To paraphrase a famous song about sailing the Great Lakes, the trip from Chicago to Lunenburg has proved to be a fine sailing trip so far. We experienced some very large swells in Lake Michigan with brisk winds. Speeds of 7 knots were not unusual. We once again passed under the Mackinac Bridge, this time in the fog at 6am in the morning. Lake Huron was a disappointment as the wind was calm, or against us for most of the trip to Detroit. We went thru the Detroit at late in the evening with all calm and the city lit beautifully, but I woke up at 4am to the rocking of the ship as I was almost tossed out of my bunk. A front was coming thru, and we were making 10.5 knots on Lake Erie. Several wind changes required our presence for sail handling, with the wind changes being caused by severe rain squalls. We are on the bottom side of a low pressure system, and are expecting strong west winds the rest of today (Friday September 3rd) with our present speed of 8.5 knots we will be at the east end of lake Erie by midnight. Winds of up to 35 knots are expected on Lake Ontario. this should make for interesting sailing tomorrow morning.
We made it thru the Welland Canal overnight and in the morning after waiting for a while for a pilot we set sail in Lake Ontario. As forecast, Lake Ontario proved to be even more challenging than Lake Erie had been. We literally flew across the lake at speeds of above 10 knots for most of the day. We had the largest swells I have experienced on the Great Lakes, with some in excess of 3 meters. Winds of 30 knots were not uncommon, with the swells building towards the west end of the lake. Thru it all, we have had great meals. All of us marvel at Marianne and Daantje’s ability to produce great meals under such rough circumstances. We have all had a taste of what real sailing on a square rigger is all about. Now on to Lunenburg.