Going home, Lake St Clair

Well I finally did it.. I called the Clay Township Police department to let them know of our arrival date home.  We left Grosse Point Farms and headed up to Lake St. Clair Metro-park. It’s was about 16 miles from Grosse Point Farms.  We  spent our last night of our trip on Beauty  at Metro-park.   There are so many thing to explore at Metro-park. For all of our boater friends, it a great place to anchor or get a boat slip. We always seem to anchor in the north bay and dinghy into shore. If you are wondering what to do there, here are just a few ideas.

  • Biking, walking, running, skating: there is a huge asphalt trail around the park
  • Bird watching, boat watching, fishing, swimming
  • Outside water park and pool
  • Large beach, picnic areas
  • Put-Put Golf, regular golf
  • Very large marina with excellent facilities, the most protected place to anchor in all of Lake St Clair

This is the entrance to the park from the water.

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Tracing our trip up Detroit, we anchored off Grosse Point in the south west end of Lake St Clair.  This is a photo of the Church we anchor in front of when the winds are right.  From here, our adventure took us North to Metro-park.

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As we traveled up the lake towards Metro-park, we were passed the James R Barker.  He is a cargo ship.  Beware if you travel up the shipping channel in Lake St Clair.  These freighters run wide open up the lake and will often times throw a 10 foot wake.  The better way to travel through Lake St Clair is up through the middle, through anchor bay and through the North Channel.

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This is the view of Metro-park from Lake St. Clair.  Just to the right of this point is the beginning of Anchor Bay.

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We decided to get a pump-out.  Typically, in the South, it cost $5.00 for a pump-out and it’s free on the Erie Canal.  At Metro-park, it cost… get ready;  $15.00!!  That is for one tank.  Welcome to Michigan.

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I enjoyed the day relaxing in my chair as we anchored in the North bay at Metro-park.

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Before we knew it, the sun was going down.  We sat on the bow and reminisced about our trip.  We just wanted to wave to everyone as we passed our canal and restart our trip.  But work is work and Bryce promised his boss he would come back.

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The following morning, we made our final stretch to home. The sky was dark. Looks like rain coming. Bryce gave me the thumbs up for anchor up and I put Beauty in gear and off we went.

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If you are in the area you can rent a slip in the marina.  This is one of the best stops in Lake St Clair. Or just anchor in the bay.  We always anchor & swim.  This is a picture of the south Marina.  There are two areas to get a slip.  The North Marina is less expensive.  Seawall dockage is cheaper yet.

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It feels like fall has already set in. There really aren’t any boats out and about today.  On the weekend, it gets much more busy.  We saw one boat headed in as we were going out.  We can remember when there were so many boats cruising Metro it was like driving on I75 in rush hour.  On the right in the picture below is the park area with trails that run along the water.

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These are the buoys that guide us into and out of the park area.  For the other boaters, the charts seem to indicate the lake is quite shallow.  However, the charts show low water datum that occurs maybe once in 30-40 years.  This year, the water depth is about 4 feet over charted depth.  So water depth is excellent… and no tides!!!  The water depth into this park is about 10 feet.  The channel inside and the bay is 12-15 feet.  Shallowest is on the north side of this channel near these no-wake buoys.

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If you decide to walk the park in this area, you can also uses these fishing piers to fish from.  The park walk connects these piers.

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We headed to to the North Channel on Lake St. Clair.  As you can see, we were hit by heavy rain showers.   The whole summer was dry, but we brought the rain back with us.

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This is the North Chanel Yacht Club.  The rain is just seconds away. LOL

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To our surprise, George didn’t smell the area of the North Channel.  Normally, he would pop out of his towel and be very excited that we were headed home…HMM…I wonder what’s up with him?

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The view of our Canal.  I miss the light the neighbors once had in their upper window that would guide us in at night. But they moved and things change.  Now with GPS, its not so difficult to come in at night.

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Here is a shot of the canal. We have to go around the curve  and straight down almost  to the end.

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We are getting closer. I feel a bit on edge (nervous) after a year on Beauty.  We just weren’t ready to come home yet.

