Monday, September 26, 2011

Portsmouth NH - Detroit Mi Update 8

Saturday, 24 Sept 2011
0515: Underway in low overcast and fog for the Welland Canal. The plan is to run straight thru arrivig at 0300 the following morning so we can get an early start on locking thru the Welland.

0900: Lisa on watch. We are doing a two hour on and four hour off rotation to cut down on any fatigue issues. And with Andre injured and in pain, I don't want him to have to stand too long a watch.

1200: The winds have increased and we now have a short four foot lake wave condition on the vessel's bow creating an uncomfortable "hobby horse' ride. I have two of the crew losing it over the side. From our current position, the next nearest safe anchorage is three and a half hours away.  The owner and crew agree, in unison, to abandon the direct course to Welland and to lay-up at Presqu'ile Bay for six hours when the winds and seas are scheduled to abate.

1300: Pass inside of Nicholson Island, a narrow east/west laying island which affords little to no protection in the stiff westlerlies we are encoutering. But we can see Presqu'ile about twelve miles ahead, so the crew are now in a little better frame of mind. But the fish continue to be fed.

1725: Anchored down behind Presqu'ile Point. I elected not to go further into the the rather large protected bay as the location where I set the hook affords me an easy exit in the dark. The crew are now all feeling much better and ready for dinner; after which  we all bed down for a few hours of sleep.

Sunday. 25 Sept 2011
0000: We weigh anchor and get underway once again for the Welland Canal. Of intersting note: the deviation only added and additional 12 miles to my intended course. The lake is like a billiard table. What difference a few hours make.

1020: We arrive at the entrance to the Welland Canal and notice that there are two yachts leaving the small boat check-in dock and headed to the open and waiting Lock 1. We hustle ourselves to the check-in dock to make the obligatory phone call to Welland Control and  we are informed that we will be locking with the other two vessels. Finally a stroke of luck!

 Luc Working the Lines
 Pierre Pitches In
 Luc Teaches His Dad a Thing or Two About Line-Handling
 Our Only Delay
 "If Not for the Courage of the Fearless Crew..."
YEAH!! One More Lock to Go!!

1630: Completed the eight locks in the series in six hours besting my previous record of six and a half hours just 2 months ago. Interesting note: Because of traffic delays with commercial vessels, my longest transit of Welland Canal was 20 hours.

You will notice a change in the header... I was scheduled to depart the vessel in Buffalo with the owner and his crew well trained. However, because the trip "went long"due to the Champlain Canal alternate route, Lisa and kids had to depart tonight from Port Colbourne at the Welland Canal. Welcome aboard Andre's brother- in-law, Kevin, a retired Ontario police officer. I have been conscripted to take the boat all the way to it's final destination on Lake St. Claire. So, it's to bed with an early departure tomorrow.


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