Sunday 8 September 2013

A Blast from the Past on The Bay

       "And it's a fair wind, blowin' warm...."
                           Crosby, Stills and Nash

         This summer has been a bit of a bust, weather-wise, down here on the Dock.  Either cold and wet, or hot and humid, no wind or too much wind, often all on the same day.

        The Labour Day weekend was no exception.

         Thanks to some strategic vacation day planning, SWMBO and I extended our Labour Day weekend through to Wednesday.

        We were glad we did.

         Friday was overcast, but that didn't stop Mark and Kathy from taking their Corvette, Meisje, out for a sail.   The Dock's short fingers didn't prevent them from stopping in for a cocktail.  Yes, a 30 footer will fit on the Dock:

   More on this great example of a classic plastic design in an upcoming OPB post.

       Saturday and Sunday SWMBO and I were both engaged in gainful employment, leaving time for little besides breakfast research for an upcoming Behind The Beach post....  and watching boats heading out for the yacht club Christmas(?!?) Boat Parade.

       Monday, we both did nothing but enjoy the fact that we were not working.

       Tuesday was a lounge day- a day to get caught up on boat projects, curl up in the cockpit with a book and just enjoy the solitude of a near-deserted marina.

        Mid-afternoon, I climbed onto Whiskeyjack's cabin to get a picture of the overcast and our new skyline for...

     ... Yes,  you guessed it...

    .... An upcoming blog post .


        Panning south to see what I could see, contemplating whether to finish another chapter in my read or whether to give SWMBO a nudge, light up the chugger,  drop the docklines and get on the water, something low on the horizon caught my eye:

     I pushed the zoom, steadied myself against the mast, and got hit smack in the eyeballs by an image from another century:

      You don't see a whole lot of square rigged ships on Lake Erie any more.   Throughout the afternoon, the ghost ship drew closer, becoming less ghostly:

    You know that this is gonna require a closer look-see, don't you?  Besides, the house battery was getting low, thanks to heavy use and a couple of low-sunlight days hampering solar panel performance,  so a good hour- long run under power was needed.

      As we clear the Marina breakwall and round buoy ED6, I start snapping shots:

    I realize,
    a)  She's big.
    b)  Because she's  big, she is also farther out than she looks.
    c)  Our house battery is REALLY drawn down, and is apparently  really due for replacement.

        With chartplotter, VHF radio and depthfinder  all pulling power, the house battery was quickly depleted below half and dropping like a stone.
     "Okay,"  thinks I, " it doesn't affect the drivetrain, so it's non-critical, figure it out back at the Dock , but in the meantime we're gonna need running lights soon, so it might be a good idea to conserve the juice we've got.     Turn off fixed mount VHF, turn on handheld, kill chartplotter and depthsounder, and hey! now we're navigating out to a big ol' square-rigger just like big ol' square riggers used to, via compass and charts and Human Eyeball, Mk I."




     As the sun started to set, our goal became clearer:

   Besides Hilary scooting about in his C&C, this was the only other boat within view:

    Just as the sun dropped below the horizon, we got our close-up...

 and could finally get a name:   Sørlandet

    Here's some sense of  Sorlandet's size, measured in Whiskeyjacks*.

    She is 9 Whiskeyjacks long.

    She is 1.25 Whiskeyjacks wide.

    Her bowsprit is a Whiskeyjack...  including davits.

   She displaces 50 Whiskeyjacks.

   Her draft is 5 times Whiskeyjack's 3.5' draft.

   She has 13.5 Whiskeyjacks  worth of sails- 27 flappy things in total.

   With 13 304 square feet of sail area, Sorlandet is rocking about 53 Whiskeyjacks  of canvas.

  *A Whiskeyjack = 23 feet.

    Yeah.  She's big.  We're not.

     (* IN your best Jeremy Clarkson voice*) In fact, Sorlandet  is the largest and oldest Tall Ship...

...  in the world.

    And, she is Norwegian.

      This fact excited half-Norwegian SWMBO, who emailed the details to her wholly Norwegian mother, thus enabling bestemor  to share in our serendipitous discovery.

     Sorlandet was on the way downLake, returning from the last stop on the Tall Ships Challenge which was commemorating the War of 1812 this year, with stops at various historic locations throughout the Great Lakes,  on both sides of the border.

        Wednesday, she remained anchored, providing for some beautiful photo ops,

and a great backdrop to the Wednesday evening race.

    Thursday, like a faint memory of better times,  she was gone.

     We were privileged to have seen her.

   "Talk the Dock!"



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