Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Last Gasp of Summer: 22 miles on the Detroit River.

We had planned for a month to kayak down the Detroit River on Sept. 28. Unfortunately some of the potential participants could not make it--Julie got the flu, and Fred and Dick had family commitments they could not ignore. So only 4 of us went: Eileen, Otis, Bill and me.  We loaded up the kayaks and drove up to Edison Boat Club, on the Detroit River right where it begins at Lake St. Clair. We launched around 9 AM.

We put Eileen in one of our boats, thinking her kayak was too small for this trip; she was a little shaky starting out in the longer skinnier boat.

Otis was happy to be there!

And so was Bill. He has wanted to do this trip for years and told me that if we did not do it as a group this year he was going to do it by himself (never a good idea to kayak alone).

We paddled under the MacArthur Bridge (from Detroit to Belle Isle). The water was calmer than I have ever seen it! There was no wind, and it warmed up very quickly--I took my jacket off before we got to the bridge and my shirt shortly after that, leaving me in a sleeveless top and my life jacket for the rest of the trip.

Bill, Otis and Eileen all paddled past the lighthouse at the state park and the Renaissance Center in a group (I was there too, but I was taking all the photos).  It remained very calm on the water. The last time we came through here on the sailboat there were 4 foot waves!

Eileen enjoyed seeing the Detroit Princess up close.

We passed under the Ambassador Bridge with no rough water at all, and then pulled into a small park with a boat ramp. There were a couple of dead fish on the ramp, making it rather smelly, but the port-a-johns were clean; that's why we stopped there!

I was a little ahead of the group when we got to the cut where the Boblo boat Sainte Claire was moored, so I paddled in to see her. The last time we came up the river on Troika I took photos of the Sainte Claire and Columbia, and commented to Bill that one of these days they will be gone forever, and now the Columbia is gone. It was towed to New York State where it is going to be refurbished and put into use as an excursion boat.

We stopped at the Ecorse Municipal boat ramp and pulled our boats out. We ate our lunch there--fortunately Eileen thought ahead and brought more food than she needed, because I brought less than we needed by that point! We had a leisurely break there, and noticed there was a lot of power boat traffic (although you can't see it in this photo).

When we left Ecorse we got into some very turbulent water! The waves were impressive, augmented by the wakes from many power boats out for their last hurrah--it was in the 80s by then and very sunny. It was rough going from Ecorse to Wyandotte and then it settled down again and we had a pleasant trip under the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge and home.

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