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Well, here she is.  We made it back! Bryce is turning so we can dock up. The cover stayed on the power boat. That was a good sign. As we were positioning Beauty guess what we saw….see belowSmile

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This is our sweet neighbor and her lovely daughter.  They were welcoming us home. They had been following us on our blog and figured this was the day of our arrival back. It was AWESOME!!

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With the rain, they had removed the sign. But it had stopped.  Before they could remount the signs, we pulled up. I think that is murphy…LOL

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For some reason, George didn’t recognize the house.  Normally he jumps off the boat and runs up to the house.  Bryce had to carry him.  He cried all the way to the house.  He did not want to leave the boat!!  He still doesn’t seem to be happy that he is home.  Boy, we sure did turn him into a sailor…LOL

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The final map of our journey shows the complete trip of about 7000 miles.  It completes what is referred to as the “Great Loop”.  With an added trip through the Bahamas.

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I apologies for the delay of our finial blog.  I just have had an issues of closing it. I haven’t been on FB either.  Of course the most important reason is letting go of all  of you. We truly don’t want to say bye. But instead, THANK-YOU all for your support and listening to me whine about things.  Without you all, there would not have been a reason to even create a blog.  My tears are now rolling down my cheeks.  If I could I would hug you all. Until our next adventure I will see you all on Facebook. Jane Bryce Johnson is who we are if you are interested.

We are planning our next escape for 2017..  Stay tuned!!

Detroit River, Michigan

Our adventure continues on for a bit longer today. It really wasn’t so hot for sailing. We put out the head sail and it helped some. But we went against the current of nearly 2-3 mph which sometimes dropped our speed down below 4 mph.  We finally got out of the Detroit River after about 6 hours. Anyways with that said I am switching subjects now!!  LOL..  You know I am not sure but I have read that animals remember where their homes are.  Do you believe that?  I am asking because George’s nose keeps wiggling as if he is sniffing the air remembering all the different places he was once the closer we get to home.

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His personality has changed too. Nothing seems to be bothering him.   It’s as if he knows we will be home soon. (weird) Sarcastic smile     I am waiting to see if he jumps off the boat like he normally does as we are docking up. He normally runs to the back door to get into the house.  He has been a great cat to travel with.  He only jumped off the boat once to eat grass.  I think that was because that was the only time he saw grass.  LOL.. I must say though, he really has adjusted to sailing.  Now-a-days, when we invite people on the boat, he doesn’t runaway and hide.  Have you ever thought back why sailors didn’t mind cats on there boats?  I think George put out a certain aroma that keeps certain creatures from coming aboard Beauty.

Okay… enough about George…

As we traveled up the river towards Detroit from Stay Bay (Stoney Island), I noticed this buoy with all the birds on it.  I think they were having a class reunion or something….LOL

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We continued on and were passed by the U.S. Coast Guard. I just think it is so cool to look at all the many types of vessels that travel through the waters.  Among other things, this Coast Guard boat has bubblers/water jets on its hull to help beak apart ice flows.

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This small water plant sets in Canada and it is the Detroit water system.  According to the GPS it sits in Canadian waters.

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Okay…if you are traveling up river for the first time, this is the view that you have on the starboard side when you enter the industry area along the shoreline  of Detroit River and Canada.

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When you make your slight turn one of the first things you’ll notice is the Blue building on your Port side.  This is the Great Lakes Works.  It is located in the community of Ecorse and River Rouge, Michigan and situated along the Detroit River.

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The Great lake Works consists of both steelmaking and is a finishing facility.  They produce such things as hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheets of steels.  That are used in the automotive industry.  Yea; I love to see our jobs here at home.

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This building is also part of the Great Lakes Works.  I don’t want to bore you.  I am just very proud of Michigan and love to see jobs.

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This is a Canada Steamship either unloading or loading on the Canadian shoreline.

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An Army Core Of Engineers facility.  These guys are responsible for all the large water ways.  Except for the Erie Canal.

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As you passed under the Ambassador Bridge….

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Look to the Starboard side, which is Canada.  Of course, that is only if you are coming from the south. This is a park that they display the Canada and U.S.A. Flag.  I think that is beautiful.

