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sailing again

Country Girl goes sailing again - June 1-19, 2002

Being married to a sailor certainly makes life interesting. Sometimes it can be very similar to a roller coaster ride. Full of some really tremendous UPS but also a few of the DOWNS too. ( But I wouldn't trade it for anything believe me! ) My husband Anders was expected to come home for the winter holidays around the 24th of December 2001. We both were very happy and excited about that, as it was to be our first Christmas together since we got married in August. We starting making plans about all the things we would be doing for Christmas. However, I got a call from Anders on the 22nd, and I could tell from his voice that he was going to tell me something I for sure didn't want to hear. Seems as the "Coolbeans" was going to lay up in Hamilton on the 24th, But Anders would not be coming home. He would be joining up with the Algowood for the remainder of her season which would keep him out for several more weeks. Needless to say that was a big DOWN! My children Zachary and Melissa were with me on Christmas Eve which was GREAT and that night Anders called and he was all tied up in Hamilton and wondered when the kids would be heading to their Dads the next day. When I told him they were heading south right after lunch he asked if I felt like driving to Hamilton to spend Christmas with him. Hmmm let me think. Geezzzzzzzz are you kidding? BIG UP!!! So I spent the morning with the kids and my Mom and her friend Dick then against the advice of some of my "boatnerd buddies" I got in our "canavan" and headed for Hamilton. (Seems as though a few of them thought the roads would be bad because of some blizzard? ) But alas when Donna wants to go somewhere , she goes ,just ask Anders, he has a lot of experience with that! I got there under clear skies around 10 that night and called Him to let him know I was almost there, and needed directions on where the heck to find him! So while I was driving he gave me the streets to turn off on. He was up in the wheelhouse and could see me before I could see him,before to long I could see he had his search light on he was showing me the turns to take to get to the ship! what a nut !


sailing again

Then I saw where the ship and the other ships right in front and behind her were and I realized that the other two were there before him. Wow I couldn't see how he "parked" her in there. Looks like a Parallel parking job to me! Very cool I wish I had been there to see that. I find that watching him Dock is one of my most favorite parts about being on the ship. Pretty amazing really, something that big and he gets it to the dock oh so gently. ( I'm not bragging ..am I? ) 

     We spent the night on the ship it was very strange because everything was all covered up and most of the crew had gone home . We got up and left for Sarnia in the morning where we would get a hotel to hang out until we got a call from the Wood that she was in Lambton. We did have a great time and a nice dinner together. The next morning we got the call and headed down to the generating station and checked me into a hotel near there since the ship would be heading out early in the morning and Anders didn't want me driving then. He set to work with the paperwork right away while I checked out his new living quarters. Things were set up a bit differently but I have to admit I still liked the Coolbeans better. Later that afternoon I got in the van and headed to the hotel to get some sleep and when I woke up and headed home I drove by the plant and yes, she was indeed gone and on her way to Goderich. The day was bright and clear and I expected it to be a nice drive home. I listened to my CD player on my way to pass the time. (Note for future reference...when traveling away from home always listen to the radio so you can hear weather updates!) Oh yes, I found the blizzard..or the blizzard found me. No warning really what so ever..one minute the roads were clear, another I was in a few teenie flurries and 2 minutes later there was 18" of snow on the roads only thing I could see were the lights of the 18 wheeler in front of me and I couldn't get off the QEW because the ramps weren't plowed!!!I kept my head and moved along slowly like the others that were following and in front of me. When I got to the peace bridge much later a kind police officer said,"Sorry the bridge is closed you'll have to go back" WHAT??? was he kidding?? He wanted me to drive BACK in THAT??? NO 

WAY!! So I got myself a room at the Peace Bridge Motel and made some phone calls to alert people what was going on and got my daughter to get on the internet back at home to check routes to see how I could get home the next day etc. Anyway, I did get home the next day across the Queenston bridge where there was only a few inches of snow. Amazing.

