Wednesday, November 9, 2011

High Winds and High Cliff Canal

There have been several days of high winds (50-70 mph) here causing widespread power outages and downed trees. I knew there were large waves in Lake Michigan of over 25’, but I didn’t hear reports of shore damage. Just probably wasn’t watching the news at the right time I guess.

I launched at Sawyer Harbor in Potawatomie State Park about 10 miles by road or 4 miles by water from my home. I had sailed here several time this year and paddled once early in the summer. The moon was almost full and I’d thought a paddle around Cabot’s Point past the Sherwood Point lighthouse would be good this evening. The temperature was moderate for October. It didn’t take long for me to warm up, so we just kept going on to the High Cliff Canal, which is a man-made canal circling a small island surrounded by homes…probably a nice place to live. Some homes are large and others are fairly reasonable. It was about an 8 mile round trip on calm water.

Along the way I found several docks that had been damaged, moved around and twisted by the large waves a week or so before. Areas where the rocks had been scrubbed free of their usual green algae coating and newly fallen rocks that were beaten by water into submission and now were almost submerged.

I left about 5:30 and it was dark by the time I passed the Sherwood Point lighthouse on the return. The moon was rising on the left with the light house signaling on the right…sweet. Some powerboats were around mainly on the way out. Guys fishing earlier in the evening, but I saw only one boat after dark, so it was a quiet paddle home.  I stayed near the shoreline in shallow water after dark as much as possible to avoid being in any boats way.
The boat launch in Sawyer Harbor

Dock damaged by waves

Shoreline SW of Lighthouse

Entrance to the High Cliff Canal

Full moon over bridge on High Cliff Canal

Moon and Sherwood Point Lighthouse

Night landing in Sawyer Harbor

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