Every year the Manitou Island Day trip is fraught with turmoil and concern over “bad” weather. We have been a little weary of Mother Nature since the summer of 2015 when we had to cancel not only the original date AND our back up date! This year was no different than many before it; winds were looking strong and coming from the worst possible direction. That Friday, before our Monday excursion, we called Manitou Transit hoping to hear good news but things were not looking good and we agreed to keep an eye on it for another 24 hours. Tick, tock, tick, tock….
On Saturday things were still not looking good and we had a tough decision to make; keep an eye on things for another 24 hours and risk rescheduling at very short notice or cancel now and miss out on what might be a perfectly fine day. We like to live on the edge here and decided to wait it out! Thankfully our patience was rewarded and the weather predicted for Monday had improved, it would still be challenging to dock but our Captains Mike and Jimmy were willing to do what it took to keep our excursion on schedule!
Monday morning was crisp and clear, a light breeze greeted us at the dock and the sun was shining! We could not have asked for a more pleasant day to visit the Manitou Islands or a smoother ride aboard the Mishe-Mokwa. This year we had a few special guests with us who spent time living on the islands while growing up. During the tours they shared memories and stories that highlighted what life must have been like for them.
We also had the pleasure of having Dave McWilliam of North Manitou Light Keepers along. As we passed the “Crib” on our return voyage, Dave shared the history and updated us on the ongoing rehabilitation taking place on the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse. After a long and beautiful day soaking up history, the return trip was spent enjoying views of the Manitou Passage while passengers chatted, reflected and made new friends.