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On the other side of the river sits Detroit.  I must say, if you ever get the change to sail at night, this is the most awesome view you will see.  You will hear the sounds of laughter from the city.  You will hear the trains from the steel industry.  NO….Gun fire!!!  That is for a friend who thinks she hears gun fire in Detroit! LOL

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You can come to Detroit and take a ride on the Detroit Princess.  It normally travels for 2-3 hours and takes you on a journey from hart Plaza past the Ambassador Bridge and just past the Belle Isle then to the dock.  They offer dinner cruises and lunch cruises; even a moonlight cruise.  For you fall lovers,  they offer a fall color cruise. You will hear the tones of the Musical Melodies and Motown Memories and Big Band.  Okay, now I want to go.  LOL http://detroitprincess.com   Have funRed rose

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On the other side of the river, we were passed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  You can see they were waving to us.

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On the Canadian side you can see Caesar’s  Casino They offer lots of entertainment.

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As we cruised out of the river, we were past by several freighters.  Isn’t she pretty. Algosea is her name..

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Belle Isle Park.  One thing you will notice as you travel along the Detroit River is the Belle Isle DNR Park. It is rich with history..  They had marinas…Yacht clubs in the past but I didn’t notice any during my research.

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We finally made it out of the river and are headed to our anchorage for the night.  We often like to anchor about 5  miles from the Detroit River in Lake St Clair near Grosse Point Farms between two Yacht clubs and in front of a church. Thank you all for following us on our adventure Red rose

Put-In-Bay, OH, Lake Erie

After reaching Put-N-Bay on Thursday afternoon. We were able to prevision for our trip home this following week.  Boy, I think the water taxi driver never though he would stop hearing.. ”Water Taxi can we get a pick-up on ball G-1 please?” We must of called for a pick-up 5 times.. LOL But we got everything we needed.  Friday afternoon, after the thunderstorms with 30 knot winds passed through we thought it would be a good time to go exploring.  We meet a really nice couple John and Sandy from Michigan on the water taxi.  They were headed to the Goat Restaurant and invited us to go with them.  It was so much fun.  Their boat was right next to us on a mooring ball. The weather map doesn’t look good for a Sunday departure & maybe not even on Monday.

Dark skys rolled in and dumped rain & wind on us.  Before the storm even started, all mooring balls were taken. You can see a few left in this photo. But as I was taking this photo, boats were coming in left & right.

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Boats came in from every direction to grab a mooring ball; but soon they were full.  Not enough to go around.  So boat just pointed there nose in to the wind and road it out.  Dozens of sailboats came in from a race, they rafted off in the marina.  It was quite hectic.

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These guys are trying to find a ball.

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Our Friday afternoon with our new friends John & Sandy

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This is a really nice place to eat.  But don’t eat to much. Because Ice-cream and desserts await downstairs.

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Saturday was another nice day. We took the diesel cans into the board walk and filled them up for our way home incase we have no wind.  Bryce is taking the cans back to the boat.  This is a picture of the water taxi.  Rides are free with mooring on a ball.

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One of our favorite things to do is to visit the pool bars and enjoy a few drinks.  This one is called Splash!  I like this one. It’s my favorite; but on Saturday it was wall to wall bodies no room for even a toe to get in.  LOL.. I didn’t take my camera because I didn’t want to leave it unattended while we were in the pool. We went back on Sunday to take the photo below.  I think Sunday might have been the best day to enjoy the pool.  Almost no one here.

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Well, I don’t remember the name of this pool area, but we call it the Wild one.  It focuses on the younger generation; however, we always have a few beers here also.  Again, this picture was taken on Sunday, so few people are here.  Imagine standing room only in this pool.. That is how it was Friday and Saturday.

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A few years or so ago, we found a third pool area to visit.  Crash Landing…. It is my second favorite.  It is a bit more family oriented.  It has two large pool areas and two pool bars.

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Not so many people here on Sunday. There is also a second pool & hot tub across from this area.  This was much less crowded than earlier in the weekend.

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We decided to take the jeep train around the Island to pick up a few bottles of champagne.  It’s $10 per person and is the best way to see the island.

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Here we are on the jeep train.. ready to leave the station.

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I have to laugh… This young lady saw Bryce taking pictures and yells.. Out Take my photo…..

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Along our adventures here on Put-n-Bay we like to stop at Heineman Winery and pick up Champagne & wine. Today we only picked up some Champagne and Sparkling Wine.

