Monday, August 21, 2006

Presque Isle to Harrisville to Open Water (Leg 6)

Monday, August 21

0900 Leave Presque Isle marina

Another bright sunny day with a forecasted west wind to take us down to Harrisville.

1010 2 NM West of False Presque Isle, 6.8 NM

The winds are out of the SSW at 10 to 15 knots which are OK for now. Hopefully, they will shift to the west as forecasted.

1500 Southeast of Thunder Bay

We've been hard on the wind all day. The wind is now shifting slightly to the SW. We are a good 10 miles offshore so its time to motor into the wind and get to Harrisville. Crew 6 will be there by 1700.

1715 Harrisville Harbor, 51 NM

The Leg 6 crew is waiting at the fuel dock ready for our arrival.

The captain is feeling pretty good and the weather forecast is sounding very nice. Winds are forecasted out of the west at 10 to 15 tonight.... looks like it could be a nice night sail down Huron.

As the Leg 5 crew begins disembarking, the captain informs the Leg 6 crew that we won't be staying the night in Harrisville.....but, pushing on. The crew looks a bit bewildered and accepts the proposition.

1800 Leave Harrisville Harbor - LEG 6 BEGINS

While the Leg 6 crew stows their gear, the Bumboat takes on 23 gallons (204 engine hours) of diesel to top off the tanks. After only 45 minutes in port, the crews have been changed, boat fueled, and provisioned with food and drink..... almost as fast as a NASCAR pit change.

1830 A few miles SE of Harrisville

The wind has now shifted to the WSW and seems steady at 10 to 12 knots. Gregg and I tune the sails to get us moving at a nice 7 knot clip. The Leg 6 crew is yakking and full of energy. Thirty minutes into Leg 6, the crew has finished their first round of beer.

2030 Off shore on Lake Huron east of NE of Oscoda

Crew 6 is in the midst of a serious onboard party. They are now working on their second case of beverages. The music is spirited and the crew continues to yak endlessly. Right now they are totally oblivious to their surroundings. I don't even think they know they are on a sailboat 20 miles offshore.... it could just as well be a bar, recreation room, picnic table in a park.....

The sun is setting and the wind is holding out of the WSW.

2230 Somewhere Northeast of Saginaw Bay

The party continues. Any tranquil sounds of wind and waves are totally overwhelmed by the crew's need to shout to one another.

Ben discovers that it is dark outside..... really dark.... and the sky is on fire with stars...... lots of stars.....

The wind has become a steady 15+ knots. The Bumboat is screaming along on a beam reach at 8 to 9 knots. The waves are building to 3 to 5 footers since we have the fetch of Saginaw Bay to our west.

Gamblin' crew
Fair winds and skies
Leg 5 crew
Leg 5/6 crew change
Leg 6 crew in party mode
Old Presque Isle Light
Sunset off shore on Lake Huron

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