Anders returned home on January 7th and we had a great winter together. Always hate that phone call from the office telling him its time to go back to work though. Some people find it hard to understand but its hard to go from seeing someone 24hrs a day to them just being gone. Believe me I'm not complaining though. I'm very proud of my sailor guy and the job he has. He went back the 23rd of March to get the "coolbeans" ready to sail out of the harbor. He did arrive home a week later though (which I was just fine with me!) He had to go to Owen Sound to take a course but headed back to work soon after. I think he had been gone 3 days when I started planning my trip out to see him. So this is where my next sailing story begins....


sailing again

I was hoping to make a trip around the 7th of June. Now planning a trip on a working bulk cargo ship isn't quite as easy as going on a "cruise". In my short experience I have learned a few things.Like the meaning of ETA Well of course none of this is the Captain guys fault but alot can happen . Also seeing as though I drive to meet the ship we need a trip thats going to end up somewhere near the car within a certain amount of time. I need to arrange for dog, horse and cat sitters. I also have to beg for someone to work my store for me. So I had figured out when I wanted to go and I made the arrangements here. So Anders calls the end of May and says they have a trip scheduled for the Seaway, did I want to try to make it? I still wonder why he actually asks...does he really think I'm going to say "naaa, I guess not this time"? ha ha funny! Well it would end up that I'ld meet him in Nanticoke on the 4th which was a bit earlier than I planned and he said it would be 12 days which was okay with me but I called the kennel and said hmmm lets reserve the dog a three week stay JUST in CASE. But by May 31st the trip had been change to Sandusky-Hamilton, Ashtabula-Nanticoke, Superior-Nanticoke, so no Seaway, But that was okay I just wanted to go I didn't really care WHERE we were going. We decided I would meet up with him in the welland canal on his way back up from Hamilton on Sunday sometime. Well Saturday came around and I'm thinking..the canal is only 6 1/2 hours away..the store is slow..its 11:00 I could be on the ship around 7:00. Well I left..:o) Had a great drive and got to our friends the Rusks to park the van and waited for Anders to call a taxi for me to bring me to the ship. Seems as there had been some "delays" so they were still only in Lock 8 and it looked like I'ld be able to join him in Lock 7 which was great for me! The taxi arrived and took me to the lock and there were alot of people there waiting with me. Norm and DJ a couple of the AB's, and Electrican from Frasers, Gary the 2nd mate and a few new deck hands. Quite a crowd! The ship FINALLY arrived and got lowered enough to drop the gangway and I was finally where I wanted to be...with my husband! By then it was 9Pm Saturday night.

There was alot of traffic in the canal that night unlike the last trip I took here when it took 10 hours start to finish. Seveal times we had to tie up to the wall to wait another ship. Wonder..hmmm why can't they let that other guy tie up to the wall and let us go?? Oh well, can't second guess the Canal boss guys I guess. Honestly I didn't really care every extra second was fine with me! By the time we got out of the Canal it was 3am. No need to say we both were really tired. Anders from working since before entering the canal and me from driving from Vermont and being up all night too. So we got a 1 1/2 hour nap on the way to Hamilton. Then the guys called (oh man I HATE that phone next to the bed...) Approaching the Piers so time for the Captain guy to get up the wheelhouse. Now the sun was coming up ..wowzers

Anders called a head only to find out some CSL ship was sitting at the dock where we needed to be at so he "parked" her on the end of the dock until the ship moved about an hour or so later. I went down to the galley to bring us up some breakfast seeing as though Anders had to stay in the wheelhouse. Before long he was backing the ship down the slip to unload the stuff he had aboard. Now we could FINALLY go to bed and get some sleep .. it was now 8:30 am Sunday morning. 

sailing again

When we woke up it was almost dinner time. I was totally confused as what time it was, I really wanted to have breakfast but dinner it was! Of course it was great..I had some wonderful soup and homemade bread.Yum. The unloading was still going because of some generator thing. So instead of it taking 6 hours to unload it was taking 10 or 12..okay by me..:o) During the wait Anders had plenty of paperwork to do and lots of phone calls to make and answer. It was really interesting to watch all the different trucks doing different jobs. Dumping molten steel, picking up big huge slabs of steel, Huge trucks and big dozers and there is a great view of all this from the wheelhouse for sure! They were done unloading around 9:30 that night so out of the piers we went to another beautiful sunset on Lake Ontario. We grabbed a nap on the 2 hour trip across the lake as we'ld be in the canal again. Not so much traffic on the upbound trip. It was pretty much straight through but it sure was exhausting and alls I was doing was watching! I told Anders I was really glad he didn't do this trip to often, tough trip if you ask me. The following pictures I took in the canal on our way down (up) . Still confusing if you ask me. Being a non sailor when your going south it seems to me your going Down..I'll get it someday.:o).

