Day 14 (part 1): From Detroit to Lake Erie

Ill-fated position

I was awoken by a cry from the helmsman, he'd lost track of the channel markers and was not sure which we needed to steer for. As I scrambled on deck he cut the engine and dived below for the chart. While still brushing the sleep from my eyes I thought I spotted the starboard mark and attempted to alter course towards it. However it was too late, we were stuck.

Help Arrives

We spent a couple of hours trying to free ourselves but a four o' clock we gave up and called the Coast Guard to let them know that there was a boat aground near the channel. We gave our position and assured them that all was ok and that we would wait until daylight before calling for a tow. They asked if we wanted them to issue an all-ships call to see if some-one could help now and we replied that we didn't feel it was necesary; we were anchored and well lit. They then said that they would call every 30 minutes to check we were ok but we managed to negotiate it down to every hour, at least that way we would get some sleep! Three radio checks later and we called Towboats US. They assured us that someone would be out within 15 minutes and 10 minutes later Bob showed up with his towboat.

The Tow

At first sight it seemed impossible that such a small boat could pull us out but Bob soon demonstrated that it was not only possible but with the right driver it could look easy. He then pulled alongside us and pulled out his credit card machine (apologising for the fact that it was a swipe machine - his boss had the electronic one!) for payment. He was kind enough to offer some local knowledge on the river and also gave us the forecast for Lake Erie.

Livingston Channel

That mishap over with we set off once more down the river.

The rest of the journey was easy enough, although even in daylight it was difficult to distinguish one bouy from the other but we had breakfast in the Livingston Channel and reached Lake Erie soon after.