Solo Sail to Middle Bass Island, August 9-11
Solo Sail to Middle Bass Island, August 9-11Report Abuse
Solo Sail to Middle Bass Island, August 9-11
After Bill, Nino & Guy returned to Pennsylvania, I puttered around on Kelly IV, caught up on some emails, then left Monday morning for Middle Bass Island. The wind was coming out of the southwest at about 10 knots, so I sailed wing-and-wing bout of Sandusky Bay. It was a little tricky staying in the channel, but there was almost no other traffic, so it was much easier than it might have been on a weekend. Once I turned north out of the bay and headed towards Marblehead and the South Passage, the sails trimmed nicely for a broad reach. The sailing was very nice although it was a hot, hazy, humid day on the water. Visibility was only a few miles, but the flat water and light breeze made for a fun sail. To reach the anchorage on the east side of Middle Bass Island, Kelly and I turned northwest out of the South Passage and west of Kelleys Island. The wind clocked to the west and dropped to less than five knots, so the sailing was done and I fired up the new Yanmar for the rest of the trip into the anchorage.
At anchor, I had all I needed on board including plenty of ice, so there was no need to go ashore. It was also very hot and muggy, so I took frequent swims to cool off. I did rig the whisker pole as a crane so I could put the new dinghy into the water. Although it took some effort with only a 3:1 purchase on the block and tackle, it was still quite manageable. Since I didn't need to go ashore, the dinghy sat quietly back on its painter, drifting aft of Kelly IV.
The next day was a slow day for me, but also a bit of a work day. Guy and Bill had done most of the work installing a new stereo system on Kelly IV. The stereo was another fun benefit of Guy's frequent trips to the auction. All the difficult installation work was done by Bill & Guy, including connecting to the 12 volt power panel and running and connecting the power and speaker wires to the stereo unit. The only stuff left to do was a little tedium of hiding the speaker and power wires, and actually screwing the mounting brackets in place. Since it was still very hot and muggy, I was taking several breaks to swim and it took me some time to work through the final installation steps. When all was done, both speakers were mounted and the control unit was in place. All that remained was for me to provide music! Unfortunately, I had no antenna wire and no music on my USB drives. But the unit powered up properly, so I was confident it was operational.
Tuesday evening, as the sun was beginning it slow, long trek down to the horizon, I decided that a walk on shore and purchase of ice would be a great idea. I rowed the new dinghy into the stony beach and enjoyed the straight and stable rowing platform. It was very satisfying to row such a fun little boat! I walked the length of the island (less than 2 miles) and stopped into J.F.Walleyes as I knew they had air conditioning. To justify my occupying their air conditioned dining room and expected use of their shuttle back to the dinghy, I bought a sandwich and beer. I lounged a bit in the A/C, enjoying the change from the drippy, hot outdoors, but finally bought the ice and got my ride back to the dinghy.
By 0845 Wednesday morning, Kelly's anchor was up and stowed and we were sailing close-hauled to the northeast. Although the breeze was light, I figured we had all day, so I'd just enjoy the slow, but easy sail. With the breeze out of the ESE, it was necessary to tack to the SE to cross the northern shore of Kelleys Island. The breeze was about 10knots and Kelly IV was making about 4.5 knots through the water and the GPS showed that our velocity made good (VMG) towards our destination was about 3knots, fast enough for our purpose of getting back to the marina for Wednesday evening.
Or so I thought! About the time Kelly IV turned south towards Sandusky Bay, the light breeze became even lighter (about 5knots) and changed to a more easterly direction. This made for a slower but beam reach to the south. All was slow, but still a fun, easy sail . . . Until we heard the USCG Weather Alert on Channel 16! It turns out that there was a severe thunderstorm warning for Toledo and the Michigan shore of Lake Erie. They said the storm was moving from the west towards the east at about 25 knots. That meant it would arrive at my location in about 2 hours. At that point Kelly was less than 8 miles from the marina, I felt it might be good to fire up the iron genny and by moving at better than 5 knots, we'd be all tied up when the storm reached Sandusky.
If I'd had a radar image I might have figured out a little sooner that I had much less than 2 hours. The skies darkened pretty quickly and I could hear thunder in the distance and it had only been a quarter hour since the warning came through. Kelly made good time under power and we were entering the bay in less than an hour after hearing the Coast Guard alert. Fortunately, the first storm through was passing just north of our position, so we only had some light rain and little wind. Less than 2 hours after getting the alert, Kelly IV was safely tied up in her slip, with thanks to a Catalina 25 owner, Curtis, who helped me as the wind clocked to the west and began to pick up speed and power, making the docking just a little bit of a challenge. The change in the wind was the harbinger of the second storm which still wasn't too bad, but had a LOT of rain. I had towed the dinghy behind Kelly and after the rain, the little dinghy had collect several inches of water!
When I rummaged through my bag of flashlights, I discovered my USB drives and decided to load one with music to confirm that the new stereo was truly operational. Fortunately, in my car I had a DVD/CD drive for my computer as well as some favorite CDs. It took some time to rip the music from the CDs onto the flash drive, but as I write this I am happy to tell you that I am enjoying that music through the new stereo!