This past Sunday found us once again on the banks of the St. Clair River. This time, it was completely open water (no ice!) and the weather was perfect. A little windy, but temepratures in the mid to upper 60s felt awesome, especially after the winter we had. The night before though, a bad storm had passed through the area and wiped out power in several large swaths - the island being one of them.
We normally meet for breakfast at Sans Souci ("Without Worry," in French), but they were closed due to the power outage. I am a breakfast eater. Always have been, always will be. Breakfast is my thing. Even on busy work mornings, I get up and make myself eggs and toast. Weekends usually call for something more elaborate - waffles, pancakes, crepes, cinnamon rolls - sometimes all at once. Just kidding. Sorta. Anywho, point here: I had not eaten breakfast before driving up there because I had planned on eating here. Aaron has learned over the years that in order for me to be of any use, not to mention pleasant to be around, he needs to feed me and get me some tea, preferably out of this mug. By the way, hangry is a real thing - science says so. He's also learned that I'm not much of a morning person, but that's beside the point. Thankfully for everyone who has to deal with me, the grocery store across the stree was open and they had some day-old donuts. So, chocolate covered cake donut for breakfast it was.
After scoping out our normal spot and different one a few blocks down, we got our gear set up, donned our drysuits and got in the river. But not until we waited for this guy to pass by:
It really is amazing to watch the freighters come through. There's something about them just gliding through the water that's mesmerizing. From the surface. If you're in the water, as we were when two more passed through, it's kind of scary. They mess with the current making it go faster, turn slack, and then return the other way. Basically, you need to stay out of the shipping chanel (not that hard) and find something study and, ideally, unmoving, and hold on tight. Underwater, these things are loud too, making them seem much closer than they actually are.
The water temps this weekend were still on the cold side, about 41 degrees, giver or take a few. Between the cold water, and having to hang on for two passing freighters, we called it a day after one dive. I managed to find a few cool bottles that are getting cleaned as we speak, but nothing spectacular. The day I find a creamer or a cobalt-blue apothecary bottle though, you'll know. Acutally the whole world may know.
Since lunch at Sans Souci was not part of the equation due to the power issues, we headed out. There's only one way on and off the island and it's on one of these ferries:
The first couple of times it's a weird sensation to look out the car window and see water. It's not normal. But once you get over the fleeting thought that you're car is going to be submerged under the cold river any second, it's actually kind of cool. You drive on, pay the toll, and drive off on the other side. Pretty nifty.
Since all the ships entering the upper Great Lakes (Huron, Michigan and Superior) need to pass through this river, the local population harbors an interest in the ships themselves. The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society is hosting a "Get to Know Your Ships" event. It looks at the history of ships on the lakes and covers information in their annual book. For more information, see the poster below.
So that wrapped up our weekend. While getting ready for bed that night I looked at Aaron and told him that I needed another weekend to recover from the weekend we had just had. Anyone else ever feel the same way?