I write tonight from chilly and foggy Whitefish Point, infamous for the nearby sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which juts out like a claw into Lake Superior. A foghorn blasts loudly nearby.
We were here exactly 11 months ago — on August 5, 2021 — just six days into this grand adventure. How strange to be retracing the steps now after traveling through 19 states and 6,019 miles.
The replay began two days and 85 miles ago in DeTour Village, where we celebrated crossing the wake. It continued yesterday at Sault Ste. Marie (“the Soo”). Photos and captions below of
Many Moons’ return to Lake Superior. PS: Whitefish Pt. has a fabulous museum but you won’t see it here because we visited it last year.
We left our friends on Redemption at DeTour Village and cruised alone up the St. Mary’s River, again skirting the Canadian border. It was a bit sad to leave alone. The Loop reminds me of military service; you are always saying goodbye to someone and moving on.
Most of the day, we drove through a misty rain. Rain usually keeps the water calm. We don’t mind it.
The view of the dash while driving…two tablets and the Garmin, plus the trusty compass. I prefer to use the compass when landmarks aren’t available and visibility is bad. Maybe it’s my old Navy training and maybe it’s my boating roots in sailing.
A cargo ship through the rain-streaked window.
Another encounter with the Coast Guard. (We’ve had several in a few years. Something about this boat invites inspection.) This time, I passed our inspection report from last month over the water and we were not boarded, since only one inspection per year is required.
As we drew close to our marina, Jeff navigated among the tour boats. Their dock was right next to the marina.
Back at Kemp Marina in “the Soo.” We were last here in August 2021. In the same slip!
Many Moons Is identifiable by her distinctive dinghy at Kemp Marina.
Right after arriving, we visited the Valley Camp museum (cargo ship) right next door.
The view through a portal of the museum ship.
It’s a wonderful museum, complete with artwork. We both grew up watching freighters like this cross Lake Superior.
The museum held 2 life boats recovered from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. (I was in high school when it went down.) We began to watch a movie about the recovery efforts but decided that might not be a great idea on the eve of traversing the same waters. 😁
Since we arrived here on July 4th, we were treated to a small town parade.
And fireworks! Right in front of the marina….the 3rd night in a row this has happened.
Cargo ships passed close by the marina all evening and night.
A view of the marina from the deck of the museum ship next door.
Early this morning, Jeff called the nearby McArthur (American) lock. “I can get you in in 10 minutes,” the lock master said. Since we were only 5 minutes away, we hustled to cast off. This was a 21′ lift” – we’ve gone through much bigger. We were alone when we got the green light at 0700.
Entering the 60th and last lock of this boat’s journey. It was also the very first lock for us, last August. It was probably the easiest of the whole trip because they provide the lines. I remember how unnerving it was to enter it almost a year ago. I think the 1st lock in your own boat is probably always unnerving..
Inside the lock, proudly flying the gold burgee.
Our battered bumpers still do the job keeping the boat protected from the lock wall, even when they are squished.
Documenting my last lock with a selfie…
Soon after the lock, we had a close encounter with another cargo ship. This was close to the spot where we had our very 1st one almost a year ago! I remember how unnerving that was too, because we met at a tight corner. We were new then at navigating with big ships.
As we entered Whitefish Bay, the clouds dropped low and became fog. I was driving when I noticed, on the FindShip app, that a cargo ship was approaching us. (You can just see it through the fog here.) When visibility is bad, my caution meter ramps up so I exited the shipping channel. Yeah, it was a wide channel. Jeff thinks I’m too cautious and maybe so. But didn’t two Navy ships manage to collide in open seas not long ago? Judgment!
Back at the rough docks at Whitefish Point. See? It looks a bit like a claw.
A fishing boat came in while we were here and Jeff bought a whitefish. Nothing like fresh-caught. Yum.
Jeff’s dockside processing of the fish brought the seagulls in droves.
Many Moons (on right) is the only recreational vessel here tonight. The others are local or working vessels. No electricity or water here and the entrance is a bit exciting but we love it anyway. (And it’s free!)
Clouds lifted long enough to enjoy a chilly but beautiful walk along the beach.
The harbor light and the rising moon compete as the fog starts to lift at 10:30 p.m. at Whitefish Point. On upper left, our solar-powered light on top of the flagpole is throwing light onto the photo