Dan should have been here this weekend. Yesterday, we launched the Trans Superior sailboat race, which after eventually getting off to a fine start, became mired overnight in the lee of Whitefish Point. Reports of the launching of the newly refurbished Arthur Anderson of Edmund Fitzgerald fame, from Superior, WI, morphed into tales of another failed rescue mission, at least in my own fevered imagination, but this talk now seems way overblown.
Back to reality now or at least moving a little closer to home, a much more modest sailboat race was held in the bay today, right outside our cabin. Six Sunfish competed in a two lap regatta around a triangular course. The regatta launched from Cedar Point and came halfway across the bay to Birch Point. In the above photo I caught the fleet as it was just getting underway, after the firing of the starting gun. Let’s be clear about one thing here, this is the UP, so that was certainly no starter’s pistol that was shot.
There was a large lawn party underway before the race, but we were not invited. Something about a lock getting shot off, almost a century ago. Watching from afar, on the beach, some of the “kids” took to nicknaming the boats based upon the color of their sails. Anne nicely caught the most exciting moment of the race, when on the first lap, at the first buoy, Bluegill turned turtle and flipped. No one goes to a NASCAR race just to see who wins. We later learned from two team members, Dashie and Charles that the boat that we had nicknamed Bluegill was actually called Tout de Suite and its accident was precipitated when another boat cut it off illegally. At least that’s their story and they’re sticking to it. As near as we could tell, here are the finishing stats: 1st place Frenchy, tied for second was Lulu Lemon and Long John Silver, 4th was Blueberry Push-pop, 5th Bluegill (Tout Suite) and finally Candy-Stripe in 6th. It was fun and I put out feelers to see if anyone would want to sell their boat.
Last evening, Anne decided to walk the beach. I thought that it was too buggy, but that’s just me. She only walked the short end, so maybe it was a wee bit buggy? She was rewarded though, when she captured on “film” pictures of the above critter. Our question is, “Is it a mink or a weasel?” Anne thinks that it is too small to be a mink. One point for weasel. Although, she did photograph it, in-between these too shots, swimming in the lake. One point for mink. Mink are darker than weasels. One more point for mink. In the end, it could be a juvenile mink or a weasel or a polecat or a polecat-mink hybrid, polecat-weasel hybrid, but it is definitely not a frog. We have seen no frogs this summer. The Critter might have been attracted by some fish guts left on the beach or it could have been after the merganser chicks that roost out on the nearby rocks. I again thank my lucky stars that I bought her, her new camera. Small enough that it fits in her pockets, but powerful enough that it can capture these shots. Go, Anne!
Today, Anne and I were walking the beach together and while she was snapping pictures of the mergansers out on their rocks, I spied the mink. It came out from the embankment and down to the water. It poked around the fish scales, which are all that’s left of yesterday’s fish cleaning and then came walking towards me. I alerted Anne, but tried to stand as quietly as possible. It came walking along the water’s edge, then stopped to inspect me. It was only about ten feet away. It looked like a juvenile. It continued on down the beach, passing Anne and soon disappeared into the rocks past the end of the short end of the beach.