Another short travel day. The good news was that diesel fuel was only $3.899 at the Catawba Moorings so we filled up the tanks. The bad news is that we only needed 90.45 gallons. We then headed out into Lake Erie to go to South Bass Island, which is the location of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. In doing so we bypassed Kelly's Island off to the east. South Bass Island has a large, well protected, natural harbor, and the monument has over 200,000 visitors per year. It is also home to many regattas and a popular spot for boating vacations.
Monday, July 21, 2014
After a couple of miles the shoreline abruptly heads north at what is now East Harbor State Park. The park is on a long, often narrow spit of sand. The beaches are not wide, but the water gets deep VERY slowly. It is the kind of place where you could walk 100 feet out into the water and still be in only 1 or 2 feet of water.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
We went about 7 miles up river, and even though there has been development of some areas, much of the river is still natural.
We loaded the dingy onto the davit on the swim platform and left the dock more or less before the official check out time of Noon. As you can see in the photograph, the sky had largely cleared, and the breeze was a light 8 mph as we started our voyage for the day.
Oh well, it was a small disappointment at the end of an otherwise great day.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Amazingly enough, the Vermilion River flows through the town of the same name and forms a nice harbor for pleasure craft. In the past it also had a fairly large fleet of commercial fishing boats as well. There are beautiful manmade canals that are lined with lovely waterfront homes, and the downtown area has many interesting shops and restaurants.
In the picture at the left we saying our goodbyes after lunch as Ann was going to go back to Lorain with Helen. Special people, special time with both of them!
We left Vermilion and headed 11.2 miles west to our stop for the day at Huron, Ohio. Huron is more of a commercial port and in the past both coal and flour were shipped out on large freighter. The picture at the right is the modern automated light at the start of the dredged channel. As the result of urban renewal and a large fire, Huron has a modern waterfront with marinas, 2 motel/hotels and restaurants. We stayed at the Huron Boat Basin, which is owned and operated by the city. In one corner of the marina is a small earthen amphitheater that seats several hundred.
We always check out the local calendar of activities in small towns. Sure enough, there was a play at 8:00 pm at the Huron Playhouse only 3 blocks from the marina. The play was "39 Steps" based on the original book by John Buchanan and a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. The play has some 33 scenes, and it was written so that only four actors play all of the parts. The Huron Playhouse has been around for 66 years, and the summer theater is almost all college students getting experience. You may remember that we went to the musical "Wicked" when we were in New York City, and this is the fifth time that we have gone to a local theater production on our boat trip. All have been well worth while, and they have contributed to the amazing voyage that we are doing.
The second sunset picture (below) shows Lucky Us at her dock at Spitzer Lakeside Marina in a very well protected portion of the outer harbor.
The major industries were US Steel (World's longest continuous tube mill), Ford assembly plant (cars, vans and light trucks) and American Ship Building (built many of the lake freighters, including 1,000 footers). The shipyard and Ford are now closed, and part of the steel mill is owned separately by US Steel and Republic Steel, who together employ about 70% fewer workers. Economically the town has suffered, but its greatest natural resources (Lake Erie, the port and the Black River) offer great recreational opportunities.
Along with some grocery shopping, we did mange to see two movies ("Jersey Boys" and "Begin Again"). Also, starting back in Erie, PA, I have had fried Lake Erie Perch for 5 straight days! Just gotta feed that addiction whenever I am in the area.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Then it was time to continue along the south shore of Lake Erie for about 25 miles to Lorain, OH. The light off shore breeze continued so we actually stayed only about a mile from shore in very calm waters. Yes, it was a really nice day for this trip!
Like many lighthouses, the Lorain Lighthouse was deactivated and replaced by an automatic light over 40 years ago. It has now been restored outside and inside.
So, now that we are in Lorain for several days, I am going to not post for a while. In the meantime I will be eating lots fresh Lake Erie Perch and visiting a couple of long time friends. Pictures and memories to follow...