Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday 063015– in Vermillion OH
Weather/Sea   sunny, little wind, 70 to  75
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Livingston
Arrived in VERMILLION OH on Monday from Cleveland and got a berth at the Vermillion Yacht Club no reciprocity and $1.90 per foot per day the most expensive yet. This is again a very nice club with good facilities. We had the club to ourselves all of the time. They have a manager, whom I paid but never saw him again. We are both taking long bike rides for shopping and to see the town. Here we also took a long dinghy ride in  the Vermillion River to see the recreational boats in the many marinas. We are staying here 2 nights and then tomorrow on to Puttin Bay on South Bass Island, one of the Lake Erie Islands in the west of the lake. Yes we are almost done with Lake Erie after Puttin Bay we go to Detroit on the Detroit River.
Our trip from Cleveland was quick because there was a 15 to 20 kn wind, we motor sailed with only the jib out and we made 7 to 8 mph with motor at 1500 rpm. So after 40 miles we arrived at 1400. Luckily the rain and wind let up just before the harbor, which made the entree into the narrow harbor less trying.

We arrived in Cleveland on Thursday the 25th after a short 3 hour motor ride. Our time in Cleveland was interesting Dutchess had a berth at the East 55th Street Marina which is a ways out of the City.  The normal rate is 1.75 per foot but because we had no electric or water at our dock they charged only $1.25 per foot so $55 per day for Dutchess. On the 26th we took a cab into the City to the Aquarium and spend the morning looking at fish including sharks and sting rays. The Holley Trolley starts from the Aquarium so to see the City we took the guided tour on the trolley and in an hour learned a lot about the City. After the tour we hiked over the bridge into downtown and Tower City an underground mall and Casino.  Cleveland is full of bridges which cross the Cuyahoga River which meanders thru the entire city. Cleveland is a large commercial port with ocean going ships in the harbor. The 27th and 28th were lousy weather days with heavy rains and high wind and 6’ waves on Lake Erie, we stayed in the boat and did boat chores.  Therefore I paid for a total of 4 days in Cleveland. There were flooding reports from all the local areas and even Lake Erie is high according to the locals. Our next port Vermillion had their docks under water, but it had drained down by the time we arrived.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday 062215– in CHAGRIN RIVER
Weather/Sea   sunny, little wind, 75 to  85
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Livingston
Yesterday we arrived in the Chagrin River  and got a slip in the CHAGRIN LAGOONS YACHT CLUB. They charge $1.25 per foot per day or 55.00 for DUTCHESS with no reciprocity. We are staying 2 days to try and see my Granddaughter  Mackenzie Kwak who lives in Chagrin Falls OH.

 On the trip here we had 20 knot winds but directly from where we were headed, tried sailing but with the tacking required we made very little headway to Chagrin River. So back on the motor which at 1800 rpm gave us only about 5mph. resulting in a 7.5 hr. ride into the wind and waves. DUTCHESS is a very dry boat with only a little spray on deck this is because of her Clipper bow that splits the waves. This is great but it also slows us down in choppy conditions. We encountered 3-4 ‘ waves with 5’ rollers every 5 minutes that would lift the boat and then slide into the trough and slowing us to 3mph. We are now on statute miles because the Great Lakes are in Statute miles. Again this is a nice club with all the amenities, except laundry. They are building a very fancy pool with Stainless steel sides and concrete bottom. The WIFI works on my IPAD but not on my LAPTOP so I cannot send out my blog. 
Well the wifi got fixed today by Dennis, a helpful club member and computer guru. So I just sent out this and the 20 th blog.
On the night of the 22 we had a very strong storm that poured down the rain and rocked us in the slip waking me all night long. The next morning the Chagrin River was rolling along as a muddy flow filled with trees and debris with a standing wave where it entered LAKE ERIE.. I did not dare enter the Chagrin River because it would have pinned the boat to the corner of the fuel dock. Also the floating trees were a real hazard. So we are staying until the 25. Mackenzie and family and guests are coming today Wednesday and we will go for a sail and then have dinner at the club.
Tomorrow we will go to Cleveland and the ROCK and ROLL Hall of Fame, oh yeah!
Saturday 062015– in ASHTABULA, OH
Weather/Sea   cloudy, no wind, 65 to  75
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Livingston
DUTCHESS is now in ASHTABULA OHIO at the ASHTABULA YACHT CLUB.  Again a very nice club but no  reciprocity for yacht club members from outside of the Great Lakes. The rate is 1.50/’ so $66.00 per day and we stayed 2 days. To get here, we sailed downwind until the wind died and then motored for most of the 46 miles from PRESQUE ISLE HARBOR. The trip took 7 hrs. 42 minutes a long slog in choppy stern wave conditions.  We arrived on Friday the 19th and stayed today Saturday the 20th and will leave tomorrow for CHAGRIN RIVER and the CHAGRIN LAGOON YACHT CLUB.
Today we finally got the new propane powered outboard on the dinghy, hooked to the 11LB propane tank, and after a few pulls it started, WOW. Chuck and I took it for about a 1 hour ride to try her out and all went fine. This motor is a 5HP LEHR outboard that I bought at Defender in the March sale. I went to propane because the fuel is always pure and cannot get contaminated. My other gasoline outboards were always a problem because by the time I used them the gas was old and full of water. This is due to the ethanol that is now 10% of our gas.
Today the AYC had a pot luck supper and we were invited to join. Chuck made a Chicken Cabbage  Balsamic Salad which was eaten with gusto. I brought the beer, simple but effective. We are doing a lot of bike riding for fun and groceries. I am happy I brought my full size bike it rides great, Chuck has a little fold bike which works very well but he looks like a circus act.
On 6/17 and 18 we were in ERIE PA at the COMMODORE PERRY YACHT CLUB this is in Presque Isle PA which is a large natural harbor with many clubs and marinas. This is where Commodore Perry built his fleet that he used in the battle of Lake Erie. They accepted the PYC reciprocity card and gave us one free day and charged 1.50/’ for the other. The way they put it, you pay for the first day and get the second free. So we stayed for 2 days. This is a beautiful facility with a swimming pool kept at 92 degrees. We had dinner at Restaurant next door. Chuck and I went shopping courtesy of a member who drove us to 2 stores and gave us a tour of ERIE PA. Therefore a very accommodating group of people as all the clubs are so far.   In the afternoon I took a long bike ride along the waterfront to see all the other marinas and boats of course.
That is all for now. John

