Big Bay Harbor of Refuge

5/29/17: After spending an extra, unplanned night at Houghton County Marina due to weather, we were ready to go. The weather forecast said a chance of showers for the day, so we decided to make a break for it. No sooner did we back out of the Marina, that the “chance” of showers materialized. We had rain the entire 44 miles to Big Bay. And, as a bonus, once we reached Lake Superior, we were greeted with fog (1/4 mile visibility) that lasted about 30 miles.

We sailed most of the way with split screen on our chartplotter – radar on one side and charting on the other. The wind blew from astern about 10-15 knots, which made the waves build to about 3 feet. It was a wet, dreary, uncomfortable ride, but we made it safely to the harbor. Unfortunately, because of fog, we were unable to see the Huron Islands or the Huron Mountains, which are the oldest mountains east of the Mississippi. As luck would have it, as we rounded the corner into the harbor, lo and behold, the fog lifted, the sun came out, and the evening turned out to be beautiful.

We were concerned about the depths in the harbor, as many things we had read, and also things we heard from fellow boaters indicated that we might have had too deep a draft (waterline to bottom of keel) to enter. Our draft is about 6 feet. But we decided to try anyway (slowly). We saw one depth as low as 7 feet, but almost everywhere else was 11+ feet. We had 9 feet at the wall where we tied up (the very end of the wall furthest from the fuel dock, which was non-operational).

There was a small town about a mile away at the top of the hill from the harbor, which we walked to for dinner. We ate at The Thunder Bay Inn, which was featured in the film “Anatomy of a Murder”. It was a combination bar / restaurant / inn. Kate ordered a turkey club, which was HUGE (1/2 came home and is in the fridge). Pat had a meatball hoagie with waffle fries, which was excellent. We walked back to the boat and are now relaxing and resting for tomorrow’s journey to Marquette, about 25 miles down the shore.

Pics of Big Bay

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