The Sailor's Reward
10 August 2008 | Alpena, MI
Yes, Yes, I know that's the nickname given to the Indian Ocean but it also seemed to fit in this case. Despite all that I know about sailors getting into trouble trying to keep a schedule, we left Rogers City between two rather large squall lines enroute to Alpena so that Mike could catch a bus (ugh!) home.
The weather looked dicey but the trip started out ok. About 3 hours into the trip we noticed a very organized squall line that seeemed to be chasing us down the coast. Well, it caught up with us just outisde of Presque Isle.
We were in a full-blown gale for about 15 minutes. We had 35 kt winds, cold rain, lightning and building seas. Then the sun came back out and everything was back to normal, aside from some left-over swells... until we rounded the Thunder Bay Island Light enroute to the Thunder Bay Shores Marina in Alpena.
We turned and saw that we were entering the bay with a large container ship so we gave him lots of room. We had just passed the shoal marker when a second squall line with some rain and bigger winds (but no lighting) hit us. Since we had turned to enter the bay, the 40+kt winds were now on the nose. This knocked our boat speed down considerably.
This time, the gale lasted for about 30 minutes before leaving us with 20 kts of wind still on the nose. When we finally made it into the marina, we were greeted with this rainbow. Pretty cool after all that.
I think we're staying an extra day here after Mike leaves to give this weather system time to move on.