Conneaut - 9/18/2006
Conneaut - 9/18/2006Report Abuse
Labor Day Weekend was intended to be a longer trip with plans for one or even 2 stops in Canada. With the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto blowing through, our plans for an overnight passage or 2 went with the wind. Keith Otto, Troy Cain, Jack van Arsdale and I had a quiet dinner Friday evening, September 1 to discuss what our Labor Day Sail would become. Jack and Troy had activities at home calling them, so they made plans to join Keith and I on Sunday morning in Erie, after the weather cleared out of Erie. Keith and I went to spend the weekend on board, but no sailing on Saturday! After spending much of the day indoors at the impressive Erie Maritime Museum (including a terrific tour of the tall ship Niagara) we drove out to the lighthouse on the channel’s North Pier. The Pier had green water washing over the concrete and spray from the 35 knot winds was blowing Over the top of the lighthouse, 42 feet above the water! We were in our full foul weather gear and we never stepped in front of the lighthouse, figuring the lighthouse should take the brunt of the waves’ power. There were several SURFERS on the beach!! They would walk out onto the pier carrying their surfboards, then step into the waves on the beach side (north side) of the Pier and surf the 400 feet into the beach on the 6 to 10 foot breaking waves.
On Sunday morning Troy and Jack joined Keith & I for a couple days of day sailing off Erie. We sailed in relatively flat water out on the open Lake then had dinner in town. We stowed the fold-a-boat dinghy on deck for a towing trial on Sunday. After a quiet overnight at anchor in Marina Lake, Presque Isle State Park, we had a great breakfast cooked on board. The trial was to see if we could tow the fold-a-boat lashed fast to the stern. The idea was to test if the dinghy might be towable, even in waves, if secured to the stern. After just a few minutes of towing the dinghy on Presque Isle Bay, Keith discovered that the rubber caps on the ladder legs were vibrated off and the ladder legs were gouging grooves into the plastic hull of the dinghy. Due to the growing damage, we had to drop off the dinghy at the marina. We did learn that if we could rig a viable chafe protector over the ladder legs, then the stern lashing may work quite well. We finished Monday by sailing several times up and down the bay, enjoying all points of sail. Although we had 2 nice days at sail, all of us are hoping for better weather the next time we plan a long trip on the Lake.
Sunday, September 10th, Warren and Whitney Stewart and Jack van Arsdale came to Bay Harbor Marina for a work day sanding and applying Teak Oil to the external and internal woodwork on Kelly III. Even so, we took advantage of the fine weather for a brief afternoon day sail. We had a fun time, as short as it was.
Kelly III’s final sail of the season took place this past weekend as Nino Forlini, Bill Paviol and I sailed to and from Conneaut, Ohio. We had hopes of a sail to Canada, but the forecasted South winds (on the nose for a return from Port Dover) led us instead to sail a broad reach to Conneaut and a beam reach back to Erie. As most of you know, the weather was benign and beautiful. The light air enabled us to fly the twin genoa jibs and full main. Our PVC pipe whisker pole seems to fill the need in these light airs. Although stronger winds were forecast for Sunday, we didn’t see a strong breeze until the last hour as we approached the corner around Gull Point and sailed for the channel. A novice sailor, Nino finally experienced a 40 degree heel and some exhilarating deck washing!
While in Conneaut we met the dynamic and exuberant Dakota, a 7 year old dynamo of would-be sailor. He quickly stole our hearts as his dad, Rich, did some fishing and Dakota clambered all over Kelly III and Sea Capers, our neighbor at the Conneaut Municipal Pier (also an Erie boat). Of course, Dakota was very polite and did not come aboard until he was formally invited, a perfect gentleman! As usual, we frequently meet new friends that make every destination a great trip!