Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our First Three Days Out

     Finally, we are ready to take off on our adventure of a life time!  We woke up Tuesday, August 27th,  to a 90% chance of thunderstorms but since the storm cell was at the west end of Lake Erie and moving SE, we both agreed that we could keep ahead of the rain, thunder or lightening....and we did.  When we motored out of Geneva Marina at 8am the lake had just a bit of chop and the sun was trying to shine some light on our trip.  The further east we got, the winds kicked up and of course the waves did also.  Passing Ashtabula, the skies clouded over and it was dark to the west.  Approaching Conneaut the waves increased to 2-3 feet and by the time we made it to the Presque Isle Peninsula we were being pushed by 4-5 foot following seas.  Not the kind of day either of us wished for our first day out!!  The real excitement of the day was having the US Customs surprise attack us from the rear while entering the bay.  Of all places, but they didn't ask to board and just wanted to know where we were coming from and had we crossed over into Canadian waters.  After they left, we  motored into the State Park Marina and found a very quiet anchorage with only one other sailboat at anchor. Shortly after dropping anchor(4:15) Jim, Rhonda, and boxer Allie dinghied over and greeted us. They have a 410 Hunter and are first timers at heading south also. 
     We woke up to gloomy skies and rain on Wednesday and so we decided to stay on the hook one more night.  Once the sun came out, we motored around the marina waters and then tied up to explore a small part of the park.  Jim from svWindarra told us it was about a 20 minute walk to the beach and by the time we got there the weather and lake were picture perfect.  Our day wound down with "sundowners"  on the Windarra.
     On Thursday, our third day out, we headed to Dunkirk, NY.  We left our anchorage at about 7:15am and motored with the wind on our nose and docked at Dunkirk Yacht Club at 2:30.  Throughout the day we noticed a sailboat following our same course.  About a half hour after we tied up to the dock, this same sailboat followed us in and are docked beside us.  It turned out to be Pat, and Glenda on Linnea, a 35 ft  BaBa. They were docked in Geneva a week ago.  They too are making the trip south for the first time!!
      We enjoyed our stay at DYC.  The members are very friendly and accommodating. The club is a short walk from a great Pizza shop, restaurant, and convenience store.  We even listened to the 60's band "Revolver" that was playing at the municipal pier!!  What more could you want?  Oh just a heads up.....the depth at the Club is about 8-10 feet but the grass is so bad that our depth sounder read about 4 feet....just a bit nerve racking.


Departing Geneva Marina
Entering Erie Bay
Presque Isle Lighthouse

Coast Guard Station
Anchored in the state park marina

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Summer

Retirement is suppose to be rest and relaxation but so far our summer has been quite hectic trying to prepare Happy Hours II for our cruise south.  Chuck has been so busy....mounting our new davits, motor lift, a motor mount, auto pilot, adding and arranging new batteries....and that was before he installed a new impeller and changed the oil and diesel filters!  It seemed that for every few steps we progressed forward, we were pushed 3-4 steps back.  Such as the night in July when a storm passed through our marina with winds gusting 60+.  The winds somehow opened our jib and did enough damage to it that we had to have it replaced.  Or the many times when we thought our auto pilot was up and ready to go only to have to call Raymarine to have the techies tell us not to follow the directions in the manual that came with the instruments but to " do what I say"!!  It's been a very interesting summer to say the least.  Now that our departure day is quickly approaching, CJ managed to finish the enclosure to our cockpit just in time and of course one last purchase....a VHF radio because we just discovered that our old radio wasn't transmitting....wonderful!!!!