Posts Tagged ‘Lake Erie’

We’ve kept our boat at Whiskey Island Marina for a number of years. We love Whiskey Island, all the great people we call neighbors and the beautiful Wendy Park that’s been our playground when we’re not out sailing. This beautiful little gem in the heart of Cleveland was struck by massive waves and winds that were the product of Superstorm Sandy on October 30th, 2012.

Fortunately, our boat was already on the hard, tucked away far from the waves. However, for many of our neighbors there will be no need for fall decommissioning this year. There will only be the arduous and very sad task of salvaging and picking up the pieces.

Waves broke through a section of break wall that protects the marina and its floating residents.  Fierce weather can spring up on Lake Erie in a matter of minutes, and this break wall is a secondary structure that protects the marina. There is a first defense, main break wall that took the brunt of the storm’s fury. It is a 4-mile long concrete fill wall that protects the Cleveland shoreline and inner harbor. That structure was not damaged.

These photos were taken on Wednesday, October 31st and shows just how much damage was done to the marina and boats. It’s a very sad gallery of pictures, but it’s one that should remind us all of just how powerful Mother Nature can be.

This is taken at the shoreline and shows a pile-up of boats and debris. The upper left quadrant shows the mast of a sailboat standing out of the water.

The left section of the break wall was breached. This section had been repaired at least twice in the last year. At the horizon line you see the main break wall that protects the Cleveland inner harbor. Lord only knows what would have happened if that had been damaged.

Pieces of docks and finger piers are just sort of floating adrift. Some boats are tied to docks that remained intact.

Many boats broke their lines and drifted around the marina, ramming into one another and smashing up against the rock shoreline.

This dock lost it’s supports and partially sank. The black cubes are the buoyant supports that hold up the floating docks. the boat on the left was tied up to it, and now it looks like it’s the only thing holding the dock above water.

This dock-box was ripped from the dock and thrown up onto the bank by the force of the waves and winds.

Many folks had put off moving their boats to the hard or making other arrangements for them. Normally, boats are out of the marina by November 1st. What a difference a couple of days can make.

The sight of this mast is all that’s left of someone’s beloved sailboat.

Another sailboat that will probably never sail again.

The wind was blowing in from Canada, pushing the boats toward the rocky bank of the marina. The docks lie in rows, parallel to the wind, so as the wind blew in from the North, it pushed the boats into each other and up onto the shoreline.

Finger docks sank and snapped the lines of boats moored to them, freeing them to bob around the marina.

This shoreline is loose rock. I’m afraid some of these boats may not be salvageable.

The owner of this boat was able to secure lines to the shore, so at least he doesn’t have a total loss.

Outrageous, our 42′ Catalina, is safely tucked in the back of the yard, near the railroad tracks. Our neighbor’s  big old steel sailboat is protecting her from the worst of the winds. Our wet weather has only given her a good scrubbing, and she’s all ready for a cozy winter slumber.


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Blue Angels Over Whisky Island 2010

Blue Angels Over Whisky Island 2010

Labor Day weekend usually signals the end of summer on Lake Erie, and the Cleveland Air Show is the Grand Finale.  Our Whiskey Island Marina is a perfect place to watch the air show without the throngs of people (althought recent years have seen a marked increase in ‘outsiders’ invading our hide-away). 

Weather for sailing, however was not the greatest.  Saturday was cold & wet and WAY too windy…with gusts over 40 mph & sustained at around 32. Sunday was far nicer. We went out on Sunday with some folks, but found the water very lumpy. We were unable to get enough wind to speed us over the waves, so it was a rough ride which brought mild mal de mer to one of the guests.  Ergo, the iron genny came on to plough us through the waves with less rocking & we ended our excursion earlier than we would have liked.

'Goodtime II' Air Show Cruise Off Whiskey Island

'Goodtime II' Air Show Cruise Off Whiskey Island

I made & donated a quilt to raffle for our boat club. We held a gyro & snow cone sale on Sunday.  I cut & sewed the top on Outrageous, and took it home to do the assembly & quilting.

Whiskey Island Boat Club Quilt

Whiskey Island Boat Club Quilt

Looks like no boating this weekend either. Others have conspired against us, but hopefully we’ll have some more nice weekends before the end of the boating season. 

But we DO have the Annapolis Boat show to look forward to in October!!!!

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The Tall Ships were in Cleveland this week. They really are spectacular! They arrived on Wednesday & were gathered at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River thru Sunday.  The public could board the boats, and short trips continuously kept the ships moving.

Tall Ships

Tall Ships

Rather than joining the throngs for a chance to be jostled onboard, hurried off, and otherwise treated like cattle, we elected to view the ships from the comfort of our own little ship.  We motor-sailed by, as near as I dared (I manned the helm, Geo manning the camera). The powerboaters, jet-skiers, & other slow sailboats caused quite a bit of traffic conjestion behind the breakwall as we all vied for space to move safely and take photo ops at the same time.

