Ships Log August 31, 2005

Before leaving Leamington, Mike was stung by a bee, resulting in two days of dizzy spells. We had laid out two courses from Leamington to Rondeau Bay, Ontario. The first was the short course close to Point Pelee that ran the gauntlet of shoals, fishing nets and submerged natural gas wellheads. The second, ran over the horizon in deep (for Erie) water and would take a couple of hours longer.

When we left the harbor, the choice was clear. The wind was perfect for a romping, rail down run into the deep water. It was a great sail. When we entered Rondeau Bay, our Canadian friend Tony took our lines. He had taken the other route and arrived ahead of us.

We had an excellent mussels, salmon, and pasta diner at Molly & OJs, including some of the best Irish bread we have had. After dinner, we toasted farewell to our Canadian friends Joe and Sandy of Lady Gray and Tony and Karin of Paxos. We had first seen Lady Gray in Gore Bay. Joe and Sandy had exciting adventures with a swimming rattlesnake and bear at Sandy Cove in the North Channel. We first met Tony and Karin in Kincardine and had the pleasure of their company in nearly every harbor since. We will miss them.

We left Rondeau Bay in darkness and experienced our final Canadian sunrise on route back to America. It was with sadness that we lowered the Canadian courtesy flag and crossed the border. Our charts indicated that the marina in our destination, Ashtabula, Ohio had a minimum depth of seven feet. When we closed on the city and hailed the marina, we found that due to a shortage of funding, the Army Corp of Engineers had not dredged and there was only four feet of depth. We could not get responses from the yacht club or any other marina, so were forced to sail the extra 45 miles to Erie, Pennsylvania. This was no small matter since we were pressed to beat the arrival of the storm remains of Hurricane Katrina.

We arrived at the Presque Isle State Park Marina after closing. A clean cut young Park Ranger named Jeremy Peck checked us into the last remaining slip. When Mike related that he used to work for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Jeremy offered his thank you and handshake for his helping to clean up "Erie, the Lake that was so polluted it burned."

Rana had to stay aboard Raven as Mike called US Customs on the Video Phone.

It was seventeen hours and 73 calls later that someone answered and we were cleared back into the States. During this time, a full gale that was the remains of Katrina struck. Thoughout the night, 35 knot winds, gusting much higher, howled through the rigging. We had chosen this marina for the video phone and it's 360 degree protection from storm winds. We had also carefully doubled our lines and prepared for the storm, so we were able to ride out the storm in safety.

Lighthouse photos through out our site are of ones we passed and relied on for safe navigation.