Vermilion Yacht Club, Vermilion OH to Pine River Club, St Clair, MI — August 15, 2014

01-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-We-Were-Down-The-Canal-Behind-The-Saiboat

01-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-We-Were-Down-The-Canal-Behind-The-Saiboat

02-Looking-South-On-The-Vermilion-River

02-Looking-South-On-The-Vermilion-River

03-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-With-Front-Wall-Empty

03-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-With-Front-Wall-Empty

04-Houses-In-The-Lagoons-Of-Vermilion

04-Houses-In-The-Lagoons-Of-Vermilion

05-Headed-East-On-The-Detroit-River-With-The-Ambassador-Bridge-In-The-Skyline

05-Headed-East-On-The-Detroit-River-With-The-Ambassador-Bridge-In-The-Skyline

06-Windsor-Flag-Salute-To-The-US

06-Windsor-Flag-Salute-To-The-US

07-View-Of-Downtown-From-Ambassador-Bridge

07-View-Of-Downtown-From-Ambassador-Bridge

08-Downtown-Detroit

08-Downtown-Detroit

09-Ren-Cen

09-Ren-Cen

10-Miliken-Marina-And-Chene-Park-In-Distance

10-Miliken-Marina-And-Chene-Park-In-Distance

11-Pine-River-Club-Looking-North

11-Pine-River-Club-Looking-North

12-Champ-III-Moored-In-Her-Slip-At-THe-Pine-RIver-Club

12-Champ-III-Moored-In-Her-Slip-At-THe-Pine-RIver-Club

Well the wind was blowing this morning but not as strong as the last 2 days.  The Harbor Master, Gene, asked us if we wanted to become residents of Vermilion and we politely declined.  We did tell him that we were headed out but depending on what the actual conditions were we could be back in an hour or less.

We headed out and the wind was out of the Northwest and the waves were approximately 2′ to 4′.  We were running about 14 mph with the bow down to minimize the wave action.  At about 5 miles out we decided to continue even though Lenore expressed some reservations.  We headed toward Sandusky Bay/ Cedar Point.  As we got vloser we turned to the north to head to the East side of Peele Island.  It was a good choice because once we were behind the island the waves were down to less than a foot and we picked up the speed.

When we exited the island protection the waves were not as bad and we were able to keep the speed up.  We were about 10 miles south of Leamington and headed toward the North shore.  We followed the shore to the Detroit River.

We had originally planned on stopping in Detroit either at the Milliken Marina or the Detroit Yacht Club.  The forecast was for rain on Saturday so we thought we would stick our heads out into Lake St Clair and if the water was good we would head home.

Downtown Detroit looked really nice from the river. The buildings appeared to shine in the sun and the river was reasonably quite. When we started out into Lake St Clair the waves were less than 1′ so we kept going.  We followed the shipping channel. The roughest water was the boat wake from the cruisers headed south toward the Detroit River.

It was good to see Lake St Clair and the St Clair River.  Nothing has really changed in the 2 years since we cruised these waters.  We ended up arriving in time for the St Clair Bridge opening at 4:30.

Well this is the last post because we have completed our 2nd Loop. It really seemed strange knowing we were back and the long term cruising is over.  We enjoyed the cruising and all the people we have met in the last 2 years. There was a lot of incredible scenery and great docktails with the other Loopers along the way.  Just flying the Looper Burgee was a natural introduction to other Loopers. It was like you had a common friend and they would share their stories and ask about yours.

The weather the last month or so has not been great and we waited in many marinas for the weather to improve before moving on.  I am not going to miss that and maybe that makes it a little easier to end the cruising.  I remember Ken Watton telling me that he enjoyed the cruising because when you cast the lines off, that day was a new adventure. I whole heartedly agree with that and from that perspective I will miss the cruising but it is time to move one.

One of the highlights was at Liberty Landing in New York this year when we helped Humbug, Carol Anne and Off Leash celebrate their completion of the Loop.  They all finished on the same day at the place they started.  Probably a record for Loopers.  We had traveled on and off with all three during their Loops and really enjoyed their company and friendship.