I managed not to ram or be rammed & Geo got some nice shots!

Tall Ship With Browns Stadium

Tall Ship With Browns Stadium

Ship Approaching The Harbor

Ship Approaching The Harbor

We continued East to the end of the breakwall, then proceeded up as far as Bratenal before heading out & retuning to the marina.

Who's At The Helm?

Who's At The Helm?

Of course, we lost the wind & had to motorsail the last mile or so back in. As we approached the mouth of the river & the opening in the breakwall to return to the marina, we joined a returning ship, followed closely by the ‘Nautica Queen’ tour boat, as well as a swarm of other boaters coming into the same bottleneck. 

Roseway & Nautica Queen

Roseway & Nautica Queen

Nautica Queen

Nautica Queen

We slipped in between the Roseway & the Nautica Queen so George could get some shots.

Roseway Heading In

This was as close as we got, & I headed us starboard towards our Whiskey Island Marina – George grumbling, and me relieved to be away from all the traffic. If you’re not familiar with being out boating…just think about being in the parking lot of a Mall at Christmas time. Then think of how it would seem if there were no yellow lines to give traffic some semblance of order. Just everyone traveling any way they wished at any time…Motorscooters, muscle cars, sedans all at once.  That’s kind of how it feels.

Close As We Got!

Close As We Got!

A final look at one more boat… errr… ship…

S/V Denis Sullivan

S/V Denis Sullivan

Molly joined us in the cockpit for the last part of the voyage. We didn’t bring Lucy up tho…we’ll wait til we have less boat traffic for everyone to deal with.

1st Mate Molly

1st Mate Molly

Another lovely weekend…it’s so hard to go back to dirt dwelling. I love my home on the water. Adieu Outrageous…til next Friday!!

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We’ve been waiting interminably for this rainy, cold, miserable weather to let up long enough to finish the hull painting so we can get Outrageous back in the water. We were able to work last Sunday, and completed the bottom painting.

Next was cleaning, waxing & polishing the sides of the boat. We were able to complete 1 side. Then, rain until Wednesday. George worked, completing maybe 40% of the other side, and worked on the stern, which needed some sanding & refinishing. 

Expensive masking tape is worth the cost!!

Expensive masking tape is worth the cost!!

Today is beautiful, sunny, and warm. So he’s back at the marina again, trying to get it finished up for launching, perhaps this weekend.  So much for Spring in NE Ohio!! ARRRGGHHHHH!!

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Been doing some little things to make Outrageous more ‘homey’ Got my Singer out & down to the boat so I can do sewing projects on board.   Also have found a few things to add or replace.

Fish Headboard

George found this cute metal wall hanging & thought it would look great as a ‘headboard’. I had intended on making a padded headboard, so reading in bed would be nice &  ‘pluffy’. But I, too, thought it would be sorta neat –  so up it went!

I’ve made custom sheets & a custom comforter for the bed. Not hard, just something that needs to be fit & refit a number of times. Theyr’e not perfect yet, but pretty darn nice! I just started with ready-made items & remade them to size.

Mast Cozy

The mast is really not a decorating feature, and so I decided to make a ‘Mast Cozy’ for it. I found a great vinyl that looks like basket weave leather. I made it to have a velcro closure on the back side, and included pockets, as I have no night stand. The pockets hold my Sony eBook Reader, glasses, phone, etc. It also is velcroed from the bottom of the bed platform down to the base of the mast, to hold it in place on the bottom front side.

Mast Cozy Detail 2

I just love the look of this ..it turned out very nice and blends so well with the walls. The tassel was just a bit of whimsy….cute, eh?

Galley Curtains

Salon Curtains

I made some curtains for the salon & galley windows. They’re just temporary. Eventually George wants to re-upholster the setee & at that time I’ll do something else. But for now, they soften the room & add a little subtle color. The original accordian style pull-downs are still in place, but the velcro on them has deteriorated & too much trouble to repair for something we don’t even like.

Shower Curtain

On to the bathrooms heads! George installed a proper shower curtain rod. The original was a track into which ran little ‘buttons’ from a specialty item Boat/RV shower curtain. Very flimsy, old, and  proprietary. This is a curved shower curtain rod purchased at a local home improvement center. We then merely had to purchase standard rings & curtain, which I cut down to fit.

Forward Head Towel Holder


We also installed some wooden towel holders, one in the forward head, the other in the aft head. Again, from the home improvement store. No custom teak here, guys! (I took towels we were already using, and added the fabric edging –  scraps left from making my custom sheets.)

Lifevest Bag


I’d gotten some medium weight denim at a bargain price, so have made a lifevest bag for all the extras we have on hand and sleeves to hold our ‘doors’ when they’re not in use.



George wanted a simple way to keep our lines in order. He found small hooks which one puts elastic cord thru, forming a loop. The loop holds the coiled line, hooked onto the hook. This seems to be adequate, and was just a matter of cutting elastic cords to the proper length, tying the ends, and installing the holders.


