On June 23rd, 2012, Stephen Brede embarked from the mouth of the Detroit River onto the warm, brown waters of western Lake Erie. Once again, a bald eagle soared overhead, how could one not think of that as a good omen, as well as the free breakfast our charming waiter, Brady, arranged for us at the Monroe Street Grill! Long-time friend Perry Clark met us at the launch site with camera in hand. We watched Stephen pack a summer’s worth of gear into his Seawind canoe at a DNR boat ramp that was doing brisk business. Fishing and pleasure boats were launching every few minutes. Dragonflies, herons, gulls, and terns outnumbered the fisher folk. I would think twice about eating fish that came out of that water, but Lake Erie has the biggest fishery of the Great Lakes.
He’s been paddling for four days and hit the groove more quickly than the on the trips around Lake Huron (2009) and Lake Michigan (2010). There is a problem with the Spot GPS tracking device which stopped functioning in the middle of Maumee Bay. He is on the edge of a live fire zone in Lake Erie, (that’s right, artillery shooting live ammunition out into the lake,) and we wonder if there is some kind of interference with the GPS signal. We’ll know soon and will continue to try and get the link to the map (“Where’s Stephen Now?”) working again. The day of this post is Stephen’s 61st birthday. Happy Birthday, paddle man!