Friday, July 9, 2010

Lake Erie Sailing Trip - Day 5

Day 5 - Conneaut Harbour to Mentor Harbour, OH

It’s 4am and we are throwing off the dock lines and heading out into the darkness. This is our first experience with night sailing and it turns out to be a most tranquil experience. The winds are quite strong and directly in our face once again so we head out on a port tack and sail through the darkness, enjoying the sound of the water splashing on the hull and the wind whistling through the shrouds and rigging. Ana and I enjoy watching the sun rise over the east horizon then check on the kids below who are sleeping soundly. The kids have been incredibly comfortable on the boat and the limited amount of space has certainly not seemed to have limited their fun. They have not yet once complained about any of the long sailing days and seem to quite enjoy being down below playing games and hanging out. Stella likes to be in the cockpit and sit on one of the built in seats which hang off the stern of the boat and watch the wake trailing behind the boat. As soon as the boat stops, Magnus is the first one to be whipping off his clothes and getting into his trunks for a swim. He is a total and complete waterbug and has even learned how to use fins, mask and snorkel.

The kids soon wake up and I decide to anchor the boat and get everybody out for a morning swim and bath. As we are several miles offshore we go the clothing optional route and have a nice skinny dip. It’s hard to explain the feeling of freedom you feel when you swim naked off your own boat in the middle of a lake at 9 am on a Monday morning. Life is definitely good.

We arrive at Mentor Harbour around 2pm to another scorcher - must be 33 degrees or more. There are two marinas available; one which is a member of the inter-lake yacht club that we belong to and offers a free night, and the other which is a paid marina and looks like it has a pool and restaurant. We cruise through a muddy channel that looks much too shallow to pass but manage to make it to the free marina at the end of the channel. We realize in an instant that this was a bad move - the dock was falling apart, there was nobody and nothing around and no electrical outlets in site. We turned her around and headed back to the luxury marina. At $1.75 a foot and the second night free, it was an easy decision. The marina turned out better than we could have hoped, there was a beautiful pool and loads of kids around so we let Magnus and Stella loose in the kiddie pool then went to sit around the big pool and have a couple drinks. There we sat for several hours and eventually we were pretty much the last people there so we went back to Bella Blue, cooked a nice dinner and crashed out.

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