When you think of Living on Snoloha Time this time of year, you probably think of beaches, margaritas, Jimmy Buffett music and flip-flops.

Being at the helm of a sailboat, by yourself at 2:30 in the morning, enveloped by fog, bundled up in foul weather gear as the rain continues to fall, along with the temperature, listening to the humming of the engine while motor sailing solely by the GPS is not what one would think of as Living on Snoloha Time.

I didn’t think so at first either. But as some time passed and my nerves settled, I found myself enjoying the solitude while Capt Dave and Jimmy D took their turn at getting some rest down below.

It’s an extremely eerie feeling being in that situation. The fog is too thick to see anything within a boat length or two, yet you scan the horizon for any sign of another vessel on the water (there are a fair number of freighters that travel this part of Lake Michigan). Occasionally you’d point the flashlight up the mainsail in order to make yourself more visible to anyone in the same boat (pun intended). The rain comes and goes. It’s cold. Besides the humming of the motor, the water splashing against the hull, and the glow of the GPS, you are left with your own thoughts.

I found myself singing the same Buffett set list that I sing to Savannah (which brought a smile to my face). But mostly, I just concentrated on my 2 hour shift. No iPhone. No social networking. No bills. No computers. No traffic. No emails. No distractions.

It was great.

It made me realize, after thinking back about that night, how many distractions we deal with on a daily basis. Voluntary distractions. Instead of focusing and making the most of the task, or moment at hand, we surround ourselves ‘in a high tech world that’s full of bright shiny things that we think we really require’…and we miss out, on what really matters.

LOST in the fog…escapism that I did not anticipate.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Beaver Island and the surrounding islands…it’s a must. Due to its rich Irish heritage, Beaver Island calls itself “America’s Emerald Isle”. Since you’ve already got the Spanish, British and U.S. Virgin Islands…we think, after being so impressed with the area and the number of islands and anchorages to explore, it should be called the “Irish Virgin Islands”.

Great anchorage on High Island. Crystal clear green waters. Sandy bottom. Sandy, pine tree lined beach.

A tiny spit of land just off High Island. According to the charts, it has no name…so we named it ‘Snoloha Spit.’

St. James Harbor, Beaver Island. This quaint harbor town is full of so much character that one sentence wouldn’t do it justice.

Safe at home…letting the foul weather gear dry out.



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