We left the Bondar Marina for the roughly 40 mile trip down the St. Mary’s River which would take us to Lake Huron. The freighters were still with us as were a number of large recreational boats. Believe it or not, a 45’ sport fisher can throw a larger wake than a 1000’ freighter.
The wind and waves increased as we neared the North Channel of Lake Huron so we grabbed the first protection we could find after reaching the lake. Whiskey Bay (46°05.4’N,83°53.0’W) was a decent little anchorage but certainly not a destination place. We had planned on a couple of weeks exploring the North Channel but after having a look at the schedule decided that we didn’t really have enough time. Two weeks would barely be enough time to see the North Channel and would have had us travelling virtually every day. Instead, we decided to hang out near Whiskey Bay at a handful of different anchorages and relax. It was the right decision and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Other than in the North Channel and Georgian Bay, Lake Huron doesn’t have much for anchorages. We were forced to stay in marinas for the rest of our time on Lake Huron. We stayed in Rogers City, Alpena, Harrisville, Port Austin, Harbor Beach, and Port Sanilac. Several of the stays were for more than one night as we waited out bad weather. Most of the marinas were pretty decent and had courtesy cars and some had bicycles to use. We had these super cool single speed bikes to tour around Harrisville.
We were stuck in Harrisville for a couple of days due to strong winds and large waves so we left for Port Austin as soon as the winds had calmed. The weather forecast included a chance of thunderstorms and NOAA was right for a change. We watched the sky turn dark behind us and then gradually over take us. The wind went from 10-15 knots to 20-25 knots as the storm approached. All of a sudden, we had 35-40 knots and torrential rain. Phebe was at the helm and she and Noodin did a terrific job. The waves had increased as the storm approached but the heavy rain beat them down as the strong winds blew the wave tops off. It was actually pretty neat to be out in after we got things under control. That being said, we haven’t travelled since when thunderstorms have been forecast.
We did get a chance to fly our new spinnaker on Lake Huron. We’d never flown a spinnaker so didn’t know what to expect. We were able to get it set and back down when the time was right so will definitely use it again when we are in light air.