In Celebration of Sailing: Our First Summer With Snow Goose

by nonameharbor / Jun 13, 2008 / 0 comments

In Celebration of Sailing


Come sail with me on Erie waters

To the shackled snap of slatted sails,

Roiling downwind motion,

To cheese and cracker time.

Come sail with me on the Cuyahoga

On the stillmorning river,

Drifting past fog bound barges,

Only dipper ducks awake.

Come sail with me to the West Harbor Light,

Past big city tankers.

We ask what name,

Where bound.

Come sail with me to Rondeau

On my undulant Snow Goose.

To make a foreign port

Is to be Magellan.



Our first summer with Snow Goose, from her log:


July 26, 0900, wind nearly calm S-SE overcast, 295 degrees heading on compass 

Bill's birthday, we leave E. 55th Street bound for Pelee Isle, the Canadian side of Lake Erie.  Michael, 16,  is aboard with us. 

We'd swung the compass on the break wall light and Muny stack. Two bearings with reciprocal, 2 degrees off magnetic course. We drop the genoa as the wind headed us, too light. Now on mainsail and engine. Abeam the crib at 0945.

1450, looks like the international buoy ahead, so we change course to 332 degrees. How could we be here so fast, result of a following/beam sea? Bill spots motor oil leaking into the bilge and flops on his bunk to take a nap in pure disgust, while Mike and I steer.

At 1830 Bill is awake and we spot a sailboat. What name, where bound? The White Opal with four men from Niagra on the Lake. They are lost, too.  We all laughed at that.

We both jill around, determine finally where in the world we really are - Rondeau Harbor, Canada. We'd changed course after sighting what we thought was the international buoy identified with our navigation chart. It was actually SE Shoal Light. We'd arrived so much earlier on it, 10 or 15 miles ahead of our timing, because of the force of following seas.

So we are motoring past Pelee Point instead of Fish point, where we thought we were! Both boats tie up at Wheatly against an old barge at a rickety, old dock. We'll overnight here. I love the watery green, brown and blue of the landscape, the sea grasses, the loneliness. The four guys aboard the White Opal jump off their boat and head down the road, almost running - they'd been told there is a lady makes and sells pies somewhere around here. Later we all talk into the evening, savoring our slightly different cultures and our love of boats. In the night the fishing vessels that had shipped out the previous 3 AM returned. Tomorrow, after this unexpected, delightful stop-over, we'll sail away to Scudder Point at Pelee Island to rendezvous with our friends, Ray and Lois with two students as crew aboard their Sea Breeze, then on to the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron - more adventures.




Journey of the Snow Goose is featured here: