Central Michigan: Lake Huron

The state of Michigan acknowledges that the weather and conditions on Lake Huron (east side) and Lake Michigan (west side) can change quickly and dramatically. So, they’ve constructed refuge harbors along the vast shoreline at roughly 35 mile intervals. And they built them beautifully, with solid breakwaters, wide docks and adequate runway space. Unless the wind kicks you in the stern. For example, if you are docking in Port Austin, top of the Michigan thumb, where the wind gusts (at say 15-20 knots), and you see slip A42’s sign is bent a little, that because the wind kicked Irene’s ass a bit and I did that. I bent that sign.

Port Austin. Charming?
Also Port Austin. The morning after. Beautiful.

How it started-

The first state harbor we stopped at after Port Huron was Port Sanilac. Completely uneventful docking in calm water and 90 degree sunshine. Way too hot for comfort so we had to crank up the AC. FYI: We make a sport out of enduring heat before we even consider closing the ports for AC, but this heat was well beyond being able to get comfortable. David rested and I set out to the market. Caught a ride from the Harbor Master, Kelly Trowhill. She proved to be the most thoughtful and kind person even driving me slightly beyond the village so I could get fresh produce. Swoon. David and I did manage a sweaty walk to the local water hole, emphasis on “hole”, for dinner. Followed by a shower to prepare for an early start to Harbor Beach in the morning.

The view from our top deck at Port Sanilac.

The morning ride to Harbor Beach was dreamy with light waves and wind, until it kicked up about 90 minutes underway. Then we beat the last 3 hours, but it was so nice to be traveling and feeling the elements. Even though it was a Thursday, we only saw a few other boats. Guessing they got the change in wind memo before they headed out? We pulled into Harbor Beach and it was quite a wild ride through the 3-4 foot waves at the break water entrance, but once inside, zen calm at the water level. Times like this confirm things like energy matches and love at first sight.

The Harbor Beach Light House inside the breakwater. This is the largest “man made” freshwater breakwater in the world.
IRENE chillin’ in her slip.

We loved this harbor and the views from every angle. Remember Kelly the awesome Harbor Master? Well, we’d left our power adapter on the dock in Port Senilac which we discovered 40 miles later when we went to plug in. She drove it to us. She’s the hero for sure.

We explored the village of Harbor Beach and got caught up on a few chores before heading out on Saturday morning for Port Austin. We knew we were running ahead of a storm to get there however; we are really trying to make up for lost time in the Erie Canal. Was it worth it? Yes and no. Remember the bent sign? 😂 Also, David fell in trying to hold the stern off the sign post. He was hot, but it was a bit of a shit show. Brief, fast and ended well enough. David says in boating you’re either the show or watching the show. For a hot minute, we were the show. Ultimately, I took an end spot on the dock, normally reserved for a bigger boat, and David was hot before his dip, so there’s that. Praise Spirit for happy endings 🕊

The wind persisted in a big way and again, we stayed two nights. The little town was quaint, the laundry was free and we had a perfect spot for watching the show.

Starring a pontoon boat with tiny lines.
Headed out this fine Monday morning for East Tawas. Crossing the big water above Saginaw Bay.
The waves from a mixed up sea were rough for the first couple of hours. My mermaid heart may have sworn like a pirate out loud.

We made it to East Tawas at noon sharp. Clearly “five o’clock” somewhere! And what a beautiful bay this is. Our view is stunning in every direction.


That’s it dear reader. Beauty abounds. We keep doing hard stuff and savoring the elements. No taking the power of wind, the power of water and the tenacity of a human spirit for granted. Cheers to the sweet taste of freedom. ✌🏽🤟🏽🙏🏽


8 thoughts on “Central Michigan: Lake Huron

  1. kathyyost01

    Love your blog and your tales!

    I wish the sign could tell us the stories of what it has seen! Sorry you would be one of them♥️

    I am so proud of your courage, strength, tenacity, kind and forgiving nature. Your adventure is great reading, wonderful photos! But honestly I do not envy you🙄. I would have flown home months ago. You are my heroine for sure.❤️❤️

    It sounds like you are making decent forward movement and I hope calm seas and blue skies are in your future! Are you anticipating any weather from Ida? I🤞Hope not!

    I miss you and love you.

    Hi to David♥️♥️ Sent from my iPad


  2. Wendy McGrath

    Great story with a satisfying and happy end of that chapter 😍. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the afternoon and evening, soaking in the beauty. Isn’t it amazing how hard things show us our strength and teach us to savor the good wherever you find it? Boatloads of from my heart to yours ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Diane Burrington

    I am enjoying your humor in all this. I appreciate but can’t truly understand the difficulties you are going through. Safe travels forward ❤️

  4. Patty

    I am not sure if I should be laughing at David being “man overboard” but for some reason the scene struck me as funny! Glad everything turned out all right.
    You definitely are getting to experience it all in this great adventure, and meeting some wonderful souls along the way.
    I miss you. Continue with safe travels.
    Love always, Patty

    1. betheship Post author

      🙏🏽It was scary for sure but happily over in a red hot minute!!! He was great about it. Never too old for first times. Love ya 🤟🏽 See you in December 🎅🏼


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s