The Mack

We crossed from Beaver Island through a million reefs and small islands to get to the Mackinaw Bridge (the Mack) spanning from lower Michigan to the Yooper (Michigan speak for the upper peninsula). It was a tough sail – 10-15 knot winds gusts to 30 from the NW…brrrr. Thank goodness for the dodger. Now we’re talking Lake Superior-style waves – quartering on us which isn’t the most fun to ride out. But there was a lot to see and a lot to avoid!

Because there were so many reefs, the ships had to follow a buoyed channel, take a right at the lighthouse and go under the Mack bridge. We cut. Literally right through the channels using our GPS and depth finder. A huge laker going up bound and a tug pulling a barge down bound passed each other. The tug actually pulled over and waited for the laker to go through the buoyed channel. I would have gotten photos but the dang waves were too rough.

And then we saw the Mack. It was hard to get the entire thing in one photo! There was actually a traffic jam on the bridge as we went under – spring construction we guessed based on the equipment on the bridge.


After we crossed the bay to Mackinaw Island, we went for our usual walk to get some exercise and I took this photo looking back at the bridge. We left Beaver Island by 8:30 a.m. and cruised into the harbor at Mackinaw Island by 2:30 p.m. – we thought it would take us until 5 p.m. to get there when we did our originally planning. Big winds = faster arrival!

mack bridge from shore

Mackinaw Island was very beautiful and very touristy. Not really our style, but it was fun to spend a couple of nights there. We biked around the island, walked up to the St. George Hotel, listened to revelry in the morning and taps at night from the boat, and walked around town. If you want fudge, this is your town. (I am sure its not as good as Chelsea’s at the Gunflint Mercantile!)

Again, we were they only boat in the harbor and there wasn’t any services. Dang. No heat or showers. But we did find a laundry in town and the grocery store was super close. The last night we put a puzzle together of Lutsen Resort given to me by Katie Ilstrup, listened to the new Christopher Moore book, Nior, and drank some wine. Fun!

One thought on “The Mack

  1. Glad to see that frostbite has not claimed you two😏 I’ve enjoyed following your adventure so far and look forward to more posts of your trip!
    Mackinaw Island was way too busy for me when I visited, but the north end of the island where the resident workers live and the park areas were very nice. I imagine that you’ll sail past the Keewanaw peninsula and the apostles on your way to Grand Marais; what fun it would be to sail those areas!


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