Saved by a Swim CallJuly 6, 2011
Wednesday, July 6
Position: 41 57.6’N x 081 41.5’W
Wx: NE F 3, 3/8 Cumulus, Warm, Lake Water 72 degrees
Sailing at 7.5 knots, steering 265 for Pelee Passage under all plain sail, plus T’gallant
PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II has been sailing for most of the length of Lake Erie now. After leaving Buffalo Harbor yesterday, we have been beating our way pleasantly up the Lake against the prevailing Westerly breezes. Last night a several hours shift to SxW allowed us to weather Long Point, Ontario. For a two hour stretch on the morning watch, we motored when the breeze dropped to less than 8 knots.
Getting this far – we’re abeam of Cleveland, OH now – nearly entirely sailing is pretty good, but around the 2000 watch change, I was thinking we’d have to pack away the sailing and start trucking to make our arrival on time. As a softening of the blow, however, we’d heave-to for a swim call before we took in everything. Last year, the crew was able to check off swim calls in all five Great Lakes. We let Ontario slip by and will have to brave it in September if we want to complete the challenge, but I wasn’t going to let another Lake slip by un-swum.
In the middle of our swim call, however, the wind shifted to an extraordinarily favorable Northeast. We quickly got hands back aboard, trimmed up the sails still set, reset the ones we’d taken in and are now going faster than we need to toward the Pelee Passage and the entrance to the Detroit River. We may not make the whole length of the Lake under sail, but we’re on a good run now.
Captain Jamie Trost and the crew of PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II