June 7-8 Terrific Sailing!
June 7-8 Terrific Sailing!Report Abuse
What a terrific Weekend!
We found that Kelly IV sails great with a bit of breeze. Bill Paviol drove to Sandusky for the entire weekend of sailing, arriving Friday evening, June 6. After getting the gear on board, including the Port-a-Bote dinghy, we left the marina for a burger and beer at a local fishing pub, Terry's, near the causeway. The food and camaraderie were great, and the storm passed by while we were indoors. Later we found that the storm had clobbered the Mills Trophy Sailing Race from Toledo to Put-In-Bay. Bill cooked a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, bagels, and OJ, then we secured everything below for a great day of sailing.
It was only the two of us, so we took turns at the helm, Bill proving once again that he is terrific at handling the helm, even when the breeze is blowing up to 20 knots. We gradually reduced sail as the morning progressed, eventually ending up with a double reef in the main and a heavily furled roller-furling Genny. Even so, the GPS put us at a quick-paced rate of 9 knots! There were at least 3 major fishing fleets, but Bill successfully managed to weave through the fleets without even a close call. He accomplished all this while also turning into the wind as we made multiple sail changes to reduce sail as the breeze picked up through the day. One of the great things about Lake Erie sailing is that once we set the sails, the only reason to change was the increase in wind strength. The wind direction stayed consistently out of the SW, even when a rather large dark cloud passed over. It brought the heaviest winds of the days, possibly gusting to over 20 knots, but the wind direction stayed locked into the SW. Finally, well after we passed the ship - now house ashore, we lost our breeze and motored the final half mile into Put-In-Bay. Yes, you read that correctly, someone has taken a foundered ship of at least 4 decks, and cut her in half. They have mounted the bow half over the western cliffs of South Bass Island, pointing out over Lake Erie and live ion the half ship as their home ashore. If that ship's lights are displayed at night it could easily confuse boaters that they are facing a large freighter westbound from the cliffs of South Bass Island!
In less than 5 hours we were picking up a mooring at Put-In-Bay harbor in South Bass Island, Ohio. Our mooring fee included shower and toilet facilities ashore, so we took advantage of them. There was a nice town museum and a brewery pub that we visited before getting our showers. After rinsing off the grime and sweat of a hard sail in a full breeze, we returned to the beautiful, but one of the smaller yachts in the harbor, Kelly IV, to have a relaxing afternoon before heading out for a night on the town. We wandered around the small, but possibly wild village of Put-In-Bay to find at least 6 different bachelorette parties underway. It is best if we leave the details of the male inflatable doll carried by one bride-to-be to your imagination.
Since both of us were on the elder side of 40, we left the "The World's Longest Bar", a long, winding, undulating bar at the Beer Barrel Bar, about 11pm. Given the warm evening, we both slept under Kelly IV's bimini for a quiet and comfortable sleep on the mooring. Breakfast on Sunday was pancakes with bacon, bagels, strawberry jam, and OJ. Having a full galley makes cooking almost as easy as it is at home. We built the Port-a-bote across the lifelines at the bow, then rowed into shore on our own, even though the water taxi was already making his rounds. After a visit in our quaint little 12 foot rowboat of a dinghy, to a large, 4 decker, 70 foot motor yacht asking for some "Grey Poupon", we got our morning showers and visited the museum and visitor center of the Perry Memorial and Peace Monument. The 15 minute video was well worth it as it was very informative about the details of the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1913. Since it included significant footage of the reincarnated Sailing Brig "Niagara", our frequent sailing companion when we were based in Erie, PA, we felt very much at home in Put-In-Bay. We were also inspired to make the 352 ascent to the observation deck near the top of the monument. On a clear day, they say you can see Canada. Even though it was hazy, we were able to Pelee Island the largest of the Erie Islands and the southernmost populated land in Canada.
We went to the clean, bustling little depot to pick up John and Brianna Murphy, my brother and niece. They had taken the Miller ferry from Catawba Island to South Bass Island, the bus to Put-In-Bay village. Bill rowed the dinghy back to Kelly IV, while John, Brianna, and I took the water taxi to Kelly IV. It didn't take long with the full 4 person crew to make ready for the return sail back to Sandusky Bay.
The wind was every bit as strong on Sunday as it was for the sail on Saturday, except that we had to motor into the waves for the exit from Put-In-Bay and later for the transit from the entrance to Sandusky Bay all the way to our slip in Sandusky Harbor Marina. In between, we had a beam reach to close reach for the return sail with strong breezes again pushing us to 9 knots, per the GPS. Although the 2 to 4 foot chop and waves west of South Bass Island made all but Bill a bit queasy, no one got sick and once we settled on the reach back east, all was well. Especially if you like being doused regularly by fresh water spray as we sliced through the green water and took significant water over the foredeck and side decks. John liked the forward starboard seat in the cockpit and held his ground even though his position meant he took the brunt of the water splashing onto the boat from the stiff breeze. Once again we sailed with the double reefed sails, but still sailed consistently in the 6-8 knot range with a few spurts up to 9 knots.
We discovered that Kelly IV loves a strong breeze as she cut through the waves cleanly and romped with speed smoothly without pounding for a wonderful and enjoyable sail both coming and going.