The Amazing Grace

Let Your Dreams Set Sail

Lake Erie

†††††††† When getting ready to cross this lake the guides tell you that the prevailing wind is from the west and to plan for up to 10 days, due to weather and fighting the wind on the nose, to cross the 240 miles straight across.† So when we left Buffalo on July 20, we told the family that we should be to Detroit by Aug. 1.†

†††††††† So off we went.† It was a beautiful sunny day with no wind.† Off we went a motoring.† Gee, why did we put those masts and sails back up? Finally at about 4:00 in the afternoon we were able to haul up the sails and sail with a NE wind behind us.† About 7:00 the wind died.† With the wind coming from the SE and with very calm following seas, we decided to motor on all night.† Who would think that we would have to dig out our fleece lined jackets to stay warm in an enclosed cockpit.† Of course it would happen during the summer that we are travelling the Great Loop.

The next day we were able to sail about half the day with the winds again coming from behind us.† It was so nice and peaceful after practically running the motor continually from Norfolk on to here.† We also noticed a lot of bugs.† We both went on killing sprees with the fly swatters.† The cockpit was littered with flies and a something we had never seen before.† The bug had longer legs and wings then a mosquito but did not bite.†

As night came upon us, we were heading straight for Cedar Point and were entertained with the evening fireworks.† As we turned north, we couldnít believe that we were already across the lake and if we motored all night again, we could be out of Ohio by morning!†

We had e-mailed Deren, Cindyís nephew who works in Toledo, OH and lives in Monroe, MI, and asked him to look into marinas close to him.† Since we flew across Lake Erie, we looked at the guides and found only one that we could get into with our 6 foot draft and 55í mast height.† So, on Wed. morning (July 22) we e-mailed him to tell him we were here and at the Toledo Beach Marina, which ended up being at the marina he had found for us.† The biggest surprise to Cindy was that Toledo Beach Marina was in LaSalle, MI.† I am home and we got here in our boat.† ;)†

Deren chauffeured us all over Mi during the week-end.† This was a very good thing since we are used to going 6 knots per hour.

†††††††† The rest of the week-end was spent shopping with Deren.† It was such a luxury to have a car to ride in instead of provisioning by bikes.† We were able to fill the back end at both West Marine and Krogers.

†††††††† Sunday morning we met at the marina brunch my very dear friend Jana Banana and her new husband.† We had lost touch of each other during the last few years and it was absolutely marvellous to catch up.† Cindy canít believe that she forgot to take pictures.† Jana and Ben have to come to the boat again so we can document it with a picture.† Cindy did laundry as Scott finished some more Honey Dos.† At one point he was short some parts and off to Menards Deren drove Scott.† We also learned that the bugs are insects that come up from the bottom of the lake.† We were told that they can look like rain as they come up through the water.† We were also told that these are the nice bugs and that we didnít have very many.† Sailors here have seen bugs five inches thick on their decks.† So glad we missed out on those biting kind.†

†††††††† ♫♪ On the water againÖ ♪♫ So Monday morning, off we† went to finish Lake Erie.† Using a native Michiganders hand as a map, we went headed up from the left wrist up the right side of the thumb.†† In the day light, here is a picture of Derenís power plant.†

†††††††† First we showed up at Judsonís (Cindyís nephew) surprise celebration of earning his Mastersí in Art Education from OSU.†† The OSU themed party was almost too much for this die hard U of M fan to take.† Since everyone wasnít expecting us until after Aug. 1, we were able to surprise all the family members when we arrived.†

†††††††† Stayed with my sister and met most of her family for dinner.† Her husband Rick was missed but some people have to work driving those Wal-mart trucks.†

†††††††† We found a spot off of Grosse Point Woods to anchor and spend the night.†

†††††††† The next morning we got up early, which is out of character for us, to make a 50 + mile day to Port Huron.† When Cindy started the engine to pull up over the anchor, it did not go into gear and was making a very loud clack, clack, clack.† Scott did some checking out of† the transmission.† It didnít look good, so we started sailing towards St. Clair Shores.† We called Tow Boat US and got a 3 mile tow into the Jefferson Beach Marina.† Good thing we have an unlimited towing policy or it would have cost us $240.† When Scott and I went walking over to register, he noticed a ZF Marine Systems Truck.† Since the transmission Propulsion had been making funny sounds, Scott had already been searching for parts.† He had found out that ZF had bought out our transmissions parent company.† So off he went to talk to him.† What luck, the area we are in is called the Nautical Mile with all sorts of marine support facilities.† The guy he found is the Great Lake Region Representative.† If we had pulled in anywhere else, we would have had to wait for him to come to us.† By the end of the day the parts were ordered with overnight delivery.†

††††††† We headed for the Detroit Light House.† Just after we headed up the Detroit River we were surprise to see what reminded us of the ditch again.†

††††††† It was another light wind day and we motored our way into the motor city.† The guide books warned of staying alert because there is a lot of commercial traffic.† We were surprised to see only 3 commercial vessels and a dozen private boats, (including a kayak) during the day.† As we entered Lake St. Clair we did see this boat, that reminds us of a push me/pull you, that seems to be a Great Lake Ship.†

†††††††† A little further up the river we saw this wonderful boat house.†† We left the river at Port Huron and entered Lake Huron fighting a 4 knot current.† It was a good test for our new transmission.† Alleluia, it ran great.† Scott has also been sound proofing the engine compartment.† We spent the day trying to get used to the new sounds. Another great night at anchor, this time on Lake Huron.

†††††††† Well, overnight delivery meant 2 days later delivery.† Thursday at 2:00 we had the parts and by 6:00, Scott had the new transmission, drive plate, and steering cable installed and this better transmission is working great!, in the slip.†† Cindy used the time to clean the brown smile and dirty, slimy water line we had around our boat.† I canít believe I used to swim in this water.†

†††††††† I am so cold!† We heard on the news that the days will start getting cooler since MI has already hit the heat peak.† Ugh!† It is cooler than normal and 70į just feels so cool.†

†††††††† We tested the transmission by motoring away and up the thumb at a little below the first knuckle of the thumb.† Today we had a beautiful sunny day going up the St. Clair River.† We were able to motor sail a few times when the wind was right.† First thing in the morning we saw this Coast Guard Vessel.

†††††††† It was a nice surprise to see very beautiful homes on the river.† As we travelled on, we heard a securite, securite† (an announcement on the VHF radio about concern on the water), about time trials for the Sunday boat races at St. Clair.† As we passed through the area we saw this boat completing his trial.† As he flew by, I canít believe I got the shot.

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