We finished our journey across lake Erie this past Friday night and tied up a couple hours after sunset at the Sugarloaf marina in Port Colborne. Next up is the Welland Canal and we will be lining up to get in the queue in the Sunday morning.
We decided to stop Tuesday on Lake Erie at Pelee island as there was little wind when finished up in the Detroit river. We did start motor sailing briefly when we got out on the lake but then the little breeze that had existed died off and we motored the rest of the way to Pelee Island.
We spent a bit of time exploring the island but we had to take shifts as our dinghy was stowed below for the journey so our means of getting to land was the inflatable kayak which fits 1 person and because he wont be left behind, 1 dog. Magnus and I had a good long walk and watched the school bus go by with I think 3 students. We later found the school as well.
Maybe the school is in a bad neighbourhood?
I was too far from the kayak to add my shoes to the collection…
I wonder if the bra tree at Lake Louise is also inspired by breast cancer awareness as noted on the sign here?
Thursday morning we set off to finish crossing the lake. We motored the first few hours and then the wind picked up just enough to sail. So we did. I think for every 3 miles we sailed, we made about 1 mile towards our destination. As the night set in, the winds lulled so we began motor sailing and then dropped the sails all together. Later in the night the wind built to about 10 knots directly at us. Not enough to make effective windward progress, but enough that the chop on the lake was too uncomfortable to keep motoring into. Not wanting to tack through 120 degrees just to keep the sails full and have the journey take 3 days, we opted to motor sail with the main sail. We still had to tack, but could at least keep the sail full at a much tighter wind angle. The main generated about an extra knot of boat speed which mostly offset the extra distance from simply motoring to our destination.
The wind of course wouldn’t remain consistent for more than about 1 watch, so I think the main went up and down 5 times in the 38 hours it took to get to Port Colborne.
Somewhere along the way we picked up a hitch hiker. Magnus didn’t notice for a while, but when he finally did he would attempt to scare the bird off which would merely fly up and then land on the other end of the boat. The two eventually decided it would be easier to coexist.
Several hours out of Port Colborne the winds finally did die off as the forecast high pressure system moved in, so we enjoyed a nice dinner in the cockpit together while the autopilot, whom we have named Otto, steered for us. The sun went down as we neared the port and two freighters passed us heading out into the lake as we made our way into the channel and shortly afterwards were tied up at the dock for the night.