A Fish Tale 7/29/16

Our alarm was set for 5:45 Thursday morning, but long before that Ted was awake and monitoring the weather radar on his phone.  When I awoke minutes before the alarm sounded, the first thing I heard was rain hitting the bedroom windows, and only a few seconds later Ted’s phone rang.  It was Captain Chris Becker, owner and operator of North Shore Fishing Charters.

“Let’s wait a couple of hours and see if this rain lets up,” Chris said.  “Looking at the radar, I think we’ll be good to leave about 9:30 (we were previously scheduled to leave at 7:00 am).  I reached for my phone on the nightstand and texted Jordan and Matthew in their bedrooms two floors below us.  “Go back to sleep,” I texted.  “Leaving for the boat at 9:00.”

By 9:00 the clouds were scattering, it was cool, and there was a slight breeze as we walked into Doud’s Market with our cooler-on-wheels, already packed with ice.  We filled it with bottles of water and deli sandwiches, then walked back over to the marina.  Where over 200 sailboats had filled the marina the day before, that morning most of them were gone, and folks with reservations to dock in the marina had begun to fill the empty spaces.

Brian Bailey and his son Kyle, who we’d invited along, were already waiting, and Captain Chris, aboard the North Shore Leader, tied up a few moments later.

It didn't take long to get underway, and Chris spent the first few minutes explaining all the insruments that help him find the fish, how the "facilities" worked . . .

It didn’t take long to get underway, and Chris spent the first few minutes of the trip out explaining all the insruments that help him find the fish, how the “facilities” worked . . .

 

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. . . and making sure all the fishing licenses were in order.   Jordan and Matthew didn’t need them, and neither did I since I was just along to “record” the day.

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It didn’t take long at all to get 7 or 8 miles out from Mackinac,  We used the time to tell Chris how we all knew each other, and he told us how he came to be a charter boat captain!

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This was my first ever charter fishing trip, and I was amazed at just how much WORK it is for the captain.  Not only does he drive the boat and find the fish, but he also baits and sets all the lines, nets the fish, and manages to keep everything untangled – even with a group of non-professional fishermen aboard.  This one shot of him “sitting” was toward the end of our trip, as we were about to start back.  The rest of the time he was in constant motion.

I’m so sad to the first fish caught was by Ted, and it happened so fast I wasn’t ready with the camera!  Of course we teased him the rest of the day that it was also the smallest fish caught (it was).

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Next up was Matthew . . .

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. . . who reeled in this beauty!

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No scales aboard, but Chris said it was probably 8-9 lbs. – a fine Lake Trout!

Ted and Matthew’s catches were followed by about 30 minutes of non-stop action . . .

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In quick succession, Lake Trout were landed by Kyle. . . .

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Matthew again . . .

 

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Nice!

And Brian!

And Brian!

After all that instant gratification, there was an hour or so of lull.  We shifted positions several times, occasionally having a fish take the bait, but then having it shake it off as it was reeled in.

—I made myself useful - not only by recording all the fish caught (except for Ted's), but also making sure all the goodies on board were ok for everyone else to eat - including chips, donuts, sandwiches and Twillers!

—I made myself useful – not only by recording all the fish caught (except for Ted’s), but also making sure all the goodies on board were safe for everyone else to eat – including chips, donuts, sandwiches and Twizzlers!

Before we headed back in Kyle caught a second fish, and . . . .

. . . Jordan caught the largest fish of all (Matthew will argue about that until the end of time, but hers really was the largest)!

. . . Jordan caught the largest fish of all (Matthew will argue about that until the end of time, but hers really was the largest)!

The last chore for Captain Chris before bringing us back to the island was to clean and filet the fish.

Captain Chris cleaned and fileted the fish (thank goodness).  They tried to talk me into it, but I politely refused, saying the Captain would undoubtedly do a much better job!

A couple more pics . . .

Matthew - into that fishing!

Matthew – into that fishing!

Jordan - really just along for the ride (like me), but caught the largest fish (sorry, Matthew - I had to say it one more time).

Jordan – really just along for the ride (like me), but caught the largest fish (sorry, Matthew – I had to say it one more time).

It was truly a spectacular day  out on Lake Huron.  The temperature was perfect, the water was mirror-calm, and there was a little breeze.

As we turned for home, we even spotted the old Bois Blanc Lighthouse, almost hidden in the trees.

As we turned for home, we even spotted the old Bois Blanc Lighthouse, almost hidden in the trees.

Approaching Mackinac Island.

Approaching Mackinac Island.

Back home with our catch!

Back home with part of our catch!

Thanks to Jill for being at the dock to welcome us back!

