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Old 01-06-2014, 20:37   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Detroit
Boat: CAL 20
Posts: 111
Lake Erie sail

We delivered a Catalina 30 from Sandusky OH. To Detroit MI. Yesterday.
It was a great sail except for dodging fishing nets. It doesn't sound hard but at 7 knots and overcast the flash were hard to see out quickly. I could find one but not the other. I was using paper charts and a Garmin GPS and still did not see them on either one.
I also learned a 10,000 pound boat doesn't maneuver as quick as a 2,000 pound one. With the engine in a cockpit well and a large rudder I can turn my Cal 20 on a dime. More mass means better planning and a smoother touch on the helm.
It takes a second to get used to a wheel.
The last lesson of the day was no throttle means no steering.
We started getting shallow near one of the islands skirting some nets and I cut the throttle and guess what? No steering go figure. I learned you need a little speed to steer. Mine I can literally spin it in the slip, your not turning a 30 like that.
Over all it was mostly uneventful and the weather was perfect. Around 15 knots and the wind favored us the whole day. We had a blast, we were holding 7.2 knots most of the way.
Going upstream we were making 5 knots. It was some work though. It was my first time that far south and we made the channel right before dark. All the reading up I did on charts and navigation sure helped. It gives me more respect for cruisers sailing into new areas all the time. Coming into an unfamiliar area in the dark with freighters keeps you on your toes. When we got near the city it was harder to see the lights with all the lights from land messing with your night vision.

I can't wait to get back down there and check out some of the islands. The local sailors at Battery Park Marina were awesome and a great source of knowledge.
We really do have some cool spot around the Great Lakes. The sailing community is great, and I have learned a ton from the forum here this year. I would have never tried a trip like that a couple of years ago.
We got the boat back without a scratch. The only other problem we had was the motor cut out coming into the marina. All the playing around last year sailing into my marina came in handy. We slide it up to the dock smooth as silk. Harold our Commodore did an awesome job. It was a great experience and makes me glad that I am part of a great community of sailors. All the chatting and questions here might to some seem trivial but it has made me a much better and safer sailor because of it.
Thanks everyone.

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