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Old 21-08-2014, 10:09   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Tecumseh, Mi
Boat: Westerly Cirrus 22'
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New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Greetings, sailors.

This is a quick note to introduce myself to the forum as I just signed up a few days ago.

I'm Mark, 59, from southeastern Michigan. I keep my boat, a 1970 Westerly Cirrus, at Bolles Harbor in Monroe, Michigan just a few miles north of Toledo, Ohio. I started sailing only about 15 years ago, but I've pretty much let it take over my life. No regrets on that account!

I first rescued a 16' sloop from a classified ad, fixed her up nicely, and spent a year flopping around on local lakes. I wanted to learn more and got into an online Sailing Chatroom where I met people from all over the globe, including the folks who invited me to crew on their 33' racing sloop. For two seasons I crewed for club races on the Detroit River and other races on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair and am grateful for all of the skills I learned. I also learned that I prefer the spontaneity of cruising over racing. I bought my current boat over ten years ago and spend as much time as I can sailing.

I have some blue water experience crewing for friends in Florida and crossed the Gulf from Lake Charles, LA to Sarasota, FL several years ago. An incredible trip fraught with tales of dolphins, drama, storms, and bonded friendships.

My Westerly is only 22', but it's the perfect boat for my style of sailing. I often sail singlehanded, but the boat can sleep four and has 6' headroom in the saloon, enclosed head with holding tank, galley, storage, etc. Like everyone else, I hope to move up to a larger boat someday (after early retirement), but for now my Nautila serves my needs very well. She's a little slow, but when I'm aboard I'm already where I want to be.

I would enjoy connecting with other sailors in my area for forum chats, sailing together, or whatever. (Did I mention I was single? ) I work as a computer tech for a local non-profit and have a pretty happy life. I'm a lifelong musician having played in local rock bands for years, but mostly do a solo acoustic act now. I don't drink, but I don't mind if others do. Feel free to drop me a note if you want to learn more.

All the best,

Mark
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:42   #2
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Hi Mark, and welcome.

We are also small-boaters (19'). I crew and race on larger boats, but cost, simplicity, and mobility keep us still in love with our little boat after 8 years. A dream to single-hand as you note.

We just got back this week from trailering our boat to Mt Clemens MI, on the west shore of Lake St Clair, and 3 days of sailing there. I've also had the pleasure of sailing around your area in 2009, stopping at Put-In Bay and Kelly's Island.

Fair winds.
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:44   #3
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Welcome Voodooacrobat! You will find folks here can be merciless about the relationship issue - just a friendly warning. You're doing the right thing - gettin out and gettin experience. Great Lakes sailing can be quite thrilling, now matter what the "salts" say. I've been doing it for 50 years.

Fair winds!
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Old 13-09-2014, 13:16   #4
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Spoken like a true sailor. I like your description "flopping around" which seems like what most newly initiated sailors do on a narrow beamed boat the first couple times out. I got a chuckle out of the that.
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Old 13-09-2014, 13:24   #5
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Welcome aboard Mark!



SC
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Old 18-09-2014, 01:23   #6
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Hi Mark,

Just joined myself. You and I may be the only two Westerly Cirrus's on the Great Lakes.

Thinking of selling my boat after owning it since purchase in 1971. We have covered a
lot of sailing areas including the Caribbean and the Mediteranean. Maybe it's time to
retire to dinghy sailing. See my ad in boats for sale I put up this week.
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Old 18-09-2014, 06:46   #7
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Sherwin,

You're on the Great Lakes too? Cool. Yes, we Cirrus sailors are a rare bunch. While they're very popular in Europe, there aren't many here. Mine was new in 71' also. I'm the third owner and have had her for 10 years. She's spent all of her days on the Great Lakes. The Master Plan is to sell her in a few years and move up to something larger, but it's the perfect boat for me right now.

Did you mean to say you took your Cirrus to the Med and Caribbean? I know they are "ocean capable", but I've never personally known anyone who has made the crossing. A fellow in California has taken his to Hawaii and back several times, and I've read of another crossing the Atlantic back and forth. It would be a great boat for the Med, I think. I spent almost five years stationed aboard the US Sixth Fleet Flagship in Gaeta, Italy and have seen most countries on the Med. I'd love to go back aboard a vessel that isn't painted Haze Grey.

Fair winds,

Mark
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Old 18-09-2014, 11:52   #8
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Re: New Member on Michigan's Lake Erie Shore

Mark,

We did not actually sail our Cirrus across the ocean. I'm sure the boat would have made it, but we were not up to such a long crossing. We did ship the boat both ways to Greece. We then kept it in Israel for a few years doing cruising of Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.

Did not mention that after initially keeping the boat in Chicago, we had a one
year cruise down the Mississippi River to the Bahamas. There were two of us
living on the boat and found it a bit cramped, but certainly livable for that time.

We did do ocean sailing in a return voyage from Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Kept the boat many years in Islamorada Florida Keys taking many cruises to
Florida Bay and the Bahamas.

We were forced to bring the boat back to the Great Lakes by high prices in Florida and lack of enthusiasm traveling down there and back. Lake Michigan
is kind of a let down after all that cruising, another reason why we want to sell the boat.

Sherwin
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