Sunday, November 2, 2014

South Haven Weekend Getaway Days 2-3

Walked downtown for breakfast from Golden Brown Bakery... yummy!
Waking up on my own comfy boat "home" and knowing I'm somewhere new is one of the best things about boating for me.  No matter where we travel with Seapickle or how far from home, we're always taking our "home" with us.  I know people like to talk about the cost of owning and maintaining a boat and how everything seems to break at once, but to us, boating is like an extended vacation 6 months out of the year.  And, how else can you guarantee a water-view room so close to downtown?  Ahhhh... boating. :-)

View from the boat... just a block to downtown, and a short walk to the lake.
Seapickle Photo Opp
Sporting the nautical and Four Winns gear
After breakfast on the boat, we took a walk downtown in search of ice cream, cute nautical shops, a bookstore, and maybe some food.  We found all of those and more!  South Haven, of the Western Michigan ports, has one of our favorite downtowns with so much to do and see.

Frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for a change (note the two cups)
Taking a break in a bookstore... one of my favorite things to do!  (yes that's a dog in the background)
Sunset in South Haven, Michigan 
Late night dinner at Clementine's
We enjoyed a leisurely day just walking around downtown, then took a nap after a late lunch, woke up in time for sunset and then walked over to a really late dinner at Clementine's.  The next morning, we weren't really in a rush to leave, so we slept in a bit and went for a ride on the lake before heading back to the ramp.  We took Blue Star Highway to Red Arrow on the way home, and couldn't resist a stop at Redemak's for lunch.  Parking the boat at Redamak's was a new experience for us, but definitely worth it.  We took Route 12 in Indiana the rest of the way home, and it was probably the easiest tow we've ever had.  Can't believe we haven't done this trip before, but we will definitely be adding it the list for next summer.

Seapickle in the parking lot at Redamak's
The kind of cheeseburger you crave all winter long

South Haven Weekend Getaway

Daydreaming of Lake Michigan
 On a Monday in August, halfway through the day at work, we decided to we needed to run away on the boat for the weekend... somewhere on the Southern coast of Michigan.  Calling around, I finally found a slip available at South Haven's South Municipal Marina. A 40 foot slip, a little too big for 26 foot Seapickle, but a slip nonetheless. :-)  With something to look forward to, we made it through the rest of the workweek and drove up the coast on Friday afternoon, pulling Seapickle on the trailer, almost 2 hours to South Haven.
About to get ready to launch in South Haven
Black River Park Launch Ramp (too short)
Hmmm... will we make it?
We arrived to Black River Park launch ramp in the late afternoon, launched and tied to the too-short dock.  I had called the Municipal Marina on the drive up and was told we could leave the truck/trailer for the weekend in the parking lot there.  Even though South Haven is such a short trip from home, we had never taken Seapickle!  We enjoyed the trip down the river from the ramp, with just one scary moment when we weren't quite sure if the boat would clear the bridge (it did). :-)

Boater's Beach?? Well.. 2 boats
Happy as could be :-)
At the last moment, instead of turning into the marina, we continued down the channel to the lake... in search of the South Haven version of "boater's beach."  There weren't many boats out, but a few were anchored just off shore of Van Buren State Park, so we joined them!  It was still a few hours til sunset, and the water was a perfect 78 degrees.  It's so interesting to me how every beach/shore along Lake Michigan is different, with a slightly different color/feel of sand and size/color rocks.  We swam and walked the beach for an hour or so, then headed back to the marina to find our slip before sunset.

Headed in to find our slip at South Haven Municipal Marina South
"Baby" Seapickle
Our slip was just inside the Municipal Marina South - hard to miss between 2 boats MUCH bigger than Seapickle.  A nice couple from Chicago helped us dock, and we got to work getting settled in (lines tied, power cord, etc). After a quick rest, checking in, and some people watching on the dock, we went out in search of dinner!  We're usually pretty late dinner eaters, so most times we end up at some type of bar/pub... and this time didn't disappoint.  We ordered the fish 'n chips and perch at Black River Tavern, and both were very good.  We really enjoyed the atmosphere too, but got out just before karaoke was set to begin and took the short walk back to the boat.

A wonderful "first" day in South Haven for Seapickle!

Seapickle II anchored outside Van Buren State Park