Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Zatarra Cruise - Port Dover to Ashtabula

Paul, Sharon and I were supposed to leave Port Dover on Friday to sail to Erie but bad weather delayed us for a day. Instead I went to dinner in Port Dover at a Clonmel castle.
This lovely old house, on extensive park like grounds, is a Bed and Breakfast.
On Friday nights
they serve dinner (although the setting is quite formal, it is, in fact, quite informal)
and then live music. Also informal, with different people at different times getting up and singing and playing.
We set off Saturday morning. The weather forecast was for winds 8 to 10 knots.
Breakfast while underway.

We started out sailing with a reefed main sail and a full headsail. Before we reached the Point the wind picked up, waves increased and even with a furled headsail it wasn't a comfortable sail so we dropped it all and motored.
I have to take a picture of the lighthouse everytime I pass it.
Comfortable cruisers.
We were very happy to see Erie after 6 ft waves on an angle that kept twisting and tossing us around, tossing the stuff in the boat around too. We saw 22knots a couple of times.
Not sure that the paddlewheeler would be having much fun out there.
We checked in with the U.S. Border Security over a video phone and then got docked right in front of the club house at the Erie Yacht Club. Whew! Amazing how tiring it is to deal with the motion of the boat for the 6 hour crossing. So we ate out at the yacht club for dinner.
A race boat has next to nothing on the stern rail but Zatarra has a crowded stern; from the left: the furler line, propane, BBQ, dinghy davits and various lines that secure the dinghy, pouch that holds the VHF radio, fender to stop the dinghy rubbing ...
radio pouch for dinghy, safety kit for dinghy, miscellaneous ropes and bungee cords, Canadian flag, floating throw line, motor for the dinghy, emergency light and life ring with floating line.
Sunday we walked up the steep hill out of the Erie Yacht Club and found a variety store for the essentials we had forgotten
View near the bottom of the hill.
We had planned to stay another day but checked the weather and found that if we didn't leave on Monday, we would be trapped by thunderstorms for the next 3 days. So we went to bed early, planning to be up before the sun.
We left the dock at 7:30am and motored out the channel past this Laker loading up with sand

and fishermen on the pier.
Out of Presquille Bay we turned West and set the sails. It was a lovely SSW wind 10 to 16 knots.
The chart plotter makes it easy to set and follow a course and for the first couple of hours we were able to sail along at about 6knots, pretty close to our course.

Paul would have happily sailed all the way but as the wind dropped and shifted towards the West we were having to tack further away from the course, taking longer and longer to make any progress to Ashtabula.
Sharon was also happy as she could stand in the galley to make lunch without being knocked all over the place (like on Saturday)
The solar eclipse occurred while we were sailing. We really didn't notice any change in the light but did find that it got cooler for about 20 minutes.
Just as we had determined that we would complete one more tack and then turn on the motor and thus be able to head straight to Ashtabula, I shifted position, on the helm, and knocked a cockpit cushion off the boat. Luckily it floated so we executed a man-over-board exercise to retrieve it.
After a couple of passes, attempting to get it with the boat hook, we had to deploy the dinghy to rescue it.
After spending a week here last year, trapped by thunderstorms, it felt like coming home.

We knew to look for the bald eagles on the gravel piles
and the osprey on the light posts.
We were docked at Ashtabula Yacht Club and having a glass of wine at about 5pm

1 comment:

  1. I saw a Bald Eagle too!! (And an Osprey, and a bunch of Hawks. And one of those massive Alberta hares, though it was a baby one, but still massive - which Jason says I should count as 'wildlife' since he hasn't seen one before.)