Full Crew Sails to Kelley’s Island, July 19-20
Full Crew Sails to Kelley’s Island, July 19-20Report Abuse
Full Crew Sails to Kelley’s Island
Rain, light winds and possible thunderstorms were forecasted, but Kelly IV and crew were up to the challenge!
Sean Stull, Jack vanArsdale, Bill & Sarah Paviol filled Kelly IV’s crew list this past weekend for a brilliant sail to and from Kelley’s Island, just north of Sandusky bay.
Although Sean is new as crew to Kelly IV, he is an active sailor on his own Macgregor 25, sailing the fluky winds of Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, in western Pennsylvania. Bill and Sarah were on the very first crew for Kelly IV when we delivered her from Vermilion, OH to Sandusky Harbor Marina last September. Of course, Jack vanArsdale has been very active both working and sailing Kelly IV this season and we expect him back again soon.
The crew arrived at Sandusky Harbor Marina relatively early on Friday night so Sarah could join her peers in the swimming pool. It was a fine, warm evening with a light breeze so the cool water of the pool was especially enjoyable as Sarah splashed and played. Soon the food and drinks for five people over 2 days was stowed for the short trip. As frequently happens, some extra provisions, especially in the beer department, seem to appear as everyone wants to be certain we don’t run out while underway. Even though we rarely imbibe the alcoholic beverages under sail, this was a short trip with lots of time and new friends in port, so the extra provisions went to good use!
The forecast called for winds on Saturday morning to be coming out of the southwest, but as the weather moved through the area the winds were forecast to be light and clocking around to the northeast by Saturday night. Overnight the breezes would continue to move around to the east, then south and finally by midday on Sunday they would be back to the southwest or even the west. Given the 360 degree wind shifts and call for possible thunderstorms, we decided to stay in the Seaway Marina at Kelley’s Island, rather than anchoring as there is no anchorage off Kelley’s that is protected from all points.
With a light breeze from astern we motored out of the bay, raised sail and pointed Kelly IV’s bow to the northwest. Our newest (to us) crew, Sean, took the helm and steered a wonderful ride to the southwest of Seaway Marina, about 13 miles from our home Marina. With the 10 – 12 knot breeze (my estimate) off our port quarter, we enjoyed a broad reach pushing Kelly IV at about 5 knots across the gray waters. The waves were small, but typically choppy having almost no effect on Kelly IV. The only exception was the 50 foot sportfisherman who produced a 4 to 5 foot wake throwing a gimbaled kersone latern globe across our cabin, just missing Bill & Sarah to crash into the sole, spreading shards of dangerous glass throughout the salon. Sarah, supervised by Bill, carefully cleaned up the mess as the skipper (me) hurled epithets across the water to the mindless, indifferent, unaware and unsafe powerboat operator.
The ride to Kelley’s Island gained particular interest as we scooted across the ferry course of the pair of red-hulled boats as they criss-crossed the choppy waters between Marblehead Point and Kelley’s Island. Sean carefully turned upwind to more rapidly clear their path and give us sea room to lower our sails, then we motored back across their path to enter the marina.
Seaway Marina is small and accommodates the relatively large weekend crowd by having the boats raft up to each other. There are no slips (all are private) available to the transients, so the marina has power and water connections along the seawall opposite the slips. There is room for several boats to raft up to each other, so the only instructions were to find a similar sized boat and raft up to her. Fortunately we found an Allman 31 sailboat and tied up to her, finding that our shore power cord was more than long enough to plug in and fire up the much-enjoyed air conditioning on Kelly IV. Given the fluky, hot, humid air, the need to close up the boat due to the occasional afternoon and overnight rain, the A/C was a valuable and helpful luxury. Although the Allman 31 crew was absent when we tied up, they soon appeared, the owner’s family and a friend’s family, totaling 4 adults and 3 boys. We immediately learned that the men (Brian, owner and Tim, friend) enjoyed a cold beer as much as the next sailor. Soon a 34 foot cigarette style powerboat rafted up with us so we became 3 deep in our raft. Their crew was composed of Mom, Dad, 2 teenage boys and Lucy, their pretty, chocolate brown mixed breed dog. Mom and Dad were soon enjoying some coldies and the party was on!
As the afternoon wore on, our powerboaters went into town to meet friends for dinner, so Sarah got to dog-sit with Lucy. It turns out Lucy enjoyed Sarah’s company, but was very uncomfortable moving across from boat to rafted boat. We had to physically pick Lucy up, hand her to someone on the next boat and carry her around to repeat the maneuver until she was handed ashore to do her business. Sarah earned $10 bucks for doing such a great job! Under the protection of the bimini, Sean avoided the rain and pulled out his new splicing kit, instructions and a test piece of old braided line. In only a couple hours he produced very professional eye splice that looked strong enough for sea duty!
As always, we eat like kings on Kelly IV, but only thanks to the crew, as her skipper is too much of a minimalist when it comes to food. Jack and Bill split the food duties as we ate all our meals on board and savored the fine dining of a new Greek chicken and cheese
dish Bill just learned. Having enjoyed a full breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, English muffins, etc., (I could go on & on!), followed by a great lunch, the crew fell into their bunks for a nap after dinner. With the steady rain pelting the boat, bimini and awning, the interest in walking into town melted away and we enjoyed another game of rummy with Sarah in the cool, dry environment of the salon.
News of a nasty thunderstorm clobbering Vermilion and east came over the radio after our hot breakfast aboard. Given our own forecast for possible thunderstorms, we decided to sail away rather than take more time on Kelley’s Island, saving the sight-seeing for another trip. The thunderstorms never appeared and Kelly IV romped under increasingly sunny skies on a broad reach (occasionally even running!). Jack and Bill sailed Kelly IV across from Kelley’s Island, into the Sandusky Bay channel, through the channel and past the coal pier. Sandusky harbor Marina, our home base, was just a few hundred yards away, but the now-brilliant skies, flat water, and 12 knot breeze made for a terrific sail as we blew past the marina heading deeper across the shallows northwest of the marina.
It proved to be a terrific weekend of sailing going to and from Kelley’s Island, so the missed sight seeing didn’t seem too bothersome. Sean fit in superbly, demonstrating that Lake Arthur sailors are more than capable on the “Big Lake”. Jack, Bill, and Sarah also made for a terrific, fun time as all 5 of us got along famously as we sailed, ate, played cards and cooled off belowdecks. Our biggest challenge this weekend was consuming the next meal while we were sere still savoring the bounty of the last meal!