Since this blog is really intended to keep friends and family informed of our whereabouts when we actually do start cruising, I haven’t posted anything new in the last couple of years. The posts up to this point were a combination of practice, giving the blog site a good workout, and also posting a few things about Lake Erie that might benefit other cruisers.
That being said, and in keeping with concepts, I thought I would post an update that highlighted the last few years.
First, I must say that we are enjoying the boat very much. This was our 3rd year (time flies!) and we have gained much knowledge about how to maintain, sail and maneuver her. This year we spent some live-aboard time on her while doing some extended trips about Lake Erie. Tricia cooked some fantastic meals in spite of the Lilliputian stove and oven, and the constraints of a small galley, but I am not surprised. We have found the boat to be very comfortable and quite livable.
The boat handles the sometimes treacherous state of Lake Erie much better than the crew, and her stability, quality and comfort has shown true in some pretty nasty conditions; even when we were hit by the 70 MPH winds and golf ball sized hail of the July 1, 2012 storm.
Last fall we had the bottom of the boat sandblasted and this spring painted with new barrier coat and antifoul paint that is rated for tropical salt water. The previous paint was for fresh water only. Next year we will have the engine inspected again and also the rigging, and the boat should be ready to take to sea. We also purchased a bigger engine for the dinghy as the 2.5 HP (power boaters called it our “pocket sized motor”) was not going to cut it in the Bahamas or Caribbean Islands, so the future “car” is ready as well.
We really enjoyed having our daughters, son-in-laws and grandkids visit the last couple of years. Seems like they are on their way to becoming seasoned “old salts” and are more sea worthy each year. Oskar even did some line handling this year!
We hit the usual cruising spots the last 2 years, including Put in Bay, Kelleys Island, and our favorite…Vermilion, and we spent 5 days at Put in Bay for the Battle of Lake Erie bicentennial celebration. It was cool to see the tall ships that stayed in port. The town was an absolute ZOO during that time period – the most crowded I have ever seen the place – and it was nice having an escape on our mooring in the bay.
We followed the tall ships out to the original battle site just east of West Sister Island (along with several hundred other boats) and got to see some of the reenactment, but it was mostly just massive boat chop (think washing machine) and chaos. It is the kind of event that brings out the asshole in every skipper. At least we didn’t pay the fee to have a “preferred viewing spot” – those people really got ripped off.
All in all, a good couple of years. The boat is ready to take us south when we are able.
Hopefully soon…I can’t take any more northern winters!!!