Yachts and Yachts of Fun 7/19/2012

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

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.

That tiny red dot in the extreme left of this photograph is the Bernida.

After crossing the finish line at Windermere Point, the Bernida sails back past the lighthouses to dock in the Mackinac Island Marina.

The beautifully restored Bernida.

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

A happy group of sailors cruises into the harbor.

Sails fill the cut between the breakwater and the Passage Light.

The Jalapeno and her crew.

Looking back toward the marina from the coal dock – a sea of masts.

Wish I had this lady’s camera lens! Talk about close-ups!

Random Photos from This Week

“Hey Rex! Don’t you just love that Carriage Tours has given us our own personal AC unit here at Surrey Ridge?”

One of my favorite yards on the West Bluff. Magnificent flowers!

A beautiful Friesian, almost hidden in the trees.

Our condo neighbor Judy, with Maddie. So glad she’s back with us this summer!

Wednesday’s sunset by Shepler cast member Kollin Currie.

Other News

If you haven’t checked on the Dog-Eared Page lately, Bear has a new post you might like:

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.

God bless.

17 thoughts on “Yachts and Yachts of Fun 7/19/2012

  1. The Bernida is beautiful, great job on the restoration for sure. Thanks for telling us all about it Ted.
    Have a safe and wonderful trip. Sounds like fun. Make sure you take lots of pictures…silly me…of course you will. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    P.S. tick…tick..tick…tick

  2. Great story on the Bernida! I saw it there at the dock earlier this summer and figured someone must be working on it. Thanks for filling in the blanks! Have a great trip to Canada, Eh! (That never gets old.)

  3. Brenda, if you have never had chocolate from Canada you don’t know what you are missing, its wonderful. I especially love the Mars bars (can’t get them in the US). Another favorite of mine is Scottish Mints, they have a hard outside and become soft as you eat them, kind of like a Mento only better. The Walmart brand is very good and addicting!
    Have fun!

  4. I wrote a nice comment, but forgot to click the Post button before I left the page. Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful blog and pictures. Do you or Ted know what year the Bernida was built?

  5. Especially enjoyed Ted’s post about the Bernida and all the pics. We were on the island one year for the end of one of the races (it’s been a few years so I can’t remember which one) and it was thrilling to watch all the boats come in. Neat times on Mackinac! Enjoy your time in Canada!

  6. Loved the pictures of the boats and Ted, I really enjoyed your story on the Bernida. Hope the 4 of you enjoy your stay in Canada.

  7. Enjoyed the story of the Bernida. Nice job Ted!
    It is so nice to see the photo of Judy, I have not seen her in a while.
    Have a wonderful trip. We’ll be looking forward to your next post. Have a safe journey.

  8. Great report Ted! Hard to image a boat still sailing after 91 years when cars are basically done after 10 years! LOL!! Brenda, I read the dog paged. It was entertaining as always. Did your puppies inherit your journalism skills?!

  9. Thanks Ted for the great story! May you and Bree and Bear and Maddie have a beautiful time in Canada! Great pictures also Bree!

  10. Brenda:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for writing about the new Grand Hotel horse stable and carriage museum. We were on the island this past Saturday and our kids ages 5 and 8 wanted to pet the horses. They got to pet one for a short time at Cindy’s Stables and then later on we hiked up the hill and went and visited the stable and museum. The worker at the stable took out the house Dan from his stall and let the kids pet the horse for a long time and answered the kids questions. Getting to pet Dan was the highlight of our trip. If I wasn’t a regular reader of your blog I never would have known about this. Thanks again.


    • Amy, so glad you visited the Grand stable – we just love that it’s so close to us now. Wonderful folks work there!!

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