Holing Up

I’m not sure how the term “holing up” came into use. My guess is it originated as a boating term for those who had to find hurricane holes—safe refuges—to wait out violent storms. Capt. Mark thinks it might refer to foxholes.

We’re “holing up” this week, but it isn’t because of weather or artillery. Our engine has a strange surge, an increase in RPMs, that comes and goes. Capt. Mark would prefer it gone. So we’re here…maybe for a week.

As places go, we couldn’t ask for a better one. We’re in Mackinaw City’s municipal marina, a very comfortable place, right downtown. Next to us is the ferry that takes tourists to Mackinac Island, home of the Grand Hotel, a national historic landmark built in 1887. We watched A Place in Time last night, a movie that was filmed there starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. It had very little dialogue and was lacking in plot but it had great shots of the hotel and grounds. I definitely want to visit the place while we’re here.

A short walk away is a restored Revolutionary War fort, a lighthouse, and several museums…plenty to keep us busy while we’re waiting on repairs.

On the other side of the marina is a large boatyard, currently engaged in building a new ferry (which one can observe). If they’re too busy to fix our engine, there’s a Cummins dealer an hour away.

So we’re here among fudge shops and tee shirt stores, pizza parlors and pubs, planning our trip down the east side of Lake Michigan. Weather will be a huge factor. One doesn’t venture out in a small boat like ours if it’s blowing over ten or twelve knots. Waves gather steam from the west to the east and get pretty tall by the time they get to the eastern shore. The state knows this and has created places of refuge every twenty miles or so…not exactly hurricane holes, but close to it.

Will I be nervous? Sure. But remember those fudge shops? I’ll be laying in a supply before we leave.

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