At one time, boats over a certain size were required to have a ‘ship’s bell’. Well, we found one in amongst the ‘stuff’ the previous owners had left. I spent some time polishing it and cleaning the knotted cord. It is no longer required, but we hung it anyway. Certainly a nautical addition!


After removing the seat, we were short some seating. We had purchased 2 folding canvas chairs. They are comfortable, but if you want to stretch you legs out, there’s nowhere to really recline with them.  George found a reclining folding canvas chair that is GREAT! It’s not only comfortable sitting, it’s extremely comfy to recline – great for TV watching or snoozing a bit! Now, I realize that the color isn’t the greatest, but it was the end of the season & it was the only one available.  And when I’m sitting in it, I can’t tell what color it is, anyway!


A final, but very important purchase is the fishing net you see just at the lower edge of the bimini. This is not strictly a net for landing your catch, but is now known as a Molly Catcher.  You see, Molly the Boat Dog has become quite comfortable all over the boat, following me as I do chores above & below deck. We were out one nice morning –  I, cleaning some windows;  she, checking for bugs. 

I heard a ‘plop’. I turned my head. No Molly. Further exploration revealed a small, wet Chihuahua doing the dog paddle.  I ran below to retrieve the net, but by the time I got back, she was no where to be seen. She had swum under the dock next to her, then under the adjacent dock and was swimming between that dock & the shore. Using my trusty Molly Catcher, I scooped her and a clump of seaweed up and safely deposited her on the dock!  It was sort of a non-event for her – she ran up on the lawn, shook  the water off & rolled a bit, then started running about like nothing had happened.  But I sure was glad we had the Molly Catcher!!

So, now the Molly Catcher is secured in the cockpit…where it should be!

That’s about it for now…we’ve done other things, but have no pics to post & no one like reading just plain text.

Next installment, , our sailing adventures!!

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Low & behold…it’s already the end of August!

I haven’t posted since June – just enjoying the summer, doing boat projects, sailing (not NEAR enough of that…more later), learning about the boat and it’s little idiosyncrasies, and general hanging out.

Where to start? Well, George replaced a number of the hatches. The porthole windows & hatches were badly crazed from the extreme heat & sun of Florida, so 5 hatches were replaced. P1000159 Here’s a pic of how they all look. The hatches are now nice & clear –  we were concerned with safety if a lot of weight were placed on them. The portholes will just have to wait.






We found that the salon table can be set down to a lower position. Salon As Xtra BedA custom cushion could be made to convert the space into additional sleeping accomodations.  We doubt that ever will be an issue, but it’s nice to know it’s possible.







George removed the wood trim around the companionway & refinished it.  Companionway Wood TrimSo now we have nice, freshly finished wookwork, as the finish was quite worn & shabby looking before.










We also drained all 4 of our water tanks.  Galley Sole TankWe were able to clean 2 of the tanks of the sludge that remained. The other 2 were just so much of a hassle to acess that we didn’t clean them.










A connector broke where the water lines all converge, so until that is replaced, we don’t have running water.  Water Lines - Aft Port CabinSo I’ve had a crash course in water conservation! It’s amazing how little water I can get by with for cooking, dishwashing, etc. Not even really that big an inconvenience! A few gallon water bottles filled from the dock water line, some bottled water for drinking/cooking  & we’re all set for the weekend.

I sorta told George that as we have such a small amount of time to enjoy the boat, we should do just that, and leave projects for when it’s colder. So projects have become less of a priority…manana, as they say south of the border!

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While we’ve been waiting for the bottom to be painted, so we could launch, so we could put up the mast,  so we could put up the sails (whew), we’ve been making some changes aboard Outrageous.


I came down one day to find the settee removed from the salon! After discussing the pros & cons we decided that it opened the space up so much, and that we would get 2 chairs to replace the seating. Perhaps ‘director’s chairs’ which can be folded away.

Salon TV

George also suprised me with a new flat panel TV, which he mounted in the salon. Along with it, a DVD player. He has these installed , along with an HD antenna. 

While he was at it, he added an iPod connection to the radio mounted in the nav station.  So now we can listen to the iPod on the cabin stereo system. It also charges the iPod as when it’s plugged in, so no need to bring a charger. I’ts great!

Storage Compartment

Purchased some transparent storage bins with latching hinges.  I’m sure we’ll fill this quickly…when you’re used to a house, condensing your life into something this size will take some getting used to!

We had an impromptu cookout yesterday on the lawn adjacent to our slip. Folks got a 1st look at the boat, and several were pressed into service assisting George install the jib sail. A friend and I sat up on a picnic bench & watched the proceedings –  enjoying a day that I wasn’t working, but just doing hostessing duties for a change!

So now, it seems, we are ready to sail! Next step is to get some lessons under our belt.

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