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Last Gasp Of Summer Rendezvous-gctid825083

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    Last Gasp Of Summer Rendezvous-gctid825083

    This past weekend was the last weekend of summer. Fall is upon us. I along with some friends in their boat decided to head out to a local anchorage to spend the weekend. Temperatures were in the 80's both days and no rain was in the forecast so it was a good time to head out for a couple of days onboard.

    I keep my boat at the Gibraltar Boat Yard in Gibraltar Michigan. My friends were at Humbug Marina just across the canal from my marina.

    I got up at 8 AM and after a shower I headed over to the Gibraltar Grill for some breakfast. After breakfast I prepped my boat for departure. I saw my friends arrive at their boat so I cast off my lines and backed out of my slip. I motored out into the Detroit River and idled outside their marina while they prepped for departure.

    While idling there I was listening to VHF radio conversations from Put in Bay and Middle Bass Island as boaters were calling in to each place seeking dockage for the day or the weekend. It is amazing how much you can pick up when you buy a good antenna. I installed this antenna on my boat last year after I replaced my VHF. For the record Put in Bay is 37 statute miles away from where I was located. All those conversations were clear as day, as if they were just a couple miles away. My friends still have the antenna that came with their boat and they did not hear any of the distant conversations.

    I saw that they were close to departure so I throttled up to 1400 RPM and started heading out. Passing between Grosse Ile and Celeron Island I was putting along. They headed out from their marina and by the time I got to the Sugar Island/Grosse Ile cut they were alongside. After passing through the no wake zone I throttled up to 3300 RPM just to run the engines for a bit at a normal cruise. The boat performed flawlessly.

    I reached a place we call the hole in the wall. It is where you can enter the Livingston Channel about midway in the length of the channel. I throttled back to 1600 RPM and slowly cruised up the channel. It was quite busy with many boats travelling either up channel or down.

    I reached the north end of the channel and made the left turn to enter the Dunbar and Sullivan anchorage area. My friend had already dropped the anchor and were set waiting for me to pull up alongside and raft off them. I slowly motored over and pulled up alongside. We got the lines secured and were set for the duration.

    I grabbed a bottle of Bacardi Rum and a bottle of TGIF Mudslide mix and crossed over into their boat. We polished off the bottle of rum and mix. Needless to say were were feeling pretty good by that time. As the day progressed many other boats pulled into the anchorage. Some of them were just there for the day but about 20 or so boats spent the night. We sat there watching boats arriving and departing. It was a busy shipping weekend as we saw many freighters traversing the waterway both upbound and down. I would say there were about 50 or so freighters that passed us during our time there.

    About 9 PM I was pretty well blitzed out and could hardly keep my eyes open so I headed to my boat to go to sleep. About 2 AM I could hear a boat slowly motoring through the anchorage. I was kind of lazy so I laid there for some time. Well, my friends dog started growling so it woke them up. She headed topsides with a flashlight in hand. She said the boat came in with no lights and motored around the other raft of 18 or so boats then headed towards our 2 boat raft. She shined the spotlight into the guys face and he immediately took off at a high rate of speed still without any running lights. I gotta think he was casing the anchorage maybe looking for an opportunity to make off with something. My Honda generator was sitting outside on the aft end of my boat. So who knows what his intention was.

    I went back to sleep finally awaking at 9 AM. I headed out topsides to another beautiful day. We stayed at the anchorage until about 2 PM. The other couple wanted to head for home so we broke up the raft and I headed down the channel and back through the hole in the wall.

    As I was motoring downbound I saw a lot of boats anchored at the Cross Dike so rather than head immediately back to my marina I motored through the anchorage so see if I knew anyone there. I did see several boats from my marina. I then motored out into Lake Erie before turning west towards home. I, still not wanting to call it quits motored up the Detroit River to the Grosse Ile Free Bridge. Then I turned the boat south to head for home. I arrived back at my dock just before 4 PM.

    It was a bit windy but I got safely back into my dock. This year I have really improved my skills handling this boat. My confidence is now high and I feel pretty good going out in windy conditions. My handling skills are now improved enough that I feel good heading out in less than ideal conditions.

    This was a great way to end the summer. There is still a lot of great boating weather to come as fall boating in Michigan can be some of the best boating days of the season.

    One of he other rafts.

    This was the biggest raft of boats there over the weekend. There were about 20 boats in that raft.

    Another group of boats.

    Looking out onto Lake Erie on a beautiful late summers day.

    I could not have asked for or hoped for a more beautiful weekend of boating.

    Life is good when you have a boat.
    Rick Grew

    2022 Stingray 182 SC

    2004 Past Commodore
    West River Yacht & Cruising Club