Friday morning I borrowed dad's car and made a shopping trip, both for some boat supplies and food. By the time I got to the boat, mid-morning, it was already over 90 degrees F. I managed to do some boat cleaning, but the heat was really hard to take.
Friday night was dinner with my brothers family and dad, and another good sleep.
Saturday was still hot, I helped my brother with some computer problems, then we went out to the boat and did some more fiddling with the autopilot. I had received an e-mail response form Raymarine, but the suggestion was inconsistent with the parameters on my unit, so no improvement.
Finally about 1:50 I started up and headed out into Lake St. Clair. The water surface was about like that in a blender- all chopped up form boats zig-zaging everywhere. It was a sloppy ride until I got down into the Detroit River.
|This is the sunken remains of the schooner BLUE DOLPHIN. She was owned by
my old friend Joe Pica, and had been homeported in Boothbay Maine in the 1960's. My
first trip to Boothbay was at Joes request, in April 1971, to check out the boat.
I told him not to buy it, but he did, and it eventually got to Detroit. Thats a long and
sad story, told in part in a song by Stan Rogers,
MAN WITH BLUE DOLPHIN.
I had to go look, but it was a very sad sight.
|This is the boatyard where I kept my first boat, in 1963. It still looks about the same, but I didn't go in, just passed it by. It is still called Keans, but Im sure the Kean brothers that owned it then are long gone.|
|This is now the world headquarters of General Motors. It was built in the 1970's as Detroits Renaissance Center, then was largely Ford Offices. GM took it over a few years ago.|
|Across the river in Windsor Ontario is this major casino. After it opened Detroit countered by building 3 or 4 equally big casinos. Seems wrong to me that a city as poor as Detroit should have several big casinos, but I will stay out of the politics for this trip.|
|More nostalgia, and decay. I worked on a new crane at the Detroit Harbor Terminal in 1962 or 63 when I was an electrician. I wonder which one of these was the one I worked on? Its all closed up now, terminal building abandoned,|
|A steel mill at Zug Island- I had intended to ride around this island, but there are low bridges just off the main river, and I assumed the draws only opened for comercial traffic. This is not a place most tourists would want to see, but I like to look at the heavy industry, and recall what Detroit used to be.|
|These are the cranes that unload coal or ore frm the lake freighters. I think they are still in service.|
|Near the end of the Detroit River is an island called Bois Blanc, or known
locally as BOB-LO. For many years it was an amusement park, and you got there
by riding a steamboat from Detroit. As a kid I loved those boat rides, and they
had an open area where you could watch the engine and see the oilers attend to it
underway. These were big boats- 300+ ft. and probably tripple expansion enignes.
The park is gone, and the island is now upscale housing. I stopped at the marina, and found it almost deserted- just 3 or 4 boats in over 100 empty slips. I took a slip for the night.
Its a hot, still night, a few thunder showers passed by. Forecast for more of the same for several days. This was probably the hardest day of the trip for me- leaving dad, seeing all the old areas I remember as a kid, much of it in decay. And realizing I'm a long way from home.
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