Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sailing on the Detroit River, August 21-25, 2014.

Bill and I headed upriver again on August 21, back to the Edison Boat Club. We had to motor all the way this time, unfortunately; the light wind was right on the nose. Bill taught his class and after dinner the parents of some of his younger students took me home so he would be staged at the boat club for his weekend adventure.

Many of his students this year are members of the Sea Scouts Troop 1148 out of Dearborn, MI. This group includes boys and girls ages 14 to 21 (and their leaders). Typically Bill teaches only adults, many of them DTE Energy employees, but this year the Sea Scouts asked if their members could take the class and they are doing very well.

They were looking for a "destination" trip by sailboat and Bill offered our back yard (and boat and boat docks) to them. There were 10 scouts and 4 leaders who signed up for the trip, far too many for one boat! So they used our boat and 2 other sailboats to accommodate the group.  I was not there when they set out Saturday morning to travel down the Detroit River and into Lake Erie. Fortunately there was wind enough to sail, and they stopped to swim along the way. I was on the dock when they came up the river from the lake and passed through the Grosse Ile County Bridge, about a mile south of our docks.

They docked as if they knew what they were doing. One of the smaller boats had to be towed in because the motor had failed and they docked smoothly even with the tow!  I went next door to take photos from the neighbor's boat house roof.

Some of the troop members came by car and truck bringing tents and gear, and they had already started setting up tents in the back yard before the boats arrived. By the time the boats were in order there was a young man in our driveway with a tall stack of pizzas. Everyone was well fed and there was about 2/3 of a pie leftover. What good planning! 

Sunday morning they ate breakfast in the back yard, packed up everything and headed upriver. I wished them smooth sailing as they went on their way. Bill borrowed the outboard motor from Erika's boat to replace the one that failed yesterday.


They all arrived safely back at the boat club after a long day of motoring up the river. Monday morning I drove some neighbors up to Edison Boat Club so they could sail back with Bill and they were sailed most of the way home. That was not enough for Bill though! He and Erika went out  out into Trenton Channel and sailed up and down between the bridges so Erika could get a feel for sailing her own boat. She bought it last fall, it's finally in the water, and she is planning a sailing adventure this weekend.

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