"Summer's Almost Gone"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, August 25, 2018

Labor Day is usually considered the finale for summer and it’s coming up soon. Schools will begin classes and college students will leave their summer jobs to head to campuses. They will be anxious to set up their accommodations and acquaint themselves with new friends and catch up with old friends.

I met up with some old friends and made some new ones this summer. One of my editors asked me to do an article about exploring marinas, yacht clubs and other communities of boaters. The editor thought an interpretation of belonging to a group as mentioned is what keeps boaters boating. I decided a story about HYC (Huron Yacht Club) would be a good choice.

When I got together with some of the members to talk about the article, I encountered an old friend I had actually worked with at the club's docks when one of the boats sank there several years ago. We enjoyed reminiscing about that event and I was shown a photo of the sunken craft that graced the wall of the clubhouse.

I met a club member who wintered in the same area as I for many years and we recalled encountering one another. On a follow-up visit, I was able to chat with a member whose father had docked close to my boat in Port Austin for many years. We went way back with our stories and a few members, listening in, learned some history about the area.

After lots of research and gathering of photo’s the article entitled, “Join a Yacht Club & Learn a Trade,” appeared in the Huron Daily Tribune's Thumb Resorter on Aug. 10, and it will re-appear in a few additional publications. It sure was nice to hang out at the beautiful clubhouse the members have devoted years to restoring from a lowly fish house.

I spent some time with another old friend who has taken a big step this summer by launching a 47’ charter vessel, which is double the capacity of his prior boat. He can be found at the harbor in Caseville where he takes dinner cruises to Charity Island. He shared with me he has future hopes of taking passengers on cruises all over the Great Lakes to distant ports.

Yet another old friend encounter was made as the result of a fun activity last week; the 20th annual Cheeseburger Car Show. My wife, Pat, called to inquire about entering our classic El Camino we have for sale in the competition, thinking there might be a buyer in the group of onlookers. She spoke to the coordinator of the show and he said he knew me from way back. When we got to the show and met up with him and his wife, we began reminiscing about our days in the Coast Guard Auxiliary many years ago. As the show went on, I was amazed at how he was everywhere at all times and kept everything running so smoothly. I later learned, he has been doing it like that for years.

The show was a lot of fun and we enjoyed seeing all the “oldies” dating all the way back to the 20’s. I was surprised that the number of entries reached over 85 in spite of the big show in Flint, “Back to the Bricks,” and the “Woodward Cruise” taking place at the same time. Many of the cars were local Huron County vehicles that hid out in garages and barns until show times. There were 30 awards made, and I was lucky to receive one of them along with another car from Port Austin.

After a complete re-build, we have put our winter home up for sale and decided to dig out the winter clothes, turn up the heat and hang out in Huron County from now on. To my readers who called me in Florida, the numbers are the same and your calls are still welcome. Speaking of calls, I was asked by a reader I met while in Caseville last week what he should do to prepare his boat for the winter. He had concerns about the Ethanol content in gas and wondered about the recent introduction of E-15. I advised him he would have to be very wary of putting it in his boat engines. Watch for a future column where I will try to update those with questions about storing their boats and what fuel is safe to fill up with.

As I see it, it’s been an interesting summer — first the incredible heat, day after day and fears of a drought which would have been devastating. Recently, it rains and it rains and it rains, and the dry earth is just soaking it up and the crops are flourishing. Maybe we will have a few sunny days to finish off the summer before Labor Day, but I’m no weatherman, so I can’t predict. Actually, most of the time, neither can they.

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