If you have read our post about Muskegon, you may have thought we had no trouble entering Hartshorn Marina. After all, we didn't write anything about it. Well, not so. Ok, maybe not "trouble", really just a little "confusion".
The cruising guide that we use the most, Lakeland Boating's Ports o' Call, usually provides an aerial photo of the marinas. One wasn't available for Hartshorn. Just a photo of the lake, with Hartshorn way off in the distance. But once you clear the breakwater, you see that Lake Muskegon is a pretty big lake. As we entered the lake we realized that, yes, we could use the charts to find the marina but we'd also like a little better feel for the landmarks around it. After all, this was only the second strange port we'd ever entered. And really it was the first, because we'd been to South Haven by car many times.
Bernie called the marina on the cell phone as we were entering Muskegon Lake in order to obtain a slip. At that time, she also asked for some landmarks. The key directions were to "go past the mooring field and look for the red and green canvas".
As we approached the general vicinity, we saw a mooring field and, maybe, a harbor entrance way back there. But we didn't see any tents or awnings or big flags or anything else that would have colored canvas. But clearly something was back there because of the buoys marking a channel through the mooring field.
So we motored around, wondering whether or not to enter the channel. Adding to our hesitation was that it looked like a pretty narrow channel. We didn't want to get back in there and have trouble turning around. Nothing else in the area looked promising, and time passed as we discussed what to do.
After a while, the light bulb went off in my head.
"Uh, Bernie, are you sure they said red and white canvas?"
"That's what it sounded like."
"Could they have said read and white cans?"
"Oh, maybe that was it."
We motored down the channel, keeping the red buoys to our right, and entered Hartshorn Marina.
In all fairness, cell phone reception wasn't the best in that area!