18-Oct-2002 -- I searched the confluence website and found that most of the confluence points in the USA were already discovered. Yet, in Michigan there were three left! Morgan and I settled a confluence in the middle of Lake Superior near Marquette Michigan. We thought that a confluence on the water might be easier to get to than one on land that could require special equipment to reach.
We both scheduled to take Thursday and Friday off work/school and prepared an itinery for the four day adventure. We began by booking the fishing charter boat to take us from the nearest town out to the point. Luckily we found 'Uncle Ducky' who had a very good website
and was happy to take us out on the lake. However, he did warn us that October was a difficult time, as the waters were often very rough. We decided to go ahead anyway, rather than wait another year to attempt the trip. Next thing was booking air tickets to meet in Chicago airport. We also booked a rental car to drive up the coast to Marquette.
We arrived as scheduled on Friday 17th October 2002 in Chicago. We hired the car and set off on a nine hour drive. The excitement was building and building as we got closer to Marquette and the realization of our crazy idea. Most of my fellow philosophers thought we were crazy for going. They couldn't understand the extremely romantic notion (at least to us anyway!) of meeting at a confluence point. "Why not a tropical island?", they said.
"Ahh", I said, "but no one has ever documented this confluence. Don't you see? We'll be pioneers. Just as intrepid and adventurous as explorers who found the north pole." After which I added, "what else in the modern geography of the world is yet to be discovered?" To which my scholarly friends shook their heads sagely and wondered what could provoke such bizarre behaviour. I chuckled and carried my head high. I knew that our story would be more exciting and dramatic than four days doing nothing on a beach in Hawaii.
9am Friday morning 18th October: Uncle Ducky arrived at our hotel with a boat trailer and a hunger for a hot, fatty breakfast. In the sub-zero temperatures we made our way towards Big Bay consuming ham and egg croissants and large steaming cups of coffee. Marquette was very beautiful. The autumn leaves were in full colour and there were many lovely old buildings in the town. Along the road were lots of snow-mobiles, deer and log cabins. From Big Bay we launched the boat into Lake Superior. I made sure we had plenty of film for the camera and lots of scarves for the trip. The weather was a bit ominous. The sun was low and feeble in the sky, the clouds heavy and grey and the water was threatening us with a swell of 2-3 metres. Uncle Ducky said that we had to get out there quickly before the predicted storm made conditions unbarable.
It took us about an hour to reach the confluence. But we made it! It was 240ft deep at the spot that was also notorious for old shipwrecks. The waves were quite rough, which made taking the photos difficult. The GPS was accuate to five decimal places, so even the slightest rocking of the boat made the reading flick from 87.99999 to 88.00009. However, we triumphed! We made it! We also took pictures of Huron Island and heard stories from Uncle Ducky of the lighthouse and fog-horn station that now lie unoccupied. On the way back to shore we passed rows of exclusive cabins once owned by Henry Ford and now holiday houses for the very rich.
You can find more photos of our trip at www.pbase.com/entrippy