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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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Clearing in the Afternoon
08/19/2008, Ashtabula N41o55.1 W080o47.8W

The winds really kicked up last night and woke me up as they came howling through the hatches and ports at 1:00am. I got up, turned on the instruments, and went topside for a look-see and stood there for 15-20 minutes watching the clouds roll in. The winds were steady at 13-18 knots from the NW and the clouds were well lit by the moon. The ore boat pulled out between 2:30 and 3:00 so it was a busy evening/morning for them. It was interesting to see how they worked through the night emptying the freighter. The operation was lit up most of the night and you could watch the big ore carrier getting higher and higher as his load lightened.

Got back up at 6 and put the attachment on to the bimini and dodger in the semi-dark after tearing down spider webs. I kept running into them and smacking spiders out of the way. The winds have clocked around to the NNE and optimist that I am, I'm going to try and charge my other computer on the cockpit 12volt that Wayne installed last evening. It won't charge my dell, but it might charge the H. Packard. That was the one I used last year and it charged then, so, we'll see. The 12volt in the dining area won't work - keeps kicking it off.

Closed all the ports - it's sprinkling (6:45am). Still waiting on my coffee to perk, the alcohol on that burner is running out so it's a bit slow this morning. We hung out here today on the boat (the weather). The waves are really slamming the stone harbor walls but we're nice and snug. This is really an excellent harbor to anchor in during heavy weather. It's funny but you can still see the plumes from the Perry cooling tower at the power plant and it's about 20 miles away from here. It looks like it's a commercial shipping lane in the central and west ends but there's excellent anchoring with a mud bottom in the southeast end. A sail kite came whizzing past a couple times to take a peek at us this afternoon after the rain cleared. Good winds for that - he really came zooming by on his ski but I never saw him go airborne (reminded me of Rob - bet he'd love to do that).

Time to go make spaghetti and some salad for dinner.

On to Ashtabula
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.

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