Day 22- Sunrise side of the lake, Covering miles on Lake Huron, No land in sight, and a brief shower

Continuing north on Lake Huron today, the day was uneventful.  We started out with 1′ or less waves, but soon they built up to over 3′ on the nose.  It did not affect progress much, but didn’t make for the most comfortable ride. By the end of the day, the lake had quieted back down to the 2′ or less than NOAA had been advertising.

We watched a small rain shower form over land and approach us on the lake.  The rest of the day was mostly sunny until evening.  Since we were well out into the lake, there was not a lot of scenery today.

We docked for the night at the municipal marina in Alpena.    Jeremy had his first experience being out in the lake being completely out of sight of land.  He called in on the radio and reserved us a spot in the marina … another first for him.


While outside getting ready to go and looking at the sunrise, the phone rang and a “peeping Vicki” called to describe what I was doing on the back of the boat.  The marina in Harbor Beach has a webcam on the boats.  Vicki and Bob found it and were virtually with us on the boat again.

DSE_4310 Sunrise side of the lake


DSE_4316 DSE_4317

No land in sight anywhere …

DSE_4318 DSE_4319 DSE_4323

Brief rain shower





Sanctuary tied up for the night in Alpena

Day 21 – Wave goodbye to cousin Bill, Under the Bluewater Bridge, and on to the tip of the thumb

We traveled from Port Huron out into Lake Huron to the top of the thumb, ending the day at Harbor Beach Marina.

To start the day, Jeremy walked to Chef Shells Catering and Roadside Cafe for amazing donuts.  We enjoyed those very much.  If you are in Port Huron be sure to stop down town on main street by the river.

After a very long wait for fuel and a pump out, we got under way out into the St. Clair river.  The current in the St. Clair river at this point is very strong, cutting our forward speed in half.  Once out into Lake Huron, we resumed normal progress.

Bill was waiting on shore for us next to the Bluewater Bridge and waved as we went by. He used his towel as a signal to be sure we didn’t miss him. He had just finished his workout on the tread mill and swimming. At a fraction of his age, I’m not sure I could keep up with him.

After the Bluewater Bridge we passed Fort Gratiot Light House, the same one we climbed and toured from land yesterday.  So now we saw it from both views.

The trip up Lake Huron was calm, and mostly cloudy with one passing rain shower.

For dinner, we grilled BBQ chicken & corn on the cob on the boat and finished the day at Harbor Beach.


Port Huron River Street marina

DSE_4243 DSE_4244

Leaving the marina waiting for the bridge tender to open the bridge DSE_4245 DSE_4247 DSE_4248 DSE_4249

Bill waving at us from shoreDSE_4251

Blue Water Bridge connecting USA to CanadaDSE_4260 DSE_4261 DSE_4263 DSE_4275 DSE_4277

Fort Gratiot Light HouseDSE_4290 DSE_4293

Rain shower on the way


Harbor Beach Light House on the pier.DSE_4299 DSE_4302



Sanctuary snugly tied up for the night in Harbor Beach.



Day 20 – Continuing on St. Clair River, Visit with Cousins, and tour Port Huron

We continued north on the St. Clair river today stopping for the day in Port Huron.  Strong winds from the north and current of the river made for slow passage.    We wanted to stop in Port Huron to visit our cousin Bill.  Bill and his son Bill Jr picked us up at the boat and took us all around town.  Big highlight: a tour of the light Ship “The Huron” and the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.  Drove past Bill Jrs office and marveled at the skiff he’s building.  Our evening ended after an enjoyable dinner at a cajun restaurant downtown.


Leaving St. Clair HarborDSE_4118 DSE_4124 DSE_4130 DSE_4141 DSE_4143


Entering Port Huron HarborDSE_4144 DSE_4147 DSE_4157


Light Ship TourDSE_4159 DSE_4168 DSE_4176 DSE_4178 DSE_4183 DSE_4189 DSE_4191

Bill Jr.,  Jeremy, Steve, and Bill Sr, with Blue Water Bridge in the background


Fort Gratiot Light House from landDSE_4199

Atop the light house — 94 steps up. Cold & blustery & extremely windy!

