3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tuesday through Friday; June 21 through 24, 2011

Lakeside Yacht Club, Cleveland, OH:  We are still here as we have had a variety of weather.  Some days it is blue sky and sun but the wind and waves on Lake Erie are 15 to 20 knots and 5 to 6 feet, respectively.  Other days we have had terrible thunder storms and heavy rain.  It is frustrating to sit here and wait; at times we feel like we will be stuck here forever.  We did rent a car one day and did our shopping, etc.  I also went to the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum" which was pretty good.  They had 5 floors including everything from the Roots of Rock and Roll, Elvis, Interactive Listening Exhibit, Pink Floyd Wall, Hall of Fame Inductees, Current Artist's,  and a Special Women's Exhibit.  It took several hours and I enjoyed the earlier artists the most. 

CO's comments:  It is awfully hard to be sitting next to a general aviation airport watching many aircraft that you have flown in the past fly in and out while you can't move because of high winds and thunder storms.  (King Airs, Commanders, Citation XL, Cessna, 421 's, and the list is too long to name them all.)  Maybe I should sell the boat and buy a float plane and we could finish the Loop in a hurry.

They have swans at the marina, I think they are well fed.
Old Commander, one of my favorites 
Old Commander
Old Commander

Go Fast Cigarette Boat, Bobbie will not let me get this one either. 
I think our son Donald should have one like this. 
This one is called "Tiger By the Tail"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 19 and 20, 2011; Sunday and Monday

Second day at Geneva State Park, OH:  Finally; a day of rest.  We got up at 05:00 again and checked the weather, wind, and waves.  We did ponder a while, but decided it was too rough so Keith went back to bed and I stayed up to work on our itinerary and the blog.  It was good to get caught up.  After Keith got up for the second time (09:00!), we went for a walk into the little town next the the marina "Geneva-On-The-Lake"  It was nice and sunny but very windy and we could see huge white caps out on the lake.  We were glad we decided to say.

CO's comments:  We later learned that there were 5 foot + waves and all white caps; it is a good thing we stayed in port.

Geneva State Park Marina, Geneva, OH

Red sky in the morning,
Sailors take warning
Lake Erie on 6-19-2011

Monday; Geneva, OH, to Cleveland, OH, Lakeside Yacht Club:  We were up at 05:00 again to check the weather.  It looked like the best day to travel until next Thursday or Friday so we went for it.  We had dense fog for the first 3 hours (that radar really came in handy) but about 09:00 the fog burned off and we had sunny skies.  Early in the morning we had large, rolling, waves but they also smoothed out and we had another beautiful day.  But, it was a good thing we got an early start because about 15:00 we saw huge thunder storms out on the lake and by 16:00 they were here at the marina.  Talked with West Marine and they will deliver our charts we ordered tomorrow along with some extra things that Keith needed.  I crashed this afternoon; must have slept 3 hours or so.  I really needed the rest.

N41 31.453
W81 39.919

6-20-2011 View from our slip
at Lakeside Yacht Club, Cleveland, OH
Slip at Lakeside Yacht Club

CO's comments:  In the harbor I knew it was foggy.   Once we left the breakwater, it was 25 yards visibility at the most.  Just like the old days flying IFR.  The radar picked up the fishing boats that were out there with no problem.  We had a fishing boat, 1/4 of a mile to our port, give a couple fog horn blast just to let us know he was there.  We answered and kept on going.

First of a kind built in Port Weller, ON
Only Fountain would design an
anchor to fit the boat.

48 foot Fountain with 3 Cummings engines;
70+ mph.  Bobbie won't let me have one (yet).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 16 through 18, 2011, Thursday through Saturday

Thursday; Port Weller, ON, to Port Colburne, ON, via the Welland Canal:  Boy, what a day.  It took us 13 hours to do the canal counting the delays and it cost $200.00 for usage fees.  Once you are in the canal you have to complete it without stopping and when going up the canal you are required to have a minimum of 3 people on the boat.  I was really glad we had 4 on board because I could not have done the ropes and held the boat away from the canal wall by myself.  We had Ted and Pam Garrett on board with us.  We met them last September at Aqua Yacht Harbor on the Tenn-Tom.  Pam and Ted completed their Loop the end of May and they live in the Port Weller area and agreed to help us do the canal.  It was supposed to be a nice day without rain until evening.  We were ready to go by 07:00 and we checked into the lock, paid, and they said they would call us back.  At 07:35 they called and said there would be a 5 hour wait due to canal maintenance, so we waited.  While we were waiting a sail boat from Kingston, ON, got there and waited with us.  By 12:35 the 2 boats finally went through Locks 1 and 2; then they called and told us we had wait again due to divers, this time it was an hour and a half.

