Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
A hearty Welcome Aboard to Two Lazy Trotters for becoming a virtual crew member by following the blog.
The crew spent Sunday and Monday in Cleveland (1) where they visited the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Tuesday, they planned to stop at some islands about half way to Detroit, but weather dictated that they keep moving so they anchored just south of Detroit (2). Wednesday, they fought the currents of the Detroit River and the St Clair River before stopping for the night in Port Huron (3). Thursday, they entered Lake Huron and stopped at Harbor Beach (4). The weather was good to cross the big open water of the bay north of the thumb of Michigan, so they made way to Harrisville (5). They completed the week by cruising to Presque Isle (5) on Saturday. One drawback to this beautiful location is little to no connectivity to the internet. This is a pretty remote area from civilization.
Click here to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, a summary of the day’s experience, and a few pics of the route.
The voyage of discovery did answer the following questions this week:
This week’s video shows Still Waters II as she cruises thru the Detroit River, crosses Lake St Clair, and then shares the water with a few Lakers, up close and personal. The poor internet access at Presque Isle has prevented uploading the video. As soon as the crew can get a descent signal, they will upload the video. Enjoy!
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
The crew has a philosophy of: If it is a good weather day on these Big Lakes, then you best be making some headway. Sunday was a good weather day while Monday was questionable. So they cruised to Cleveland and pulled into the Rock and Dock, which shares the waterfront with the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.
Cleveland by Night, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame is the building to the left of pic
The crew spent the day exploring the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. It was a surprisingly good experience. The displays start in the 40’s and show how the merging of Folk, Blues, and Country Music spawned the unique sound of Rock-n-Roll that was birthed in the 50’s. The history continued with an exclusive video about the life and times of Elvis Presley.
Front of Hall of Fame
The British Invasion was next as well as the California sound of the Beach Boys. A very good film featuring Dick Clark and the American Bandstand was fun to watch. The film showed Hall of Famers original footage playing on the ‘Bandstand’.
The Admiral and one of her Fav Four, he looks bigger than life
Scattered throughout every floor, they had kiosk set up so you could listen to your favorite artist on headphones. Another neat display was video footage of your favorite folks during their performances and thank you speeches during their induction ceremonies.
Some of you might not know it, but the skipper is tone deaf. He always wanted to learn to play the guitar, so his parents had him tested before they wasted the money on a guitar and lessons. The fellow conducting the test told the parents to save their money and not waste it on the skipper because he could not carry a tune in a bucket. Needless to say, the skipper is in awe of a good guitar player. Several of his favorites are in the Hall, including Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Stevie Ray Vaughn Guitar
Did you know that the skipper is a prison singer. That is right, he is usually behind a few bars and he never has the right key.
The original plan was to cruise to the Middle Bass Island and anchor for the night. However, when they arrived near the island, the skipper checked the weather forecast and saw that the weather was going to change overnight. Rather than be stuck out in bad weather around the islands, the crew decided to make a long day of it and push on towards Detroit. They arrived about dark and dropped the anchor at the first good place they could find. Unfortunately, the next morning, they learned it was not such a good place after all.
Looking over into Canada
The first thing to appear on shore was the Fermi Nuclear Power Plant
Guiding the way into Detroit River
The first thing the crew noticed was that it looked like someone set off a bug bomb on the boat. If there was one bug there had to be 10,000 bugs all over the boat. When the crew went to raise the anchor, they quickly discovered that it was wrapped in weeds. It took 45 minutes to haul the anchor up and clean the chain, a task that normally takes less than 5 minutes.
With the chain and anchor back on board the crew headed north into the Detroit River. It did not take long to figure out that this was going to be another long day. The current was running between 2-3 miles per hour. With the throttles set at a speed where they normally travel at 8.5 mph, they were barely making 5 mph.
