BOATS AND PEOPLE
There were 11 Boston Whaler boats in the water:
- ANNA C 1996 11-footer with custom interior powered by c.1991 Mercury 25-HP two cylinder, captained by Sam D, arriving on the water from Cheboygan (pictured below)
- GIDDY UP 1983 Center Console 15 powered by c.1980 Mercury 115-HP six cylinder, captained by Bob D, arriving on the water from Cheboygan
- Mischief 15 powered by 2018 E-TEC 60 H.O. not captained but available for guest use, already at the rally point
- EMMARIE JEAN 1966 Sakonnet 16 powered by 2-13 E-TEC 90 captained by John R, trailered from Minnesota
- 1978 Montauk 17 powered by 2007 E-TEC 115 captained by Dave B, trailered from Cedarville (Upper Peninsula)
- DON'S DAUNTLESS 1995 17 Dauntless powered by 2003 Evinrude Ficht 115 captained by host Don J, already at the rally point
- BW-1 1987 Outrage 18 powered by a 1987 Johnson 150 captained by Con B, arriving by trailer from Suttons Bay
- PAU HANA 1978 Outrage V-20 powered by a 2004 Suzuki DF115 captained by Dave H, arriving by trailer from Detour Village (Upper Peninsula)
- WHITEWATER a 1973 Outrage 21 powered by a Yamaha 200 captained by Don M, arriving by trailer from Port Huron
- CONTINUOUSWAVE 1990 Revenge 22 W-T Whaler Drive powered by a 2010 E-TEC 225 captained by Jim H, arriving by trailer from Grand Traverse Bay
- INVICTUS a 1983 Outrage 25 Cuddy powered by twin 1991 Yamaha 200 captained by Matt B, arriving by trailer from Harbor Springs
In addition to the captains mentioned above, there were first-mates Mindy, Elsa, Martha, Kathy, Gail, Chris, and Carmen, two children, a grandmother, a grandfather, and two old friends. Also boat dogs Wilson, Gus, and Jack, and house dog Patience.
The distance from Rally Point to Alanson and return was about 50-miles.
The weather on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. was very cool (45-degrees) and cloudy (solid low gray clouds) with a west-southwest wind of about 10-knots. By about 10 a.m. the fleet was assembled off Silver Beach in Mullet Lake, with the exception of the MISCHIEF 15, which was available for anyone who came without a boat but had no takers, and WHITEWATER, which was starting from the Indian River.
The nine boats headed south on Mullet Lake, through the Indian River marsh delta where we met the tenth boat, thence through the town of Indian River, and on to the southeast end of Burt Lake. At that point the conditions reached their most unfavorable, as there was still no sign of the sun, and with the long fetch on Burt Lake at the mouth of the river the waves were mostly two-footers and nearly white caps. Two boats elected to defer and turned around for lunch in Indian River, and eight boats went on to cross Burt Lake and enter the Crooked River.
Due to the generally not pleasant boating conditions, the eight-boat fleet had the Crooked River all to itself, and all boats were able to make uninterrupted high-speed runs in the river in the permitted areas without having to shut down for oncoming traffic. (In these parts of the river the no-wake rule is only implemented when another boat is 100-feet away.) About this time the sun began to appear, making the 55-degree temperature more tolerable.
Because of the lack of other traffic, the fleet reached Alanson around 1 p.m. and found the town docks had eight slips available, again due to the absence of other boats on the water.
We had a nice lunch in a warm dining room, and then got underway for the return trip about 2:30 p.m. The return trip is always faster as all the no-wake segments--many miles of them--are now with a favorable current boost. All boats returned to the rally point except one that hauled out at the ramp in Indian River. The whole route, Bybrook to Alanson and return, was about 50-miles by water.
Due to a declining forecast for Sunday, many boats hauled out or returned to their home port late Saturday afternoon, but all crews returned for the wonderful Saturday evening dinner, hosted by Don and Elsa at their cottage. A record crowd of 23-people were seated.
After dinner a number of boaters had to depart, leaving a core of diehards who sat up late into the night, telling stories and reviewing pictures and recordings of this trip and the NC2018 cruise this summer.
Boat brought the longest distance: EMMARIE JEAN from Minnesota
Oldest boat: EMMARIE JEAN 1966
Newest boat: ANNA C 1996
Smallest boat: ANNA C 11-foot
Largest boat: INVICTUS 25-feet
Least horsepower: 25 on the ANNA C 11-footer
Most horsepower 400 on the INVICTUS Outrage 25
The youngest participant: Wilson, a six-month old German Shepard
Youngest human participant: Matt B's youngest son
Youngest captain: Sam D, age 14
Smallest crew: one aboard (tie with four boats)
Largest crew: INVICTUS with six aboard
Engine brands: Evinrude direct-injection two-stroke on five boats (four E-TEC, one FICHT), Yamaha classic two-stroke on two boats, Mercury classic two-stroke on two boats, Johnson classic two-stroke on one boat, and Suzuki four-stroke on one boat. Ten of 11 boats had two-stroke power. One one boat, BW1, had its original 1987 engine, the other ten boats had been re-powered.
And very special mention and our gratitude for hosting goes to Don and Elsa, particularly to Elsa for the fabulous dinner she prepared for Saturday:
--mixed green salad with pears, bleu cheese, and dried cranberries in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing
--pork tenderloin in a brandy and cream sage sauce with apples
--roasted squash with pecans, brown sugar, and butter
--roasted brussel sprouts with bacon
The dessert course was a collective effort of brownies, fudge, and cherry pies.
The 2018 Mullet Lake Fall Cruise was a success, even if the weather was not ideal. The boating was fun, the food and drink were excellent, the company was most pleasant, and the hosts were--as always--fabulous.