First the adventure. When we returned home yesterday from St. Ignace, I had received an email from Captain Mark Thompson of the sloop Welcome asking me to give him a call on his cell. He said he had some important information to give me. When we had toured the ship yesterday, we were told that the Welcome would be docking in Mackinaw City, Traverse City, and Mackinac Island over the next few weeks. But what Captain Mark wanted to tell me was that on Monday (today) there would be a surprise attack on Fort Mackinac by the Welcome.
“Who else knows about this, Mark?” I asked. He said, “The State Park knows that we are coming today, but I didn’t tell them what time. It’s going to be between 12:30 and 1 p.m. We will be sailing from St. Ignace around the north side of the island, coming in from the east. As soon as the fort is in sight, we will open fire with our cannons.” All right! “I will be at the marina with my camera,” I said. “I will call you when we are about 30 minutes out”, said Captain Mark. GREAT!
So at noon today Blake, Ted and I went hiking down to the marina. We had just gotten to the Welcome Center deck when we spotted the tall ship sailing into view. I had just gotten my camera out of my bag when the first cannon shot was fired.
The Welcome fired several more times, and the fort opened fire back with muskets (you know, of course, that all of this was for effect, no real cannon balls or bullets). It was great fun! What Mark didn’t tell me on the phone though was that they were going to moor at the Arnold Dock for a couple of hours. So as we prepared to leave and go eat lunch, we noticed the ship getting closer and closer.
My man Ted, Mr. Welcome Center himself, greeted the crew as they docked – then he and Blake gave them a hand tying up.
We watched Russ start to clean the cannons they had fired – so they’d be ready in case they were attacked on the way out of the harbor later.
I have to confess that I told my buddy Jill about this little surprise attack this morning. She met us at the Welcome Center, then walked down to the Arnold Dock with us. She took a picture of me standing with Captain Mark.
We all had such a good time taking part in the “attack”, and we appreciate the crew letting us in on the surprise!
Before we went downtown this morning, Ted and I had already been on a mission of our own. I haven’t written much about the Bayview Yacht Club race, but the sailboats, which left Port Huron on Saturday, started arriving on the island last night. We left the condo around 7:30 this morning to walk the dogs up to the East Bluff to see if we could get pictures of any of the boats. Instead of coming in under the Mackinac Bridge, these boats come from the east and cross the finish line in front of Mission Point. I got some pics of a couple of boats on this absolutely gorgeous morning on the island, as Ted and the pups waited patiently in the shade.
As we started walking back to the condo, I took a few pictures of some of the East Bluff cottages. It seems we spend so much more time walking on the West Bluff – simply because it is closer to us. The homes on the East Bluff are so beautiful, and I realized I hadn’t shared many of them with you. Here are a few:
As we were leaving the West Bluff, I took this picture of the sunlight coming through the trees. It was so glorious to see the sunshine after several cloudy days, and this scene was a special gift.
A special Happy Birthday to Jill, my new friend. Jill has welcomed me with open arms into her family of friends on this magical island. She has made me feel a part of so many events, invited me to meet with the coffee group, invited me to church, and has kept me filled in on everything that is happening on the island that I might want to be a part of. She is a special, special lady. Thank you, Jill, and again Happy, Happy Birthday!