Ashtabula Yacht Club, Ashtabula, OH to Vermilion Yacht Club, Vermilion OH — August 9, 2014

01-An-Ashtabula-Boater-Is-A-Buckeye-Fan

01-An-Ashtabula-Boater-Is-A-Buckeye-Fan

02-Looking-North-On-THe-Ashtabula-River

02-Looking-North-On-THe-Ashtabula-River

03-The-Ashtabula-Yacht-Club

03-The-Ashtabula-Yacht-Club

04-The-Ashtabula-Bascule-Bridge

04-The-Ashtabula-Bascule-Bridge

05-West-Bank-Of-The-Ashtabula-RIver

05-West-Bank-Of-The-Ashtabula-RIver

06-Leaving-Ashtabula

06-Leaving-Ashtabula

07-The-Vermilion-River-In-Town

07-The-Vermilion-River-In-Town

08-South-End-Of-The-Vermilion-Lagoon-Residential-Community

08-South-End-Of-The-Vermilion-Lagoon-Residential-Community

09-VYC-In-Lagoons-Residential-Community

09-VYC-In-Lagoons-Residential-Community

10-Sunset-Over-Lake-Erie-From-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

10-Sunset-Over-Lake-Erie-From-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

11-The-Canal-On-The-South-Side-Of-The-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

11-Looking West Toward The Vermilion River-On-The-South-Side-Of-The-Vermilion-Yacht-Club From Our Slip

12-Canal-On-South-Side-Of-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

12-Canal-On-South-Side-Of-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

13-Looking-Northwest-Out-Onto-Lake-Erie-From-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

13-Looking-Northwest-Out-Onto-Lake-Erie-From-Vermilion-Yacht-Club

14-The-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-Clubhouse

14-The-Vermilion-Yacht-Club-Clubhouse

A good morning in Ashtabula.  We fueled at the marina next to the Yacht Club before leaving.  The winds were a little stronger today but still out of the east so we had a following sea.  Lots of humidity in the air but we did get to see the Cleveland skyline as we went by.

Because of the wind today, there were lots of sailboats out today.  We saw quite a few that had black or dark gray sails and they looked kind of strange. We are used to seeing white sails so the dark figures against the horizon gave me the thought of ghost ships. Oh well.

Again there were a lot of fishermen out today but not as far out on the lake as we saw yesterday.  I think that was because of the wind and the waves. We saw the biggest cluster around Loraine Ohio.

We have been to the Vermilion Yacht Club before.  The last time was about 4 years ago.  It is a nice small club set in what is known as the Lagoons.  It is a residential community set on canals and all the houses are similar in character with white siding, black shingle pitched roofs and on the water.

This time they were full on the wall when we arrived so they assigned us to a members slip.  The member is out on a cruise on Lake Michigan. The forecast for the next several days is not good so we may be here for a little while.

The Club Manager, Gene, has been really good.  He has given me a ride into the laundromat and back and recommended some carry-out/ delivery places for dinner.

The wind is blowing again today (Thursday) and I am glad we stayed in the slip.  The boats on the wall are rocking somewhat but we are pretty calm all the way back in the canal.  Winds are about 20 knots out of the northwest and the waves out at the Lake Erie Loraine Buoy are about 7′. We are hoping it lays down for tomorrow.

 

 

Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo, NY to Ashtabula Yacht Club, Ashtabula, OH — August 8, 2014

01-Condos-Along-The-East-Shore-Of-Erie-Basin-Marina

01-Condos-Along-The-East-Shore-Of-Erie-Basin-Marina

02-Observation-Tower-On-The-End-Point-Of-Erie-Basin-Marina

02-Observation-Tower-On-The-East-Point-Of-Erie-Basin-Marina

03-Lighthouse-Along-Shore-Of-Erie-Basin

03-Lighthouse-Along-Shore-Of-Erie-Basin

04-West-Shore-of-Ashtabula-River

04-West-Shore-of-Ashtabula-River

05-East-Shore-of-Ashtabula-River

05-East-Shore-of-Ashtabula-River

Well we finally left Buffalo this morning.  We spent a lot more time there than we wanted to because of weather and some repairs to the boat.  Fortunately the water was great as we had east winds at our back for the day.

We saw lots of fishing boats out on Lake Erie today.  All sizes and they were out about 8 miles fishing for walleye in about 70′ of water.  We found that out when we asked in Ashtabula.  A lot of the boats were in the 16′ to 18′ range so it was good that the waves were less than 1′.

As we came into Ashtabula harbor/river we can tell that there are a lot of fishing boats here.  There is also a counterweighted bascule bridge.  The charts said 11′ of clearance but the board on the bridge showed about 6.5′ clearance.  Even the fishing boats were waiting for the bridge opening.

We are staying at the Ashtabula Yacht Club.  It is primarily a sailboat club but they do accept transients and have reciprocal yacht club privileges that we can take advantage of thru the Great Lakes Cruising Club. The people are real friendly and the gentleman that helped us dock is known as Corvette Tom.  He is about 65 years old and drives a fire engine red 2006 Corvette.  He gave me a ride to the grocery store. Nice shuttle service.

