Start: 9:00 AM - Belle Isle Detroit, MI
Finish 6:00 PM - Russell Island - Pointe aux Chenes, MI
Time: 9:00 hours
Daily dist: 31 miles
Total dist: 4200+
Weather: Partly cloudy with highs in the 90’s wind out of the SW at 15+
Notes: A long day of paddling to across Lake St Clair.
The sweet smell of freshly cooked waffles wafting up from Ed Webber’s kitchen woke me this morning. We had plans to get all the way back downtown to Belle Isle by 7:00 to do an interview with the local newspaper, so Ed was up shortly after 5:30 AM and by 6:00 he already had waffles ready to eat… and man… they were good.
The reporter and photographer were already there when we pulled up at the beach on the island. After unloading the kayak and carrying it to the beach, Ed went back for my bags of gear while I answered the reporter’s questions. Nothing like having someone to do all the heavy work for you.
The better part of the day was spent crossing Lake St. Clair which is actually one of the larger bodies of water I will be crossing on this trip. My strategy was to head up the western shore (to hide from the wind along the way) then do a four mile crossing to the mouth of the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River delta. As luck would have it, the wind stayed from the south giving me a push all the way to where I wanted to start my crossing. It was while I was taking a break before doing that last five mile crossing that the weather started to get interesting. Large storm clouds were gathering to my north and after a while I could see curtains of rainfall sweeping the land beneath the storm. With the wind blowing the storm away from me I did the last crossing without much fuss except for dealing with the above 90 temperatures.