From the Black River behind SC4, it’s a trip of roughly 35 nautical miles. The destination: Gull Island for one of the biggest annual parties on the Great Lakes.
This is no ordinary day trip; it’s for adults only, you must be 18 to attend, and the only way to get there is by watercraft.
If you don’t know where to go, ask around, which should be simple, because there are thousands in attendance yearly, arranged in pattern of loose rings around the shore of the island, which is less than a quarter-mile across.
It has been referred to by those in attendance as “Detroit’s Mardi Gras”, and the closer you are to the beach the more it becomes apparent why.
The island is anything but lawless. Sheriff’s patrol boats, Coast Guard and Border Patrol officers, and helicopters. Such levels of precaution are viewed by many attendees as unnecessary, this year only 3 arrests were made, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff Department.
Walking across Gull Island, it is uncertain what you might see. This year; an inflatable phallus was seen being carried about, bikini-clad women playing ring toss onto an adult toy, a man dressed as Santa, complete with beard, floating beer-pong tables of various designs, footballs sailing through the air, and perhaps what Jobbie Nooner is best known for, women showing their breasts in exchange for beads.
Several SC4 students were spotted around the island expressing their satisfaction with the day.
The philosophy for the festivities is fun and freedom. As chaotic as the surroundings could seem, there is an amount of control and method to the madness. Respect and trust in fellow boaters is the key to ensuring an enjoyable time.
There are various websites with information about and images from Jobbie Nooner available on the Internet.
The next Jobbie Nooner is Friday, Sept. 11, 2010.