We’re excited to be joined by Mary Stewart Adams, director of the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, who will guide us through a journey of the night sky. Mary is a star lore historian, storyteller and author who has been immersed in the history of star knowledge for nearly 30 years. She led the initiative that resulted in International Dark Sky Park designation for the Headlands property in Emmet County, MI, which later resulted in the State of Michigan passing legislation to protect the night sky over an additional 23,000 acres of state park and forest land. Mary writes and speaks extensively to local, national and international audiences on our relationship to the night sky and its cultural consequences, and has received numerous honors for her work. In addition, she is a member of the International Dark Sky Places Committee of the International Dark Sky Association, protecting and designating dark sky sites around the world. Mary’s weekly radio program “The Storyteller’s Guide to the Night Sky” airs during Morning Edition on Interlochen Public Radio every Monday. Mary makes her home under the starry skies of Harbor Springs, MI.
“I describe myself as a star lore historian because it allows me to access the night sky and its stories in ways that are not confined to one singular approach. Much to my own surprise (because I am a land-lubber, after all!) nowhere is this as obvious as when I’m out on the great lake under the wide open sky. There’s a harmony in the rhythmic motion of a ship under sail that lends itself to understanding the larger rhythms of the sun and moon, planets and stars, whether it’s the scientific discovery that has resulted from centuries of explorers setting out to “follow their star” or the music and poetry inspired by the same, there is something quite specific in the cosmos that can only be known when you leave off from the shore and set your course toward an experience of the stars. It is hard to not wax poetic, but when you’re in this environment with wind and sail and waving water, it opens something within that allows the stars to enter, in a way that’s much different than when your feet are firmly on the ground. I love the unique experience that the astronomy cruise offers!”
– Mary Stewart Adams
Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City calls itself the Cherry Capital of the World. Situated on Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan, on the northwest coast of Michigan's lower peninsula, Traverse City is the 2nd most popular tourist destination in the state (after Mackinaw City). In addition to cherries, the surrounding countryside produces grapes, and is one of the midwest's centers of wine production. Freshwater beaches, a mild summer climate, golf resorts, the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and thousands of square miles of surrounding forests make Traverse City a great destination area.
Cruising Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. Lake Michigan's shoreline is shared by the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Early settlers (from 800 AD to the 17th century) were a variety of Indian tribes. With the advent of European exploration into the area at the end of the 17th century Lake Michigan became part of a line of waterways leading from the St. Lawrence River to the Mississippi then into the Gulf of Mexico.
12 million people live along Lake Michigan shores. The economy is generally tourism and summer residences.
Traverse City, Michigan (return)
Your ship returns to Traverse City for disembarkation.