Beating the Heat


It’s 12:30am. I’m laying in my tent trying to convince myself to get up to take a leak. It has been 51 days and my body was letting me know it for sure. I knew the Great Lakes would be one of the biggest tests of the trip, and after a big day battling headwinds the day before, just getting up out of the tent was a big chore.

I unzip the tent…and instantly my excitement builds. A big huge moon was lighting up the sky, the smell of the tree line lingering in the air…and best of all…the water was flat as could be. With the threat of big storms in the afternoon, it was time to go.

I’ve paddled around sundown before, but never have I had a true night paddle. That was about to change. Everything was so quiet, so still, and so peaceful. It was perfect.

I forgot that a few minutes ago I didn’t want to get out of bed…now I was enjoying every minute of racing the moon to the other end of Platte Bay. On top of that, I was treated to one of the most spectacular sunrises and the perfect goodbye to the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

After paddling until about 9:30am…I was able to round the corner to start heading south towards Frankfort. The problem was, the storms they were calling for were rolling in. Finding a spot along the beach within eye sight of Point Betsie Lighthouse, I decided to stop to pop up the tent.

The problem on top of that…I realized my broken, replacement fin was gone. The duct tape I tried to rig up to help me make it until Imagine Surf could send the replacement finally gave out. I knew it would be a long paddle to Frankfort without it, so I definitely wouldn’t be chancing any big waves the rest of the way their.

After sleeping the rest of the day and night away, Friday day 52 was a big day for me. I knew I would be meeting up with my folks in Frankfort, MI.

My mom had planned to meet up on the 22nd of July since the beginning of my trip. Her and my pops had figured they would wait to see where I could get to and meet me there. With having lost my 2nd fin…it was the perfect timing!

The weather cooperated and my morning 5.5 mile paddle the rest of the way into Frankfort Marina went smooth as could be finless.

On arrival,  I had the coast guard stop me to check for proper saftey equipment. Passing with flying colors, it was on to the Harbor.

There I met Co-Harbormaster Mark who welcomed me with such kindness and hospitality. He gave me a few tips on what to check on in town while I waited for my parents to arrive. It was the perfect day in a great little town…well minus the 6 dollar ice cream cone that I shouldn’t have even paid 2 bucks for…but even that still tasted perfect!

With having my parents coming up…and finding out the night before I would have a ride back from my buddy…all the cards lined up for me. High heat was being called for with the chance of rain for the next few days. Rather than fight the weather and press on without a fin, I have decided to take a short break.

While waiting on the replacement, I’ll be using the time to see my Grandma and then my favorite 3 little kids in the world back in Ohio. Getting to see my parents reminded me how nice it was to have one of the greatest and supportive families a guy could ask for. I am looking forward to getting back on the water, but getting the chance to savor the time off with my family truly means so much more after not seeing them for awhile.

I will keep everyone updated and hopefully will be back out on the water for more fun in the sun soon!



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