On an overcast July morning in 2015, while motoring out of the Keweenaw Bay, we were greeted with a northern breeze exceeding thirty knots. The bay is known for this type of weather, but having never sailed before, I would learn to ALWAYS check the forecast beforehand. As the wind and waves tossed Carousel at its perril, I redefined the word grueling. Marquette was our first stop, and at the time, hoped it would be our last. "Get me off this BOAT! echoed in my mind..." Hour by hour we inched closer to our destination. Just before midnight on the first night, lit up by the ambient light from the surrounding city, we tied off in Harbor Basin. Morning came to quick, and with the wind at our back, we were bound for Munising. After Munising came Grand Maris, then onto the Soo. Creeping past the Two Hearted River, low level clouds buried the boat in a world of its own. A little music would ease our minds. The next few days taught me little about sailing. However, knowledge would surface. Not from the cold dark depths of Gitche Gumee. But deeper, from a realm unbeknownst to men at normal hours. Passing gently over Whitefish Bay, Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was playing on repeat. Superior had been kind to us, and at nearly midnight, the current of the locks took hold of Carousel. I radioed ahead for permission to pass through. Greeted with a friendly smile, and a line in hand, the locks were quickly emptied. Our journey was only halfway done, but in my mind another just began. At the end of a ten day voyage, motoring down the St. Clair River, I felt reborn. A new love for Sailing and exploration was teeming from within.
Ashton Blakemore and I (Chris Thaxton) founded Dock Box 44° to promote sailing and add value to those who love the sport. Sailing is our greatest passion. We hope the addition of Dock Box 44° will increase participation and keep the surrounding waterways clean and accessible for many years to come. Additional marine services will be available in the future. In the meantime, we will be practicing aboard our 22' sailboat, in preparation for a lifetime of safe and enjoyable sailing.