04 Jun Arete is Home!
I am sitting on the edge of the dock in Port Huron, Michigan that is Arete’s new home. We arrived here at 7:30pm this evening of June 3. As you can see from the photo, Arete is a tight fit through the Water Street Bridge, but we made it through and – after spinning her around in the middle of the river – tied up, cleared back into the U.S. with the waiting customs agents, and then our welcome committee swarmed aboard – Rick’s sister and brother in law, Matt’s Mom and Dad and Tom’s Mom and Dad were here to see us in.
After finally clearing the final, totally surreal locks of the Welland Canal, we finally cleared into the upper Great Lakes. From there, we had a delightfully uneventful trip. Lake Erie was just l o n g as we motorsailed its entire length. When we made the turn up the Detroit River, it felt like we were almost home.
Our crew for this trip were Rick, Matt, Tom Gmeiner – a young sailor from the Detroit Yacht Club, and Don Walton, our Canadian-Irish connection, who is a longtime experienced multihull sailor. As we steamed up the river, my good friend Joel Stone called to tell me to wave to him…he had driven to the river just to welcome us home. After we passed Belle Isle, we swung by Bayview Yacht Club, the organizer of the Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race, to salute them. After entering Lake St Clair, my friend George Young sailed by us on his race boat Conundrum – it was a great moment, as his late parents George and Nancy introduced me to sailing over 50 years ago.
As we passed into the St Clair River, we slowed down as we passed Rick’s home in Marine City. His family, including his father and his two dogs (who were not happy about hearing Rick’s voice and not being able to get to him) were on the dock to welcome us in.
We are all pretty tired, but very satisfied. Arete has made an incredible journey from the Mediterranean coast of France to be the first boat of her kind to enter the Great Lakes. Matt and I have sailed the last 2,100 miles together from Newport. Tom and Don have gotten a tantalizing taste of Arete at her best.
Most of all, Rick has realized the first step in his goal of bringing this crazy machine – this wonderful racing boat – to the Great Lakes racing scene.
Watch this space. There is much more to come.
– Tim Kent