Geneva to Erie
08/21/2007, Presque Isle Harbor, Erie, PA
August 18th Geneva, Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania
I woke this morning to a golf cart stopping outside our window. It took me a moment, but after a second I figured that it must be the management checking out freeloading boats. During the night the wind had woken me up a couple of times but after remembering that we were tied to a wall and not on the hook, I went back to sleep. I got up to check our the lake and found a bill taped to a stay. The wind was down but there were nice swells rolling in from the north east. NOAA called for west winds 10 to 20 in the afternoon so we hiked about ½ mile to pay our bill and headed for Erie, PA which was about 40 miles to the east. There was no wind until noon but we had the mizzen up for stabilization....
The wind built from the west during the day and by the time we approached Erie, Sapphire was surfing down six-footers. Presque Isle Harbor is created by an arm of land that curves north and east into Lake Erie. It creates a completely enclosed bay that is about four miles by one mile. On the north side of the main bay there is another, more sheltered bay that is a state park and allows anchoring.
The only entrance to Presque Isle Harbor is from the east so in winds of 35 knots we went over the top and headed for the more sheltered water in the lea of the harbor. For you sailors, we were doing 7.5 knots on mizzen only at this point and working hard and holding a course perpendicular to the wind. Entering the harbor from the east the wind hit 40 knots. The wind was dumping our bow wake directly on my head while Kathy hung out under the dodger. Our course was due west through the channel and then into the harbor for another mile and a half before turning north for a half mile before entering our more protected anchorage.
Anchoring in 25 knots was a challenge and took two tries to feel safe but finally we were settled. The majority of the day had been pleasant. It was just the last hour that was a little challenging.
On Lake Erie
Mike and Kathy
08/21/2007, Geneva Lake State Park Marina, Ohio
8/16/07 Put In Bay, Ohio to Geneva, Pennsylvania
We motor sailed on flat waters to Geneva State Park Marina. Our intent was to make it Fairport Harbor, but we decided to keep going a couple more hours to the state park. It was cloudy and dark most of the way. I think this was the first day that we have not had sun for at least part of the day. We were miles from shore most of the time, so we couldn't really see anything except for the skyline of Cleveland. No pictures, since we didn't see much and got to the marina late. It is a nice marina with a convenience store, snack bar where they cook things for you, and a very nice beach. The day was uneventful. Actually, Lake Erie is rather uneventful.
Put In Bay
08/16/2007, South Bass Island, Ohio
8/14/07 & 6/15/07 Put In Bay, Ohio
It was a bit of a bumpy ride from the Detroit River to here, but could have been worse. The freighters always add interest. Put In Bay is on South Bass Island and is accessed by your own boat, or a ferry from Port Clinton or Sandusky, Ohio. We (and most boaters) have heard of this place. It is known as a big party town, which is why we would never have tried to arrive here on a weekend. We picked up a mooring ball and took the dinghy into town. The main means of transportation on this island are golf carts-they are EVERYWHERE. We walked. We found the grocery store and picked up a few things. We looked for the Post Office and couldn't find it (little did we know we were within 1 block from both directions at different times). Luckily, we ran into a park ranger from the Perry Memorial who said he would put our envelope in the mail that afternoon.
While we were walking around town, we kept hearing about some bartender competition and we saw some people making a float while we were walking. So, Mike asked about it and found that there was a Bartender's Olympics going on that night (Tuesday) and that things started at 7:00. So we had dinner at Frosty's because we had read that they had great pizza, (it was good, but I'd go for the thin crust at Shamrock's on Beaver Island myself). Then we went back to the boat for a while and heard the announcers talking, so went back to shore for the parade. We waited for an hour before the parade really began, and it got to be a joke about how there never really is a parade, they just get everyone to stand in the street. (Seemed somewhat like Beaver on the 4th of July, but it was getting dark.) The parade finally did start and it was a hoot. The floats all had themes and music and choreographed dances-it was quite incredible. We left after the parade, but the competition continued and we could hear the announcers from the boat. They had relay races, can races, keg rolls on the street, and then they went inside for speeches. We don't know who won, but they were having fun!
Today we rented a golf cart and toured the whole island. It didn't take nearly as long as we thought it would. There are people everywhere. You wouldn't find much of a quiet place here-maybe at the campground or out here on a mooring ball, like us. It is a unique place and full of fun and happy people, but we don't think we would like to be here on the weekend!