SADLY WE FINALLY HAD TO LEAVE MUSKOKA – HAPPILY WE STOPPED IN HESSEL for a late lunch with our dear friends the Watson family. Yesterday we were en route to Minnesota from Muskoka in Ontario, Canada and driving right by Hessel, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the beautiful Les Cheneaux Islands.
Our friends the Watson family on “Marion E” (without their daughter Marion E who is away at school)
Earlier on Tuesday we sent Alex an e-mail to see if he was at the cabin and luckily for us – he was. We noted that we were on a tight travel schedule, but simply couldn’t pass through without calling (or better yet, stopping by for a short visit and maybe a boat ride).
Alex responded by saying “Texx – Let us know what time you will be here, we will order up some take-away and go for a quick pizza cruise.” And it worked out perfectly. “Marion E” one of their two Chris-Craft 25′ Sportsmans was in the water, gassed up and ready to go by the time we arrived late in the afternoon.
We climbed aboard with Alex, Sarah, Sandy and Salter and set a course for nearby Cedarville.
“Marion E” their 1949 Chris-Craft 25′ Sportsman is ready, willing and able at the family dock.
Salter – Alex & Sarah’s youngest son is learning to properly handle the big SP-25 under the watchful eye of his father. Alex also learned his considerable boating skills on a SP-25 when he was a young boy growing up in Hessel.
Salter carefully brings the boat into the marina at Cedarville for the pizza pick up. He did a great job and was very focused.
“Marion E” resting at the dock in Cedarville – an interesting contrast to the modern boats.
History is everywhere in the Les Cheneaux Islands.
Fired UP! Pizza in Cedarville. Best pizza in the area by far.
With the pizza and special snacks in hand, we head back across the street to return to “Marion E” at the dock – a five minute walk.
Sandy (their oldest son) helps load the food on “Marion E” in preparation for the Pizza Cruise.
A minor celebration ensues as we cast off for Hessel with a boat-load of pizza!
The Captain (in this case Alex) is the first to be served by Salter.
Sandy takes his turn at the helm of “Marion E” for the nice ride home.
As always the scenery around the Les Cheneaux Islands is spectacular. Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Jeff Rogers we learned that this is a rare 1925 Great Lakes Boat Company wooden boat.
And of course the architecture in the Les Cheneaux Islands is magnificent – just like the more than 200 wooden boats in the area.
The Chris-Craft U-22, the workhorse of the islands.
Salter discovered that the SP-25 step provides a perfect place to stow your pizza until later.
The traditional crib docks throughout the islands are great to see and add character.
We return back to the cabin and “Marion E” is back in her slip for a rest. The post-war Chris-Craft SP-25 is the perfect boat for this area.
Every aspect of Hessel, Michigan is unique. What you see is what you get in Hessel. We always enjoy spending time in Hessel with Alex and his family, and Tuesday was one of those memorable visits. This is how the classic boat community comes together, and what makes it so special.
Historic Hessel Grocery, across from the Hessel Marina at the end of Main Street.