We got to Port Colborne Piers and for sure I was ready for bed I think we slept til 4:30 that afternoon. Here we go with that confusing sleep pattern. Oh well, I'm thinking its morning but look the sun is setting..ha ha We were on our way to Ashtabula, Ohio . It was pretty breezy as we approached the piers outside Ashtabula, lots of stuff to think about when your backing a big ship in but Anders made it look really easy. I do find it pretty exciting though. Its windy you can see the flag whipping like crazy on the bow of the ship. The guys are calling spots to Anders . Hes standing in the center console looking toward the back of the ship..but what can he see? .Well, I went over there to find out..nothing...well it looked like nothing to me. I just scratched my head and said..well I for sure don't want your job.! We came in to the dock so smoothly though, as always not even so much as a bump.


Sailing Again

Once immigration came to clear us we called a taxi and went to Geneva on the Lake thinking we were going to have a good game of mini golf only to find the town totally empty. I guess the season hadn't started up there yet so we found a place to eat dinner then went back to the ship. The phone rang around 2:30 am ( I was starting to see a trend here...:o) So up the the wheehouse we went so he could get the ship ready to head out for Nanticoke. Once we cleared the piers Anders had a ton of paper work to do and I sat in his office doing crossword puzzles trying to keep my eyes opened. When the suggestion of a nap going across the lake came up I jumped at the idea and I was out in seconds. We got to sleep for a few hours til we got to Long Point. Some CSL ship was at the dock we needed, so the anchor was dropped and we hung around til 2:30 that afternoon. As soon as the anchor was pulled up Anders was on the phone with a whole list of people waiting for him..grocery guys, immigration and customs, etc.etc...We arrived in Nanticoke around 3:30 that afternoon. Hey the Canadian Enterprise came in right next to us! 

It took about 6 hours to unload there we were leaving around 9:30 that night actually got to bed at a "Normal" time around 11:30 but were up around 4:30 that morning as we were at South East Shoals. Spending the day in the River...very nice!

The Detroit and St. Clair Rivers are always a fun place to be. Lots of things going on and all sorts of Houses and gardens to look at on the way. There were people lined up all over Detroit fishing everywhere! Lots of people wave and of course everyone wants to hear that HORN! I took pictures of ships..but I was bad I don't remember WHO they were. 

We got to the blue water bridge and cleared the buoys by around 12:30am it had been a great day in the river. time for bed now though! I learned something else this trip..only one ship at a time can go under the blue water bridge because of the strong currents. There is actually a light that if you pass it before the other ship does you get fined. So theres lots of communication between the upbound ship and the downbound to time their meetings! We woke up to a Beautiful day out on Lake Huron on Thursday. We hung around the wheelhouse for a bit to see what was going on up there then went to have lunch and then had to have a nap since Anders would get called around 3:30AM for the 1 hour notice to Detour.

It was here that Anders finally admitted to the fact that there is indeed a Lake In the St. Marys River. I've always found it fascinating in fact that there are lakes connecting the river together. Very pretty ones too! 

This is where the infamous Mud Lake Junction buoy is where the ships have to call in to soo traffic. It dings as you go by it. Very cute..hee hee Actually the Junction buoy is indeed the mark of the Junction where all the ships heading upbound or downbound meet sort of. At this point the upbound traffic is going on one side of the island and the downbound on the other side kinda nice when you have fog I would think. hmmmmm


sailing again

As we were somewhere along the river we saw a deer swimming across the river on one side who turned around when she got 1/2 way because of the ship coming. On the otherside there was a black bear! First one I had ever seen down by the river ...too far down to get a good picture though. I really enjoy watching all the sites along the river this one is much different then the St. Clair as there aren't 1/2 as many houses and none of the cities. Its very pretty . I love watching the effects of the water along the shore as the ship goes by.

I took the top picture it shows the pool where the water is sucked out in front of the ship and then when the ship goes by the water comes back. It happens the whole way up. The ships have speed limits on the rivers so that they don't cause too much damage though and Anders always obeys them or he says "I don't want to pay a $10,000.00 fine " ouch!

By the time we got to the locks it was getting Dark so pictures were out of the question. There were a few "boatnerds" there and I got to laughing because I was watching them with binoculars and they were watching us. Its kinda funny when you catch someone watching you with binoculars while your watching them! We all wave and have a good time for sure. We were out of the river around 12:30 that night. Anders got called around 8:30 and was told ..yup a change of orders..imagine that! Now we were headed to Thunderbay! I was fine with that I had never been there! A new adventure!