DSE_4207 DSE_4209 DSE_4210

Teresa, Steve, Bill Sr, Bill Jr and Jeremy had a great time visiting.






Sanctuary tied up for the night in river Street marina Port Huron MI


Day 19 – Up the Detroit river, across Lake St. Clair, up St. Clair river, docked before the storm

We waited to get started for a little while this morning because of the fog. Once underway, we passed under the Ambassador Bridge and continued on to Lake St. Clair.   Just into Lake St. Clair, there was a stuck freighter (the Federal Rideau). I wonder if they have unlimited BoatUS towing and what that tow boat looks like?

Many ships continued to come and go.

Traveling up the river is interesting seeing all the different cottages and mansions.

As we were ending the day’s travels, a storm heading our way. We ducked into port at St. Clair and thankfully able to dock before the storm. The worst part of the storm went south of us, so we just got rain and some strong wind.

After the storm passed, we dined on excellent seafood cuisine at the Voyager Restaurant.



DSE_4072 DSE_4076

Ambassador Bridge


Detroit Skyline



DSE_4104 If you saw the movie Captain Philips, this is the same kind of rescue boat (the small orange capsule suspended high above the stern of the freighter). Scary idea to go off the back down to the water! DSE_4108


Sanctuary tied up safe and secure for the night.

Day 18 – Finally out of Sandusky, Progress up the Detroit river, and Docked at the birth place of the Edmund Fitzgerald

We finally made it out of Sandusky!   After a more than 30-day delay for repairs, we are traveling again.  Since we left the Sanctuary blog travels at day 17, we will call the restart of travels day 18.  We traveled the rest of the way across Lake Erie and started up the Detroit river.

Jeremy received knot tying lessons along the way.  We passed a few light houses and many islands today. The hope was to make it to Lake St. Clair, but we were getting tired and decided to pull in just down river from the Detroit Ambassador Bridge at the Great Lakes Steel Boat Club.

This is a small private marina and was a ship yard many years ago.  We shoe horned Sanctuary in along the wall at the end of the marina.    The Edmund Fitzgerald was built and launched here.  Next to this are the old Boblo cruise boats used in the filming of one of the Transformers Movies.   We saw many ships going by in the river today.  Teresa was surprised at how close we end up to them in the channel.

DSE_3985 DSE_3987 DSE_3991 DSE_4001 DSE_4003 DSE_4006 DSE_4009 DSE_4022 DSE_4031 DSE_4032 DSE_4037 DSE_4046 DSE_4049 DSE_4055


South Bass Island Lighthouse


Marblehead Lighthouse


Detroit River Lighthouse

In the water at a real slip, Sanctuary name in place, and repairs complete!!

We completed the sea trial today, and the final electrical repairs.   We plan to leave Venetian Marina tomorrow and begin the trip north.   The staff at this marina have been wonderful.  The quality of the repairs and concern demonstrated by the staff have been better than expected & we’d recommend Venetian if you are in the area.

The goal for tomorrow is Lake St. Clair.


Mechanics on board to check out Sanctuary.   She passes with flying colors.


Putting on the new name ………………………….


Work compete:  time for a dinghy ride.  Steve and Jeremy tour Cedar Point marina and nearby waterways.






Sanctuary finally tied up in a real slip ready to renew her travels.


Happy, Happy, Happy … Sanctuary floats again, Repairs Almost compete

Sanctuary is back in the water! The engine is reattached with new engine mounts.  The propeller is tuned and polished, along with many other repair details. Tomorrow we will do a sea trial and hopefully compete the electrical system repairs.  If all goes well, we can resume our travels toward home on Saturday.


Finally back in the water at Venetian Marina.


Our nephew Jeremy is helping with a portion of the return trip home.  After unloading the car and cleaning the boat, we celebrated by going out to dinner.   If you are in Sandusky, try DeMore’s Offshore Bar & Grill.  Our favorites: seafood nachos, perch dinner, shrimp dinner, and burgers are great.  Also, try the Orange crush.