Thanks to Jill for being at the dock to welcome us back . . .

Thanks to Captain Chris Becker for an awesome trip (www.northshoresportfishingcharter.com).

. . . and thanks to Captain Chris Becker for an awesome trip www.northshoresportfishingcharter.com.

Oh!  What did we do with the fish?

Thanks to Brian and Jeri-Lynn Bailey for grilling part of the catch up last night and inviting us over for dinner!

Brian and his wife Jeri-Lynn grilled up part of the catch last night and invited us over for dinner!  And we all have some in our freezers for a later date!

What a fun day  . . . making memories with Jordan and Matthew!

God bless.

49757 Postcard – #6 (7/27/16)

Dear Friends,

Our first full day with Jordan and Matthew is coming to an end.  I’ve put baked spaghetti in the oven, Ted is tossing a salad, and I’ve run upstairs to write this postcard.  After dinner the kids think we’re going to go play putt-putt.  Ted and I are personally thinking we’ll fall asleep in our plates of spaghetti during dinner and Jordan and Matthew may have to play that game of putt-putt by themselves.  That remains to be seen.

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First thing on the agenda this morning was to get the bikes licensed; so it was off to City Hall right after breakfast.

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Jordan and Matthew love to go caving, and G-Daddy had some new ones lined up they hadn’t explored yet.  Here they’re climbing up to Eagles’s Point Cave.

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They made it!

After lunch, while G-Daddy napped, I took them both downtown shopping (not nearly as exciting as cave climbing, but Matthew got fudge samples at every fudge shop on Main Street, and Jordan got some ideas for when she goes back “seriously” shopping later this week.

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On our before -dinner walk with Maddie, the kids stopped to skip stones . . .

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. . . climb trees . . .

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. . . and try a few handstands!  Ahhhh . . . be young again!

We’ll be up at 6:00 Thursday morning and hopping aboard a charter boat at 7:00 for a half-day fishing trip out into Lake Huron. Hoping for some salmon or lake trout! 

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Making memories.

Wish you were here.

God bless.

49757 Postcard – #5 (7/26/16)

Dear Friends,

Today . . . .

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Jordan and Matthew arrived at the Pellston Airport!

And, of course, we were there to pick them up! 

What fun!  This is the first time they’ve flown up alone, and we are so excited to have them with us for a whole week!

We got them bikes for their stay, went out to dinner at the Chippewa Hotel, and . . .

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. . . followed that with ice cream at the No Name Café (across the street from the Chip).

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We’d left our bikes beside the Chippewa while we had dinner, which gave us a backdrop of all the boats in the marina from the Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race.  Tomorrow this marina will return to normal as all these sailboats return to their home harbors. 

Looking forward to a wonderful week with the grands!

Wish you were here.

God bless.

Settling In – The First Time 7/24/16

We’ve almost been on Mackinac for a week, and we’ve settled comfortably into the condo in the Mission.  Having stayed here for six weeks last summer, it was easy to slip right back into very familiar surroundings. We knew where everything was, and we’ve been enjoying our views on this end of Main Street.

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Mornings find us out on the deck – coffee in hand – watching the island wake up.

That deck is also a great place to be in the afternoon – with a book or newspaper (although I’ve tried to avoid all news from the “outside”).  The other day I was sitting out there, reading, and I heard someone yell, “Hello, Brenda!”  I glanced up to see a man on a bike, waving as he rode by and then disappeared into the Mission Point tunnel of trees.  I’m really not sure who he was, but it was fun that someone knew it was me up there.

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Thursday’s Town Crier announced our arrival.  It ‘s always a mystery to me who collects all this information and provides it to the newspaper!

We went to the Little Stone Church today,and it’s there we saw most everyone we know who we hadn’t already seen during the week.  Nothing makes us feel more welcome than to have island friends wrap us in hugs and say, “Welcome home!”

In the week we’ve been here we’ve spent some great times with Patty and Buz, attended a friend’s birthday party, picked up extra bikes for the summer from our former condo’s owners (thank you Cindy and Steve for your continued graciousness), and inspected (twice) the condo we’ll be moving into once it’s finished (where we’ll settle in for the second time).  There’s been a girls day with Jill, Patty, and Sue, trips to Doud’s and the Island Bookstore, and walks with Maddie in Mission Point.

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Maddie is loving the cooler weather and enjoying her walks again.  She especially enjoys ending the walks sitting on a Mission Point bench and having admirers stop and fuss over her!  When I walk Maddie alone, I use Bear’s old leash.  Yes, it’s way too big for her, but it makes me feel good to still use it.

