1990 Canadian Sailcraft CS34 Shoal Draft
Sail #8268

1982 Catalina 22 Fin Keel
Sail #10506

1994 MUMM 36 ACE
Sail # 29206

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ACE Lake Ontario 300 Day 2

So we rounded the mark at PCYC at 12:40pm and blasted down the lake under spinnaker.

Winds were fluctuating between 12 and 22 knots true wind.
Our largest white chute that we had up has an upper limit of 15 knots of true wind.
If we had a sustained wind of over 20 knots apparent, we would have to take it down to a smaller chute.  As a result I stayed on deck all night because we might have had to do the change.
I slept maybe an hour on deck.

We did one gybe in 20ft of water near Oswego to get to the mark.

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We rounded the Ford Shoal mark at 05:27am.
That would be 16:47 to cover 133 miles or an average of 8.1 knots!

Rounding Ford Shoal Mark
Winds were such that we couldn't fly a chute, so we hoisted the #2 and were blasting north towards Main Duck.

We rounded just after Sassafrass (Swan 47) and just before Lively (J/109).
We were able get well ahead of both of these boats before Main Duck.

About 1/2 way across the 30 mile crossing, the wind swung behind us and were able to hoist the white chute again for some more speed.

Once past Main Duck, we were close hauled with the heavy #1 towards Prince Edward County.

We got cell service and found we were the 8th boat to round Main Duck and were first in our class (IRC-2) and 2nd in IRC overall.

We tacked up the shore several times to less than 10ft of water (ACE drafts 7-4):

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When we past Point Petre (circle on the left above) we found we were about 2 miles from out friends Razorbill.

We looked at some weather models and decided that going north of the rumline was a bad idea.  We confirmed that the other boats ahead of us Razorbill, Spitfire, Holligan, and others were only doing 3 knots north of the rumline.  We decided to sail on a close reach at close to 7 knots under #1 genoa.
Our heading was 265M and the rumline was at 260M.

Close Reach
38 degrees apparent
6.19 knots speed
After about half an hour, the wind started dying and going behind us.  We had to go south to keep our wind angle and keep our speed up.  After a couple of hours, the wind just petered out; NOTHING. ZERO boat speed.  We trying an ASYM while the windex was spinning around in the 1-2ft waves. Meanwhile, the wind had filled in north of the rumline and our competitors were speeding away from us at 6-8 knots.

The ASYM was just flapping in the waves, so we quickly doused it and hoisted the ghost.
It is Michael's staysail made out of spin cloth.  It got us moving again, as the light winds came in the from SE.

We were able to go back to spinnaker in 5-6 knots of breeze and muster 3-5 knots of boat speed towards the Niagara mark in the waves.

I had probably only got about 2 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours, and tried to go down to bed, but discovered a new enemy: FLIES - BITING FLIES.  They were everywhere; in the cockpit, on deck, and especially down below.  You could not sleep with them biting you.

It was SO BAD that Michael duct taped his socks to his pants to keep them from biting him.


At one point I went NUTS with a fly swatter for over an hour, killing thousands of them.
Their carcasses seemed to only attract more of them.
We even got a bucket out to wash down the cockpit.

I donned my thermal underwear and socks in a failed attempt to not get eaten alive:

That night it was dark and from our vantage in the middle of the lake we could see thunderstorms on shore all over the place: Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, and Rochester.  We got a little smattering of rain.

We were prepared for a gust front from the storms: let the guy run free from the cockpit, and dump the halyard to get the chute down as fast as we would.  We never had to.

We were neck and neck with IMXtreme and Lively, changing tacks and positions all night.

Several lakers from the Welland Canal passed us in the dark:

We could see them on the AIS, so no worries.

At 7 in the morning, I hit a wall from lack of sleep.
I went below with the flies.  I covered myself with a sleeping bag, and made a tent out of towels around my head and used my CPAP machine to give me fresh air WITHOUT FLIES from the cabin.
I slept for 4 hours and woke up just before rounding Niagara.

Great percolated coffee!

At Niagara, the winds where shifting all around.
We had to do several gybes and finally a headsail to get around:

WTF is that?
Alas we made it!

Approaching Niagara Mark

Rounding it

We past Point Petre @ 14:30 and the overnight slog to Niagara had us rounding at 11:30 the next morning.  Thats 19 hours to cover 90 miles or 4.73 knot average, which really doesn't seem that bad considering we didn't have much wind.  Our competitors who went north probably averaged over 6 knots and sailed less distance.

We were now DFL in our division, but were correcting out over several larger boats in IRC-1.

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