Friday, August 11, 2017

August 10, 2017. Sailing to Edison Boat Club

We decided to do a shakedown cruise on the Troika, to make sure everything was OK before going on a longer trip. Sea Scout Sara and our planned crew for Lake Ontario, Yi Chia, were aboard. We left our dock at noon, making the 12:30 opening at the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge.

There was little wind so we started out motoring. We ogled the Nina and Pinta replicas at Wyandotte. They look so small! Imagine them packed with passengers, food and gear, crossing the Atlantic Ocean centuries ago!

There was a lot of commercial traffic on the river today, and once we got past the
Ambassador Bridge in southwest Detroit we caught some wind and were able to sail.

We had to start the outboard motor again as we passed the Hiram Walker plant in Windsor. Unfortunately, soon after that, the motor quit! We were in the shipping lane alongside Belle Isle, with a freighter coming down the river toward us, and there was just a breath of wind. We were able to catch that wind and maneuver to the Canadian side of the river for our attempts to restart the motor, including switching gas tanks, just in case we had some bad fuel. Alas, it was not to be. This motor did not even attempt to start. We floundered around for a few minutes, called for backup, and then caught some wind. We started sailing again, cancelled our SOS, and sailed right into the boat club and docked the boat smartly, just as it was time for Bill's sailing class to start. 

Erika and Melinda went out on their own Flying Scot, without an instructor aboard. They completed their "man overboard" drill (it was really a "lifejacket overboard"). Sara and Tim, from Sea Scouts, took out the Sojourner sailboat and witnessed the "man overboard" drill, so Erika and Melinda can sign off on that task.

Yi Chia and I got in the club's motorboat with all the food and motored down to the Detroit Yacht Club. We saw the Boblo boat Ste. Claire, sad and decrepit as she looks. There is another restoration effort underway for her. The other Boblo boat, the Columbia, is in Buffalo, New York undergoing restoration to be used as an excursion ship on the Hudson River.

All the training boats sailed into Detroit Yacht Club where we'd been invited to a potluck dinner. A good time was had by all (and good food!). It was rather dark by the time we finished, and the wind had died, so they rigged the Flying Scots for towing and we towed them back to Edison Boat Club with the motorboat.

Bill rode back home with Erika and Sara, to get our truck. Yi Chia and I stayed on the boat. We found out the hard way that we didn't have our screens on board. We rigged up mesh on the hatches, but a lousy mosquito got in anyway... this is why we have a shakedown cruise!

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