Friday, August 15, 2008

Sailing on Sabbatical

Our sailing trip to Michigan was filled with beauty and wonder, fun and good eating, frustration and work, good weather and not so good weather. But all in all it was a wonderful get away and time to begin to relax and separate from the business and busyness of life and ministry at Cedarly.
We left home on Friday, August 1st, hoping to sail to Michigan on Saturday. But alas, it was not to be...engine trouble, a temporary crown thrown overboard by accident, rough waves developing...and we were headed back to the Manitowoc. It was Wednesday by the time we were ready to sail...with some doubts as to whether or not we were supposed to go. In the end, we were glad we went ahead with the trip. Altogether we were ON the boat for 2 weeks...our longest time aboard. We were actually in Michigan 8 days, docking in Manistee, Frankfort, Leland, and Arcadia. We motor-sailed across from Manitowoc to Manistee, MI (about 56 nm) on a pretty sunny warm day. It took 9 hours and a storm developed in the last 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Fortunately it was just a little rain and wind that cleared soon after we docked at the city marina. We have been to Manistee before and I fell in love with the 2 mile board walk along the river from downtown to the beach. The sunsets are of my favorite things about being in Michigan.

One of the things I love best about sailing is watching for lighthouses ~ and visiting them when we can. I find the history of the lighthouses and the ships they served to be facinating. The stories of the lighthouse keepers and their families was often lonely and difficult, but they saw purpose and meaning in their work.

This trip we were able to see several and visit/tour two. The one above is the Pointe Betsie Lighthouse in Benzie County, just north of Frankfort. It is the 2nd most photographed lighthouse in the USA...and I took my share of pictures. The lighthouse was in operation from 1858-1984 (the last manned lighthouse in mainland Michigan).

The lighthouse below is the South Manitou Island Lighthouse and is a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It was in operation from 1871-1958 and was key to the shipping route through the Manitou Passage to Chicago. For many years the Island provided a natural harbor for ships needing a safe refuge and it also was a wood fueling site for steamers.

Twice along the way we had some gas leakage into the engine compartment...a bit disconcerting to say the least. Both times, God placed men in sailboats next to us or across from us in the marinas to give Andy sound advice and encouragement...a wonderful provision.

Along the way we spent many hours thinking, reflecting, and reading. We realized later that we really didn't talk that much. It was our own little mini retreat (minus the services of Mike, the chef). Andy read WALKING WITH GOD ~ John Eldredge's newest book. On our road trip, I plan to read it and we will talk about it as we drive.

I read a variety of books (almost one a day). One of the most challenging ones was a biography about Madame Guyon. She was shunned by her mother, given in marriage as a young teenager to a much older wealthy man, abused by her mother-in-law, and persecuted by church leaders. From 1698 to 1702 she lived in solitary confinement in the notorious Bastille (at the same time and place as the legendary prisoner #64389000, the man with the iron mask). In all, she stayed in prison eight years. Then she lived in exile for the rest of her life. Her crime? She believed that anyone could pray to God any time, any where. She wrote a book calaled A SHORT AND VERY EAST METHOD OF PRAYER.

The Manistee North Pierhead Light has been working, providing a fog signal and a light tower, since 1871. This particular one was actually built in 1927. One of the nights we were there, the waves were 3-5 feet ~ the water looked foreboding, fierce, almost angry. The waves crashed against the breakwater and provided quite a show.

We left for home on Thursday, the 14th. It was a 62 nm trip and took us 10 1/2 hours. The water was completely still and like glass when we left Arcadia. By the time we were 15 miles from Manitowoc, the wind and the waves were pounding the White Iris. We are grateful for favorable winds both ways so we could motor-sail and make good time. We were especially grateful for safe passage.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Your pictures are beautiful! Looks like you had a nice time. I am really glad that you liked The Fusion too. Especially since it was your anniversary. :)