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At Heineman Winery, I tested a few reds.  They didn’t have any Merlot. Sad smile

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We went across the street to Perry’s Cave and had a hot dog & visited the antique cars.

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Although this is very small pole barn, it was worth the stop.  It is the biggest collections of Antique cars on Put-in-Bay.. Smile

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How cool is this 1924 model T snowmobile?  I think it would be a blast to take a ride in one. Poor Bryce is carrying my Champagne.

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I like this yellow car the best….

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They have antique bikes hanging on the walls…

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A few moments later they had a antique car parade come through the area. I like this car-boat also.  It has two propellers and drives in the water!! Notice the Ohio boat registration numbers on the side!!

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It is always so nice to see people take pride in their dreams.

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After we got back on the train, we passed by the Heineman Winery Vineyards…

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We have never stopped here.

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This is a fun place to have a few cocktails..

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As we were waiting for the arrival of the water taxi we sat on the bench and looked around and talked to the people setting next to us.  When the water taxi approached the sea wall… This beautiful young lady with a sparkling smile said… Hello Bryce and Jane… Welcome back.. It was Michelle & Bryan and their two adorable children Claire & Luke.   Below is a great picture of them with both our sailboats in the back ground along with Perry’s Monument.  They had just sailed from Michigan on  the western shore of Lake Erie. It was great to see them.

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Michelle handed me a present.  I didn’t get a chance to open it till later that night after we arrived back to our boat. I couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t thank you all enough for this….  For those of you that don’t remember, a shot of Goldschlager is required for me per lock to steady my nerves.

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We finally needed to head back. We had plans to met up with Brain & Melanie some good friends of ours around 7:00 p.m They toasted with a bottle of champagne to our first year long trip…

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What an amazing night with the sunset. With great friends all round us…It was perfect!!!! Michelle and Brian, notice your sailboat in in the sunset…Red rose

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Thank you all for following us….Red rose

Lake Erie, Kelly’s Island

What a great day back in our own stomping grounds. We are, as most of you know, in Lake Erie. We still need to go back up the Detroit River and to the top of Lake St. Clair. So with that said, you are not done with us yet…LOL The water temp here in Lake Erie is so warm. I think I have done more swimming here then on the whole trip. OKAY….. so I don’t actually swim but I do putts around the boat ladder and float in my chair.  We really needed to provision for the rest of the trip home. Put-n-Bay has a super market we will go to.  I have had nothing to make for breakfast, so I have had to make mac & cheese.  Instead of using milk, I used coffee creamer. It was quite tasty. Kelly’s Island Had a restaurant we could jet-ski to.   Finally, after Bryce finished up with work, we decided to jet-ski over to West Bay Inn restaurant. We needed something other than Mac & Cheese…

Yep… this is me ready to enjoy my day…Island with a palm tree

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It is so neat that they have a nice place to dock up to.

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Okay Bryce, put the camera away.  I ordered the coconut shrimp. They came with these tiny little balls deep fried.  So I tried them.  They were small pieces of pineapple breaded and deep fried. I don’t normally eat deep fried foods; but these were good.

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We drove the jet-ski over to the beach to relax and enjoy our day before we head to Put-n-Bay.  As Bryce was putting out the anchor, I carried the umbrella and one chair up to shore. “Jane.. Jane is that you?” I heard some one ask.  I turned to see who it was and if they were even talking to me. LOL Well, I couldn’t believe it. There was  Ryan Kelly with a few of his buddies enjoying their day sitting in the water with a can of beer. So we joined them. It was really nice to visit with Ryan and his friends.

Ryan is between his friends. My apologies; neither Bryce or I remember their names. But they are great guys.    Happy anniversary to Jessica & Ryan

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Ryan & Jessica have a really neat trailer-able boat “Knot a Call” it’s a 25 footer and it only drafts 2.5 feet of water. They are expecting there first little sailor to start joining them on their cruises.

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Well it was getting time to sail over to Put-n-Bay.  We said our goodbyes and headed out. Tonight we will tie to a mooring ball.  It has been a while without using one or getting a slip and this will help using the water taxi to carry back food.

