Thursday, 2 August 2007

Huron to Erie

Huron to Erie Lake Huron has been a long, shallow and windless place, Almost 40 hrs of motoring. The one afternoon we had wind it was right on the nose. In Harrisville a Catalina 42, Viking Heart, pulled in with three kids. Immediately the kids were up at the playground and within an hour they had returned to our boat to watch a movie and have dinner while the adults chatted and ate in the cockpit. The next day High Five was away early for another 10 hr motor. This time across Saginaw bay. The wind filled in in the afternoon….12-15 on the nose. When we got to Harbour Beach we entered the harbour and proceeded as directed by the harbourmaster. We slowed to a crawl as our keel dragged through the weeds. After 100 yrds the water deepened and we continued to the fuel dock staying left as the harbourmaster told us. Thud! We stopped, in the middle of the channel, inside the markers. “A bit to the right” she instructed and we tried again. This time no problem……inches to spare. We all decided it was a night out and we had a great Italian dinner. Early the next morning the South wind was still blowing and our new friends on Viking Heart had snuck in late, and were across the dock, so we went back to bed for a while. Around lunchtime we followed them out of the north entrance avoiding the shoals and weeds of the previous day. That afternoon, entering Lexington Harbour we had a repeat performance, off the end of the breakwater, going slowly in the middle of the channel we again bumped the sand. “A bit to the left, closer to the beach, you should have lots of water” it was becoming a familiar story. Lexington harbour Today was Chrissy’s (the older girl on Viking Heart) birthday! We celebrated with Pizza and Ice cream cake. The next morning we exited our slip and as we passed the gas dock, with boats docked 25 ft to either side of us…we stopped again!! The gas jockey walked over and said ”you should have plenty of water there” well guess what. We backed off and tried again, a little to the right, OK we are out of the slip and heading back on the lake. Taking the route closer to the beach as we had been instructed we kissed the sand, stoped listening to the harbourmaster, and continued on our way. Captains note: No sand or Fiberglass was hurt, all contact was in a very slow and gentle manner. I guess this is good training for the Inter Coastal Waterway. Lake Huron is surprisingly shallow, even 4 or 5 miles from shore the water can be 30 or 40 ft deep.

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