11 – Vermillion to Rocky River and Cleveland
The previous day I had calculated the trip to Rocky River to be about 50 miles. Not sure what fumes I was snorting, but the actual distance was less than half of that, which I realized around 5 am after already sailing for an hour. Oh well, early bird catches the worm they say, which is very fitting because just around that time I was joined in the cockpit by an actual early bird who coasted in and perched himself on the steering wheel, looking right as me as I was typing on the laptop. Hmm, that’s odd, birds don’t usually do that, I thought to myself. Then he did something else birds don’t often do and flew right into the sailboat cabin below where everybody was sleeping. I screwed on my courage, went below and found the bird up in the kids’ cabin fluttering around trying to get out through the glass hatch, which was firmly locked shut. I was just hoping the kids didn’t wake up with the fluttering of wings, and they didn’t, but Ana sure did when the bird went into the main cabin where she was sleeping and tried getting out the locked hatch there. I was basically standing there like an idiot, trying to point him the way out, when Ana’s eyes popped open to discover our little visitor. Fortunately, he found the companion way hatch right away and flew off. That was only visitor of the morning.
We arrived at the Cleveland yacht club in Rocky River, and after a bunch of horsing around with the fuel dock hands, found out that our yacht club didn’t have a proper reciprocal agreement with them, meaning we couldn’t stay there. In fact, they wouldn’t even do a pump out for us, which we were in desperate need of. The kids had notice the big pool and waterslide located there so were a little disappointed when we told them we had to keep on going.
We continued along the way to the Edgewater Yacht club, which is right in downtown Cleveland, as that was the next place we knew of that had a pool, and the forecast was for 33 degrees with no wind so it was going to be a scorcher. As we approached the fuel dock, we encountered a gigantic debris pile floating in and amongst the docks, surely the result of the storm the previous day, though it was hard to imagine how all that junk ended up in the far corner of this well sheltered marina. After finding the fuel dock closed and the marina practically deserted (it was Monday, not much happens in marina on Mondays), we met a couple from our marina, who were just getting ready to leave as they had been there for several days.
As it was only noon and with a full day ahead of us we decided to rent a car, and within 30 minutes Enterprise car rental showed up, picked us up, took us to their office where they had a car ready to go. We decided to split up so Ana dropped the kids and I off at the science centre and she took off for some retail therapy and to pick up groceries. Right next door to the science centre is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame so we went inside there and had a look around, as there’s quite a bit that you can see for free without buying a ticket for admission. One of these was Alex Van Halen’s drum kit from the Women and Children First tour, it was massive and awesome! We also browsed through the gift shop which had a huge selection of music, including an enormous collection of vinyl. I could not resist the temptation of having the kids hold up two Primus albums so I could grab a photo. No, I did not buy them, as they were almost sixty bucks each and I do not own a record player, and I'm pretty sure they don't even call them "record players" anymore so I don't know what the hell I'd do with them.
The science centre was the best I’ve ever been to. They had a big space exhibit, including a small shuttle the kids could sit in, a replica of Martian landscape they could climb on and a model airplane with controls they could fly. There was an entire floor filled with science experiments, all of which worked and all of which were accompanied by a display explaining what law of physics or theory the experiment displayed. These ranged from a hang glider simulator, a shadow room, a static electricity machine that makes your hair stand up, electronic drums and keyboard, oscillator machines, plasma balls, all interactive and fun to use.
We returned to the boat, unloaded all the supplies, then hit the pool and relaxed there for a couple hours, returned to the boat for dinner, then went back downtown to the East 4th Street district and had drinks and some fancy poutine and chicken wings. We were approached by several homeless people asking for money so had to explain to the kids how it’s possible that some people do not have a home. Living in small town Canada does not offer much of a glimpse into street life so this was a good experience for them, as it was for us, makes you appreciate your situation in life a little more.