Once we cleared the river and Anders got his stuff done we headed to bed. Got up and had lunch (still can't get used to getting up after a long sleep and having lunch...:o) Lake Superior was just a teenie bit "wavy" nothing that you could hardly notice but the waves were nice.Course way up in the wheelhouse they look like teenie little things when infact I guess they were about 4 or 5 feet. Just enough to feel a very gentle rocking once in awhile. We got up about 4 Friday afternoon and arrived in Thunderbay around 7 that night. It is SO very beautiful there! I took pictures but oh my gosh they don't do it justice. The mountains are so different from ours in Vermont. Didn't see my "boatnerd" buddy Rob around anywhere to take pictures of us coming in. Anders put her in bow first as the wind was blowing pretty good and there isn't alot of room to play with. Anders still gets a kick out of the fact that when I was standing there watching I said to him "Where ARE you going???"

Sailing Again

We got off the ship once we got there and went to the mall down town to do some errands. This picture is kinda neat I think. To get where we were going we had to walk over a bridge over the coal going into the ship...there was LOTS OF IT!

When we got back it was getting dark, very wierd since it gets dark here in Vermont around 8:30 -9:00 but it was almost 10:30 here. The "coolbeans" was there waiting for us (of course! they sure wouldn't leave without the "captain guy"! 

We watched a movie when we got back to the ship and went to bed around 12:30 the next morning. That phone rang around 2am that morning though when the loading was finished. Time to take her out of Thunderbay. Oh my backing out in the dark. That was interesting bad enough backing in the day light but of course he made it look easy. And there I was after we cleared the Piers sitting in his office doing crossword puzzles at 3:30 in the moring..tell me what is wrong with this picture?? :o) Your right...nothing..thats just the way it goes on the ship. I wouldn't complain..nope ..not me...:o) We are now on our way to Detroit, another new adventure. I've never actually been to Zug Island, been by it but never actually seen it up close. I was looking forward to watching the Galick Tug Boats do their stuff with the ship! We got up around 10:30 that morning to a beautiful sunny day on Lake Superior and lo and behold guess what? Another change of orders. Now after we leave Detroit we are going to the Soo then to Mariquette. Gee, another new place this is going to be fun! But at this point I was remembering the trip when I never did get back to my car and had to fly back. But I wasn't too worried YET! Saturday night we took a nap around dinner time and got up around 9pm. Here we go again! It was a beautiful night in the river..the stars were even reflecting in the water. Amazing to me how he can find his way throught the channels in the dark. All the lights looks so confusing to me but not to him. Here I am getting ready for bed and look the sun is coming up. The ship shakes a bit more now since shes loaded but thats okay. I love it when I'm sleeping. She pretty much rocks me to sleep. Tomorrow (Sunday?) We'll be on Lake Huron and then another night in the river on our way to Detroit. We got up around 2pm that afternoon. We had "breakfast" and then took a walk around the deck and Anders did his inspection. I enjoyed the sun while he looked in lockers and closets and stuff.

The Tug the Carolyn Hoey came up to help Anders get the ship into the rouge river. We weren't sure she was going to be able to get us at first though. The Tug company radioed to us that the Detroit Police were having some problem with a guy with a gun so they weren't allowing the bridges to go up. But luckily they had it taken care of before we got there and the tug came out to meet us. The ships need a tug going into the river because of the strong currents there. I took pictures of her working but it was still pretty dark then so they didn't come out ...(darn it) She pushed pretty hard though then was on her way to another job somewhere else. Zug Island is NOT a place I was going to get off and look around though. For one thing you can't get close enough to the bank to put out the ladders so you have to get in the little boat to go to shore and then its muddy and stuff. So we stayed on board. Went to bed around 6am then got up (Monday?) around 11:30. Things to do before getting the ship out and back up the river.