Sunday, June 7, 2015

In Tonawanda

Dutchess and crew on the wall in Tonawanda. Mast is still horizontal the next day we stepped the mast. This picture was taken by a photographer who happened along and liked the boat. People stop by all the time and we have to ,of course, explain the boat and my cruise. That is part of the fun of cruising in an unusual boat.
Sunday 060715– in Buffalo NY
Weather/Sea   Sunny warm nights cool
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Paul Berthe
On June 3rd we passed thru the last of the Erie Canal locks, #34 and #35, located in Lockport and then we went to Tonawanda and tied to a Town Dock at a charge of $25.00. Good services electric and showers.
The next day moved to Wardell’s Marina to step the mast. The cost of mast stepping is $7.00 per foot of mast times 56’ or $392.00 plus tax.  We were there with another boat and we spent all day and the next helping each other with our rigging. The other boat was an older Benetau  36 but new to the owner.        I spent a lot of time sorting out his jib roller furler and in mast roller furler an education for both the owner and me. We were able to stay at Wardell’s overnight but the next morning we both moved to a steel sheet piling wall across the Creek and continued to work on the rigging.
We finally got his jib up but had to redo it later because it was short and needed an extension line to raise it off the deck. He thought he bought a 150% Genoa with the boat but actually it was a 100% Yankee Jib. Then we got my jib up and it fit nicely but I had forgotten to put the furling line on first, so we had to wind the line by hand around the drum. A trial run showed that the Jib and furling system worked as advertised. A great concern since this was the first time that the new jib was raised on the furler.
I had bought a new 130% genoa from Samalot Marine and made by Doyle Sails and it certainly is a great improvement over the old, floppy, blown out, Genoa. We still need to see how it sails.
From Tonawanda we sailed into the Niagara River and yes we turned to port not to starboard over the falls. We hailed the Back Rock Lock on the VHF and were told to wait so we tied to the wall until it opened. This is the beginning of the Black Rock Canal which bypassed a stretch of the Niagara river that drops 7’ and has strong currents. Then passed thru  a RR bridge Rotator Type and then thru Ferry Street bridge which was an old Bascule type.
I called the Buffalo Yacht Club and was given a slip with reciprocity. Because it was Saterday I did not have to pay till Monday, very trusting an nice folks. They have 700 members and great facilities. An on the premises Restaurant is excellent, Paul and I had Dinner there Saterday.
We went to West Marine today with Pauls cousin who happens to live in Buffalo. I bought some rigging parts for the main sail and we hope to raise it tomorrow in the cool of the morning.

Tuesday 060215– in Lockport NY
Weather/Sea   Cloudy and then sunny good day 50 to 62
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Paul Berthe
Yesterday we traveled in a drizzle and cold from Spencerport mile 271.2 to Albion free dock mile 293.06 and today we traveled in sunny cool weather to Lockport free dock mile 320.65.
At Albion we were between the 2 lift bridges on the Canal wall in Albion Canal Park we hooked up to power but there was no Wi-Fi and the bathrooms were inaccessible because we did not get the codes from the bridge tender. Paul made chicken stew from one whole chicken. We had it for dinner and froze 8 more portions. Cook ones and eat 4 times, the benefit of having a separate freezer.
Albion and Medina are the source for the brown sandstone that the brownstone buildings all over New York State and City are made from. They could mine it here and send cut stone down the Erie Canal to their customers. Without the canal that industry would not have existed.
In Lockport we are at a free dock with NO services and a very poor dock. We passed many docking possibilities. One could travel the Erie Canal all summer back and forth for a $100.00 season pass and not spend another hundred on dockage.  Most locations have a 48 hour limit but some have no limit that we could find. You can visit all these historic old towns and not spend a lot. We were told that the weekly rental for the Canal boats is $2,700 fuel included.
From Spencerport we passed thru Brockport and Holley from Albion we passed thru Medina, Middleport, and Gasport and went under 15 lift bridges but NO locks. The lift bridges are manned and must be called to open, many have a roaming operator for 2 or 3 bridges, and he follows you from bridge to bridge.
Tomorrow we pass thru the last locks #34 and #35 located in Lockport and then on to Tonawanda and the end of the Canal. These are staircase locks, which means that the exit gate for one is the entrée gate for the next.