We left lovely Presque Isle at dawn (0620) on June 13. After two days of staying put due to gale force winds, the weather and conditions on Lake Erie were kinder to us, (as per the forecast), so we had two good long days of sailing up the lake past towns, villages and nuclear power plants.
At the end of the first day we docked at another state park, Geneva, at 1620 – exactly 10 hours of sailing. This is a beautiful large marina with generous floating docks, and we had the whole (1500 feet) face dock to ourselves! Two enthusiastic dock hands greeted us and gave me a ride back to the office in their golf cart. We watched small recreational fishing boats (the main residents here) come and go during the evening but did no more than contemplate the 15 minute walk into the pretty village of Geneva on the Lake, having no energy left! Another time, hopefully.
Up early again the next day, we left at dawn and made good progress with favourable winds and no waves until we reached Cleveland in the early afternoon, by which time it was blowing like stink with choppy waves. Entering the Edgewater Yacht Club is tricky at the best of times. But is a very active racing club, and the learn to sail program was in full force. With winds too high for the youngsters, they were tacking back and forth inside the narrow entrance, so dodging them while finding and tying up in our assigned berth on fixed (not floating) docks with unprotected metal pilings, was stressful to say the least. We were pinned on the pilings as we entered, but luckily our boat is built for bad conditions and sustained but a minor boat bruise. The more significant bruise was to Steve’s temper as it took him an hour to secure the boat on the wind-exposed dock.
Edgewater is a huge club – we had been given 2 nights (paid for one on a reciprocal arrangement) – but told that we had to leave by Thursday morning as Cleveland Race Week was starting. It was about half a mile walk along the long docks to the clubhouse. Ladies Race Night was in full swing – with plenty of keen racers despite the 20 knot winds.
We walked through an interesting west end neighbourhood of closed down factories, established Catholic “Little Italy” homes, newer Muslim low-income housing and even newer upscale Battery Park townhouses, built on the site of the old Eveready plant. Gordon Square Arts District is a newly gentrified neighbourhood of eclectic café’s, wine bistros and theatres. We had a fabulous meal on the atmospheric patio at Luxe.
The next day gave cause for celebration as our new batteries finally arrived, thanks to Kevin from Wilson Boatyard, who, apologetic for the distribution/shipping delays which were not of his making or choosing, left home at 4 am and drove 5 hours to catch up with us and install them. The installation was quick but it took Steve the better part of the day to configure our various systems (inverter, charge controllers, battery monitor, regulator) that interface with the batteries. The wind had disappeared leaving hot, muggy air behind. We cooled off in the club pool in the afternoon, and watched the racers hone their skills in becalmed conditions that evening.
We had not seen much of Cleveland this trip, but enjoyed our excursion to Gordon Square and were grateful that we had enjoyed more of Cleveland on a road trip to our young friend Sarah McElravy’s violin recital when she graduated from Case. We were not sad to see the end of the metal fixed docks and pilings of the Edgewater Yacht Club at dawn the next day.