letting friends and family know we were okay, if still out of touch via cell phone. Dockage at Sportsman's is $1.50/foot. The town dock is cheaper, but with fewer amenities and amperage. The town of Killarney is tiny--a couple of streets, a couple of stores, a couple of restaurants. And most of it was closed by 5:30 p.m., but we're still early for tourist season. We spent a quiet evening surrounded by what the Inn's brochure describes as "starry dark skies" and "desperate pines."  Maggie is desperate for a squirrel sighting, but alas, can't find any. She'll hand down a two squirrel rating to Sportsman's Inn and Killarney.

June 16, 2003 / Killarney, ON to Little Current, ON

    Today's cruise was a short one--only 23.2 statute miles. Before leaving Killarney, we checked our e-mail again. One of the messages was the daily posting for the Great Loop Cruisers Association, and we noted that one of the Looper couples had reported staying in Killarney a couple of days ago and then finding a nice anchorage (with moose) at Heywood Island. As we passed the island, we saw a trawler headed out, so we hailed Encore on the VHF radio, and sure enough, it was them. We discovered we were both headed for Little Current, so we made plans to rendezvous later in the day.

    The cruise was uneventful, with the only surprise coming as we passed through the swing bridge at Little Current. This one-lane bridge, which is the only bridge connecting Manitoulin Island to the north shore, is reported to open only on the hour and to stay open for only fifteen minutes. Stragglers must wait for the next opening while fighting the often-strong current, which varies with the direction of the wind. Thus forewarned, we carefully timed our arrival, finding a small sailboat and Encore lined up ahead of us below the bridge. Traffic was surprisingly steady across the bridge, and it was 1306 before the bridge finally swung open. The sailboat was barely making headway against the moderate current, and the two powerboats could go no faster than idle speed behind it as we all negotiated the narrow opening. To our shock, the bridge tender started closing the bridge (the swing span coming up on our stern) before we had even reached the midpoint. Gary tooted the horn to alert the other boats that there was a problem, and we just made it through before the bridge closed behind us. We can understand not keeping it open the full fifteen minutes if there aren't other boats around, but let us make it through, please!

    The Little Current town docks charged $1.00/foot for a wall tie-up with electricity. We exchanged boat cards and stories with our Looper counterparts Carl and Eleanor Denzler, aboard Encore with their dog Angel (who is agreeable to using her potty pads on the boat--hey Maggie, you listening?). Like Killarney, Little Current closes up early, but the Anchor Bar & Grill stayed open until 8 p.m., and we enjoyed a pleasant dinner there with Carl and Eleanor. Whether Maggie and Angel were able to compare notes on their lives as boat dogs, we don't know, but they got along pretty well. Two squirrels for Little Current.

June 17, 2003 / Little Current, ON to Gore Bay, ON

    After so much rain this spring, it's been great to have so many pretty days in a row. We've decided to take advantage of all the nice cruising days, as summer thunderstorms will keep us in port before long. Today was sunny and calm, a beautiful day for cruising 31.8 miles to Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island.

    What a pretty place and charming little town! We had a long floating finger dock to ourselves, the dockmaster putting us on the end of the docks closest to town and the laundromat. Dockage was $1.30/foot; while we didn't need to buy gas, we noted fuel prices for both gas and diesel were in the upper 70s/liter. Turns out we were also very close to the public library, which is open daily between 2 and 5 p.m. Another opportunity for e-mail, which is always a day-brightener, especially when we're otherwise cut off from normal modes of communication. Maggie enjoyed walking around the town, even though the only "wildlife" she encountered was a pregnant cat. She'll give two squirrels to Gore Bay. We spent a quiet evening on the Calypso Poet, and as it turned out, our last night in Canada.

June 18, 2003 / Gore Bay, ON to Drummond Island, MI

    The good weather continued to hold, so we decided to keep moving. We left Gore Bay at 0728 under light northeast winds. Most of the day was spent silently cruising over smooth water. Okay, we confess, we had the CD player going and we were singing along, so there was a bit of noise pollution. But still, a great cruising day for the most part.

    As we turned south to head for American waters and Drummond Island, the wind shifted to the west. By 1500, it had gotten pretty strong, but no storms, just a vigorous high pressure system moving into the area. We arrived at our U.S. port of entry, Drummond Island Yacht Haven, at 1555, with the wind whipping up white caps and navigating a narrow channel winding around shoals and islands. Coleen managed a very ugly docking, but they still let her clear the boat, captain, and crew through customs and immigration with no hassle. We paid $41.75 for overnight dockage, plus $7.00 to rent the courtesy car for a grocery/restaurant run (much too far to walk). We need to buy gas, but we'll wait for morning and see if the wind will let us get to the fuel dock without crashing into anything. Maggie sniffed the new smells on the wind, but didn't find any squirrel scents in it; her rating for Drummond Island is two .

June 19, 2003 / Drummond Island, MI to Mackinac Island, MI

    It was still windy this morning, but Gary skillfully backed over to the fuel dock, and we bought enough gas for our next couple of hundred miles. Winds stayed brisk and steady from the north all morning, shifting to northwest by early afternoon. Actually, the winds were not shifting, we were. As we travel west across the high pressure cell, we find ourselves in new sections of its clockwise rotation. We had been able to get a Friday night reservation for Mackinac Island, but decided to head for the harbor this Thursday afternoon in hopes that they could take us a day early. Very few boats were at the Mackinac Island State Docks when we arrived there at 1400, with the only harbor traffic being the high-speed ferries that leave for St. Ignace and Mackinaw City every half hour. We paid $43.00 for dockage, electricity, and water. The docks are at the foot of Marquette Park, overlooked by old Fort Mackinac.

    Mackinac Island outlawed automobiles at the turn of the century, so transportation throughout the island is by horse, bicycle, or foot. There were a few riding lawnmowers, but we never saw them doing anything but cutting grass. It was a hoot to see two draft horses pulling a wagon with the UPS guy and his packages. We walked to the Grand Hotel but balked at paying $10/person to see the lobby, and we were certainly not going to comply with the hotel's strict dress code to dine there (coats and ties for men, dresses for ladies--not stuff in our cruising wardrobe). We took some pictures and decided to watch Somewhere in Time if we develop a hankering to see the interior.

    Besides the horses (whose droppings are continuously being swept up), two other ubiquitous features of Mackinac Island are the lilacs and the fudge shops. Both smell good enough to offset the pungent horsey aromas. There seemed to be a fudge shop on every corner. We succumbed to temptation, but only a half a pound's worth, and decided to burn off the calories with an 8-mile bike ride around the island's perimeter. While we haven't always taken advantage of having the bicycles on board, we were glad we had them here and at Jekyll Island, Georgia. Still no squirrels to chase, but Maggie considers the horses a good substitute for doggy interest--she bestows a coveted 4-squirrel rating to Mackinac Island.

June 21, 2003 / Mackinac Island, MI to Beaver Island, MI

    Yet another cloudless, windy day, as we crossed the Straits of Mackinac under the Mighty Mac bridge, which was under construction when Coleen lived in Sault Ste. Marie as a child. We had hoped to pick up a Sprint phone signal near the bridge, but no such luck. Oh well, sooner or later, we will find "civilization," even in northern Michigan. But not today, as we are headed for Beaver Island.

    The approach to the harbor was easy enough, but getting to Beaver Island Marina was not, as there were no markers to the marina through the shallow water at the north end of the harbor. Coleen called the marina: "How much water is there?" Answer: "Six feet, five, four--just keep an eye on your depth finder." And of course, as it so often does, the wind changed direction and picked up as we were docking. We managed to tie up okay, as did another big power boat, but later that afternoon (the wind never relented), a catamaran's crew decided not to attempt docking there and another sailboat also declined after a couple of light groundings trying to approach the docks. Although today is the first day of summer, and thus the beginning of tourist season, Beaver Island Marina wasn't quite ready yet. The docks are in the process of being repaired and there's no water. We asked for and got a discount from the normal dockage rate of $1.00/foot. Maggie says, "One squirrel."

June 22, 2003 / Beaver Island, MI to Leland, MI

    Well, one might have thought that by the time he had traveled almost 150 miles in Michigan waters, he might encounter a Sprint cell phone signal. One would have thought wrong. We must add Michigan to the list of states (Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina) that this company has yet to discover and adequately service.

    The morning was calm and the waves minimal as we headed south from Beaver Island for the Leelanau Peninsula and today's destination, Leland, Michigan. To starboard we could make out the cliffs and beaches of Fox Island; to port we could see the woodsy coastline; on the radio we could hear busy harbormasters directing boat traffic in Little Traverse Bay, Charlevoix, and Northport. As it's done every day recently, the wind picked up after noon, raising the wave height and causing some white caps. We left the deep blue water and noted how it changed to a rich turquoise shade as we got closer to the breakwater at Leland. Today Coleen's docking in the wind was good enough to elicit a round of applause from the boaters in the adjacent slip--a good confidence booster.

    Leland is a very attractive town, if you ignore the seagulls. They've preserved "Fishtown," a street of picturesque wooden shanties formerly used by local fishermen, now converted to cute little boutiques and cafes, though the building where they sell smoked fish and fish sausage hasn't been gussied up on the interior. Our slip cost just $36.00, which included 50-amp electricity and water, and the docks were in excellent shape. Maggie made several new doggie friends (noting that the Labs and Lab mixes are all shedding as much as she is). She also  sniffed some essence of woodland critter, even though they stayed out of sight. That's okay--she still thinks Leland is worth three squirrels on the Maggie scale.

June 23, 2003 / Leland, MI to Frankfort, MI

    We left Leland at 0745, in calm air and water, though it didn't take long for the weather to change. But that's just what you have to expect in this part of the country. As we cruised along the western coast of Michigan, we could see the enormous sand dunes built by eons of wind and waves. We were glad to get out of the chop and into Frankfort's channel shortly after noon. We refueled and then backed into our slip at the municipal marina. While we didn't have a lot of shelter from the wind, it was a good location for other reasons--we still had no cell phone signal, but the public library was in the park right behind us, and we signed up to use a computer for e-mail. Like other Michigan municipal marinas, Frankfort's dockage rate is very reasonable--we paid $36.00 for a well-maintained slip, electricity, and water. It's not too far from restaurants, a laundromat, and grocery store. Our favorite place to eat was Dinghy's, which served the best barbecued ribs we've had since leaving home. Maggie was considering giving Frankfort three squirrels just for its big trees and pleasant areas for walking, so the rib bones that came home in the doggy bag sealed the deal--.

June 25, 2003 / Frankfort, MI to Manistee, MI

    We left at 0648 for the short but windy run--29.2 miles--to Manistee. Fortunately, the municipal marina is well up the Manistee River, and it was calm when we docked at 0920. We not only enjoyed our easy access to the boater's lounge, laundry area, and town park (with dog run area and free pooper-scooper bags), we were delighted to have a phone signal of adequate strength at last. Maggie liked exploring the Victorian-era neighborhoods uphill and south of the marina--the only place she wasn't welcome was the Riverwalk, a boardwalk that connects downtown Manistee to the beaches on Lake Michigan. Three squirrels for Manistee. We'll spend a few days here before heading south again.

June 29, 2003 / Manistee, MI to Pentwater, MI

    We had a good forecast for the lake today, and it was accurate. Thus it was a most uneventful and easy cruise from Manistee to Pentwater. We took it slow, traveling the 39.9 miles in about five hours. As we were approaching Snug Harbor Marina, we passed the Pentwater Yacht Club building. A personal watercraft was also passing, but at a pretty good clip. The yacht club guys all jumped up and started yelling at the jet ski operators to slow down. In Pentwater, when the buoys say "no wake," they mean it. Fine with us!

    Dockage was $50.00 for slip, electricity, and water. The water was too shallow to back stern in, so we were glad the power cords were long enough to reach the outlets on shore, though the marina graciously offered to lend us another cord if needed. Pentwater is an attractive village, with a large number of the homes built shortly after the Civil War and lots and lots of really big trees. It was fun to walk the residential streets behind the main shopping street, and Maggie kept a sharp lookout for squirrels. We rode our bicycles down to the beach and understood why Pentwater can support a kite shop. The steady breezes off the lake are perfect for kite-flying. We liked the laid-back atmosphere of Pentwater. Example--a local barber shop sign says: "Open (about) 8:30 a.m.
Closed (exactly) 5:00 p.m." Pentwater is well worth a stop and a couple of days' stay. Maggie rates it a three-squirrel destination.

July 1, 2003 / Pentwater, MI to Grand Haven, MI

    We had considered staying another day in Pentwater, but the weather was too perfect to forego cruising, and as today is our one-year trip anniversary, it seemed appropriate to be on the water. Even though tomorrow's forecast looks equally good, we've learned from experience that forecasts will change. We cruised on plane for two and half hours to shorten the time required for the 64.1-mile voyage, arriving in Grand Haven about 1130. We had thought we might stay in the municipal marina for one night, then move to Grand Isle Marina for our July 2-6 reservation. No luck--even that early in the day, the municipal marina already had 16 boats on the waiting list for a berth. We called our holiday refuge to see if they could take us a day early. No problem, but at $2.25/foot, they don't fill up with transients.

