Water-ski Feat a Success!

Text: T T
By Mark Tower

Mike North, shown on skis left of the Star Line rooster tail, and Craig Skutt on an inflatable tube, ride behind Marquette II to Mackinac Island. The two men did the stunt to raise money through spectator tickets for two local organizations, Friends of the Animals and the Festivals and Fireworks program. Mike North, shown on skis left of the Star Line rooster tail, and Craig Skutt on an inflatable tube, ride behind Marquette II to Mackinac Island. The two men did the stunt to raise money through spectator tickets for two local organizations, Friends of the Animals and the Festivals and Fireworks program. Mike North and Craig Skutt rode behind a ferry boat to Mackinac Island Monday, August 31, Mr. North on water skis and Mr. Skutt in a tube. The feat, the first of its kind, raised about $800 for Friends of the Animals in Mackinac County and the St. Ignace Festivals and Fireworks program, through the sale of 48 tickets sold to spectators who rode on the Star Line's Marquette II.

Friends of the Animals runs the Pet-Fix program, which promotes spaying and neutering pets, and the Festivals and Fireworks program provides Saturday fireworks over St. Ignace during the summer.

The two men began their sixmile trip to Mackinac Island from St. Ignace holding ropes behind the ferry boat. They rode the choppy Lake Huron waves to the Round Island Passage Light, where Mr. Skutt bounced out of his tube and Mr. North dropped his rope. They rode half way back in their chase boat before finishing the trip on skis and tube behind the ferry again. They received a hero’s welcome when they arrived at the Star Line dock.

Craig Skutt, who was riding on the inflatable tube during the stunt Monday evening, greets spectators coming off the ferry boat. Mr. Skutt said the choppy waves and the spray from the rooster tail were two of the big challenges in tubing behind the boat to Mackinac Island and back. Craig Skutt, who was riding on the inflatable tube during the stunt Monday evening, greets spectators coming off the ferry boat. Mr. Skutt said the choppy waves and the spray from the rooster tail were two of the big challenges in tubing behind the boat to Mackinac Island and back. "We were just trying to get to the Island and back," Mr. North said, "and hopefully have fun doing it."

The two had wanted to ski behind a ferry for a long time, he added, and raising money for two causes was a good excuse to do it.

Mike North, shown on skis returning from his trip to Mackinac Island, is watched by his son, Benj, and wife, Marcy. Mike North, shown on skis returning from his trip to Mackinac Island, is watched by his son, Benj, and wife, Marcy. "I'm involved with the Festivals and Fireworks and we're trying to raise money for that," he said. "I thought it would be a cool thing to do."

Besides the signature Star Line rooster tail, which showered both men with water during the trip, Mr. North said crossing the boat's huge wake and weathering the waves were some of the challenges they faced on the trip to Mackinac Island and back.

"It was really rough by the Island," he said. "It was pretty choppy over there. My legs were pretty tired. It took about every- thing I had just to stay up."

Mr. Skutt, who was hit with water from the rooster tail the whole trip to the Island, said bouncing from wave to wave was the biggest challenge of riding the tube.

"I just had to make sure to grit my teeth so I didn't bite my tongue," he said.

Even without any aches and pains from the stunt, Mr. North said isn't ready for a repeat trip right away, although the pair may do it again next year.

"Maybe next summer," he said. "It was fun. I would do it again."

Star Line volunteered the boat and the Marine Center in St. Ignace provided life jackets and the inflatable tube for the event.

Mr. North is the general manager at Star Line and Mr. Skutt is senior deckhand on the ferries.

A video of the feat may be viewed at no charge at the newspaper’s Web site, www.stignacenews. com.

2009-09-03 / Front Page

Return to top

Loading ...

Share