It was a beautiful sunny day Monday in the river so I spent the intire day outside on the bridge deck. I got lucky too, Anders had a couple mates aboard that were really good at navigating the river so he stayed out there with me. Course he went in the wheelhouse to keep his eyes on things occassionally and whenever we were going to meet another ship too. We waved hello to people on shore and gave some toots too. We saw Ruth waving at Rosies Bed and Breakfast and also Sherri on Fawn Island came out to wave hello too. They both got a big toot from the coolbeans too! Back out onto Lake Huron we actually are done in the wheelhouse and its only 6pm

This is the first day since I've been here that we haven't had to go to bed after working in the wheelhouse all night. Its been quite a busy schedule til now. We are now on our way to the Soo to load Coke Breeze for Marquette, Michigan. We actually went to bed at a normal time around 11:30 that night. Oh wow I slept GREAT..there is nothing better than sleeping when your out on the lake. The movement of the ship and just the sound of the engines is just so relaxing. I love it! The sunset was amazing , but then most of them are. But just look at the water currents and the colors..beautiful.

sailing again

Anders had a meeting this morning and I WAS going to sleep in for an hour or so. But SOMEONE rang the phone next to the bed for one and then I heard the foghorn going off so figured I might as well get up. Up to the wheelhouse around 10 that morning and I saw......well...what did I see..nothing out the windows thats for sure! Oh my gosh what a wierd feeling!!! Your moving along on a ship. Your headed to a river somewhere up there and you can't see a thing out the windows!! Now tell me if that isn't a eerie feeling! Acutally was pretty interesting watching Anders work now for sure. He sent up a deckhand to stand watch on the bow of the ship and of course the foghorn was going off every two minutes. ( I love the sound of that foghorn!!) We entered the river and for sure it was foggy sometimes not being able to see even 1/2 way up the ship! But I wasn't nervous for sure I knew that Anders knew very well where he was and what courses to take. He sure kept his eyes on the screens in front of him though. The radar was his best friend then! We had a good laugh at one point because at noon there was a change of watch and he called down to ask if the new watchman was up in the bow since we couldn't see up there. "Calvin, are you up on the bow?" alls we heard was the mike key then "HOOOOOOOOOOOOONKKKKK" as the fog horn went off again. We all laughed as for sure as we could tell he was there by the sound of the horn in the mike!!

Of course when your in the river you know who is coming up and down bound because of the constant radio reporting to Soo Control. We heard all the reports of the other ships as well reporting in how much , or how little they were able to see. There were a few that were discussing anchoring til the fog lifted and Soo Traffic was saying if it got worse they were closing the river. But of course we were already in it and no where near an anchorage, but we were doing fine. The fog was so strange though. Sometimes high so you couldn't see anything but then it would get low to the water so you could see just above the ships deck line. Very cool.

There really wasn't much traffic in the river that day at all. It was interesting for sure though. Visability went from 1/2 mile to 0 at times but it was spotty so we did fine. The fog was lifting by the time we got to the Soo though and you could feel the cool air coming in pushing it out. When we got to the Soo Anders spotted a person in a wheelchair down by the wall and asked me to go down to his room for a hat to give her. He gave it to one of the deckhands to hand her from the Captain. She sure was happy about that! Anders does that alot he said "Always nice to put a smile on someones face ." Many special gifts have been given out to folks at the locks as well as some of the rare lucky visitors to the ship. He is very proud of his ship and the position he has , as well he should be! So all the tour boats get a salute as well as many friends we've met along the rivers who come out to wave hello and some even with flags and "coolbeans" banners!! It sure does make it fun!

We got to Algoma Steel around 6pm that night and got off the ship to go for dinner since we'ld be here for 12 hours or more loading Coke Breeze for Marquette. In the morning we got up and Anders had plenty of paper work to do as always, customs and immagration, vessel reporting, all sorts of stuff. We went down for lunch then up the wheelhouse to take a look at the stuff going on outside.


sailing again

We saw the the Missassagi come in she'ld be waiting for us to leave. Anders friend Craig Williams was Captain aboard her so he came out to wave hello. 

We also watched the Vandoc as she was just arriving and a few other ships came in under the help of tugs etc. It was fun to watch the backhoes load the coke breeze on the ship. There was some kind of conveyor belt under the ground that they pushed it into. We thought that pile would stay there forever though..took awhile to load for sure!

Soon Anders was up preparing to take the ship out to Marquette the trip was 13 hours to get there and we heard the Lee Tregutha was on her way there to from Nanticoke. So it was a race to the dock! We got to bed around 11. Once again Lake Superior had me in awe...amazing the beauty out there..totally amazing.   