There have been so many “Bear moments”.  The other day, when we went after the bikes, we walked up and through the Grand Hotel stable.  From there we’d usually see Denise, who works for Carriage Tours at the Surrey Hill Museum.  She’d always spot Bear at the bottom of that hill and yell for him.  We’d release him from his lead, and he’d go flying up the hill – straight into Denise’s arms as she’d kneel to welcome him. Exact same scenario this week – except Denise was standing there, and there was no Bear to send.  Broke my heart – again. It will get better the longer we’ve been here, but those “first times” are going to be brutal.

Tonight we’re going on a Sip ‘n Sail Sunset Cruise, tomorrow there’s a grocery run off island and a porch party tomorrow evening.  And on Tuesday we pick up Jordan and Matthew at the Pellston Airport.  We can’t WAIT for the two of them to get up here!!  Oh, the fun we’ve got planned!

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I haven’t captured the Mission Point beaver family on film yet, but this almost-chewed- through tree trunk proves they’re continuing their building project just off-shore in the Mission.

 

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The Pink Pony (in the Chippewa Hotel) has its own exclusive store now (just off the Chippewa’s lobby).  There’s a new logo and a whole new look to their merchandise –  it is awesome!

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Sailors fold the sails aboard a tall ship that visited the island this week.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Mission Point flowers are absolutely incredible this year!

Mission Point flowers are absolutely incredible this year!

Beautiful beds of day lilies are everywhere. These are in the yard of the condo where we're staying.

Beautiful beds of day lilies are everywhere. These are in the yard of the condo where we’re staying.

It’s been rainy today, so after church and lunch with Patty and Buz (who leave tomorrow for their home in Oklahoma), we’ve been hunkered down for a lazy afternoon.  It’s about time to get ready for that Sip ‘n Sail Sunset Cruise (I don’t think there’s much chance of seeing the sunset), so I’ll close now.

It’s so good to be on Mackinac for the next three months.  Each time we return there’s always a little moment when I secretly wonder if the island could possibly be as wonderful as I remember it.  And each time the island laughs at me and says, “I’m even MORE wonderful than you remember!”

And it always is.

God bless.

 

49757 Postcard – #4 (7/23/16)

Dear Readers,

If you’ve never seen the movie Somewhere in Time, filmed on Mackinac Island, this postcard may have little meaning.

In the movie, there is a scene where Elise McKenna, an actress, is on stage and gives this monologue, which is not part of the script of the play:

The man of my dreams has almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of, in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart. I can almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? "Forgive me. I have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognise you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say. I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you". Such would I say to him if he were really here.

“The man of my dreams has almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of, in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart. I can almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? “Forgive me. I have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognise you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say. I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you”. Such would I say to him if he were really here.”

Christopher Reeve, playing Richard, listening to Elise declare her love.

Christopher Reeve, playing Richard Collier, listening to Elise declare her love.

During our girls’ day, Patty, Jill, Sue and I stood in the auditorium at Mission Point Resort where those words were spoken by Jane Seymour, playing Elise McKenna.

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The stage in Mission Point Resort.

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The chair occupied by Christopher Reeve playing Richard Collier.

If you haven’t seen the movie, find it and rent it or buy it.  THE MOST ROMANTIC MOVIE OF ALL TIME.  I promise!

Wish you were here.

 

49757 Postcard – #3 (7/22/16)

Dear Friends,

While I was taking some solitary time this afternoon out on the deck, it occurred to me how much I’ve been missing the color green.  As I sat there, surrounded by green trees, green grass and green bushes I realized how little of that color we have near us in Florida.  We have beautiful blue water, wonderful cinnamon-colored sand, and the occasional fluff of green at the top of a palm tree.  We have grass, but in the heat of the summer it struggles to remain its intended shade.

On the deck today I felt as though I was swaddled in a lush, dark, deep, well-nourished, as-God-intended-that-color-to-look cocoon of . . . . green-ness. 

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Silly to get so enraptured by a color, isn’t it? 

Wishing you were all here.

 

 

49757 Postcard – #2 (7/21/16)

We had some rain during the morning today, but that didn’t stop Jill, Sue, Patty and I from spending most of the day together (so much fun to see Michigan friends again)!

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We stopped off at the Arnold dock to wish some friends a safe trip out of state and took shelter under the warehouse overhang.

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Since the rain wasn’t letting up, it gave us a good excuse to wander around inside the freight warehouse – which was dry and filled with bikes, burleys, carts, and all sorts of goodies!

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Jill – checking to see if the rain has stopped.

Loving Mackinac - even in the rain!

Loving Mackinac – even in the rain!