Current around a navigation aide
The cruise was interesting though. The water was a very pretty turquoise color, and the scenery along the river was interesting. After that slow go, the crew entered Lake St Clair where they crossed the lake and then entered the St Clair River.
St Clair Light in the middle of the lake
More head current and more slow go as the crew headed north on the St Clair River. This head current should not have been a big surprise. All the water flowing out of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan combine near Mackinac Island. These waters then combine with Lake Huron and flow thru both of these rivers into Lake Erie. When the water leaves Lake Erie it flows into the Niagara River, where the crew saw the current as they went thru the Black Rock Lock. They also saw the flow over the Niagara Falls. All this water eventually makes it thru Lake Ontario and then out to sea via the St Lawrence River.
Lakers passing close in the St Clair River
Some scenery along the way
The crew finally reached their destination of Port Huron late in the day. After getting secured, the skipper spent some time trying to wash all the dead bugs off the boat.
By the time he was done, everything in town, except a DQ, was already closed, so the crew walked up to Dairy Queen and got something to eat. While walking to DQ, they passed a Historical Marker sign stating that Harry Truman had honeymooned in the adjacent hotel. He returned from WWI in May of 1919 and married Bess Wallace in June 1919.
The Hotel where Harry and Bess stayed
The clear water is nice to look at but it also allows weeds and moss to grow thick in this area. The crew awoke to another bug hatch, but it was not as bad as yesterday.
The crew left Port Huron and headed into Lake Huron. As they left the St Clair River there was a nice looking lighthouse on the port shore. Turns out this is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan. Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was built in 1829.
The conditions were good enough to make another long day and press all the way to Harrisville. They had planned to anchor in the harbor, but when they arrived they found the harbor full of weeds. Rather than fight the weeds and anchor in the morning, the crew decided to pull into the city marina.
Entrance to Harbor Beach
There must be something about this weather that is making the bugs hatch every night. Unfortunately, the bugs were alive and well, and in the upper helm. What a mess.
The crew set out towards Port Austin; however, when they arrived at the tip of the point, conditions were calm out in the bay so the crew decided to cross over to the other side. They set their sites on Harrisville and made it across the bay with little trouble. When they arrived at the marina, they once again found it full of weeds and moss, so they pulled into a slip rather than anchor.
The town did have a fudge and ice cream store so the crew took the 1.5 mile hike to enjoy the confectionaries.
The weather was good again for a cruise, so the crew set out for Presque Isle. The skipper was not familiar with the term ‘Presque’ so he looked it up in the dictionary to see what it means. Turns out it means almost an Island. Well Presque Isle fits the bill as almost an island because it is still connected to the mainland of Michigan, but does jet out into Lake Huron.
On the way to Presque Isle, the skipper altered course to run closer to shore rather than out and around some islands. As they passed Middle Island, the skipper was heard to say that the island was aptly named because they are out in the middle of no where.
On the approach to the marina, the crew could see two lighthouses, the old and new Presque Light. Upon arrival, the crew took a walk to the old Presque Isle Lighthouse.
Old Presque Lighthouse
The lighthouse is one of the oldest on Lake Huron. It was built in 1841 and operated until 1871. The old lighthouse was only 30 feet tall and the trees grew up to obscure the light. Rather than cut the trees down, they built a new light about a mile down the road.
The crew will head towards Mackinac Island and try to get a transient slip. The marina reservations are sold out all next week. However, they keep a few slips open for first come first serve transients. The crew hopes to snag one of these slips. If not, they will head to Mackinac City and take the Ferry Boat over to Mackinac Island for a day trip. They will then go under the Mackinac Bridge and enter Lake Michigan. They will cruise the Michigan side of the lake this trip, and will get as far south as the weather will allow.
Looks like the skipper has racked up some penalty minutes. Hope he gets out in time to continue the adventure. Would hate it if he misses ship’s movement. Because you know what the skipper says, “If you are 15 minutes early, You are on time. If you are on time, you are late. And if you are late, you will get left.”