Bye Bye Lake Erie

I’m going to miss Lake Erie. It’s a fine piece of water that has given me many indelible memories. That long jump from Sandusky Bay to the Detroit River was bittersweet. Jeez! We had just gotten used to the ways of the little Great Lake, and all the peculiarities that make Lake Erie what it is: the harbors, the weather, the winds, and yes, even the bugs. Heading north up the Detroit river, we realized we have to learn a new system in a new state, and a new lake. Michigan and Huron.

Lake Erie on a calm day.

We made an overnight stop at a tiny marina in Brownstown, our first of many ports in Michigan. I had made a reservation the day before, but when we arrived, the attendant was strangely unaware of this. He put us in the slip reserved for lifting boats out of the water.
The next morning was dreary, grey, and cold as gun-metal.
“That’s what you get for leaving me”, Lake Erie said. “Come back. You know you like me”.
I ignored the voice in my head and started the engines. We cast off the lines and headed north.

Sharing the road with some big friends.

The plan was to blast right through to Detroit, but the weather was getting worse.

Bad weather. Driving by radar.

Within two miles of Keane’s Marina, our destination in Detroit, a wicked thunderstorm engulfed us. We quickly tied up to a wall at Millikan State park.

Tied to a wall at Millikan State Park. The XO seems unconcerned as a tremendous thunderstorm rages on.

We thought we could stay on that wall overnight, but after a couple of bad wakes slammed us against it, we headed out to our Detroit destination as soon as the weather cleared enough to navigate.
Keane’s Marina in Detroit, featured a hot tub, which almost made up for the bad music that they played 24/7 through tinny speakers.

Keane’s Marina in Detroit.

In the clearing Detroit morning fog, we fueled up, pumped out, and headed off across Lake St. Claire, to an unusual and unique area called Harsen’s Island, where all the neighbors houses are connected by a series of canals.

Harsen’s Island canal.

The market on a canal.

Proprietor Jim.

Ginger Lee at the South Channel Yacht Club, Harsen’s Island.

We had an enjoyable two night stay on Harsen’s Island. It had a sweet, laid back Caribbean feel, but if you’re planning to stop there, be sure to bring drinking water. The only water available is pumped from the lake, and not safe for drinking.

Harsen’s Island Morning.

Harsen’s Island is one of those places that captures your soul. The only two local people I had conversations with both said essentially the same thing: “I fell in love with it the first time I came here, so I stayed”. I believe such a thing is possible, because I felt it too. I could live here forever!
Ah well, It’s not like I haven’t said that before, but we have many miles to go, roughly 5,000, so once again, I ignored the voice in my head and started the engines. We cast off the lines, and continued north to Port Huron.


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