Ahhhhhh . . . . we’ve returned to normal-for-Mackinac-Island temperatures. The cool air was ushered in with a few showers two nights ago, and since then it’s been perfect weather – except we still could use more rain. Yeah for the cooler weather though!
The Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race has ended, and the Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race will begin on Saturday, July 21. Two full weeks of sleek, beautiful sailboats racing madly toward Mackinac, then tying up in the marina for a few days of fun and relaxation for the crews. Unfortunately, we’re going to miss most of the action on this second one because we’ll be in Canada – more on that later.
Ted had a particular interest in one of the boats in the Bayview to Mackinac race, following it online for much of the race. He was so excited about it I asked him to write a “guest” piece for this post, and he agreed. So here’s the story of a boat called the Bernida, and her trip through racing history – in Ted’s own words . . .
Several years ago, I read an article in the Town Crier about Emory Barnwell’s efforts to restore the yacht Bernida, a historic sloop that had won both the inaugural Bayview Yacht Club Race in 1925, sitting out a year, then winning again in 1927. After that 1927 win, the Bernida dropped out of sight until Toby Murray rediscovered it almost 75 years later (in 2000) in a warehouse, and Bart Hathwaite of Mackinac Island purchased it in 2004. Through the efforts of these gentlemen and many more, the Bernida made what might be its final appearance in this year’s Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. (An article on the complete history of the Bernida will be available free online in four weeks in the July 14-July20, 2012 issue of the Mackinac Island Town Crier www.mackinacislandnews.com.)
Brenda and I went down to the Arnold coal dock several times after the boat was brought to the Island to watch the progress Emory was making on the restoration, and to say he did a great job would be a huge understatement. The finished Bernida was a true masterpiece, and our hats are off to Bart, Toby, Emory, and all the others who saw this project to completion.
I had been tracking the race progress of the Bernida this week on the Bayview web site, and when it was about three miles from the Island, I went down to Windermere Point for the historic finish. From what I could tell from the tracking information at that time, she was first in the Division II shore course and also first in her class, and that’s how she finished – with a corrected time of 41 hours 34 minutes 42 seconds.
Congratulations to Al Declercq, present owner and skipper of the Bernida, and his crew for a great job sailing the oldest boat in the race into sailing history.
More Race Photos
Random Photos from This Week
If you haven’t checked on the Dog-Eared Page lately, Bear has a new post you might like: http://mackinacislanddogearedpage.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/tours-by-bear-7-18-2012/
On Sunday after church, we’ll be leaving for three nights in Canada with Georgia friends Donna & Brad Prudden. The camp where we’re going has been in Brad’s family for many, many years, and Donna and Brad try to get up there for a few weeks each summer. They stayed with us a couple of nights last summer on their way up and invited us up this year. It’s near Little Current in Ontario and is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from the border. We always bring our passports with us to Michigan because we’re only about 50 miles from the border, but we’ve never used them. We also always bring Maddie and Bear’s Rabies Certificates, which is good because they’ll need them to cross the border. Yes! They were invited too! We are excited and looking forward to this adventure into the north woods of Canada.
I’m trying to find out if I’ll have internet service, and if I will, I’ll take the laptop along and try to post once from there. If you don’t hear from me, you’ll know service wasn’t available. In that case, I’ll be posting again next Friday, July 27 (or Thursday night).
Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here either at the first of next week from Canada or next Friday, back on the Island.