Monday, August 10, 2009

What a day!

Well… A day for some firsts. I spent the morning working on getting some of the electronics sorted out on the boat while waiting for the waves to subside. Of course at dawn there was a pretty good sized thunderstorm but I didn’t care as I had spent the night in a slip. By noon it was clear and bright and I finished up my tasks and set sail. Would you believe, by 2 PM there was a special marine warning for thunderstorms exactly where I was sailing. And of course, within ½ hour they hit. So now I have survived my first single handed offshore thunderstorm in Reboot. In general thunderstorms are pretty nasty things at sea, but I have a particular aversion to them since in my first offshore sailboat race at the tender age of 21 we were hit in the middle of the night with a particularly nasty one in Lake Ontario. It demasted three of the boats in the race. I was pretty scared.

Today after the second wave of thunderstorms rolled over the boat I heard a strange banging noise. On further investigation I found that two of the four screws holding the mast to the gooseneck were missing. I found one on the deck. Not a good thing. I immediately took down the main sail and reinforced the boom with the main halyard to position it back in the gooseneck. So now I am a one sail sailboat (jib) until I get it fixed. Of course it was something I though I had fixed before setting out, but the repair was obviously not adequate.

What a typical Lake Huron voyage – complete with biting flies, miserable weather, and long stretches of uninteresting coastline. I have elected to shoot straight from Presque Isle to Port Huron – a very long voyage. I look forward to Detroit where I can purchase parts and will meet up with Jerry who is going to help me take the boat thru the Erie Canal.

To top it all off, as I was coming under the Blue Water Bridge I encountered dense fog. I had turned on my almost useless old radar when I realized I was going into a fog bank. It came up and there was the channel with a big blob in the middle. I of course thought it was the reflection from the bridge. At least I did until a HUGE cargo ship came steaming out of the fog two football fields away directly at my bow! Fortunately he was going dead slow. I am sure he did not see me until I passed him. Then, and only then did he decide to actually blow his foghorn!

Two Lakes down 1 ½ (Lake St Clair) to go before the Erie Canal. I will rest tonight in a slip (there is no place to anchor in the river) and head down the St. Clair river tomorrow morning.

I am finding myself sore from cranking winches and working around the boat. I remember the feeling from doing long distance races and know that as I rebuild my upper body strength the problem will go away. In the meantime I just take it slow and easy.

Roger

Reboot position http://www.winlink.org/dotnet/maps/PositionReportsDetail.aspx?callsign=W2ZDB

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