Friday, July 22, 2005

Presque Isle to Dunkirk

OK, 40 miles to Dunkirk. We decided to go to Dunkirk rather than the longer 60 mile run across the gut of the lake directly to the Welland Canal. This will leave us a mere 20 miles to do tomorrow. The day started like many with our wind meter pegged at zero. Some gentle rollers coming off our port quarter but no wind with them. We tried to keep a little pressure on the main but it was hard with the boat rolling as it was. So, we settled in for what might be a long day on the iron genny.

We were excited to see new shoreline. Unlike the Lake Michigan shoreline the shoreline here has stuff behind it! Hills and what not. Us flatlanders from the Prairie State get pretty excited about this sort of thing.

About half way through, the wind finally arrived. Probably 10-15 kts from our port quarter. Just enough angle for us to sail directly toward our goal at 6+ kts and turn off the engine. Nice. We man the helm on two hour shifts (“Otto” the Autohelm is suffering from schizophrenia) On Scott’s second shift we made nearly 13 miles! Nice.

The barge at left is our 'view'!

We found our way to what we figured was the ‘nice big’ harbor according to the charts. It’s not. Gomer and granny Clampet were manning the gas dock and while I did most of Gomer’s work for him our stop still took about 45 minutes for fuel, pumpout, and arranging for a slip. The piers themselves are floating metal carnival rides! Sue jumped down on one as we docked and it rocked back and forth about 45 degrees. Wheeeeee! I asked one of the worker dudes how far to walk to get some beer and snacks. He pointed to the street and said, “two blocks”. OK, just because I am fascinated with numbers…it was 9.5 blocks! Maybe he meant metric blocks.

We checked out a place called Walleye Willies (you’d have to right?) but they didn’t have food. Apparently the motorcycle gangs there had already eaten at the Denny’s. We checked out a “sports bar” that advertised food. Inside. . . whoaaaa! Maybe time to clean up the old spilled beer. The girl behind the bar with the nail through her lower lip brought us 2 paper cups of beer while we checked out other escape routes. Only one other guy at the “sports bar”. Let me point out that this is a sports bar with rap music played at max volume. We decided to NOT checkout the menu.

But, all is not lost. We found that the little place near the marina had an out side deck, food and a band! Imagine a mix of Bachman Turner Overdrive, Joe Walsh, and Rare Earth and you have this band. Fun though. Well, not every destination is pristine anchorage like Presque Isle. There are going to be the Dunkirk’s also and they’re good for stories. On to the Welland Canal tomorrow

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