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
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