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Thanks for following us. Red rose

Dancing Waves on Lake Erie at Ashtabula, Fairport and now Kelly’s Island in Ohio

OM!! what a last few days.  Now let me explain, I am not a rollercoaster type of gal. We sailed for the past three days. That was pretty awesome. Although it seems like since we entered Lake Erie, the winds have been out of the North East hitting Beauty in the starboard side rear corner. It really hasn’t been bad out in the lake. But the anchorages inside the breakwaters haven’t been so great with the winds. From Ashtabula, to Fairport, now Kelly’s Island, we have bobbed like a bobber at the end of a fishing line.  During anchorage we bobbed up and down and side to side!!

Pulling into Ashtabula, Ohio wasn’t bad we were so happy to be out of the dancing waves on Lake Erie. We jumped into the bay to cool down a bit.  By morning we were bobbing.. LOL  Here is a picture of Ashtabula.

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Ashtabula, Ohio was a great stop over for provisioning and a good lunch out.  They have a nice public dock in the center of town you can use for two hours while you do what needs to be done.  Bryce and I headed into town with the jet ski not knowing that we didn’t have to pass under the bridges to dock up to the free dock.  By the time we got back to the boat, winds were gusting to 17 knots.

They had a great entrance to the breakwater.

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When we first pulled into Ashtabula, Bryce noticed this catamaran.  It was some new friends of ours that we met on the Erie Canal.  They are headed to Chicago then down the Mississippi.   Scott & Rhonda have a great voyage.  We swam over and visited with them for a bit. I should restate that! Bryce put his flippers on and I sat in my floating chair. He pushed me over like a queen in her chair. LOL

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The following morning we headed into town in Ashtabula, Ohio. This is the public sea wall you can dock on. Bryce is putting his shoes and shirt on.

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We had to make it to the post office for a package. When we noticed this was really a cute town. Loved the flowersRed rose

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As we turned the corner to walk up the street to the post office, all I could smell was the grilled hamburger cooking from the Grind house restaurant on the corner. Yep I had to have lunch there. LOL    They had gourmet burgers so I enjoyed a great burger!!!  This was a snazzy restaurant with a great ambiance and a terrific view of the river through the picture windows shown in the picture below.

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Well, we made it back to Beauty and pulled up the anchor to head towards Fairport Harbor, Ohio. What a sloppy mess it was to exit the harbor into Lake Erie. Waves were dancing on the seawall and rushing into the harbor through the opening of the breakwater entrance.  Sailing on a quartering sea, we were reasonably comfortable.

We sailed from Ashtabula to Fairport.  Fairport was just a lay over prior to our push to the Bass Islands.  Fairport was a poor anchorage in NE winds. The waves entered the inlet shown below and bounced off the seawall and hit us from behind.  The eastern part of the breakwater was open to east winds, so we had waves coming from that direction also.  We bobbed like a bobber all night long.  Finally morning came.  Bryce was not able to work more than about 3 hours.  With unsettled sleep, we pulled up anchor and headed out into Lake Erie.  We decided to head across the lake to Kelly’s Island nearly 72 miles away.  Close to Put-in-Bay.  I was so happy…They are indeed my favorite places on Lake Erie.  We traveled about 20 miles off shore on a due West heading straight to the northern bay on Kelly’s Island.

Here is a picture of the sunset at Fairport.

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The morning we left Fairport, the sun was rising over the other break water with the nuclear power plant in the background.

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Nearly 12 hours later we passed the eastern point of Kelly’s Island.  We nosed in to check out the wave action and decided to anchor right inside the corner of the point to protect us from the waves. They were supposed to settle down as the night went on.  Unfortunately the waves were slow to respond to the direction of the wind change. Bryce got up around 1:30 after hearing me complain that I couldn’t sleep and did something magical to the anchor line caused the boat to head into the waves. That smoothed it out and I was finally snoring logs. LOL

This is the eastern of the bay on North Kelly’s Island.  It is an excellent anchorage with a phenomenal beach as long as the winds are not northerly.  We will enjoy Thursday here and head into Put-In-Bay for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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Thanks for following usRed rose

Erie, PA (Presque Isle Bay)

 

Good morning everyone, sure hope you are having a pleasant morning. After spending the weekend in Erie, PA (Presque Isle Bay),  We headed up to Ashtabula, Ohio. It was a great day of sailing. We had our share of thunderstorms over the weekend. But we were able to get out and explore in between them so I that I could share Erie, PA (Presque Isle Bay), with you all. For those of you not familiar with Erie, PA (Presque Isle Bay),  It is a natural harbor on the Great Lakes. The Erie state park peninsula nearly  encircles Erie harbor. The peninsula connects the mainland by a narrow neck at its west end.  The Presque Isle Bay is 4.5 miles long. and 1.5 wide.  So the harbor is a small lake filled with boaters. The city of Erie lies a long the southern shore.

