Sailing on Lake Michigan


I have been on two hour sailing trips in Grand Traverse Bay before. It was so much fun that I wanted more. I signed up for a four night windjammer trip on the Manitou with the Traverse City Tall Ship Company. I loved it. Why did I love it? This is why…




The beautiful sunsets, sunrises and scenery…





The wonderful people that you get to know and have a blast with…





The awesome, mouth-watering, savory, delicious food! This and more made for an amazing experience.








The sky is always changing. It’s a constant picture show.





If you wanted to help, the crew was glad to show you how to do things. If you just wanted to relax and enjoy the trip; that was acceptable too.







A passenger and crew member are hoisting a small sail.





That’s Jack, one of the crew members.





This is Alex showing them the ropes.








Lou, another crew member, is in the red shirt. Look at the ladies hair. It shows how the wind was blowing that day.





Talking shop.





Blue, blue, blue. Sooooo pretty and relaxing.





I love this picture. Doug has been on these trips before and he knows how to enjoy the experience. He about always had a smile on his face.








Even when they weren’t working the sails, they were always working on something. Jack almost looks like he’s playing an instrument here.





Ahhhhh. Water.





When we docked or dropped anchor at night, we were allowed to use those kayaks.





That’s Mary Stewart Adams in the white hoodie. I think it’s appropriate that there’s a dark sky behind her, because she was instrumental in getting the International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City established.





A couple of Mary’s demonstrations were down here in the galley, but most of the time she was up on deck pointing out the stars to us and telling us their stories. Once in a while that wasn’t possible because the sky was cloudy, but we got to see and learn plenty. It was interesting and fun.





That’s Mary in the light blue and her sister is the brave one next to her, sitting on the edge. The wind was blowing and the waves were rocking.





These pictures are when Mary led us in a song. It was fun because we did it in rounds just like “Row, Row, Row your Boat.”





Captain Dave; smiling and enjoying life.





Lou; there were plenty of smiles.


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The above five pictures were of our singing session with Mary Stewart Adams. The rocking motion and the wind blowing on your face felt great. I enjoyed the whole trip, but this was one of my favorite parts. Everyone was laughing and having a fun time.





Captain Dave couldn’t be at the wheel every second, so Alex took over. I don’t think he minded at all.





Our fearless Captain Dave.





This was awesome. If you wanted to go out on the bow, they put a harness on you and Jack helped you out there.





This guy was one of the first ones out there. He participated in everything. No fear here.





Jack is in the sunglasses.





This picture cracks me up. Vicki and Jack just sat out there for a while chatting like they were sitting at a kitchen table.





Sorry. Time to go back to the deck.





I’ll let you guess if she had a good time!





Andy’s turn!








Andy looked pretty happy out there too!





I only got one picture of Michelle out there and my camera battery died. I didn’t know at the time that there was a place on board to recharge. There were four others that went out on the bow and I have no pictures of them.


Attention fellow passengers:  I would love to post your pictures on here. If you have pictures of going out on the bow or anything else unique; please send them to me at   One person sent me pictures and I never received them. (That was on my personal email) Maybe the file was too big? I’m not good at technology, so I don’t know why I didn’t get them. Only send two or three at the most in an email. Thanks!


I’m terrible at names. If I got a name wrong or left a name out, please email me with it or put it in the comments on my blog. I’ll try to fix it. Thanks again!




Thank you Rita for sending me this picture. Rita is one of the ladies that work in the galley and was responsible for our delicious meals. It takes courage to get out there on the bow. This woman doesn’t know how to slow down or take it easy. I want to be like her!





All this is the anchor and the chain and rope for the anchor. That heavy, little bugger can be a nuisance on rare occasions.




This one time, they had to work hard to get the anchor up, but persistence paid off at the end. I’m not sure what was going on. I just stayed out of their way. They know what they’re doing.





Alex was cranking hard on the bar to get the anchor issue resolved.







I had to post the above two pictures because the lady in blue looked like she was having so much fun!





The Coast Guard was doing some training. We got an unexpected show.





