Tuesday, July 19, 2005

By the Southern Shores of Lake Erie

First off, if you had Lake Erie in the Gracie Dead Pool you may not win! Secondly, thanks to all who email and comment. After a few days being on the go it is so great to find some internet access and read mail. Keep it up and understand that when we don't answer right away we are still searching for a connection. For example, there was no way in Ashtaboula. They still seemed pretty excited about the light bulb! Thirdly, I'm still getting used to how blogger handles pics and text so some things may be a little confused here but the library lady is about to throw me off so FIGURE IT OUT! Lastly, Thanks to my wonderful daughter, Leah for putting in the little updates and making the charts and arrows.

Hello to all our friends and fellow sailors! Wow, it's been awhile since we have been able to have internet access. Since our last update we have covered much of the southern shore of Lake Erie. We left Detroit and had a long motor down the Detroit river which then leads into Lake Erie. From there there were many choices depending on the wind. We could have gone as far north and east as Pelee Island or as far south as South Bass Island and Put-In Bay. After checking the wind direction we realized that the entire chain of islands was in our NO-GO zone. Such is sailing! After a bit of tacking and hoping for a wind change we got it and had a great reach all the way to Put In Bay! We took a mooring ball ($27 with free unlimited tender service!) just before dark.

Put-IN Bay is very touristy and features the big Perry Monument marking the US victory over the British in the war (ok let's face it, it was really just a skirmish) of 1812. Hard to believe that big old wooden sailing ships fought a vicious naval battle just a few miles from these summer islands! We stayed a couple of days and relaxed and explored around a bit. Good food store right down town and that's always good for us. Also had a good wireless signal and pictures shows me writing from the park.

This is the view from the top of the Perry Monument. Can you find Enee in the picture?

The Perry Monument. Impressive and built out of individual hunks of stone.

From Put In Bay we sailed to Sandusky, OH. Why? Because we could stay at the Sandusky Sailing Club for FREE thanks to Mark S. of SSC. Picture shows one of the many work boat/freighters we are constanly sharing the lakes with. This one was in great shape with a snappy paint job.

The approach to Sandusky is interesting as you can see the big scary roller coaster from several miles out. From about a half mile out you can begin to hear the people screaming. My screams from several years ago can still be heard echoing off the lake!

From Sandusky we sailed to Lorain OH. Friendly little harbor with a little resturant right there. We were entertained by an amazing magician (ok we are easily entertained after 10 hours of staring at the horizon!) and met a fine lady named Sally who informed us that the most famous person EVER from Lorain, OH is Father Guido Sarduchi from Saturday Night Live fame. That was a fun night but never say Jagermeister around me. EVER!

Yeah....Leah made me go on this ride...ONCE! I never wore THOSE pants again!

Yes is it tough duty being at the helm for a 2 hour shift. Some things help to pass the time and keep the flies away!From Lorain we motor sailed across the big bay that goes into Cleveland and made it to Fairport where there is a big area behind their sea wall to anchor. Just a stop and go for us as the next day we were up and on it and made another jump to Ashtaboula. Don't ask either of us to be able to say it or spell it!

Like a lot of towns along this coast it is very industrial. Instead of going under a big highway bridge you go under a big coal conveyor! There is a very neat draw bridge that opens on the half-hour like most bridges on the great lakes. We were completely dumped on by a hard rain as we entered this channel. A sailboat in front of us helped lead us past the draw bridge, around the shallows and to a tie-up at the Ashtaboula Yacht Club. Thanks to my friends at Burnham Park Yacht Club...the Burgee Works! Our tie-up was right across from this white old work boat called SONNY II. You can pull up to that big open window and Sonny will sell you...anything! Beer, snacks, hot dogs, etc. What a hoot. One of the yacht club people said is was a "bum boat". He can go out and sell groceries and what not to the freighters. I think mostly he stays tied up in the river selling us cans of Labatts for a dollar! We toured the river in dingy and enjoyed our Labatts.

This is the neat old lift bridge on the Ashtaboula River.

Like many of our days on this lake with the weather pattern we were in we found we could make a 'run for it' in the morning and then better find harbor before thunderstorms popped up in the PM. This was exactly what we did yesterday making a jump from Asta..$#$#% oh you know!to Erie PA. About a hour after we made harbor, thunder and lightning and high winds came on again. Glad we were tied to a pier for that one!

This is the observation tower in Erie PA giving a panoramic view of Presque Isle. We hope to get out of this marina and go anchor by the state park later today.

We may spend a day or two in this area. There is a maritime museum with a mock up or the rebuilt Niagra. This was the ship that Perry jumped to in his defeat of the British. I'd like to see that. From here we go across the lake to the Canadian side to get into the Welland Canal which will take us to Lake Ontario.


LeahC said...

Sounds like you guys are having a wonderful adventure!!!

I love that you just learned about Jagermeister now.....must not have had that back in your college days. ;-)

Jason said...

Put In Bay? Oh...I thought it was Puddin' bay and it sounded delicious.

But I guess that's okay too.

Happy sailing and watch out for giant squid.

Gracie Liberation Front said...

"Gracie Death Watch"!!!

To quote Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now -- "The Horror...The Horror."

Chairman Meow

deborah said...

What a great site and adventure.I look forward to catching up with you every day.The pics are wonderful. Miss you guys at Burnham. Glad Gracie is holding up well.

People for the Ethical Treatment... said...

The "Gracie dead pool? . . . The "Gracie dead pool?" How about the exploding Scott head pool?

Andrea said...

What, no shredding sails? No bending shafts? No almost hitting bottom? No Saga o'er Belts? No great pictures of Sue tightroping across the mast? This reality series is getting a little complacent.

Rich Pope said...

Too bad I didn't know you were headed for Ashta-friggin'-bula! There is a world famous pancake house there that we used to drive all night to get to--just for breakfast, then home--when I was in college in western New York! We just got home from Alaska. Think you guys will ever sail up the Pacific side of this continent?

Cindy said...

Just a reminder...If you do ever sail up the Pacific side, Mazatlan is a priority and extended stop!

Cindy said...

Oh, yes...somewhat related to the Gracie pool...Corky also keeps on ticking...we figure he is holding out for one last trip to his favorite place-Door County...but then, we said that last year as well. Long live Gracie & Corky, the wonder pets.