Great Lake Indeed

Like many, I often spend my sailing holidays far away from home, assuming that real adventure requires some kind of international flight. More and more, though, I’m learning that some of the best sailing vacations can be found right in my own back yard.

In this spirit, I skipped my usual Caribbean cruising grounds, and a friend and I chartered a beautiful 2016 Jeanneau 349 from the Great Lakes Sailing Company in Traverse City, Michigan. The GLSC is exactly what I like in a charter company, an owner-operated outfit with good boats and great personal service. (The owner even let me borrow an old pickup to provision, though I wouldn’t always count on that!)

Traverse City is a great place to base your adventure. There’s a convenient regional airport with plenty of direct domestic connections, and the town has a lot of local color along with some fantastic restaurants. (If you like sushi and craft beer, check out Red Ginger.)

Eternalized in the short stories of Ernest Hemingway, the country around Traverse Bay is also legendary in its rustic wild beauty. Of course, a lot has changed since Hemingway’s parents built a cottage in the woods near Petoskey. Back in those days, the woods were full of Ojibwe Indians, bootleggers and lumberjacks, and the wildlife was rich and plentiful, especially the trout. In fact, it was the 20-odd summers Hemingway spent there as a boy and young man that gave him his love for hunting and fishing.

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