Lake Erie, and St Clair River

Click to enlarge any pictures.

Huck Finn adventure. Life is good!

Sun, 8/25/02. Just prior to entering the Saint Clair River, Jay and I got into a disagreement. There was alcohol involved and it seemed to me that the situation could have turned violent, so I called the US Coast Guard to assist. With the CG crews help, we resolved our differences, but Jay felt uneasy and got off at Port Huron, MI.

I love river travel and enjoyed this passage through protected water. Lake Huron flushes this waterway keeping it clean. I enjoyed swimming while at anchorages in the evenings.

Tues, 8/27/02. No sooner did I get out of the River system and into Lake Erie, and I was right back into rough water again. Only this time I was single-handed again. While trying to find protected waters around the Erie Islands, I got tossed across the deck and smashed my forehead into the bulkhead. The bulkhead wasn’t hurt, but I lost some blood during the encounter. I soon learned to stay low in the cockpit during rough blows. East winds kept plaguing me during my Lake Erie passages.

Hey! Since when did Lake Erie have pirate ships and how come they are after me?!!

Wed, 8/28/02. This square rigger followed me out of the Detroit River and
anchored near to where I was while at Middle Bass Island.

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Thurs, 8/29/02. This was taken while still in the lee of Lake Erie Islands. The wind kept blowing hard from the east and made progress very difficult. I was pushed down to the Ohio coast line when I got back into open water again.

Thurs. 8/29/02. This break water and lighthouse at Lorain Harbor was a welcome sight. I was battling vicious east winds that kept increasing. Earlier in the day I was still off shore and had a lot of sail on because the forecast said it would die down. When it proceeded to get worse I tried to haul in the roller reef but it was jammed. With 6 – 8 foot seas and high wind and the full 150% head sail out, I had to crawl out on the bow and clear the reef line. Whew! I’ll reef in earlier next time.

Sat, 8/30/02. I hid out in Lorain Harbor for a few days as the East wind howled out on the open water. It’s funny. While on land or in a protected harbor the wind never seems that strong, but the minute you get out on open water you feel it’s full force.

Anyway, I couldn’t have found a better place and nicer people. I found romance while waiting for the wind to let up or change direction. Once underway again, my new friend could only enjoy my journey from a distance (I would share my experiences often by phone). Sadly, the warm feelings didn’t last into fall and winter.

9/1/02, I wish I hadn’t gotten lazy with my picture taking since traveling across Lake Erie was spectacular. Beautiful beaches, clear water, swimming into shore to search out the local bakeries and sample the jelly donuts, occasional sailing at night under the starry heavens with shooting star light shows. And then there was Buffalo…

It was like the off shore passage beyond Saginaw Bay only worse. The west wind picked up when I was about 15 miles out. Lake Erie funnels down near Buffalo and this seems to magnify the waves. They seemed to be 10 – 12 feet, and the wind was dead astern. I broached twice, but the boat handled it well and I didn’t get hurt. What a relief it was to get behind the breakwater.

I spent the next 1 1/2 days getting my mast down and stowed and made my way to the Erie Canal. It was my first time on the canal so it was all brand new.

Link to The Erie Canal Part of the Cruise.

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