"Leaving the Hell-Hole"
08 August 2011
Port Huron through the Detroit River onto to Put N Bay - Lake Erie
I absolutely had to file my deceased father's final state and federal tax returns which the lawyer had prepared and my son, Brad - expressed mailed to us in Port Sanilac when they didn't arrive I told the harbor master, "Well, I guess we have to spend another day in this hell hole!" David, the Harbor Master laughed; he knew what a wonderful time we were having - he lives here. We didn't want to leave. Nonetheless, leave we did. There was almost no wind and so Les Miserables was a slow motor boat rather than a sailboat to Port Huron. Our passage was uneventful, but as we entered the St. Clair River at Port Huron we realized we were "finished" with Lake Huron. We put away the charts for Lake Huron and the cruising guides which have joined those for Lake Michigan. Lake Erie will be our 3rd Great Lake! As we approached the Black River, which flows into the St. Clair, we passed the lightship Huron, which is now a museum and a coast guard cutter. After going under two bridges we docked at the municipal museum in Port Huron. Port Huron proved to be another Michigan community that is struggling economically. There were a lot of businesses that were closed and some that were struggling to survive. The place was once an important port and center for commercial fishing, with a lot of industry besides this, which is mostly gone now.
We traveled through Lake St. Clair and arrived in the Detroit River. Thank goodness that we had the charts from our friends - the Doyles - because traveling the rivers requires that you focus on reading the buoy numbers - street signs for boaters - so that we would not go aground.
We saw many large ships along the way and they seemed overwhelming to our little vessel as came up our stern or toward us on the other side of the channel. We spent a lot of our time making sure we were not in their way!
We stayed at the Detroit Yacht Club and were impressed by the Olympic size pool but the rest of club had seen better days. We dined outdoors as indoor dining required a suit jacket and tie for the men.
The current of the Detroit River is about 2 knts, so our boat was challenged as well as the line handler (Merry) when we pulled into the Detroit River and when we left. Unfortunately, we lost our port bow light as we attempted to navigate the current and dock to get diesel fuel. as we left the Detroit Yacht Club - Gregory's is NOT a good place to fuel. Merry began to suffer from "boater's fatigue" - too much time dealing with boating issues - weather, navigating, and line handling.
We navigated the Detroit River and entered into Lake Erie with the focus of reaching the small islands in Lake Erie. We landed in Put N Bay - which is an alcoholic's dream come true. Every other establishment is a bar... and since we arrived in the rain on a Sunday we had no trouble picking up a mooring can - on Friday and Saturdays boats are rafted 4 or 5 deep. We visited the Perry monument for peace (he won the Battle of Lake Erie also known as the Battle of Put N Bay during the War of d1812),- shared some great Mojitos - swam in the warm waters and spent an extra day people watching. Our observations led us to believe that this is a place for very overweight middle aged people who enjoy traveling by golf carts from one bar to another or for the very young - looking for a good party. Live music, lots of alcohol - T-shirt shops, and island fun. We plan on leaving tomorrow - August 9th as we head to Vermillion, Ohio or Cleveland.