Sailing The Apostle Islands.

We left Copper Harbor, and the winds were very unfavorable, so we sailed for a short while, then motored on , arriving in the Apostle Islands the following morning around 4am. We anchored off Stockton Island, and after breakfast, with brisk winds, we sailed off anchor and spent the next 6 hours  zigzagging thru the islands.  We then sailed way out on a starboard tack intending to aim for  a port tack along the south shore. It was not to be.   The wind changed and we ended up back in the islands once again. After a photo opportunity (photos are in my Picasso album on Google). We motored overnight to Bark Bay on the south coast about 35 miles from Duluth, Mn.  We are motoring towards Duluth to muster with the other tall ships for the entrance into the Harbor.

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Meandering along the south shore of Lake Superior

The plan is a relaxed trip to Duluth with plenty of stopovers. Our first port of call was Munising, but first, we had a great day of sailing. The winds were out of the North and Northwest at 10 to 10 knots.  To follow the coast, we had to sail close hauled on both a starboard and port tack. This was a new maneuver for us, so the captain gave us a lesson in what had to happen on the tack prior to tacking.  We lost very little momentum on the tack, and soon were traveling at an 8 knot clip, with the ship healed over  20 degrees or so.  It was the best sailing so far!!!  We arrived around 10 in the evening, were able to tie up at the pier and have an open house for the local folks the next morning. We created quite a stir in the town.  We pulled out of town at noon on the 24th bound for Marquette, Michigan. Once again we were able to sail in and tie up at the city pier. We arrived earlier  than the day before so had plenty off time to explore the town.  I managed to find an excellent local brew pub called The Feirling.  Beer was excellent, especially the Pine Mountain Ale, made using Simple hops, according to the brewmaster. It actually had a hint of pine in it.  The beer went great with smoked whitefish, made locally.  We had large crowds for ship visits on Sunday.  We gained another sail trainee when one of the visitors decided at the spur of the moment to join the crew for the rest of the trip to Duluth.  Left Marquette at noon, put up the sails and headed out into the lake.  Lost our wind around 2pm , took in the sails and motored to Big Bay, arriving after 10 pm. Anchored out again, with dory trips to the beach for those seeking adventure.  We sailed out of Big Bay around Noon, and headed for Copper Harbor, reaching it at around 6 pm. The local folks were out in their boats to greet us, and after anchoring, most of the crew took the dory in to town for a little RNR. Copper Harbor is a very small but welcoming community. We are sailing out at 6 am for the Apostle islands.

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Going thru the Locks at Sault Saint Marie and on to Duluth

I think that they should be self explanatory. There was quite a crowd of people watching. It’s not every day that a tall ship passes through I suspect.  We motored up the Saint Mary’s river after the locks, and during that time the Captain gave a very good chalk talk on how the sails are set. We then we set a couple sails for practice. 20 miles later we anchored at a very small south shore harbor called Little Lake harbor. It was too shallow for us to tie up so folks who wanted to visit are taking the dory in to shore.

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Bay City to Sault Saint Marie.

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Bay City Tall Ship Festival

Bay City has been a great host for us on the Europa. The folks helping arrange all the services for the ship have been extremely helpful. I was even given a lift to a local brew pub on Friday evening. What service!!  Folks toured the ship all day Friday, and then Friday evening our ship was host to a sponsor party. The weather is hot, but clear and hot. A local resturant (The Stein House) provided a Sunday brunch for the crews of both Dutch and German ships. Left Bay City promptly on Monday morning. Posted several pictures from Bay city in my Picaso Album on Google.
Here is the link.

There are also pictures taken during the Bay City to Sault Saint Marie Race which we won by a large margin.   The trip was quite eventful, with multiple sail changes, and a sail thru a major thunderstorm where the ship was struck by lighting during my watch!!!! It was a pretty loud click and BANG!!!! The last pictures on the Picaso site are pictures of the ship coming up the St. Marys river. We are docked in Sault Saint Marie now.

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Sailing from Port Huron to Bay City Michigan

Wednesday July 13th we started promptly at 7 am and continued our trip up the Detroit River.  We changed pilots that the mouth of the river, and headed out into Lake Huron.  Winds were in the wrong direction so we steamed  up the lake, and at 3pm or so we stopped in the dead calm and let everyone swim.  I took advantage of the calm winds of the day to do my first carefully monitored climb in the rigging.  Got some nice pictures, but it will be a while before I try the upper two sections. It takes quite a bit of strength and agility to move quickly in the rigging. After a fine dinner, the winds started to pick up and Captain Rob ordered a small set of sails set.  The winds continued to pick up and by 11:30 PM we had set all the sails. We have arrived at our rendezvous point for the Tall ship arrival procession this morning ( 14th) and are waiting for the rest of the ships to gather.

View From the Riggin

Looking down at the deck from the rigging.

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Racing with no wind…

Sailed out of Cleveland Harbor around 11:00 am on Monday. The first sail race of the tour started at 12 noon. We maneuvered several times to arive at the starting line a few seconds after 12 noon. By the time the race started all of us “trainees” were sweating… There are 6 to 10 lines per sail (and 27 sails). They all have to be let out, tightened up, and then straightened out for each maneuver. The course covered 31 miles, but after 10 miles, the wind dropped to a whisper. We won the race by default, as we made 26 miles by midnight. The other ships had dropped out of the race!!!! We sailed until 4am, and just as my watch started, Captain Rob order us to strike the sales. Nothing like a frantic 45 minutes at 4 in the morning to get the blood stiring. We have been motoring all morning, and are now approaching the Detriot river.

Here is a nice picture of the Europa at dock in Cleveland.

The Europa at dock during the tall ship festival.

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At the Tall Ship Cleveland Festival Saturday the 10th.

First I want to say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to Lee. 

Lee, with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the background










We decided to travel to Cleveland today and vist the Tall Ship Festival. We toured the Europa and spoke briefly with the crew. I board the ship at 5pm Sunday, and Lee is going to board with me. They have a safety briefing and some other official business, and then we will adjourn to our hotel. I will board again Monday morning, and Lee will then take off for home. While roaming around the festival, we ran in to a couple of old friends.

Do you recognize them?

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Visiting with a couple of Familar Characters




Here are a couple of more pictures.

A load of vistors at the Tall Ship Cleveland Festival

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The Adventure begins…

Finally retired now! Last Wednesday the 30th was a great day.  The folks at the office managed to pull one big surprise on me,  presenting me with various and sundry retirement necessities (a 6 month supply of my favorite junk food , a retirement hat, a nice picture of me sitting on a deserted island beside my wrecked sail boat, and best of all a custom made pirate movie poster.

Capt'n Kirkpatrick - At Works End

Some nice words were said about me, no doubt because everyone is so happy to see me out’a there… (not really).  I am now preparing for my Great Lakes sailing adventure aboard the Bark Europa.

I am leaving Cleveland Monday July 12th on the Europa.

Until then, signing off.

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