    It's a no-wake zone from the lake channel all the way up the Grand River, so it took about half an hour to cruise upriver to the marina. Grand Isle is a very large facility, just past the Highway 31 bridge, which showed a 24-foot clearance, even though its charted clearance is less. The river gets pretty shallow upriver from the bridge, but the channel to the marina is well-marked.

    Our good friends from Little Rock, Mike and Marijean Voss, and their dog  Shadow, were in East Lansing, MI, visiting their son and daughter-in-law, so it was not too far a drive for them to head west to Grand Haven to spend some time with us and to celebrate Gary's birthday (July 4). If you've been reading these pages regularly, you know how concerned we get about appeasing the Boating Gods. Mike and Marijean brought Gary a wooden mask from Ghana which is worn by a tribe there to scare away the spirits of disaster during floods, bush fires, and other threatening times. We will mount this fellow in a place of honor where he can also listen to the Bee Gees. We'll put his picture in the Leg 11 photo gallery, when we get a fast-enough Internet connection to upload it (we are getting impatient). Suggestions what to name him?

    Maggie seemed to like Grand Isle until boaters began celebrating Independence Day with gunpowder products. She is terrified when fireworks go off, dragging the person at the other end of the leash like a sled dog running in the Iditarod Race, trying to get to her hidey-hole on the boat. For that reason alone, she limits her Grand Haven/Grand Isle rating to two singed and smoky squirrels.

July 6, 2003 / Grand Haven, MI to Saugatuck, MI

    We left Grand Haven at 0743, figuring we'd get to Saugatuck well before the forecast afternoon thunderstorms. At 0930, however, we heard the Milwaukee Coast Guard issue a severe weather warning for the western shores of Lake Michigan, advising boaters to seek safe harbors and warning that the storm was headed east at 30 mph. The clouds above us got heavier and darker, and we debated whether to anchor in Macatawa Lake (near Holland) or whether to speed up and head for Saugatuck. We called Coral Gables Marina to see if (a) they had space for us, and (b) the weather was okay there. (a) Yes. (b) Blue skies. We decided to take a gamble and kept heading south. We got to Saugatuck by 1055, and the blue skies were still in place. The storm was either moving northeast or moving slowly. Whew.

    You'd probably be taking it slow regardless, but as you proceed up the Kalamazoo River toward town and the marinas, watch out for the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, which, as its name indicates, crosses the river on a cable, the windlass hand-cranked by the operator. If you'd like to stay at Coral Gables, the rate is good--$40 for overnight, no matter what size your boat. Don't call the marina on Channel 9, however, despite what the Lakeland Boating Guide says. They don't monitor the VHF. The area code has changed, too--call (269) 857-2162.

    The holiday crowds were not ready to go home yet, and Saugatuck was hopping, even though the Coast Guard and National Weather Service continued to issue periodic weather warnings. A steady stream of boats tied up and rafted in front of, behind, and beside us. The dockmaster did a great job fitting everybody in. The musicians at Coral Gables entertained not only the patio customers, but  also all the boaters and boardwalk pedestrians. The rain didn't arrive until well after 5 p.m., which gave us lots of time to stroll the attractive shopping area. Maggie found a doggie boutique, and in it, Coleen found a lovely tropical-flowered bandanna for her to wear. Maggie seemed to like her fashionable attire, which wasn't too gaudy to scare off the squirrel she stalked in the town square--she is glad to award three flower-bedecked squirrels to Saugatuck and Coral Gables.

July 8, 2003 / Saugatuck, MI to South Haven, MI

    Not too many miles to cover this morning, and it was a good thing, as the Coast Guard issued "get your butts (oops, I meant to type 'boats') off the Lake RIGHT NOW" warnings just as we approached the South Haven channel. We got a slip assignment from the South Haven Municipal Marina and had just finished hooking everything up when we looked over to the west and saw these really ugly clouds. "Golly, look at that! Have you ever seen a cloud like that??" Probably something like what Dorothy said right before she got a free ride to Oz. (Yes, we have a picture for you to see on the Leg 11 Photos page.) As we stood there gawking, the storm jumped right over South Haven and headed for mischief in Indiana. All we can say is, the onboard Boat God must be doing his job. (His name is Maurice (after and in tribute to Maurice Gibb), with a big thank you to Doug Voss for his research and suggestion. We like it!)

