Local: Home Harbor
There is nothing so sweet as entering your home harbor.
This series was shot as we were returning home from a cross-lake race on Lake Michigan. In the above shot you can see both of Muskegon’s lighthouses, the inner South Pierhead Light towards the left of the frame and the outer South Breakwater Light to the right. It feels pretty epic to enter Muskegon harbor and pass these sentinals in succession.
As you enter our man-made harbor you will make your way through the “washing machine”, so dubbed by the Coast Guard as this is where the river current piles up against the prevailing westerlies and waves of Lake Michigan, tasty fun if you know what you are about. Next landmark is the West end of the channel which is guarded by the red conical tower of the South Pierhead Light. This lighthouse was opened to the public for tours two years ago but it’s closed for the season as of this writing. By the way, all of these shots are from the starboard side of the boat showing the south side of the harbor and channel (I was working on that side of the boat and therefore using a small, waterproof camera.) The North side of the Channel is taken up by Muskegon State Park.
Next in line is the old Coast Guard station which is now the NOAA building where Scientists collect meteorological and hydrological data on Lake Michigan. You can see red and green buoys on the pier next to NOAA but those belong to the Coast Guard, which is stationed behind that pier. In the third photo we are passing our Maritime Museum with our submarine, the Silversides, which is also my Precinct HQ where I vote, alas, not on the submarine but in the museum next to it. This voting at a submarine which served to protect my freedom to vote pleases me to no end. Also in the frame is the USCG Cutter McClane, which also saw active duty in WWII.
As we near the East end of the channel you will always find fishermen. I enjoy riding my bike down to and along this pier, talking to the fishermen and circling around that red and white light. Next photo is Harbor Town Beach, a great little beach on Lake Muskegon for those days when the rougher waters of Lake Michigan can be challenging. Where you go from the beach depends on your home marina.
The adage goes “East-West, home’s best”. There is nothing like coming home along such a spectacular route.
More on our pier lights This link also features an ariel photo that will show you the shape of our man made harbor and lights.