...and One Big Boat
Cedar River Travel Blog› entry 24 of 28 › view all entries
Thrusting with more torque than usual, I raced to clear the island before the power boaters hit their own throttles. Not all were equipped with radar like the Apres Ski and probably none would be watching for a hard-to-see kayak on the open waters. I had paddled free of the island before even a sailboat launched when a larger menace appeared from out of nowhere five or six miles to the east - a ship. It seemed to linger there motionless like a hungry predator waiting to pounce unsuspecting prey drifting into its territory. That would be me.
Anxious minutes passed before confirming the boat was growing larger, heading my way. By my estimate I should have already crossed the shipping lane but the sight alignment of her smoke stack and bow told me that I hadn't.
I was nearly a hundred yards to the north when the tanker passed. I heard the rumbling whir of her diesel engines but saw no one on deck waving ahoy or shaking an angry fist at my stupidity. White spray arced from her bow as she sliced the lake but any wake went unnoticed in the already tossing seas.
Though the Michigan shoreline always remained visible some miles to the west, and gradually closing, I was elated after nearly two grueling hours to finally sight land on my north horizon. I sensed the exhilaration and excitement that the early explorers must have experienced discovering the New Lands. After two more punishing hours, I approached a pair of offshore fishermen to ask if this was Cedar River. I had driven through the tiny settlement dozens of times on M-35 but had never seen it from out on the lake. "Four-five miles," they shouted, waving north. It was exactly five hours after leaving the island when I finally tied up at Earl's Yacht Club.