Day 44 Monday July 24 Update from New Buffalo, MI library

Thursday July 20th turned out to be a good day to take a weather day in Holland, MI.  Winds were strong out of the SW and an early morning thunderstorm would have prevented an early launch.  Downtown Holland was interesting…   every other Thursday they had street musicians in the evening. I addition to the entertainment, I was able to eat a Chicago style hot dog at a place owned by one of the sons of the original Vienna Beef Hot Dog founders…   Also got to a Ben and Jerry’s where I was able to try their new apple pie based ice cream…  always a treat to eat “real” food…   Holland seems like a really nice city and has a working windmill which I viewed from a distance.

On Friday, July 21st,  I paddled from Holland to Glenn Shores.  GPS miles 21.2 averaging 4.3 mph with building, following seas…   I was heading for Mike Glasser’s place near Glen Michigan which I had been to several times…  My GPS way point was right on the money but unfortunately I didn’t believe it because the beach access road to Mike’e place didn’t look familiar since a property owner had built a sea wall since the last time I was there….   I continued paddling to the next access road which looked even less familiar (about 1/4 mile further).   I beached there after managing to land on a submerged boulder about 20 yards off shore and having to back paddle off in the surf.    A woman named Marsha vacationing from St. Louis offered to give me a ride in search of Mike’s home  (which was about 1/2 mile from the lake on the Blue Star Highway).   We found it immediately since my waypoint was exact.  She brought me back to my boat and I paddled back to the Glenn Shores private access road and walked the road back to Mike’s where I was greeted by Darren and Paul doing work on Mike’s property and Laurie who was also at Mike’s (Laurie has been remodeling Mike’s place for the last few years and has really turned it into a show place.  She also is a fabulous cook.)  Peggy, my wife, soon arrived and helped me portage my boat and gear to Mike’s which was going to be my base camp for the next two days of paddling.  

Saturday, July 22nd,  I paddled from Glenn Shores to Rocky Gap beach just north of Benton Harbor.  This was my fastest day of paddling the whole trip.  There were 10-20 mph winds from the north and a small craft advisory so I was getting a great push and had an almost empty boat since I was able to leave my camping gear at Mike’s.  The first 21.5 miles to Hagar Park I did nonstop and averaged 5 mph.  The one challenging part of this trip was traverse around South Haven’s harbor…   the pier was getting hammered by the 3 - 5 foot waves and so I decided to go about 1/4 mile out past the harbor entrance to avoid the reflecting waves from the long pier and the idea of capsizing any where near the pier was a bit scarey.  However as soon as you are that far from the entrance you need to keep a close eye on the horizon for incoming large boats that are traveling very fast and outgoing vessles from the harbor.  Luckily the coast was clear and I made it around the harbor entrance without a problem.  I then finished the trip at Rocky Gap beach for a total mileage of 28.3 miles with an average speed of 4.9 mph and a total moving time of only 5 hrs and 43 minutes.  Maximum speed was 10.3 mph!  Some great offshore surfing and lots of practice bracing as offshore breakers managed to find me periodically…  A fun paddle.  The Nordkapp seems to love surf landings and even when it broaches it somehow manages to “unbroach” and straighten out…  Peggy met me for lunch at Hargar beach and then picked me up at Rocky Gap and delivered me back to Mike Glasser’s for another awesome Laurie feast. 

Sunday, my son Eric joined me in my Dagger Meridian kayak to do the stretch from Rocky Gap to Steve Mulin’s beachfront home near Harbert, Michigan.  When he joined me for the stretch from Betsie Bay to Orahcrd Beach State Park (with Krys Schneider) he had used my Current Designs Expedition.   He enjoyed the Dagger much more and I believe is now a convert to British style boats since he has strong steering skills from all his canoeing in Quetico.  We did 20.8 miles stopping near Grand Meere State park and then at the Warren dunes before arriving at Steve Mullins’ summer place near Harbert, MI.  The water quality is starting to deteriorate again as I am nearing large populations of vacationers and lots of marinas.  Warren Dunes was a shocker since there were more people on the beach there than I had seen since leaving Chicago June 11th.  In our short stop at the Warren Dunes we saw a ranger helping an injured boy off the beach (sprained knee or something), another ranger rushing off to find a supposed heart attack victim and finally an injured, bleeding sea gull that was a few feet from the water and surrounded by sun bathers who didn’t seem to notice.  Eric reported the injured bird to the authorities so they could deal with it.  Welcome back to civilization.

We arrived at Mullins to a neon orange sign that Steve had mounted to his volleyball net on the beach… “Welcome Tom H.”…   Steve and Carol Mullins were about to head back to Evanston and told us we could stay at there beautiful summer home for a couple nights of we wanted to…  Didn’t have to twist my arm.  Since I am now two or three days from Whiting and trying to finish my trip on next Saturday and since Peggy will be able to support me for a few days I decided to stay another night and take the day off.  This week will be a “vacation” week.  I am thinking I will paddle to Beverly Shores Tuesday and then possibly paddling to the next camping spot (Dunes National Lakeshore) and staying there a couple nights with Peggy.  Peggy may join me for the paddle from Beverly Shores to the Dunes campground on Wednesday.  I am planning on paddling to Whiting with Erik Sprenne on Friday and then doing the last segment on Saturday.  I will talk to Erik Spreene today and hopefully he can post directions to this blog for anyone who wants to camp at Whiting on Friday night or paddle to the LPBC on Saturday. 

Well I am about to get kicked off the computer at the library. 

Eric, my son, tells me that Krys posted some photos to the blog from when she and Eric joined me at Betsie Bay.  Thanks Krys…  Also thanks Krys and Eric for making the long trek north to paddle with me from Betsie Bay to Orchard Beach and helping make it possible to get the new seat installed…

I am now kicked off the computer!




One Response to “Day 44 Monday July 24 Update from New Buffalo, MI library”

  1. Erik Sprenne Says:

    All of the arrangements for Tom’s Friday night stay in Whiting are finalized.

    We’ll be camping Friday night at the Whiting-Robertsdale Boat Club (WRBC), which is approximately at the red star at (119th St. will be closed for Pierogifest, so use 117th St to get to Whiting Park - the turn off Indianapolis Blvd for 117th St is at the Diamond Tap). Anyone wishing to join us for Friday nite camping or socializing is welcome, as are capable paddlers who wish to paddle 25 miles with Tom, departing at 9am Saturday morning from WRBC.

    Please RSVP if you plan on coming to Whiting - I can email more detailed directions if the Mapquest map link and comment above do not provide sufficient directions (hint: zoom or de-zoom map with buttons along left side, and pan map in the desired direction by clicking on the dark blue frame of the map).

    Tom Bamonte is coordinating the Saturday paddle, as noted in his CASKA yahoogroup post.

    If anyone wants to join us for the Friday paddle (also 20+ miles), please email me: sprenne(at)