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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Port Elgin 25-30 knot Blues
20-30knot winds/sunny
08/16/2007, Port Elgin

We're still currently sitting in Port Elgin listening to the wind blow. Who'd have thought - but we're a sailboat taking shelter from the wind... The last three days have been something. Variable conditions - We've encountered 3 meter or better seas, 25-35 knot windgusts (running with us and against us) and we've met some really nice people along the way too.

Yesterday we left Tobermory (Little Tub) at 7:30am and arrived here a little after 5:00pm - it was a terrific day with the seas running with us a good deal of the time. Little Tub was an interesting little port that we hadn't scheduled on our trip, but I'm glad we went there!

The day before, we had incredible seas/winds which made us seek shelter in Little Tub - while it wasn't our destination, I was really glad we found it. Great place to restock - very good grocery store there and little shops to please most everyone.

We ran into a boat "Atlantis" with a terrific couple on it from the Netherlands that we'd seen in Killarney - Yolanda and Nord. They're heading for the Erie Canal in a Holland Built, steel Cutter (see pic from yesterday). Wish I could say that we were joining them (and Kathy & Mike) this year, but it's not to be... We need to wait... They've been cruising for quite a while now and I loved talking to them. I hope we run into them in the future somewhere.

Port Elgin is an interesting place - an artifical harbor that is very cruiser friendly once you get past the shallows and reef areas. We had a problem finding it initially but once we did, we lined up on their range and had no problem coming in. Great wireless connection so I'm experimenting with email and this blog site :-) Blogging is new to me - I thought I'd try my had at it after reading Mike and Kathie's from Sapphire.

Saw this one boat tied to the dock that had to be a fisherman "lil hooker" cracked me up!!! I just couldn't name my boat that!!!

08/16/2007 | Mary
Hi Patti.....this is really cool........keep up the good work.........hope to see you soon.
Winds/Waves are more subdued today
08/15/2007, Little Tub to Port Elgin

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tobermory (41o15.400' x 81o39.745) to Port Elgin (44o26.620 x 81o24.223)

Picture of Atlantis crossing over in front of us after we'd left Killarney - good looking boat!

Wild night last night. Even laced into our slip we were rolling. The powerboat next to us from Port Shelton (near where Jackie lives) was really waltzing. Around 2 am Wayne got up and made sure we were still snug and that the other boat docked near our bow at 90 degrees to us was also secure. I didn't get back to sleep until around 4 am, then heard a squeeking sound at daylight and figured it was Atlantis pulling out of her berth. Got up to look, and sure enough, they were backing out and backing out of the channel. They're heading to Sarnia - a 24-hour haul. I don't envy them, but they've been doing this for a while now. I'd have like to have gotten to know them better. Maybe we'll cross paths again.

Wayne got up early too - I made coffee then we pulled out around 7:30am and headed for Stokes Bay. The weather wasn't as bad at all today and we were making pretty good time with the motor and Jib up so we decided since the waves and wind were with us, we'd continue on to Port Elgin. Pretty uneventful day today - looked like the leading edge of a front that we were moving into. Wayne had the helm from the time I got us through the Cape Hurd Channel leaving Tobermory, until I took the helm to come in to Port Elgin. So I had a lazy day playing navigator, reading and I even got a brief nap in too

This is a cute little place. A port in the middle of nothing that people stop to rest, get gas etc... They have a wireless that actually works so I was able to email Stephanie finally, and got Randy's email too.

I made more noodles to go with the left over spaghetti sauce from yesterday and made a tomato/onion/cucumber salad to go with it. Did I mention that I've even made bread and muffins in our little alcohol stove???? Hey - all the creature comforts of home LOL!

Checked out the weather maps from NOAA and it looks pretty decent for tomorrow so far. We got in and laced to the dock at 5:15pm so just less than 10 hours. Tricky coming in, so many reefs and rocks that we had to line up on their range in order to enter.

Baie Fine to Killarney
Stormy to Fair winds to calm to 30 mph winds

I hear that people come from miles around for the fish at the restaurant above and for the icecream.

Sunday 8/12/07
Wow what a day - I'm exhausted. Got up early and watched a pretty sunrise, made coffee and sat up top reading the latest John Sanderson novel. Finished it and then we noticed that the Tartan and Spray were hauling up anchor. The clouds were rolling in pretty fast but we decided to follow the two boats out. Bad move. They headed into the narrows to the "Pool" so we proceeded on the same course to leave that we had come in on. Well the waves and wind started growing and getting stronger and we had white caps and could see lightning in the entrance of the fjord so Wayne decided we should skiddaddle back to our original anchorage. I must say I argued about it because threading through all the rocks to get to the channel was scary through the winds and whitecaps, but we turned around and headed back and anchored in strong winds 27 knots and whitecaps and road out the strong winds and rains. Scary for a bit, but Brie held on like a champ and the anchor held in the mud - good set. We finally were able to head back out around 11:15 and had a nice sail once we got out of the Baie Fine - until we came around Partridge island and it died. Must be an Aben thing because after we dropped sails, the winds began howling from Badgley Island until we pulled into Killarney.

We had an audience watching at the Red Rock lighthouse as we pulled into the channel. It made me really nervous because the crowd kept growing and I was wondering, "what am I about to crash into - some unseen rock below the water??? " I got a little paranoid with all the people pointing at us... But they must have been pointing at the pretty little boat with the great helmswoman navigating her boat through the rocks!!! The winds were still blowing 20 to 25 as we pulled into the dock. We had a port tie up which was good because it will keep us off the dock unlike Blind River which was starboard and kept smushing our fenders... The poor guys helping us in were really working to get us docked. I nosed in, but the wind kept pushing me back off. It was nerve wracking and I felt that I deserved a drink! Ahhh safe at last...

We pulled into the Killarney Mountain Lodge close to 6:00 pm. What an awesome place - log cabins, beautiful grounds, large trees and an otter racing up a granite boulder off our bow! The restaurant had wonderful food and the people were very helpful and friendly - the ice cream was to die for, best ice cream I've ever had... I've heard that in this area the ice cream is probably the best anywhere to be found - I'm not an ice cream lover but I gotta tell you it was the best I've ever had (didn't need ketchup at all!!!).

Met Rob and Anita from 2 boats down - they watched us come in and he's been wanting a Bayfield. He told the guys not to bruise his boat!!! Made me laugh... Wayne and I walked through town after talking with them, and then when we got back, asked them if they'd like to see the boat. Yes, they did. It was nice showing them the boat and chatting with them... ya gotta love a fellow Bayfield lover! I hope someday they get one... I think it's a great little boat!

Tomorrow we head for Baptist Harbor - an 8-hour day.

I like this place - would like to return. Built into pink quartzite and granite that shows grooves and striations from the glaciers. So, saw an otter dodge around the rock at the water when we anchored. Saw and heard a couple of loons this morning.

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