Thursday, July 16, 2015

Friday 071115– in Port Austin, Michigan
Weather/Sea   Sunny, little wind, 65 to  75
Captain - John C. Kwak crew Chuck Livingston
We are in Port Austin MI on the beginning of Saginaw Bay which is off of Lake Huron. The Port Austin State Marina is one of the many Harbors of Refuge that the State of Michigan developed along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. They all have jetties, breakwaters, seawalls, that protect them from the wind driven waves of the open water. These are very nice facilities; this one is all new, with all the conveniences.  It is staffed by a bunch of college students who really try to please the boaters and NO tipping allowed. The cost is $60.00 per day which is a little much for this one horse town.  We rode around and every street leads to farm fields or the lake. There is only one very small downtown with lots of empty buildings. Tomorrow we will sail across Saginaw Bay to Harrisville MI.
We came here today from Port Sanilac MI, where we stayed in the Port Sanilac Municipal Marina for three days because of Windlass problems and weather. Back in Port Huron I decided to go up the mast to install a block for the stay sail, which was left off when we stepped the mast. To go up the mast easily I use the Windlass rope gypsie , which acts like an electric winch and I go up like an elevator. When I tried the windlass it clicked but the motor did not turn so NO windlass. I went up the mast anyway but now Chuck and two volunteers had to crank these 200lbs up the mast using the two speed halyard winch on the mast, they took turns. I installed the block safety wire and halyard and they lowered me down to the deck, safe and sound.Then I told them they had hauled a 74 year old up the mast HaHa. We use a bosun chair to sit in and a safety fall device on a static line as backup. I will write a separate blog on the Windlass problem.

Port Sanilac Municipal Marina is inside a huge manmade breakwater bay developed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1951. This Marina is very well protected from storms as we found out that night. A wind storm blew up, with 20 knot winds continues for 36 hours and gusts up to 28 knots. The boat shook all night and the wind howled thru our rigging and the rigging of the huge Choey Lee sail boat next to our slip. We did not sleep to well that night, by the next night things had settled down so we slept better. In the morning we saw the waves braking over the seawall and were happy to be in a save marina.

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