Saturday, August 3, 2019

Conneaut to Cleveland

We are under way in Lake Erie, with the Cleveland skyline growing larger dead ahead. We should be in port by 2pm, and we're hoping to drop the hook just off the downtown airport so we can tender ashore at the Rock & Roll museum.

Shortly after my last post, we arrived at Conneaut, Ohio and dropped the hook in the harbor, in a designated mooring area near the west breakwall (map). There was a bulkhead near the port authority dock, but it was awash. From the lake, two landmarks are prominent: the iron lighthouse marking the end of the west breakwater, and a wind turbine on the pier.

Conneaut breakwater light, an iron tower like so many here in the lakes, on our way out yesterday.

The wind turbine was apparently hit by lightning two years ago, blowing apart one of the blades, which must have been quite spectacular. It puts our own lightning strike into perspective. The city has been locked in a court battle with the power company ever since over fixing or removing it.

What's left of the wind turbine.

We tendered ashore to what little of the bulkhead was far enough above water to tie up the dinghy, and strolled the very small harbor neighborhood of the town. Live music was emanating from the BBQ joint right on the pier, but we had our taste buds set for the well-rated Italian place, Biscotti's, a short walk up the hill. The home-made meatballs were excellent.

We're almost out of beer, but the lone package store in walking distance was closed when we walked past. Other than bait, tackle, and ice, there really is nothing else available at the harbor area. There is a well-rated food cart right on the pier, near the popular boat ramp.

For such a tiny place, Conneaut has impressive tourist signs. This one in front of aptly-named condos.

It was very calm in the harbor and we lingered a bit yesterday morning before setting out on the five-hour cruise to Fairport Harbor. Had we stayed the rest of the day, we would have witnessed a thousand-foot laker, the Presque Isle, come into port. We passed her in the lake. In between Conneaut and Fairport is Ashtabula, another harbor of refuge, and we passed there the tug Kristin Joelle working a dredge scow. We remembered her from Oswego; apparently the whole dredge operation came through the Welland ahead of us while we were on our excursion from Rochester.

Fairport harbor does not have full-length converging breakwaters extending from shore like many of our other stops; rather, the east breakwater runs parallel to shore with a large opening to the east. Thus we found no truly calm spot in the harbor, and settled for dropping the hook close to the one angled section of the east wall in the marked mooring area (map).

Fairport lighthouse, the newer iron one (really) on the west breakwall, as seen from our anchorage. Older stone one is on the hill in town.

We bounced around for the remainder of the afternoon, and it was a little bouncy overnight as well. We never went ashore, opting instead to eat aboard. Other than the historic stone lighthouse at the top of the hill, not much was calling me here, and the lone accessible restaurant was a tiki bar at the east end of the harbor.

It was still bouncy enough this morning that we weighed anchor right after our first cup of coffee. Today's ride is a bit rougher than yesterday's. Tomorrow will be much worse, but we'd planned at least two nights in Cleveland anyway, where we have good friends and Red Cross colleagues.

Sunset over the Conneaut breakwater.

It's a beautiful day and we're having a pleasant cruise. Pleasant weekend days make for lots of traffic, and when I dialed the radar out a couple of miles, the screen looked like chicken pox. Somewhere in the middle of skirting the myriad small fishing boats we came across some orange-striped spar buoys that we did not understand; fearing they might be inadequately-flagged fyke net markers we drove around them and gave them a wide berth.

My next post will be underway departing Cleveland.

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