Monday, July 12, 2010

Lake Erie Sailing Trip - Day 11

Day 11 - Cedar Point to Clevelend, Ohio

The night view to Cedar Point leaving Sandusky is awesome and very peaceful now that the rides are closed and all the people are gone. We navigate our way out the channel using the flashing red and green buoys, which are much easier to see at nighttime rather than during the day.

We proceed out into the open lake, get the sails out and are happy to see that the wind is strong and coming directly from the south-east which is perfect for our heading. We trim the sails, get the GPS coordinates set up, turn on the autopilot, then sit back and enjoy the ride. Ana goes down below to try and get some sleep, which is constantly interrupted by various events - Stella needing milk, Magnus getting kicked by Stella in bed and wanting to move, things crashing around in the boat because of the heeling, and me calling for more coffee! She eventually does get some sleep then relieves me at the help at about 4am. I then get a couple hours sleep and we switch places again and she’s finally able to get to sleep for a while.

This is the fastest sailing we’ve done yet - for a total distance of 60 miles we average 5.65 knots with a maximum of 7.67 knots and the entire trip takes just over eight hours. The night sailing is very nice but it does take a toll on the sleep quality.

Our arrival in Cleveland is exciting as this is the first “big city” we’ve taken in. The harbour entrance is massive and the inner channel is very easy to navigate. By now the kids are awake and surprised to see that we’ve already arrived at our destination. To top it off, there’s at least six tall ships which are moored downtown, likely part of some sort of exhibition so once the kids hear there are pirate ships in port, they are immediately intrigued.

Once we arrive at the Forest City Yacht Club they arrange a slip for us and after tying up the boat I immediately retire for a hour nap to recharge the batteries and leave my poor wife to deal with the energetic kiddies who have had a wonderful, long sleep. After I wake up we get organized and head over to the yacht clubhouse and meet some very nice people who give us the lowdown on local transport options, which are pretty much limited to taxi. Luckily, one of the members, Lynn, offers us a ride downtown which we accept and she whisks us down to the Cleveland downtown waterfront.

Once there, we split up into two teams. Team A, which consists of Ana, Stella and Magnus will hit the science centre gift shop to select one toy for each of the kids then take in the Omnimax movie about the ocean. Team B, which consists of me and my big hair and leather pants, will take in the rock and roll hall of fame. In the interest of brevity, let’s just say that both groups were wildly successful in their ventures, except when Ana fell asleep during the movie.

We return to the boat via taxi cab, have a great dinner and are completely done for the day.

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