Wednesday, May 8, 2013

South Haven, MI

Odometer 31795
Trip 36 miles

After a long day at Freightliner of Kalamazoo yesterday, we awoke in their back lot this morning with skies clear and sun shining. In one 15 hour day they were able to finish all the services that we had asked for, so today we travel to South Haven, MI, on the coast of Lake Michigan- but not before coffee.
The gauge on the fresh water tank only gives you a vague notion of how much is remaining, and I had let it get too low, to where we ran out this morning. So we are going to walk over to Nadean's Coffee and Bakery for fresh cup of coffee and something sweet to nosh.

After breakfast we de-camped, hooked up the Toad, and took I-94 west to Dune Lake campground near South Haven. By 1 PM we were set-up in our space and fixing lunch.

It's very early in the season here and the campground is e-m-p-t-y.  We counted 6 RVs in our loop of the park and of those only one seems to be currently occupied-  should be quiet tonight!

This after noon we drove into South Haven and looked around  a bit.

 Although we could have jumped onto Interstate 94 and been there in minutes we chose to take Michigan Route 63 into town- and the scenery was rewarding.  I know I've said it too many times, but we seem to keep following the edge of spring as it slowly moves north.  The trees in this picture are still not fully leafed out.  We knew we were driving near the edge of  Lake Michigan, but the forest was so dense and undisturbed we could not catch a glipse of the lake until we got into town.
Downtowns don't get much better than this.

We finally got a good look at Lake Michigan

Looking north up the lakeshore towards South Haven South Pier

Here Jeff is walking to the headquarters of the Maritime Museum
The Museum consists of  four main buildings and several more static displays.
We were so early in the year that some of the boats on static display in the museum yard  wer still covered with stretch film for the winter.
The fishing tug Evelyn S (yeah they call them tugs)  was one such display- we could go inside the static display but with the white plastic covering it- not much of a photo opportunity.  What is interesting about these boats is the design, and the way they were powered.

 Here is a picture of a Fish Tug taken in Canada that looks like the one here at the museum that is covered in stretch wrap.  And here is the engine.

Okay- I know it looks like a scrapmetal yard- but this engine revolutionized fishing in these parts back in the early days of the 1900s.  This is a Kahlenberg 2 stroke diesel, made in Wisconsin, that used gasoline and compressed air to start, and then ran on crude oil.  Gear heads will appreciate the "glow plugs" on this engine.  Over each cylinder is a blow torch that heated the plug in the top of each cylinder.  The starter was compressed air.  These engines were so powerful and reliable that they helped to sound the death knell for steam engines. From 1915 to just after WWII they ruled the waves.  They were made continuously from 1915 until 1964, when the factory closed, unable to compete with Cat and Cummins', smaller, lighter, more powerful diesels.

We also saw the replica sailing ship Friends Good Will, designed after the original which was destroyed in the war of 1812 here on the Great Lakes.

The Friends Good Will is available for cruises later in the season.  This replica was built in Massachusetts in 2004.

The museum also has an out building dedicated to early outboard motors.

I looked around for an exaple of the Scott- Atwater 2hp outboard I owned as a teenager in Alaska, but found none.  I was very impressed with the display and it reminded me of the Maritime Museum in Rockport that I blogged on in January, which also had a great display of early outboards.

The last building on the museum grounds was dedicated to early rescue vessels and a few other artifacts like the fresnel lens shown here.

Very nice- I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in marine history.

Back at Dune Lake RV park we decided to stretch our legs and see what the namesake lake looked like.
It was getting a little dark when we took this picture- more of a pond-eh?

There are dunes here though- big sandy dunes!

Tomorrow we are off to Muskegon and Luddington further up the coast.

Your Travelling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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