Great Loop Blog - Day 4
We awoke at 5:30 AM excited to be underway again. Pulled out of slip at 6. For being a high dollar marina, the fairways at Jefferson Beach are fairly narrow compared to other places we have been.
Sunrise on Lake St. Clair was amazing.
Running from the Marina to the North end of the lake during the early morning hours we had the whole lake to ourselves. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. The only challenge was that we were going directly into the sun, making the chart plotter extremely difficult to see.
As you approach the St Clair River there are multiple channels that will get you from the lake to the river. The local fisherman were everywhere, the radar looked like measles. Between dodging fishing boats and not being able to see the chart plotter we veered into the shallows. Fortunately a local fisherman started waving frantically at us -- if you happen to read this THANK YOU! and we backtracked to the proper bouy and headed into the St. Clair river.
Here's Yorksie enjoying the helm seat as we make our way upriver.
The River was absolutely beautiful, the water color changed to a deep blue, we had a light winds and 80 degrees. We went up on the flybridge and spent two or three hours loving every minute of it.
There was the occasional freighter to give us something to look at, as well as some beautiful houses on the shoreline
Approximately 10 nm south of St. Clair we came around a bend, and encountered a boat flying a red flag that advised us to take the far port side of the channel. Having no idea what we going on, we soon found ourselves in the middle of a powerboat race.
Despite being on the port side of the river we found ourselves plugging along at five knots in the middle of the race. Race boats blasted past us on both sides at high speed barely in control, often passing within 20 feet. Darina took some incredible video that will be on You Tube with extended footage on Patreon. Yorksie was terrified, as the race boats were very loud. Darina held her closely and filmed while I steered as straight of a course as possible.
The race was live streamed on You Tube - did anyone archive it? We would love to see if we were on TV. We did get a fair amount of traffic to the website that afternoon.
As you come closer to Port Huron the river becomes quite a bit rougher, and the boat traffic increases dramatically. Stopping at Desmond Marine just inside the black river we took on 52 gallons of Diesel and had the poop tank pumped out. We headed down the black river to what the Garmin claimed was the Port Huron Municipal Marina.
There are two bascule bridges that open on the half hour and 15/45 in close proximity to each other, we got stuck waiting for the second one which was not fun. The third bridge that crosses 10th street opened right as we approach it, and we cautiously made our way down the river. Arriving at what the Garmin claimed was the municipal marina, we found a deserted facility with no boats in it at all.
Calling the Marina on Channel 9 we were advised that while they answered the phone Port Huron Municipal Marina the actual name of the marina was Riverside Marina, and that they were two miles back up the river past the 10th street bridge. We made our way back. Arriving at the 10th street bridge - and not wanting to wait, I decided to try and get underneath it. The red/green lights on the edge of the bridge were too low - but I managed to squeeze under with six inches between the stern light - which is on a pole on the radar arch - and the bottom of the bridge, much to the surprise of several boaters who were yelling at us that we couldn't make it.
We got into the slip which was right on the river by darting in between boat traffic.
Going down the holy place I discovered that despite normal temps and oil pressure we were not only still leaking, but engine blow-by gasses had blown the Permatex out in one spot and were literally puffing out of the side of the engine.
Despite us having been up since 5:30 AM and the temperature in the 90's we set off on foot with Yorksie in tow for Advance Auto Parts which was 45 minutes one way to buy more sealer. On the way I decided we must have a PCV valve problem, which was increasing engine crankcase pressure, which is what was blowing out the valve. We bought two tubes of sealer, one "instant fix" and more of the gray shit.
We stopped at Kroger - with only our small hiking backback - and bought about 20 pounds of fresh produce to replenish our stock of fresh food. I introduced Darina to the joy of ice cold chocolate milk and she loved it. We hiked back to the boat in early evening light trading the backpack back and forth as it was stuffed to the gills.
Adding to the day's fun, Yorksie decided to take a poo, and of course it was a sticky one and stuck to her backside. As we were carrying her, we had no choice but to clean it off best we could while laughing hysterically at the insanity of the day so far. If anyone saw us, we can assure you we are not mentally ill, just happy cruisers. Darina jogged a block to a dumpster behind an elementary school to keep the poo soaked paper towels away from the food.
Arriving at the boat around 8:30 PM we showered, and enjoyed a lovely candlelight dinner on the flybridge. Being completely wiped out, we went to sleep and didn't wake up until 10AM the next day.