August 18, 2015 – Tuesday – Muskegon to Grand Haven – 21.5 statute miles traveled

We had a short run of only about 13 miles of open water from the Muskegon harbor mouth to Grand Haven breakwater. We tried to time our departure toward the latter part of the weather window so the seas would have a chance to lay down some.

When we stuck our nose out into Lake Michigan we found that the seas were still making their way across the lake from the southwest and it was very lumpy though the winds were what we expected. Unfortunately we had a choice of traveling nearly broad side and going the shortest distance or heading out into Lake Michigan and then running back in after making our southern distance. We decided it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride no matter what we did so we opted for the shortest route. Fortunately Vicki had battened down everything that could fall so we did not have stuff flying all over. Still there were many times I had to hang on to my seat with both hands and Vicki stayed seated most of the trip.

Upon arrival in Grand Haven Harbor we went up the Grand Haven River a couple of miles to the Hwy 31 Bascule Bridge. It was supposed to be 25’ in the middle but when we got there the clearance board on the side of the channel said 16’. I called the bridge tender to ask what the center of the bridge was and he said the 16’ was the side and that the arch was 4-5 feet above that. Playing it safe he would not give me a number for clearance height so I told him I was going to slowly nudge up to the span to see if we could get under but that if not we would be there waiting for the 1:30 pm opening.

We were surprised to see a submarine on the great lakes.  This one a museum piece.

We were surprised to see a submarine on the great lakes. This one a museum piece.

We drifted slowly up to the bridge and I stopped just short to take a good look. It looked as if we had at least a foot of clearance so I slowly proceeded until we were under the span. No problem. Unfortunately Synchronicity had more air draft than Sea To See so they had to wait for the opening.

We proceeded to Grand Isle Marina and moored where we had been directed when we met with them yesterday. I went immediately to the service area and found Nate, our repair guy. He soon came down to the boat and accessed the electronics layout. Soon after his two buddies who operate Quality Marine Electronics came down to see what the issues were. It turns out the most difficult issue would be resolving the lack of a depth sounder reading.

Nate got right at installing the AIS and had it operational in about an hour. We wanted an auto pilot control on the bridge and had decided that a remote would be the simplest way to get this done. The remote was ordered that afternoon with delivery the next day by around noon. We also primed the pump on the air conditioner and got it working for the first time on this trip. It works well.

See the little red triangle to the right of our boat icon?  That is a boat with their AIS transmitter turned on.

See the little red triangle to the right of our boat icon? That is a boat with their AIS transmitter turned on.

When the cursor is placed on the red triangle this kind of information comes up on the screen

When the cursor is placed on the red triangle this kind of information comes up on the screen

If you want more information one click gets you this.  All of this allows us to know what is coming around bends - primarily for commercial traffic.

If you want more information one click gets you this. All of this allows us to know what is coming around bends – primarily for commercial traffic.

While this was going on I talked to Nate about issues with the toilet. I went to look for the manual on the ElectroScan that was stored in a file box in the “Big Box” on the bridge. The file box is buried under other items in this “Big Box” so I pulled what was necessary out, retrieved the file box and brought it below into the cabin.

They did not have a solid theory as to the depth sounder problem but ruled out the power cord right away. They thought it might be the connection with the data cord so tried to order one of these but Raymarine has ceased making them (for a 4 year old unit would you believe). Quality Marine Electronics had a cord they thought would work even though it was not the stock item.

After happy hour on the dock we went on a safari in Ron and Marilyn’s car to downtown Grand Haven to see the sights and grab some dinner. Late that evening and early the next morning there was thunder and lightning and it poured rain. About 0100 hrs. I had to go out in the pouring rain to close the hatch that was open over our beds. Since I have a bug screen on it I cannot easily close it from the inside.

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