Day 29 Leelanau State Park to Leland

This is Tom back on a computer at the Lelanau Historical Museum (after hours) courtesy of Laura Quackenbush, the  curator and helping hand for my stay in Leland.

The paddle today was 19.1 miles, avg speed 3.1 mph.  Nancy Thornton paddled with me today.  We paddled into the wind all day and faced 2-3 foot waves from the SW…  After yesterday’s harrowing crossing of the Grand Traverse Bay (emphasis GRAND traverse), today was fun. 

Nancy was good company, an awesome paddler and brings really great lunch food (tuna salad with lots of salad). 

Nancy and I had dinner at the Blue Bird restaurant with Laura Quackenbush and Dave Dickerson.   Dave used to work at Rutabaga and is working with Scott at Rutabaga to rush a reaplcement seat for the Nordkapp.  The quick fix in Harbor Springs didn’t survive the grand traverse…   the plastic completley cracked.  I now have a boat with a lopsided seat that makes it a little more tippy than it’s ususal tippy self.

Denny Thorley accompanied me yesterday on the 15 mile trip from Fisherman Island State Park to Leelanau State Park.  The crossing part was 8  miles.   The first three were relatively easy…  then the winds kicked up from the South…  probably 15 - 20 mph winds…  later they changed directions and came in from the west with a contant 20mph force with gusts much higher…  wave height was 3-4 ft or so, but the waves were confused and the wind was relentless.  We were probably averaging 2 mph for those last 5 miles…   we had to paddled into the SW winds directly into the waves in order to not get blown to the U.P.  It was the most difficult crossing of the trip so far.  What would have been a terrifying crossing alone, turned out to be only a “crossing from Hell” since Denny was with me.  Denny is one of the strongest paddlers I ahve ever paddled with.

Tomorrow (Monday) I will go to DH Day Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National  Park.  The next day will travel from there to Betsie Bay Lighthouse where I will meet up with my son Eric and Krys Schneider who will be joining me for a couple days of paddling.

The coast today was beautiful…   huge sand dune bluffs and blue green water in the shallows and dark blue waters in the deep… 

The trip is going really well and I am gaining lots of weight since everyone feels obligated to feed me and give me food.  No wonder the seat broke.  :-)



5 Responses to “Day 29 Leelanau State Park to Leland”

  1. Andrew McFarlane Says:

    Saturday was quite windy in the Leelanau area and it was really choppy - that’s some serious paddling for sure.

  2. Frits Kwant Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Looks like you’re making great progress in spite of conditions!

    just wanted to let you know that when you get to our beach the Whitehall Beacon would like to do a piece on you including pics. (I alerted the editor and he assigned a reporter). The big crossings are behind you, now it’s just mileage. We are eagerly awaiting your safe arrival.

    If you can let us know your approx. time of arrival a day or so ahead so I can notify the photographer and reporter.

    Frits Kwant

  3. Larry Wyse Says:

    Hi tom. We have a couple tee shirts and a tan pair of nylon shorts. You left them in the washer. What shall we do with them?

    Larry (Naubinway)

  4. Ryan Says:

    Hey Tom,

    Great to hear that the trip has gone well. I love your descriptions of the water and the colors and eagerly await your homecoming and listening to some of your stories in person. Imagine you and Eric are having a great time together. Take care, and have a safe rest of the way.


  5. Tom Heineman Says:

    Larry… if you mail them to me at 7734 N Eastlake Terrace Chicago IL 60626 I will send you the postage… thanks! They have been replaced at this point but they do have some sentimental value (one is from Tokyo!)