Chart & Tracks


Day 18 
Sunday July 16th    Lexington to Lake St. Clair (home)


The final leg of our 2006 Cruise take us home from Lexington to Lake St. Clair. It's been a whirlwind tour of close to 800 miles, and eighteen days (which felt like eighty days) finds us with just a few gallons of gas in the tanks, but our souls overflow with some fantastic memories.

Miles Today:
65

Destination:
Lake St. Clair
MacRay Harbor
(Home!)

Total Miles
792

 


Welcoming Party at MacRay Harbor

I got up at 7:30 this morning, just a little earlier than normal. Did sleep pretty good last night, but am feeling a little Ďantsyí as I made my customary morning pot of coffee.

Actually I have mixed emotions; stemming from feeling anxious to get back home today, as well as somewhat depressed in not wanting this great cruise to end.

I walked across the marina parking lot to get a newspaper, and then took the slow process of easing into the day.

Gina awoke a couple hours later, and we started to make preparations to leave. At 10:00 Lime Cutter went to the gas dock. I took a look at our fuel gauges and decided we should be able to make the dayís trip of 65 miles home before needing to fuel up.

We cleared the Lexington breakwall at 10:15, heading out into about a six inch chop, sunny skies, and a few dark grey clouds. We followed the coastline down before getting in the shipping channel just south of the #3 and #4 buoys and entered mouth of the river at Port Huron.

There were a couple of freighters we had to maneuver around, and as usual, the water gets fairly rough as you head under the Bluewater Bridge.

They say the current is about 14mph as you head through here, and it always amazes me that the boat wants to get going about 35mph at only 3300 rpm's. Just south a ways the current drops down to about 5-6mph.


Navigating Around Freighters


Back Into Lake St. Clair

It is now 11:00, and we are now overlapping our original track from some 18 days ago. The rest of the ride home from here is all familiar territory.

Further down the river near St. Clair we again encountered two freighters, one up bound, and one down bound, and we cut right between them. I never get tired of running with them. In most spots, the river is less than a half-mile wide, so it takes some discipline to calculate where to navigate to stay clear of them, especially with heavy boat traffic.

At 11:50 we passed the Algonac State Park on our starboard side, with acres of trailers, tents, and RVís. It is a popular destination in the height of camping season. 

The port gas gauge was reading a little above empty, and the starboard gauge showed just shy a ľ. Should be just enough, and with anxiety of getting so close to home, I didnít want to stop anywhere to fill up.

After backing down to idle and going through the no wake zone of the north channel, we finally entered Lake St. Clair. As I throttled up and got on plane I noticed a lot of boat traffic on this hot Sunday afternoon. We cruised the ten miles across the Lake to MacRay Harbor channel.

There we were greeted by our friends from the Swift Boat. But today, they left their 37 Sunseeker at the dock, and were paddling towards us in an inflatable kayak. I guess I was secretly hoping for some fireboats shooting their water guns high into the air to welcome us back from our great cruise achievement, but this would have to do.

After taking on 189 gallons of fuel at the gas dock, we motored to our slip, some 792 miles from where our cruise began.

What an odyssey indeed.


Not Much Fuel Left!


Day 18 July 16th  2006  
  Charts & Tracks of Day 18 Video from Day 18