6/4/17: On our way from Grand Marais to Sault Ste. Marie, we planned an overnight stop at Whitefish Point State Harbor, as the distance would have made for a 12+ hour day. A short time after leaving Grand Marais, we both agreed upon one thing: one of our better investments was an automatic fog horn.
We had a 7 hour trip to Whitefish Point, and had fog for about 6-1/2 hours of it. It was pea soup fog with less than 1/4 mile visibility. The lake was calm, almost glass, but we never saw the shoreline for the entire 40 miles. When motoring in fog, you must blow a “long blast” on a horn once every 2 minutes. A “long blast” is about 5 seconds. Using the canned air horns would have resulted in using about 4 cans of air, and one sore finger at the end. When we purchased our new VHF Radio, it came with the ability to make the proper fog signals if you connected a loudspeaker to it. Last season we mounted a loudspeaker at the bow, for times of fog. This allowed us to set an automatic fog signals, and freed us up to keep better watch! Good investment, indeed!
On our way, we picked up a hitchhiker, who journeyed with us for a couple hours. A tiny bird – we don’t know what kind – became welcomed entertainment for us for a while. He (or she) first landed on our lifeline, but then flew around to almost everywhere he could find a perch. He would move from lifeline to deck to jib sheets to the top of our sail to the end of our boom. Once he even landed on the rail about 2 feet behind us! He (or she) had a fine time eating the various bugs and flies that were around, and we had a fine time watching him (or her)!
As for Whitefish Point State Harbor itself: it was a good harbor of refuge / stopping point, but there is nothing there. No town, no marina, no services (not even a pit toilet). There are 4 docks reserved for transient use, and only one had power. There is a shipwreck museum about a mile away, but we arrived too late to see it. So, we just hunkered down for the night and left early the next morning for Sault Ste. Marie.