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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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On to Ashtabula
Wonderful!!!
08/18/2008, Fairport Harbor to Ashtabula (N41o55.1 W080o47.8

Nice sailing day - we averaged 6.35 knots today and it felt good to sail - running with the wind all day (hey isn't that a Bob Segar tune?) with all sails up. From Fairport we could see huge cooling towers in the distance for the Perry Nuclear Facilities and as we got closer I thought why not... 15 minute sketch with my colored pencils... I discovered that I have no perspective when it comes to drawing rolling waves... but it was fun to sketch again - it's been a while since I've picked up a pencil in Marcie's art room.

We put into Ashtabula at 2:45pm and Carpe' Diem was anchored already there. Looks like a mud bottom - 10-15 ft depths. They'd left in the morning about a half hour before us and it looks like they're heading in the same direction as us. We don't have our dingy in the water yet so I can't go over and chat with them. They don't have their ears on either so we'll wait a bit to contact them. It'd be nice to meet another couple doing the same thing as us.

Ashtabula is an interesting looking harbor. It has major iron piles and coal piles. We watched them unloading a freighter most of the evening and into the night too. A little history - The name Ashtabula is a Native American term meaning "many fish". The river was the boundary between the eastern and western tribes with the Iroquois claiming the western territory and the Algonquin claiming the land to the east. This was also the northern terminus of the "underground railroad" before the Civil War.

Still in Fairport
Sunrise 6:35am/Sunset 8:28pm
08/17/2008, Fairport Harbor, OH N41 o 46 x W081 o 16.9

There's another sailboat anchored in here with us called Carpe' Diem. Nice looking boat - not sure but it may be a Morgan or Endeavor 30 something - nice lines to it. It looks like they hail from Holland, MI (hmmm, wonder if they're headed for the canal or back home). There's a nice sandy bottom for anchoring; a beach, park, water toy rental area and a marina (that is to small and shallow for us to get into) but even with all the wind we haven't moved while at anchor. I think I like these all chain anchor lines. Not much to do today but read and use up the rest of my battery on the computer.

Kinda funny - Wayne hooked up the 12volt for my adapter that I used before but it won't charge my batteries - there's something different but I don't know what. We plug in the puter and the charge light blinks, but never charges. He spent all day wiring it for me too . This time I have Internet access (more so that last year) and now, not unlimited computer access - It may be back to the pen and paper journal for me and I'll type up things as I can... I feel bad that he spent all day wiring it and it doesn't work - strange how the computer battery won't charge but the fans work on it... When I try to use the computer - it kicks off the 12volt adapter. Greg or anyone else - if you're reading this, any suggestions?

We now have the wash down pump working too, so after dinner and a bottle of wine, things quieted down on the beach so we went up front and hose-showered off and got a bit silly. I can't say as I ever showered in Lake Erie before, even though I grew up near it. Clean and Lake Erie have never been intertwined in my vocabulary before. It was fun and we laughed a lot (maybe it was the wine). It FEELS like we're clean anyways.

Lorain to Fairport
Sunny, High Pressure System today
08/16/2008, From: N41o28.9 x W082 o 11.7 Lorain Ohio to N41 o 46 x W081 o 16.9Fairport Harbor, OH

This was a very well protected anchorage at Lorain - quite still and I slept like a baby...Made coffee while watching sunrise and the silhouette of fishermen as they walked out on the breakwaters to fish in the red-pink glow of the rising sun. I love sunrise - my favorite time of the day when every day is fresh and new with possibilities; There was a steady stream of Saturday morning fishing boats leaving the harbor.

We saw a 1000 ft. ore carrier come in to the harbor and past us going into Loraine to the Kobe Lorain Works or LTV pellet terminal on the Black river. The surrounding area has a nice looking marina and is still pretty much a suburban area. We waited for the freighter to go in (of course I had to take pictures - Wayne loves my digital camera J) before leaving. Look at the picture - there's a 30 ft sailboat next to him going out of the harbor - whoosh. It looks like today may be a 10 hour day - Destination Fairport Harbor, OH about 50 miles from here. Light winds NW to SW should help us out a bit.

Coming in at 7:30 a coastguard call came in for a capsized vessel (26 ft sailboat) with 2 people in the water from another sailing vessel that went to help and fouled their anchor chain in their propeller. They were 3 miles or so from here and the sirens went off at the coastguard building, near us, calling everyone in for a rescue. It made me feel good seeing how quickly they were responding to the mayday as their orange zodiac, with lights flashing and siren blaring as it sped out of the harbor. It was interesting listening to the proceedings on channel 16. The sheltered area behind the breakwater is huge - like a small lake in itself. Many boats and jet skis in here. Depths range from 3-15 feet and there's a public beach/park east of the river entrance. A couple of powerboats decided to circle us and generate waves. One of them was towing 2 kids on a tube - nice example to teach the kids - harass the anchored sailboats... The second time they came by us (quite close) Wayne yelled, "Thanks" to them. Think they got the message? I doubt it, and the kids will follow their example when they get older no doubt...

Wayne had the helm most of the day while I did my navigator thing. Not much to it though it was a pretty straight run without much in the way. I finished the 2nd Stephenie Meyer's book in her trilogy today and was going to start the 3rd but it's buried in the back berth (our official garage) so that will have to wait... My computer battery is running low and Wayne is going to put the 12-volt adapter in so I can recharge the puter and the phones tomorrow... Batteries low so.... Signing off for now in Fairport Harbor.

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