We caught the 7:15 AM opening of the Seventh Street and Military Street drawbridges in Port Huron today (they both worked!), idled down the Black River to its confluence with the St. Clair River, and turned to port (upstream) into the St. Clair River which carries the entire outflow of Lake Huron. The river has a strong current and at the meeting point of Lake Huron and the river, the waves, eddies and whirlpools reminded me of the Mississippi River.
After a few miles of travel Northeast along Lake Huron’s ship channel, we turned to port (North) and cruised offshore. Today’s winds were the prevailing westerlies, so the shore to our west protected us from wind and waves. We moved along in smooth waters at the new R&R’s comfortable cruising speed of 23-24 mph, making good time along the thumb of Michigan.
However…after passing Harbor Beach we entered the long and wide Saginaw Bay. The west winds had many miles of fetch to push up larger waves. After getting beat up by the waves for awhile, we slowed down to have an acceptable ride for those thirty miles. The windshield wipers were active most of the way across the bay as waves splashed over the bow.
On the north side of Saginaw Bay the waves were less rough, but not calm. We were happy to enter the breakwater at Harrisville Harbor, a small municipal marina, refuel, and find our slip for the night.
Harrisville, like many Great Lakes marinas, is a harbor of refuge, providing a safe place for boats to weather Lake Huron’s mighty storms. The friendly harbormaster Steve, a retired law enforcement officer, offered guests a ride to local restaurants in the marina’s courtesy shuttle. We gratefully accepted, happy to have a change of location for dinner.
We traveled 129 miles today, and the new R&R treated us well. Her coupe design (no flybridge) allows us to drive and ride “inside” in relative comfort. The diesels hummed all day, and the autopilot kept us on course especially when Saginaw Bay waves tried to push us around.
Happy to be here!