Trials and Tribulations....
11 September 2013 | Rochester Yacht Club
Oswego proved to be the most trying part of our whole cruise. We had hoped to get our mast stepped on Sunday giving us six days to get back to Toronto. The Port Authority marina, the only one with a mast crane, doesn't provide this service on weekends, and only from 8am to 2pm on weekdays. So we stayed Saturday night at the yacht club, taking the opportunity to dine at Azteca, our favourite Mexican restaurant integer whole world.
We hadn't counted on enduring a sudden northeasterly gale with gust over 35 knots which slammed us against the dock, the harbour has a good breakwall system that stops the big waves, but it's completely open to any wind with north in it, north easterlies being the worst.
Sleep was impossible, but thanks to our thick dockboard that we picked up in Rimouski and used to protect Dragonfly against rough docks in fishing ports and lock walls, we came through unscathed. The boat sharing the north side if the dock with us, a gorgeous old wooden Abeking & Rasmussen ketch called Yankee, popped a fender up on the dock and acquired a nasty scar in her top sides before three of us managed to push her off enough to drop a couple more fenders in....
The wind moderated somewhat towards dawn and we did get some sleep. We decided to have breakfast ashore and went to Maria's on West 2nd for a great one followed by church at the local Episcopal Parish and a little gift shopping downtown.
We returned to the yacht club to find a stiff breeze still blowing straight onto the dock although the waves were much reduced. We carefully used lines to position her and then successfully motored her off the dock to head over to the Port Authority marina to prep for mast stepping first thing Monday. About 2 minutes out there was a sickening crunch and the boat came to a sudden stop. We had be going between 3 and 4 knots and had run straight into the unmarked end of the wave attenuator/breakwater that protects the Yacht Club slips. The deck of this structure is about sixteen inches off the water and the corner fairly sharp and unprotected, we hit it season punching a four-inch high, eighteen-inch long hole to light through the hull on the port side forward of the mast.
A flurry of activity followed, Heather confirmed that we were not taking on water, we took a deep breath (all three of us being severely surprised and freaked-out by this) and motored over to the Marina the examine the damage and assess the situation. We confirmed that the hole hadn't done any structural damage and contacted a fibreglass repairman recommended by the marina and called the insurance company. The adjuster was great and the fibreglass guy made an appointment for first thing Monday morning. We clears all our clothes out of the lockers that were in front of the hole and Heather took everything to the laundromat,
So at 8:30 on Monday, instead of having her mast reinstalled, the wounded Dragonfly was being lifted in the slings with Gary optimistic that he might have her fixed in time to have the mast stepped by 2 pm. While that turned out to be optimistic, Gary turned out to be a wizard at fibreglass repair and about 3:00 she went back in the water with the only discernible difference being that the new fibreglass was way whiter and cleaner that the rest of the boat.
Cara and Heather arrived back from the public library where they had spent the morning, and a girls lunch at Azteca and we got to work vacuuming fibreglass am dust and putting things back together. I made a big Mushroom Alfredo pasta with salad and good bread and we went to be intending to move her to the crane at 7:30 am.
The weather had other plans.
About 6am a huge front thunderstorms crossed the lake and slammed into Oswego with intense lightning and torrential downpours that lasted until almost 9:00. We weren't putting the mast up in an electrical storm!
We finally got the mast stepped and all the rigging assembled by about 11am, got a pump out and departed in glorious sunshine about 11:30. We headed for Sodus Bay, arriving at the Yacht Club around 4pm.
In the course of the afternoon it became apparent that Heather had come down with a bladder infection that was causing pretty significant pain and discomfort. There was, of course, no medical facility closer than Rochester and no pharmacy either, so Cova and I set off in a long, blistering hot walk in search of cranberry juice.... An hour later we returned with a supply and Heather took some Tylenol and was able to pass the night without debilitating discomfort, but it was clear we needed to get her to a clinic.
Wednesday morning I was up at 6, made coffee, walked the hound and cast off at sunrise (6:45) with the rest if the crew still asleep. We headed for Rochester. We were tied up at Rochester Yacht Club by 12:30, had a good lunch and Heather had a doctor's appointment for late afternoon.....
Tomorrow, Oak Orchard if all goes well!