September 1, 2001
Here we are in our 7th state in the past 3 1/2 months - - Pennsylvania (Erie). We are still trying to determine how we can see more of the 50 states ... !
We left Fairport on Thursday morning, intending to stop in Conneaut, OH for the night. But we heard on NOAA radio that thunderstorms and high winds were predicted for Friday and Saturday so we decided to continue on to Erie, PA (thinking that it would be a bigger port to "hole up in"). Besides that, it was perfect cruising on Thursday - - sunny, 80 degrees, less than 1' waves, SE winds. So after almost 10 hours, we anchored off of the state park on Presque Isle (By the way, this is also our 2nd Presque Isle). It is a beautiful, protected, quiet anchorage; so far it has only been us and several sailboats anchored in the bay.
Yesterday (Friday) we were on the boat all day, doing some maintenance and housekeeping chores (and a nap in the afternoon). We started the day watching 2 thunderstorms go through, sitting in the salon, drinking coffee ... and eating lemon cookies! Can you think of a better way to start a day?! It rained on and off all day (1.8" of rain total, John Z.). Oh, and Brian FINALLY asked for a hair cut. After 3 months, it was getting a little wild (ALMOST ponytail length if you can believe it!). Now he looks respectable again - - he even shaved! Maybe the librarians won't look at us so suspiciously from here on out ...
Friday evening we dinghied into the state park marina for a walk (it is only a 36' boat remember!). As we walked along the shore of the 2 x 3 mile Presque Isle Bay, we did not see one pleasure boat (we did see two of the town's tour boats). And it was a beautiful evening. It seems amazing after Thursday evening when there were boats all over the place. We still haven't figured it out - - maybe because of the storms all day (?).
Today, we dinghied into the town of Erie. You can tell that the city takes great pride in its town - - it is very neat, trying hard for beautification, and have these ~5' statues of fish on almost every corner, painted differently, most advertising the industry/store/theme of the building on that corner. They are really cool! We also stopped to watch a football game at Gannon University in their brand new "multi-purpose stadium". When we left in the middle of the 2nd quarter, it was 27 - 0, Gannon. Things didn't look pretty for the visiting team!
After sending this e-mail, we are going to visit the "Niagara" - - Commodore Perry's ship and then stop and get a beer before going back to the boat (a ~2 mile dinghy ride).
Winds today are up to 30 knots, waves 3 - 5 feet (yup, we are staying at anchorage for the day), but tomorrow it is supposed to be calm. We are still trying to decide whether to stop in Dunkirk, NY or to continue straight to Buffalo (for the wings!). We'll probably get on the water and see how we feel. Can you believe how flexible we have become!?!?!
Hey, did you know that you can microwave corn-on-the-cob? While visiting with Brian's family, I was trying to decide whether to cook a dozen ears of corn that Brian's mom brought for dinner one night on the grill or on the stove. In response to my thinking out loud, June asked why the microwave wasn't working. Just as I was trying to figure out how the two conversations related, she explained that all you have to do is put a little butter/margarine on a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap the shucked ear of corn in it, and microwave it for ~1 1/2 minutes per ear. It worked great! Thanks, June!
Brian is still conducting his nightly spider and bug kills. And leaving more and more green and black spots all over the boat (okay, okay, he does wash them off ...). But the little buggers really are a mess. We have heard from some of the locals that they are worse this year than in the past. But, hey, so far, this is the ONLY downside we have found to fresh water cruising. Boy, are we going to miss the fresh water - - not looking forward to the salty seas again.
Second bit of trivia: Did you know that Purple Martins migrate to Venezula each year? But they are in Erie, PA now! The past two night they have been congregating on the sailboat masts in the marinas. Talk about a mess. We'll opt for the spider marks over the bird "marks" any day!
I guess that's all for now. Brian's low beer light is going off. (I knew I shouldn't have promised him one ... !).
If we don't find a library in Buffalo, we'll e-mail again along the Erie Canal. We'll raise a Buffalo Wing or two to you all. Cruising on.
Jeri and Brian