The first day out we saw this cruise ship in the Grand Traverse Bay. I didn’t even know ships that big came in there. I’m sure they’re fun to go on, but I preferred the Tall Ship. It was more personal and intimate. Everyone became good friends. We were like one big family for those few days.





Just one more treat from nature.





I was behind the camera the whole time, so one of the passengers helped me out and took my picture for me. I want to remember this trip forever.


For more information on this company, check out:






Just trying to take it all in. Wow. Such an amazing trip!





This sky was amazing . The clouds were hanging low and reminded me of a ceiling with wood beams going across it. Only, the sky had cloud beams and it actually stretched in an arch far across the sky and seemed to roll out forever and ever…





While docked in North Port, we had a special treat. A lady who was an expert in rock collecting came to talk to us about Petoskey stones and other stones and rocks.





She had these rocks polished to a shine! Her collection was amazing.





If you think rocks rock, contact this lady. She knows her stuff!





I just have to show off the food! Three scrumptious meals a day and three snacks. Like they said, “if you go hungry on this trip, it’s not their fault!”


I was told that was Cous Cous by a passenger. I have no clue. I only know I loved it. Lexie, the chef, loves mushrooms and actually goes out and picks them herself!





This was one of several delicious breakfasts. Ham, fresh baked biscuits, marmalade and scrambled eggs.


If you have special dietary requirements, you can let them know ahead of time and they will accommodate you.





That is Lexi, the chef, and Rita, the Galley Assistant. These two amazing ladies were responsible for running the kitchen and keeping us well fed.







Geesh. My mouth is watering just remembering this meal! (The above two pictures)




They always had some fresh baked bread or biscuits for each meal. They baked their cookies too, so they were warm with melted chocolate chips. Yum!





Whalaa! Delicious!




That stew was fantastic.





I love this picture!





Wednesday and Thursday night we anchored, so Captain Dave brought us to shore in that dinghy. Friday night we docked at North Port.





Wow. God is a master artist.








The above two pictures are the throat team (I think). To hoist the main sail, they needed volunteers on each side of the boat. When a team was ready, the crew member leading that team would holler “Ready on the throat!” The other side would holler “Ready on the Peak!” Then the order to haul away would be given. Both sides would pull on the rope, passing it to the person behind them. Each team was lifting one side of the sail. The goal was to pull it up evenly. If one team got ahead they stopped to let the other one catch up.








The above two pictures are the peak team.





Look at those muscles on Alex! I told you the scenery was great!





Either Jack is getting ready to fly or jump down onto the deck.





I love these pictures because it shows how much work this all is, but it’s fun too!





I never before thought about where the term “learning the ropes” came from. Now I know! There’s a lot to it.





We were lucky and had good wind for the sails on this trip. We, at one time, were going 9 knots. Okay, I’ll confess. I have no clue how fast a knot is, but everyone seemed to be happy and impressed with that number. All I know is it was great weather for sailing.









What are they doing in this picture and the next one? To get the rope tighter, they’re pulling on the rope and “falling” backwards; then swinging in a circular motion and coming back up. This gives them more leverage to get the ropes to do what they need them to do.




Look at Lou’s hair. I’ve got proof the wind was out to play that week.





Lou and the others were so good about explaining things to us and answering our questions.





Bring your binoculars!





As Vicki was walking past me, the boat rocked; so I asked her to pose to show the motion of the boat. Her surfer type pose is great. I imagine it’s a similar feeling; having the waves beneath you and lifting you up, down and all around.








This is Lillie. She is a Captain and came aboard for the last night to be with her dad, Doug. She’s a very impressive person to meet and talk to.








This is Captain Debbie (for the moment anyways). She looks like a natural. They were good about letting the passengers steer for a while.








At the end of our trip we saw this. I’m not sure if it was a class or a race, but it was fun to watch.


I have another post on my blog about the two hour evening sail I went on last year. If you want to see it; click on menu. Then click on “Books and Events” and then scroll down to “Sail Away: The Schooner, the Better.”





Wow. I’m getting choked up. This was an exceptional group of people. Everyone got along so great. I know I won’t ever see most of them again and I guess that’s where the emotion comes in. I had a great time. You all were awesome and I’m going to miss you!








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