Lumpy Lake Erie to Michigan

Yesterday at 0700 we left the quaint small town of Vermillion Ohio.

The weather was hazy and windy with some rain. East winds on Lake Erie and a long fetch produced 4ish-foot rolling swells. Since much of our travel was from south to north, the waves were often on our starboard beam, so we rocked a lot. We had not experienced seas like that since crossing the Gulf of Mexico from Appalachicola to Tarpon Springs in November 2019. The Admiral/First Mate insisted that we wear our PFDs.

Our 117 mile route passed Cedar Point, Sandusky, Put-In-Bay, and metro Detroit.

Cedar Point from offshore

We had learned that we could enter Canadian waters, but only if we did not stop there, or dock there, or meet anyone there, or drop anything off there, etc. So we decided to stay in US waters, but we did get very close without touching Canada.

We almost (but did not) enter Canada here.
Lighthouse south of the Detroit River
Passing an Indonesian ship just south of Detroit
Entering the wide (and flat!) Detroit River ship channel

After lumpy Lake Erie, we were happy for the shelter of land. We had been told about the current on the Detroit River, but it was remarkable. The river carries all of the water leaving Lake Huron and entering Lake Erie, through a narrow channel. The current downstream (against us) was strong and swift, slowing our speed by 3-4 mph. It reminded me of our May 2019 boat delivery trip upstream on the Mississippi River (but without entire trees coming downstream).

Riverside industry in south Detroit

We ran past a large industrial area in south Detroit and under the Ambassador Bridge, and had Detroit’s downtown skyline in sight when I was stopped (AGAIN!!!) by law enforcement. Fortunately, the young men on the Coast Guard vessel told us that they were only enforcing a security zone around the Renaissance Center (Vice President Kamala Harris was in town). We were told to hug the Canadian side of the river until we had passed the RenCen. So we went to Canada after all.

Detroit skyline, from the Canadian side of the river

North of Detroit’s downtown the river opens up into the massive Lake St. Clair, 26 miles long and 24 miles wide.

Entering Lake St. Clair

MacRay Harbor, our home for a couple of nights, is on the northwest shore of Lake St. Clair. MacRay has a manicured residential look and offers boat slips, condos with adjacent enclosed boat wells, and restaurants. Thanks to Looper friends Dave and Val for the introduction to MacRay!

R&R in “Evergreen 101” at Mac Ray