Friday, July 9, 2010
Lake Erie Sailing Trip - Day 3
After a leisurely breakfast and a visit to the pristine showers and bathrooms at the marina office (our home marina is starting to look worse and worse by comparison….) we head out on the lake to find beautiful winds of 12 to 15 knots. The only problem is that the winds are coming from the exact direction we need to go so we start tacking as close to the wind as possible making wide tacks of 2 to 3 miles. There seems to be a big regatta going on as there are probably a hundred powerboats out on the lake, all anchored out in deep water. After several hours of wonderful sailing, but limited progress towards our destination, we decide to head closer to shore to anchor and prepare some lunch. At this point, Andrew is calling on the radio and is shocked how little distance we had covered. Of course, power boaters with 700 horsepower of engine have a somewhat different perspective than sailboats with tiny diesel engines and sails that cannot send you directly into the wind no matter how well they are trimmed. In any case, he meets us for lunch and we have a nice barbeque after which Andrew, Stella and I take his dingy into the beach to do some exploring. Poor Magnus fell asleep listening to my ipod so misses the dingy trip and the post lunch swim, which was most refreshing.
After lunch Andrew powers his way to Conneaut to get us slips and scope out the situation while we slowly make our way there under sail and power. We arrive many hours later to a blistering 32 degrees and a wooden dock so hot it scorches your feet. After docking Ana goes down the office to get us registered and finds out that if we buy $15 tickets to tonight’s steak dinner we don’t have to pay for dockage!
Conneault itself is a working class marina, much like Port Dover but a little worse for wear. The people are rugged and friendly and definitely like to have a good time. The landscape is unique; directly east of the marina is a CN yard with huge piles of gravel and coal and plenty of large machinery parked here and there. South of the marina is the townsite which sports a single giant windmill in stark contrast to the nearby coal mountains.
The marina site is well set up and includes a full bar, a kids tv room, a playground and a huge canopy with grills where everybody congregates to eat. The steak dinner is excellent and partway through one of the club members treats us to a tray full of jello shooters. I am instantly transported back to first year university which is the last time I’ve partaken in vodka mixed with jello. They were as disgusting as I remember but are easily washed down with Miller Lite and frozen daiquiris. As we make new friends around the picnic tables the kids have made friends of their own and one of them, Howie, has even taught Magnus and Stella his own personal version of the Scooby Doo song which starts with the line, “Scooby Dooby Doo took a poo”…and gets even more disgusting after that.
The evening progresses as one might expect and I find myself with Ana sitting on Andrew’s boat in the company of a few friends who are piling through his onboard bottled beverages at an alarming rate. We retire around 2am and I actually remember to drink a gallon of water and eat 3 advils before bedtime which always helps to sooth the next morning’s hangover.