A significant milestone - I'm now docked in Buffalo, NY. I've (at last) gotten off the Great Lakes, after what has been probably the most brutal, trying trip through them I have ever had. I was thinking about it earlier.
First, the run north through Georgian Bay - the winds, which were supposed to be SE went to the W and NW, making it fairly difficult to get out and almost impossible to sail, since the run up is to the NW.
Then - two weeks stuck in Tobermory with 30 knot winds out of the south and up to 12 foot seas on Lake Huron. Grabbed the one clear day and snuck down to Goderich, barely getting in there before the weather kicked up again - and spent three, or was it four days there with high winds again on the lake. Getting out of there, I motored to Sarnia - again getting in at the end of a long day and just as the winds were starting to pick up again - out of the south.
Stuck two days in Sarnias - and then on to Windsor, where I spent several days visiting with Paul Ouellette and his wife. Leaving Windsor - no winds from there to Colchester, so headed into Kingsville. From there to Erieau, finally got to sail for about 90 minutes before the winds died off totally.Stopped in Erieau for fuel, supper and a nap and then on to Port Stanley, supposed to be no winds. I expected to get in about midnight, the nap knocked that back to 4:30 am. Then one of those nasty Lake Erie storms kicked in, got in at 7:15 with my mainsail torn to shreds. Lucky for me I was planning on getting a new mainsail anyway!
From Port Stanley, off to Port Dover - no winds, but the bilge pump quits on me, had to hand bail the bilge halfway through the night.
Port Dover to Port Colborne - perfect winds for sailing - but the mast is now on the deck, ready for the canal. Port Colborne to Buffalo - and I find out the federal lock is closed for the weekend, so I'm losing a day and a half here. Plus, all the marinas are closed, and I have to get fuel somehow. And there are no gas stations anywhere near here.
Can you believe all of this? Other than the great people I met all along the way - Tobermory, Goderich, Sarnia, Windsor, Port Dover - the trip has been one hassle after another. And I have yet to face the destruction that Hurricane Sandy has wrought on the lower Hudson River and the New Jersey coast. Apparently, one NJ marina was entirely blown away by the storm...
It's enough to make me want to buy an RV and go to New Mexico, or Nevada, states without any large bodies of water.
Quick, someone remind me about how much fun I'm having!