 

How about a floating home on the water? Unbelievable.. The only way they can get to there homes is by some foam of watercraft.  There was a small subdivision of floating homes on the eastern side of the harbor in a small protected bay.

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You can see some of the folks use jet-skis, boats , kayaks and so on.

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We moseyed on over to Rum Runners for lunch. This pirate ship showed up and threaten harm to the patrons.  It started a war.  LOL   Even the kids grabbed a squirt gun and were able to defend Rum Runners in the harbor.  It was tons of fun for all.

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We took the Jet-ski out and explored Lake Erie along the shoreline.  What a nice ride it was.  We saw this water fall. But I am sure it has a lot to do with the down pour we been getting.

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I don’t think I could do the last part of this staircase. LOL

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It appears they are filling in some areas where the shoreline is receding.

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Another water fall..

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J.S. ST. Huron (Erie) is a dredger. Boy, it looks so narrow.  We are so used to seeing the huge barge dredgers. The next day as we left Erie Pa, this vessel was gone.  Perhaps she was out making a new path for all of us.

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Well… I think this sucker upper is very powerful… Looks at rocks..  This is the inlet to the dredger.  It works like a huge vacuum cleaner.

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When the tour ships come in to port you can go up this tower and view the harbor.

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What a pretty hotel the Sheraton is. The sky walk is about 70 feet. So if you have a lower mast you will make it under it.  Wolverine Marina and a Yacht Club are through here.

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Behind the Sheraton Hotel, there is a two hour dock you can use to explore town or go out for dinner.

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I was a little late at grabbing the camera.  This bay was loaded with boats. The rain and thunderstorms didn’t bother anyone.

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Beauty is anchored and loving it. The water depth is 14 feet. Tons of sailboats and powerboats are able to enjoy this bay. it has to be one of the most protective bays we have been in. We floated in our chairs and just did some good relaxing.

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Thank you for following us. Red rose

Cruise to the city of Erie, Pennsylvania

Well, it’s another good day but we did have thunderstorms during the night. With projected storms and winds we decided to stay an extra night here at Erie,PA what a beautiful park. We have been here now by car and boat. It sure is a nice place on Lake Erie; with great anchorage.  Yesterday, on our way here, it sure was a delight to be able to sail.  The light 8-12 mph winds were coming from the North East just off our Starboard rear.  We zipped along at a blazingly fast 5.5-6.5 mph.

 

Here I am enjoying the sail.

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One thing I enjoy doing when we sail only a mile from shore is to view the shoreline.  The tall rock cliffs are so neat.  It would be nice to explore them; but it seems like we are now on a time crunch.

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Yes, we are sailing on the lake on a sunny day. This is a view from the cockpit of Beauty.

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Just to give you a flavor of sailing, here is a view looking back from the bow of Beauty.  In case you are wondering, our crew member Otto Pelot is at the helm.

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The tall smoke stacks I believe are from a power company. First sign that we are getting close to our anchorage for the night in Erie Pennsylvania.  Yes, some where along the coastline, we finally sailed out of New York.

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As we came upon the entrance to Erie  PA, I noticed this Kayaker.  He really did look to be having a hard time going against the wind.

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It is always nice to see people fishing. I sure hope they are catching something.  This is the entrance to the bay at Erie, PA.

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I took this photo after we entered the bay.  It shows the deep water channel that leads out into Lake Erie.  The sun light was better in this direction. LOL

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This is the city of Erie PA. There is a huge bay that is the size of a lake. We are anchored in a smaller bay near by that protects us from the winds.

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The Bay at Erie Pennsylvania is called Presque Isle Bay.  We are anchored at the small blue dot in the middle of the picture.

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Sunset has ended our day.

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Thank you all for following us on our adventureRed rose