Ashtabula Harbor is an old time commercial harbor as you enter with lots of places for freighters in the harbor.  Lots of train traffic on the east side of the river and we were on the west side.  The trains were no issue as there were really no whistles for crossings.

We were able to get one of the members, a retired orthopedic surgeon, to give us a ride to a restaurant for dinner.  He was able to fill us in on the menu and told us to order off the specials board because those were the best dishes.  He was right and the dinner was great.

We decide to stay only one night because the weather forecast was still good.  We thought about sticking around for the Ashtabula Yacht Club Saturday corn roast but Lake Erie was calling.

 

Gateway Park Marina, North Tonawanda, NY to Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo, NY — August 1, 2014

01-Leaving-Gateway-Park-Marina-On-The-Erie-Canal

01-Leaving-Gateway-Park-Marina-On-The-Erie-Canal

02-Boat-Houses-Along-The-Erie-Canal

02-Boat-Houses-Along-The-Erie-Canal

03-On-The-Niagara-River-With-Erie-Canal-Behind-Us

03-On-The-Niagara-River-With-Erie-Canal-Behind-Us

04-Grand-Island-On-The-RIght

04-Grand-Island-On-The-RIght

05-Homes-And-Condos-Along-The-South-Shore-Of-The-Niagara-River

05-Homes-And-Condos-Along-The-South-Shore-Of-The-Niagara-River

06-International-Bridge-Over-The-Niagara-River

06-International-Bridge-Over-The-Niagara-River

07-Passing-Under-The-International-Bridge

07-Passing-Under-The-International-Bridge

08-Flower-Gardens-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

08-Flower-Gardens-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

09-Flower-Gardens-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

09-Flower-Gardens-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

10-Carved-Images-Of-Historical-Figures-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

10-Carved-Images-Of-Historical-Figures-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

11-Looking-East-On-Buffalo-River-At-Erie-Baisn-Marina

11-Looking-East-On-Buffalo-River-At-Erie-Baisn-Marina

12-Sunrise-In-Buffalo-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

12-Sunrise-In-Buffalo-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

13-Sunrise-In-Buffalo-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

13-Sunrise-In-Buffalo-At-Erie-Basin-Marina

14-Erie-Basin-Marina-Looking-Southeast

14-Erie-Basin-Marina-Looking-Southeast

15-Entrance-To-Erie-Basin-Marina-Looking-East-With-Condos-On-RIght

15-Entrance-To-Erie-Basin-Marina-Looking-East-With-Condos-On-RIght

Had a good time in North Tonawanda. Gateway Park had another event on Thursday with a couple of singers on either side of the river playing and singing to the crowds along with food trucks all over the place.  Not quite the production of the Wednesday Concert but still a pretty nice surprise for us.

We decided that the forecast for Saturday was good enough to move.  Were thought we could get to Erie, PA.  We got onto the Niagara River and entered the Black Rock Canal.  This Canal is about 7 miles long and has one lock that raises you 5′ to Lake Erie water level.  You do not need to use the lock but the stretch of the river is 7 miles long and drops 5′ in that distance.  That means going against a current of about 7 knots.  We thought the canal was a better choice.

Lots of activity in the canal in that there were at least 6 rowing sculls out practicing along the canal.  I think they use the canal because the water is calm and the only issue would be boat wake and there are not many boats in the canal.

The Black Rock Canal ends at what is called the Erie Basin and the Buffalo River.  We stuck our head out into Lake Erie.  The winds were supposed to die down during the morning and afternoon.  The winds was out of the Southwest and the waves were 3′ to 4′ on the starboard bow.  We decided to go back and find shelter for the night. We called a couple of marinas and did not have any luck.  We went into Erie Basin Marina where we did not get an answer to our phone call and after a quick stop at the fuel dock we got a place on their entrance wall.

Erie Basin is a marina and a park with gardens. The people of Buffalo use the park and it was busy both on land and water during the day.  The wall we are on is on a peninsula that separates the marina from the Erie Basin and Lake Erie. The people like to walk along the peninsula to the end and back.  There were even 3 school buses in the parking lot.  There is a concession stand and a upscale restaurant on site.

For a Friday afternoon there was an awful lot of boat traffic in the harbor.  I wonder if anybody in Buffalo works on Friday, certainly the ones with boats do not.

We took a look at the weather on Saturday morning and there were some thundershowers out in the lake.  They were not near us but the forecast is for scattered thundershowers all day so we will sit till tomorrow. Well we sat on Sunday also because it was raining in the morning and there was the afternoon forecast for pop up showers and thunderstorms.  Monday is supposed to be dry.