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Author Topic:   Thanks jimh! Hessel & St.Ignace, MI
ledfoot posted 08-14-2001 01:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for ledfoot   Send Email to ledfoot  
Just got back from a fantastic weekend in my 1993 21' Walkaround. Thanks to Jim's tales about northern Michigan, my wife and I loaded up the Whaler on our new aluminum trailer and set out for Cedarville, Hessel, & St.Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. There was a fantastic wooden boat show this weekend in Hessel, and we cruised from Cedarville, through the Les Cheneaux islands, to Hessel, and then trailered over to St Igance. We overnighted in Cedarville and St. Ignace, and ventured out to Mackinac Island and the surrounding area. The weather was perfect, the boat ran great, and I would recommend this area to anyone with a 17' or larger Whaler.

ps This has to be the Whaler capital of the Midwest. All years, all styles; it was great to see them all out running around!

kingfish posted 08-14-2001 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
ledfoot - isn't that a great area?

We spent the week of July 14 in Cedarville at a resort where I had my Outrage 22 tied up at the dock right out front. Weather was lousy and the fishing (or more accurately, the "catching") wasn't very hot, but I put up the canvas and really enjoyed cruising the islands, seeing all the boat houses, all the woodies, and as you say, all the Whalers. Saw one almost a dead ringer for mine from a distance, arch, canvas, spotlight and all.

Great whitefish sandwiches at the Hessel Inn overlooking the waterfront, and outstanding walleye dinners at the Snows Inn.

I did get one good day of fair weather and steady but light Southwest wind, and took off from Cedarville with a cooler of juices, water, snacks and sandwiches, fueled up at Detour, and traversed the *entire* North Channel and back. Went up through False Detour Passage, above Cockburn and Manitoulin Islands, below Clapperton, up the Waubuno Channel, around to Neptune Island, then back to Little Current for fuel and back the same way to Cedarville. 265 miles in just under 13 hours.

I was very satisfied for the rest of the stay just to poke around Les Cheneaux Islands. I would really like to see the wooden boat show up there some time - was it very crowded?


ledfoot posted 08-14-2001 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for ledfoot  Send Email to ledfoot     
Kingfish, it seemed pretty crowded by U.P. standards. We came by boat, and anchored in Hessel harbor. A 12 year old kid named Justin picked us up in his mid-eighties 13' Whaler ("Its really old", he said) and brought us to shore. "I work for tips" he told us.

I used to own a 1966 Chris Craft, and I've seen quite a few wooden boat shows over the last few years, and this was second only to the Lake Tahoe Concours.

jimh posted 08-15-2001 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Jeff (ledfoot): Man, you do move fast! Welcome to Great Lakes trailer boating. Glad you enjoyed Hessel, et al. Wait until you see Georgian Bay!

kingfish: I have to chuckle about your trip from Hessel to Little Current and back in one day. We did that in the sailboat in 1993--it took us two weeks!

I think the big attraction around the Les Cheneaux Islands used to be the Perch fishing, which seems to have fallen way off.

I do love those old boat houses. too.

ledfoot posted 08-15-2001 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for ledfoot  Send Email to ledfoot     
Jim, I move fast because last summer (my first in Michigan) went by so fast I almost missed it. I'm determined not to miss a day of it, especially after that brutal winter. Remember, you're dealing with a guy that spent the last 20 years in Florida & California...

It was truly beautiful, and I can't wait to see Georgian Bay!

MikeR posted 08-15-2001 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeR  Send Email to MikeR     
Thanks JimH of the great posts regarding N. Michigan. My family used to have a cabin on Hill Island (I think it was Hill) out of Cedarville. We used to take the boat to a greasy spoon call Lils (I think) in Cedarville and shop at the Red Owl Grocery Store. Its been many years but I am looking forward to showing my dad your journals when he visits us this weekend.
kingfish posted 08-15-2001 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I can't attest to Lil's or the Red Owl (they may still be there, I just didn't see them), but Hill Island is still there...We visited some friends who have a cottage on Hill island while we were up there in July. Like a whole lot of other places around Lakes Michigan and Huron, they are suffering from the low water levels. Our friends are unable to dock their 23' SeaRay at their cottage anymore, and have to rent a slip at the other Marina in Cedarville, which name I can't remember but isn't the Cedarville Marina.

There was a lot of talk about the desirability of cottages with "freighter view" in Detour Village.


Buckda posted 08-20-2001 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
MikeR -

Unfortunately, the Red Owl has been replaced by Cedarville Foods - but the service is still great. I was up there to our family's cottage on Hill Island (There seems to be a lot of us on this forum) over the 4th of July weekend. Cedarville foods still offers personal "store credit" to locals. Truly amazing.

Which side of Hill Island is your place on? - ours is south facing - on Hill Channel looking out to Coryell Island and Gov't Island.

I spend every summer as a kid up there - I love all those old Chris-Crafts and of course, the classic whalers.

To JimH's point - I think it's been over ten years since the Perch fishing has been what I would consider "good". I remember limiting out almost every day when I was younger.

kingfish posted 08-20-2001 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
We never got a bite, but I will tell you that wherever they got it, the fresh perch at Snows Inn was soo good I'm still not sure whether I liked the walleye better or the perch. But I think it was the perch...
MikeR posted 08-20-2001 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeR  Send Email to MikeR     
We stayed on 27 acres on the northeast corner of Hill island. I remember the perch fishing used to be pretty consistent--great for a 12 year old. Cut my teeth catching perch at 4 or 5 up there--Dad did not like cleaning fish so I learned very early to filet and clean fish.

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