We woke up to the sound of that phone when the mate rang Anders room around 5 am to fill him in on the situation at the dock. The Lee was already there so we went to anchor for a bit and waited for him to shift to the other side of the slip to load.

There is always plenty to do when the ship is Anchored. Anders always has work to do on his desk and the crew was out painting the ship and lots of other things.

We were the first Canadian Ship to unload in the hopper here and there was lots going on because of it. There were a couple guys one from the Mine and one from the Plant watching the unloading then later we went out to dinner with them and got a tour of Marquette. It was alot of fun. Before they picked us up we took a walk around Presque Island park though..very pretty!

We got back to the ship and watched the Stanley Cup Hockey game then went to bed around 11:30 . Got called at 1:30 am as we were almost done unloading. Wow took a lot less time then they thought it would. So up to the wheelhouse for a few hours Then back to bed around 3:30. The darn phone rang AGAIN some time in the night with the mate reporting fog but there was no traffic so we got to go back to sleep again. Got up around 10:30 almost time for lunch..here we go again..:o) Lake Superior was so calm almost like a sheet of Glass. I find it so fascinating though..watching the wind currents. I LOVE the water.

We got to Duluth Piers around midnight there were a few "boatnerds" around. ( Well it was 11 there time) Stopped at Murphys Fuel Dock then went on to Midwest energy. Got to bed around 4m . Oh yeah I was tired for sure and oh that DARN PHONE!! 9am...Why does it have to be so loud?? :o) And why did they have to unload the ship so darn fast?? (okay I might be complaining a bit here...hee hee)

So back up to the wheelhouse and out back through the piers. We looked for our buddy Ken Newhams but I guess he was still asleep..:o) (Yeah right I don't think so, I'm sure he was busy doing his Duluth Shipping News!) But there were plenty of other people there to wave to for sure!

We were back out on the lake by around 11:00 am. So we hung around outside to enjoy it til lunchtime then went back to bed! Thank God for the mates so we can sleep!!!! We got back up around 3 in the afternoon and it was a beautiful day out on the lake. Anders spent most of the day doing work on the computer and had another meeting with some of the crew. We went up to the wheelhouse around 2pm as we were approaching the entrance of the river. Hardly any traffic at al

We saw the Partial Eclipse one of the nights out there.

Once we were in the locks we waved to all the people there and picked out who we thought was going to jump the farthest when Anders gave the toot of the horn! (Actually to alert the guys that we were ready and to let go of the lines) But when he did there was a little boy there that leaped about a foot into the air. He thought it was pretty funny and we did too! It was a pretty cold and windy day there but there were several people watching. Anders let some people know that I was his wife as I'm sure they were wondering who was aboard getting the ride. :o) It was pretty neat as after he told them they let everyone else know who I was too! We were approaching Detour when one of the engineers called up to say that they were having a bit of trouble with one of the engines so once we got to a straight part of the river they shut them down to get the problem fixed..now THAT was interesting. But no worries everything was fine and soon we were back underway again. We were out onto Lake Huron again about 12pm that night.

We got up about 10:30 Monday morning to another sunny day on Lake Huron. There is always people out walking the decks..I actually timed a couple of them...one guy took 3 minutes to walk around another took 6..its along ways!!!

Soon we could see an approaching storm coming from the west and were listening to the reports which sounded like it was going to be a doosie. Strong winds and lightening. I was amazed at all the small craft that were still out there even though the coast guard was warning them about the storm. By the time we were almost to Lake St. Claire it was almost on us and the sky was getting very dark. There was a sailboat motoring up the river and we all were thinking man is he in trouble. Many others had taken refuge on the side of the river and anchored lines to the shore. The wind came up very suddenly and soon we couldn't hardly see anything. Rain and wind and hail were falling. The wind was very strong and even little lake St. Clair had some really good size waves that were rocking us fairly well. And yup there were some small boats out there very scary to see them bobbing around in the lake with waves probably close to 6 feet. It only lasted about 15 to 20 minutes but it was exciting!

Next stop Nanticoke, Ontario where unfortunately I'd be getting off to go home. Once we got there we went into town to play mini golf and to have a bite to eat. I ended up staying the night at the Erie Beach Hotel as we weren't sure when the ship would be finished unloading. I got a taxi to take me back to our Van and headed home. It was a great 2 1/2 week journey. I hope you enjoyed my journal. I'll be back out again in November..maybe THIS time I'll see some waves!