Courtesy of Dick Webster
Our Grand Banks’ home port of Charlevoix is on a lake with 56 miles of shoreline, three towns, and numerous protected anchorages.
completely renovated in 2003. One hundred fifty well-appointed slips and complete facilities (with free wi-fi)
serve local and transient yachts. A well-stocked visitors’
center just two blocks from the marina provides plentiful
information and brochures detailing the myriad activities
and sights in Traverse County.
Downtown Traverse City is a historic “manifestation
of preservation.” No brand-name chain shops here;
rather, visitors encounter boutiques, antiques stores,
rustic shops, galleries—the kinds of places we always
wish to discover in seaport venues. A favorite downtown
restaurant is The Amical, a bistro with an eclectic menu,
which we enjoyed our first night in town. The following
evening we took an eight-minute cab ride from the
marina to Trattoria Stella, which provides authentic
Italian fare bolstered by fresh local ingredients. This
rathskeller hybrid is nestled in The Village at Grand
Traverse Commons, a study in preservation/restoration
of acreage and old brick buildings that years ago
comprised the old Michigan state sanitarium.
DAY IV: BOWERS HARBOR
Having stowed booty from our shopping spree on
Front Street, we bid adieu to the marina late morning
and set a northwesterly course for Bowers Harbor.
It is a mere one-hour run to this very well-protected
anchorage, an 8.6-nautical-mile straight shot from
Traverse. Just before coming abeam of Marion Island
on our port side, we captured some digital shots of
Château Grand Traverse, a vineyard, winery, and inn
that presides high atop Old Mission Peninsula and
commands a spectacular view of West Bay, Leelanau
Peninsula, Lake Michigan, and beyond.
Good holding was found on a sandy bottom at the
northwest shore of the harbor. Being mid-June, the bay
was still too chilly for taking a dip from the aft swim
platform, but the warm sun allowed for an enjoyable nap
on the flybridge. Joni was pleased that our Shakespeare
antenna/amplifier was able to provide a very clear
picture from the Traverse station. (TV Channel 10 also
provides excellent boating forecasts every two hours.)