Hi all, thanks for all the suggestions. We completed this trip on Saturday. I wanted to post a follow up in case someone else down the road is considering this trip sharing what we did and the issues if any we had.
The first day we were aiming for Port Austin with a forecast
of 8-10kt winds and 1-2' waves. We had 30+ kt waves and 6' waves with a few 8' at random. Had I looked at the fronts coming in I could have seen this coming. We had one sick crew member
we needed to get out of this weather so we turned south to Caseville Municipal Marina. I would NEVER do this again coming from the south. The shoals were terrifying to put it mildly with the waves driving the boat toward them. Once there the channel was fine and the harbormaster was fantastic. (Frank) They got us tied up where we waited out the next 2.5 days for the fronts to pass. Nice facility deep enough if you stay in the center and north of a little shoal in the channel. We needed a good 5'9 with the loaded boat.
Our next leg took us to Lexington State Harbor. (Long day!) Upon arrival we were greeted as an annoyance and told to pay in the morning without being left any instructions on how to get into the restrooms. The docks were high from the deck
of the boat. The following morning they did make good on this problem but it did leave me with a negative impression. The town rolled up the sidewalks at 8pm. There is a bar that has pretty good food
about 4 blocks from the docks. Turn left at BP.
The leg after this was down the St. Clair which was rough with a stiff wind
. We achieved 10kts under the Blue Water
bridge and I'm told that is the fastest I'll ever go. It was a long boring trip to Algonac Harbor Club. The harbormaster claimed 7' of water and we saw 5' at the channel entrance and 5'6 at the fuel
dock. It did appear to be silt but still unwanted. The facilities I saw were fine. We stayed tied at the fuel
dock. Water appeared the same the following morning. I won't go back here.
From Algonac we crossed the Lake St. Clair with plenty of freighter traffic and tons of fisherman. There was a lot of traffic entering the Detroit River and leveled out as we went through downtown. Make sure of your points because there was quite a few branches and a wrong turn will yield very shallow water or a fixed bridge. The last half of the Detroit was very quiet and had a few other recreational boaters that didn't want to share the shipping
lane. At the bottom we met another member and tried to get into their yard but we apparently missed the 'slot' and got stuck so we turned back for Ford Yacht Club. The water through here is very shallow and being unfamiliar it was a big concern. Ford accepts only members of other ILYA clubs. Nice facilities, narrow fairways and guest docks mostly on the wall to port on entrance.
The following day we planned for home but the forecast
was a concern. We turned for Kelly's Island and headed for Seaway Marina. We were tied on the wall and bounced to ferry
traffic until after midnight. Definitely use fenderboards on the wall. Nice folks and wifi
at the store. I was a little surprised at $1 for a 5 minute shower
so if you stay here have a roll of quarters on board. We had about 6-6'5 of water in the channel and at fuel dock then about 5'10 at the wall. There is potential for rafting on weekends but we didn't have to.
We left the following morning for home and took a northerly direction toward the Lake Erie NOAA buoy then turned east toward home. Not much out that far other than tightly packed groups of fisherman once in a while.