We finally left

Dunkirk, NY : Latitude/Longitude 42 29.28N, 79 20.41W
Posted by Bill

The last week has been so crazy trying to ready the boat and house for departure and we did not get everything loaded onto the boat until Sunday, missing our intended departure on Saturday. Not really a problem because just as sailflow.com predicted the winds blew 30+ knots most of the morning and early afternoon.
We finished loading around 9:00 AM Sunday (2 hours behind!!) and left our dock at 9:15, headed for the fuel dock to pump out the holding tank (toilet waste for you non-boaters) and fill up with diesel. As we pull up to the fuel dock the alternator light goes on….crap! We haven’t gone 100 yards and we are already fixing something! This is usually a sign that the alternator belt needs tightened, so before departing the fuel dock I dig the tools out of storage and make the adjustment, start the engine and the light is out. We head out into the West Harbor channel and 200 yards later the light comes on again…crap! We head back to our dock and I make more adjustments. Finally at 10:15 we leave the dock for the second time.

Earlier the marine forecast said “possible morning showers and waterspouts”…sheesh! Great way to start a voyage. Actually the weather was good until about 2 AM Monday and the wind kicked up a typical Lake Erie washing machine effect that threw us around like a cork, forcing me to hand steer until around 6 AM (“Otto”, our autopilot, isn’t good at steering in confusing waves). Then we got swarmed by thousands of little bugs that stuck around for the duration of the trip, still swarming as I type, so it was a typical Lake Erie experience. After 25 hours of passage we arrive at Dunkirk, NY, tired and bug laden.

Dunkirk Yacht Club turned out to be a real hidden gem. The people were so hospitable that I thought we were in a time warp…back 50 years or so. After talking to them on the phone about possible dockage they called me repeatedly to ensure I got the “local knowledge” about how to navigate the harbor entrance. Upon arrival they helped with the docking, gave us the lowdown about the club and the surrounding area, and invited us to all of the amenities that their club had to offer. The facilities were clean and very adequate and the people were exceptional.

This is the Dunkirk Yacht Club:
DSC_0175 cmp

Here is a pic of the bugs we got swarmed by:
Bugs on boardThey literally covered the whole boat. We had no idea how many there were.

When we docked in Dunkirk I had to wash the boat because the bugs were so bad, but all in all a good passage, and a first destination on our journey.

Here we are at departure:
Departure 2014Pic courtesy of our friend and dock neighbor Brian Leonard! Thanks Brian.

Great stop Dunkirk. We had dinner at Dimitri’s and it was very good, and at Jenna’s for breakfast…also outstanding!

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