1990 Canadian Sailcraft CS34 Shoal Draft
Sail #8268

1982 Catalina 22 Fin Keel
Sail #10506

1994 MUMM 36 ACE
Sail # 29206

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Beckoning Delivery Day 07 - Lake Erie (Port Stanley)

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.

Around noon on we started questioning if we had enough fuel to motor sail to the Welland.

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.

The lift bridge was up permanently for repairs.

... we were underway racing against the clock.

Yet another beautiful sunset.
BOTH Lake Huron and Lake Erie have an abundance of windmills:

We bumped the throttle up to 2,800 RPMs and the chart plotter was saying that we MIGHT make it to the Welland at 7am on Saturday!

This was no longer a delivery, but a race!


Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Beckoning Delivery Day 06 - Huron to Erie

After two hours of sleep, were up and leaving the dock just after first light at 5:30am.

Sarnia Yacht Club looks much different in the daylight.
Sorry no photos.

We passed under the Sarnia Bluewater Bridge.

Time on this first photo is 06:01am.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, we were very careful to stay in Canadian waters.

First laker approaching us:

...and passing us on the US side:

The St Clair River was pretty uneventful.
The channel is well marked.
You had to stay in the channel as the depths shallowed quickly.
Only saw a couple more ships, absolute no pleasure boats.

With the current, we were motoring along at over 8 knots @2500 RPM.

We entered Lake St Clair at ~10:30am.

We put the main up to maybe get a little push.

We had to stay in Canadian waters:

You might ask why we ducked around to the right of "Grosse Pointe Farms" above:

Well the channel there is fully in US waters AND there is a dumping ground on the charts that has depths all over the place, so we avoided BOTH:

We went past WYC at ~13:00 (that's Windsor Yacht Club)
Appeared that they are still closed, only a couple of sailboat masts.

The river narrowed past here and the current was pushing to a boat speed over 9 knots.

We passed under the Ambassador Bridge at 13:45:

Then on into the Detroit River.

Winds had picked up a bit and were were able to motor sailed with jib on a close reach at over 9 knots.

The instruments show the point of sail (close reach), wind speed (10.0 knots), depth (33.1ft) and Speed Over Ground (9.5 knots).  Mark is THRILLED!

We BLEW by a Hunter 29 sailing along:

We had to follow the shipping lanes out into Lake Erie.

We had to go into US waters to follow the channel because there wasn't enough depth on the Canadian side.  We didn't want to test the depths here, as the bottom of Lake Erie here is hard limestone.

We made the turn (at 16:30) as soon as the water depths were consistently deep(er) and were motor sailing towards the Colchester Reef above and then Point Pelee and Pelee Island.

Sunset behind us with a laker carrying windmill turbine blades just past Pelee Island.

You CANNOT sail any closer the Point Pelee as there is a shoal that extends quite a bit south.

The end of the track above is midnight on Thursday (Friday morning).

Trip Odometer: 120 miles (estimated)
Moving Avg: 6.6 knots
Moving Time: 18:20:00

We were heading WEST with the light winds almost on the nose from the WNW at 6-8 knots.
Motor sailing close hauled keeping our speed up to get to the Welland.
Winds were supposed to swing further left (north) during the night and morning.

We had another 120 miles to long point, then 40 miles to get to the Welland.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Beckoning Delivery Day 05 - Grand Bend

 Our next destination:

We were all up at 6:30am, had a quick breakfast of yogurt and berries and off to the showers cause we could.  Ladies made some cold cut sandwiches for underway.

We left the dock at 7:10am.

Winds were again pretty much on the nose and light maybe 8 knots of breeze.
Motor sailed the entire way with just the main.

Pretty chill as we passed Point Clark, Goderich, and Bayfield 2-3 miles from shore.

As we got closer to Grand Bend, we could see why the area is called Bluewater:

Coming into Grand Bend, we saw lots of people on the beach

The lighthouse is the Grand Bend Yacht Club clubhouse.

Trip Odometer: 58.4 miles
Moving Avg: 6.0
Moving Time: 09:43:00

We were greeted by Kevin in his dingy coming up the channel:

We stopped at the marina fuel dock for fuel up, pump out, and fill the water tanks.
We used 104L of diesel from Tobermory.

GBYC would have difficulty with a 40ft boat (and davits), so we moored across the river:

Moored where the arrow is:

The girls got their clothes packed, and we dingied up the river to GBYC.

We had some drinks, while Kevin prepared a yummy BBQ turkey breast.

Mike and Mark arrived shortly after with my truck.

The eight of us sailors were all members of the Newcastle Yacht Club before 2010.
It is neat that all of us have stayed in touch all this time.

A storm cloud came in, so we had to take cover while we ate.

This picture was taken from the top of the lighthouse:

What a great time we all had catching up!

Funny sign in washroom:

But alas it was time to go.

The girls loaded up the truck and off they went:

We loaded up the dingy with Mike/Mark's stuff and said our good byes to our most excellent hosts:

Camera shot from Kevin:

... with The Beckoning behind (time was 8:42pm)

We spent a couple of minutes organizing before getting underway.

Leaving the harbour just after sunset at 09:00:

Four guys on a sailboat, going day/night back to Whitby.

Winds were light, maybe 5 knots and on the nose, so were just motored to Sarnia

Trip Odometer: 35.40 miles
Moving Average: 5.4 knots
Moving Time: 06:36:00
Max Speed: 8.1 knots

We pulled into Sarnia Yacht Club.
Very dark coming in and we were docked by 3:30am.

The only casualty was we lost one of our fenders during the motor.

EVERYONE crashed for a couple of hours until first light.