We started Lock 3 by 15:15 and my arms were sore already.  We didn't have any stops after that and there was no commercial traffic.  Locks 4, 5, and 6 were really hard on me and by then it was raining.  Pam and I were doing the bow, Ted did the stern, while Keith was on the bridge.  I was really glad to have Pam up front helping me.   I thought we had it made by Lock 7 but that one had the most turbulence of all and I almost took a header in the water; a little scary,  but we made it.  We floated Lock 8.  It was a long, long, day.  We were so keyed up we didn't get to bed until 23:00.

N42 52.546
W79 15.439

CO's comments:  It was well worth the experience to do the Welland Canal.  Once is enough!

Keith and Ted checking in at the Welland Canal just before Lock 1 only to
find out that we would have to wait 5 hours before we could start locking through
Tied up just before Lock 3 and waiting again; An hour and a half this time.
Killing time while we wait for the divers to get out of the water at Lock 3.
Pictured are from left:  Keith, gentleman from Kingston, ON,
 on sail boat-First Flight, Ted, and Pam
Water emptying out of Lock 3; it won't be long before we can get going.
Inside Lock 4, 5, and 6.  These 3 locks are consecutive;
finish one and immediately start the next

Inside  Lock 6 and it started to rain.
First Flight in Lock 5; they had 5 men on their boat helping
At the top of Lock 7; Lock 8 is 12 miles from here 
and it only rises about 3 feet so they let you float.
Friday:  Port Colburne, ON, Canada to Erie, PA, Wolverine Park Marina:  We were up at 05:00 again and took off for Erie, PA. It looked like the weather was going to be fine but by the time we got to US  waters it got  pretty rough. This was another long day with little rest but we both were really glad to be back in the US.   We got to Erie, PA, by 19:30.  This marina and fuel set up was very strange.  We called for directions into the fuel dock and they sent us to Presque Isle State Park (about 2 miles across the harbor) for fuel; after fueling, they sent us back to the mainland to the marina.  It was very confusing and it would have been nice if they told us ahead of time what was happening.  Come to find out; due to some City regulation the mainland doesn't have marine fuel so Wolverine Park Marina owns the fuel docks at the state park on Presque Isle.  Erie has a very busy water front and the whole area is beautiful.  I was too tired to cook so we went out to a restaurant called "Smugglers on the Wharf", it was very good and very popular with the locals.

CO's comments:  There is a real neat anchorage by the fuel dock.  We would have anchored but Preque Isle's Customs phone was out of order so we had to go to the main land.  By then we were too tired to go back over and anchor.

N42 08.137
W80 05.409

Port Colburne, ON, Sugarloaf Marina

Ship coming in off Lake Erie on their way to do the Welland Canal
Leaving Port Colburne on 6-17-2011 on our way to Erie, PA on Lake Erie
Sunset on Lake Erie on 6-17-2011

Saturday:  Erie, PA to Geneva State Park Marina, OH:  We did the same today; up at 05:00 and we went as far as Geneva State Park Marina, Ohio.   About 08:30 a Customs and Boarder Patrol boat boarded us. They were real thorough but nice. This was our first boarding since we started last August.  We got to our marina by 14:30, it was a beautiful day on the lake, and we were glad to be here at a decent hour.  You never know when Lake Erie will be nice to you so you have to take advantage of good days.  We still don't know if we will be going further tomorrow or not; right now it could go either way.

N41 51.389
W80 58.336

CO's comments:  I never would have found the inlet to Presque Isle because it was so hazy and there were no markers.  Luckily a TowBoatUS heard our call and came over and guided us in.  That was good, as he warned us of some bad shoaling at the entrance.

Sky walk bridge you have to go under to get to Wolverine Park Marina

View from our slip at Wolverine Park Marina

Sunset at Wolverine Park Marina on 6-18-2011