Detroit River and Lake Erie -August 29 to Sept. 7, 2013

We floated down the Detroit River on a cloudless, windless  warm Monday morning past the mailboat under the Ambassador Bridge, past the Boblo Island boats sitting alongside old docks, steel making plants belching steam and out on to Lake Erie with old sailing ships and new cargo vessels.
This ship needs one more picture as it is the favorite of ours. The Pride of Baltimore!


Lake Erie was flat calm and we were anxious to keep moving on to Put-In Bay so we motored onward. Flies for the first time this trip were very bothersome and we kept busy not with sail trim but with flyswatters. We could tell from our new chartplotter/GPS that we were very close to the Canada/border and sure enough we had a friendly boarding by the US Coast Guard for a “safety inspection”. We passed all inspections!

Put-In Bay on South Bass Island off of Sandusky,Ohio (think Cedar Point) is known as “The Party Place” by most people we heard from. However it was also the place to be for the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. So this is why we were excited to be here. This monument is over 300 feet tall and is to honor Oliver Hazard Perry and the US victory over the British.


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This is the view of the harbor and of course Maraki from the top.

The anchorage of the monument was terrible holding and we experienced a sleepless, active night as a thunderstorm came through and we had dragging boats all around us including one that ended on shore, one with their anchor rode around their keel and lots of jockeying. We anchor with all chain and stayed put but had to motor for half the night to stay out of harms way. Needless to say, we moved the next day to a safer less crowded anchorage that unfortunately was a little farther from town and the happenings but much safer.


This picture is of Kelleys Island about 6 miles away where we found these Glacial grooves that were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Finally the day of the Re-enactment arrived and the wind was of course blowing 20 and the area for the Battle was 6 miles upwind. We motor-sailed along with 2000 ? of our friends to try to watch the battle scene. It proved to be VERY chaotic as no one took charge of clearing the area but still interesting to watch. These pictures try to give some idea as to what this looked like.

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Next stop was Cleveland which again was a days run under spinnaker away. We found a free municipal dock along with the Pangaea/Explore vessel which is studying water on the Great Lakes and was returning from a trip through to Chicago looking at water samples for particulate plastics pollutants. The dock was at the base of the pier housing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

From Cleveland we sailed to Fairport Ohio and anchored just inside of the breakwaters where we watched Wednesday night racing. Later at dusk this Lakes freighter “squeezed” in through the narrow harbor to load cement.
Now we are feeling the need or want to get to Buffalo and begin our inland trip. But one more chance to see the tall ships as they gather for another celebration in Erie, PA. We anchored in a “bomb-proof pond” in the State Park called Presque Isle and featuring miles of beach!!

The next port we hope to reach was Buffalo, NY and it was 68 miles away. We pulled anchor from the pond at first light and headed out to the NE. Predictions for wind was from the SW 10-20 and then going NE 15-20 tomorrow. So we threw up the new blue asymmetrical spinnaker and for the next 5 hours we made fast time in the right direction. We started seeing signs of squalls coming and decided to snuff the spinnaker as it was our first time using it since making a few sewing adjustments. The wind picked up as did the rain and we were glad to have the jib up but partially rolled. The trip took us 11 hours and we were in well before dark. It was a cold, wet second half but we were ready to enter the canal system of New York.
Here we are on the Niagara River between Buffalo and Tonowanda where the Erie Canal starts.


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