    South Haven has three municipal marina facilities--we were on the south side of the channel, and this one was very, very nice. Not only do they have attractive and well-maintained facilities, they have enterprising young dockhands. Coleen tried to tip the boys when she was registering in the office. "No, ma'am, we are not allowed to take tips," one of them said, in front of his boss. Later in the day, when Coleen was on the dock beside the boat, he asked her if she "remembered" offering him a tip earlier in the day. Hint, hint. While tempted to ask him what the heck he was talking about, she decided to play along, as she would have tipped him earlier right after docking (and away from the supervisor's eyes) if the storm hadn't made its appearance just then.

    Maggie heard too many left-over-from-the-Fourth firecrackers to feel comfortable in South Haven, and she found no squirrels. Tucking her tail between her legs, she's headed for a dark corner of the boat, where a single scraggly squirrel rating is hiding, too.

July 9, 2003 / South Haven, MI to Michigan City, IN

    Working from notes in our log to bring you this commentary, your webmaster noticed that she had rendered the date in the log as "June 9." Maybe she has been boating a little too long, or maybe she is subconsciously just trying to work in an extra month of cruising before going back to work!

    Light winds and moderate swells from the northwest pushed us from the rear as we made our voyage from South Haven to Michigan City. Summer seems to finally be reaching Lake Michigan, as the temperatures headed for the 80s, and the dog started looking for shade up on the bridge. We pulled into the basin at Michigan City at 1415--no, wait, it's an hour earlier, as Indiana does not recognize Daylight Savings Time.  This is a large marina, with friendly residents and friendly visitors (including the six friends traveling on Payment Plan, a cruiser from Joliet, IL which is normally docked at the marina we'll use while visiting the kids in Naperville). Thanks for getting our lines--it was a bit windy trying to dock that sucker.

    We used the extra hour (plus an extra day) to maximize our shopping time at the Lighthouse Point Outlet Center, a five-block walk from Washington Park Municipal Marina. No grocery stores nearby, but if you need new shoes (or shirts, or dishes, or underwear, or jewelry) come on, baby! Gotta replenish that back-to-work wardrobe.

July 12, 2003 / Michigan City, IN to Chicago, IL

    Wind from the direction of the Windy City kept us in Indiana an extra day--neither of us liked the look of those big waves and white caps we could see beyond the breakwater. But we didn't want to delay our planned arrival in Illinois, either, so we got up early to make the run across the south end of the lake to enter Calumet Harbor. It took about 90 minutes to run those 33 miles, which of course means we burned just a little extra gas to make the Poet run faster. The rest of the day's cruise went considerably slower, for reasons we'll explain below.

    The Calumet-Sag Channel connects to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which connects to the Des Plaines River, which eventually connects to the Illinois River. We came this way because the Chicago River route (which also connects to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, then the Des Plaines River, and then the Illinois River) has some low fixed bridges which might have necessitated our removal of certain electronic gear from the radar arch in order to pass. On the Calumet Waterway, however, we had no trouble passing under all the fixed bridges. Even better, the bridges we needed to have opened were operative!

    Some have called the stretch between the junction with the Sanitary-Ship and the Lockport Dam the "Twelve Miles of Hell." Coming through on a Saturday probably helped our passage, as there wasn't a lot of commercial traffic, even though there were a lot of parked barges on both sides of the waterway. We would just call it the "Twelve Miles of Ugly." As we entered the first lock of the day, Maggie looked like she was smiling--she knows the drill--and being in a lock means just one thing--you are back on the rivers. Yeah, it can get hot, and sometimes you have to wait for a tow to lock through ahead of you (it happened today at Brandon Road Lock, about an hour's wait), but there are no big waves and no pounding. This little river dog was right at home.

    We officially ended Leg 11 when we exited Lake Michigan at Calumet Harbor, but as we kept going another 60 miles to reach Harborside Marina, in Wilmington, IL, we've included that in today's entry, too. We'll spend ten days in Naperville, IL with our son and his fiancée--their home is about 30 miles north of the marina, and when we come back to the boat, it will be time to start Leg 12, heading home. See you soon.

Click here to view Leg 11 Photos. Click the nautical wheel's forward arrow to advance to Leg 12 (the last).