We were motoring along @2,500 RPM full sails in 6-8 knots of breeze (close hauled) at 6 knots boat speed.
The Welland canal is only open for downbound traffic on Tue, Thu, Sat.
We had to be at the check in dock for 7am on Saturday, or wait until Tuesday to get through.
We had approximately 120 miles to Long Point, then another 40 miles to Port Colbourne.
That's 160 miles to cover in 32 hours. We would have to average 5 knots to make it.
After midnight, the winds started picking up to 10-12 knots (still close hauled).
Tough to judge because our wind instrument doesn't display true wind as the boat does not have a speed paddle for the instruments to calculate it. So the wind instrument was showing 12-14 knots of wind and we were doing 5.5-6.0 knots so were were definately seeing less than 10 knots of breeze.
There weren't any whitecaps, so that means there was less than 12 knots of breeze.
However Lake Erie is shallow (average depth is like 38ft), so the waves coming from the west were choppy/steep, yet we were in less than 10 knots of breeze.
We furled in both the main and jib. I went on deck to move the jib cars foreward so we could sheet the jib in. I went to sheet the jib in straddling the winch, when I bore my entire body weight on one of the enclosure buttons on the bottom of my bare feet. Needless to say I was bleeding badly and in much pain. Got the first aid kit out, cleaned out the wound, applied some antibiotic cream, pads and taped the foot tightly to stop the bleeding. On went a sock and proper footwear. My foot was VERY tender to walk on, so I went down to sleep while Walter, Mike, and Mark continued on.
I went right to sleep and didn't wake up until after 4am.
What happened next I somewhat heard, but here is the synopsis.
Winds were still only 10 knots, but the waves were building.
They were only 3-5ft, but very steep.
They were causing the the entire radar dingy arch (and dingy) to wrench back and forth with each wave.
You can see how we fell off in the track above.
The dingy was supported by the dingy arch crane, and cross braced with stainless stainless rods.
Walter also put diagonal lines attached to the boat and the handles on the dingy.
Well the wrenching of the dingy broke one of the handles on the dingy.
All three guys were concerned about losing the arch/dingy, so the decision was made to tack and motor sail as fast as would could north away from the winds/waves that were coming from the northwest.
The waves would be less as we got closer to shore (we were in the middle of the lake).
Plus on the current course, would risk going into US waters.
They made the turn at ~01:00.
That turn to the north was 20 miles actually further away from the Welland.
We were all concerned about making the Welland for Sat at 7am.
Once the waves settled down we tacked towards Welland (@3:30am) and all was well.
We tried to keep our speed up motoring with the sails up to drive us faster.
At one point in the night, we got a MAJOR override on the jib winch.
We could not unwrap it.
If the winds increased, we couldn't furl in the jib.
We talked about going on deck and rigging a cheater sheet to take the pressure off the loaded sheet.
In the end, we did a head to wind and were able to unload the sheet enough to take out the override.
To keep the sails up, we had to venture further into the lake.
The winds were supposed to swing to the North, but of course they didn't.
Plus we were drifting closer to US waters.
Our last fill up was in Grand Bend.
Unfortunately we didn't record the engine hours.
The boat has a 166L of fuel tank.
The boat manual listed fuel consumption of 3.5L per hour @2,500 RPM.
Doing the math, that would be 48 hours of motoring.
From Grand Bend, we had done approximately 36 hours of motoring.
We dumped our 20L reserve jerry tank into the fuel tank, and the fuel gauge went just past 1/4 tank.
That would be approximately 55L of diesel left.
At 3.5L per hour, we would have 14 hours of motoring left.
We would NOT make it to the Welland.
If we did, we would need fuel to get through the Welland and past.
We made the decision to alter course north again and head into Port Stanley for some fuel.
We called the marina when we got cell service to ensure they were open and that had depth for a sailboat.
We pulled into Port Stanley at 5pm.
Filled up with 133L of diesel
The engine hours were 1582, so we have motored for 72 hours since Midland.