Woolamaloo in Buffalo and Ontario 2016 September 11, 2016 – Taking a September solo sailing trip has become a tradition for me. This summer was unquestionably the busiest working summer of my career. I needed some time off and I decided to take two weeks and go as far as I could on Lake Erie. I decided to head to Buffalo. This, of course, is Cleveland. I departed at about 1 pm and headed up the lake.I had a great day for it. My plan was to sail through the night and get to Port Dover, Ontario. (This is just a boat I passed - not me.)I love this shot. This is just before sunset and Cleveland is dropping over the horizon. When people hear “The Great Lakes” they underestimate how big they really are. You can get out of sight of land and you can feel the roundness of the earth. “The Inland Seas” is a more apt name. This picture helps me visualize how Cleveland and I are on different parts of a sphere.There’s not much I can take pictures of at night so I like to take sunset and sunrise bookend photos of my night.9/12/16 – Just before sunrise. My night was a good one. I was about 8 miles NNW of Geneva and the wind totally died. I was alone and far from any shipping channels. I turned on my anchor light, dropped anchor, and had a Bourbon in the cockpit while looking at the stars. It was a nearly full moon but the Milky Way was still bright and I spotted 7 shooting stars as well as the International Space Station. I slept there from about 11 pm until 3 am when I was awakened by some waves that told me that a little wind had returned. I started sailing again.I had a visitor. This little guy rode with me for about an hour. I was about 20 miles from shore and I just noticed him on my lifeline. After a while, he was hopping around sticking his beak into crevices pulling out spiders. I watched him find and eat about 20. A couple were huge and gave him a little bit of a fight. But he found spiders in spots I wouldn’t have guessed could hide one.Long Point is a sand spit that juts out from Ontario about 40 kilometers (25 miles) into Lake Erie. It’s a site of hundreds of shipwrecks. On this day, a shipwreck was not much of a concern. Here I’m about a mile from shore and it’s about 140 feet deep. I slowly and carefully passed just east of the light and the depth got as shallow as 10 feet.After getting around Long Point, there was no wind. I still had about a three-hour motor to get to Port Dover, ON. This is the view looking back out towards the lake from the lift bridge in Port Dover.The second day in Port Dover was a good day to be in harbor. It was a beautiful day but it was blowing close to 30 knots. Port Dover has a great beach.Looking south out of the harbor entrance.The Harbour Museum in Port Dover was terrific. Lots of displays on fishing, sailing, and shipwrecks.A few years ago, I bought a couple folding bikes just for days like these. The marina was about a kilometer and a half from town. This was the first time I’ve ridden the bike on one of my sailing trips. The entire time, I just kept saying to myself, ‘big man, little bike.’ Honestly, I liked walking better.I had a great dinner at Lago Trattoria in Port Dover. One of their appetizers was “Crispy Little Fishes” which was described as “Lake Erie rainbow smelt.” I’ve lived near Lake Erie all my life and I’ve never heard of fresh water smelts. I did some research. They were introduced into a lake near Lake Michigan in 1912. They’re now in all the Great Lakes. It turns out that we commonly don’t have them because the type of net used to catch them is illegal to use in Ohio. They were fantastic. I had them with a Caesar – a drink like a Bloody Mary that uses Clamato instead of just plain tomato juice.The next morning, I had brunch at The Crepe House. Lovely.A local landmark is The Arbor.The Arbor is famous for their Red Hots and a drink called a Golden Glow. Delicious.Last food picture in Port Dover: Perch with Poutine and Celery Bread at another Port Dover landmark – The Erie Beach Terrace Room.That night, I left Port Dover at 10 pm to head to Port Colborne. The first four hours of this leg was the most challenging sailing of the trip. I was sailing into a headwind and 2-4 foot waves. Nothing too bad but it was slow going. This picture was after things had calmed down and the sun was coming up. It took me 12 hours to get to Port Colborne.9/16/16 - Although I was exhausted due to sailing through the night, I wanted to get into Port Colborne for a late lunch before I crashed for a long sleep. I went to the Smoking Buddha for Butter Chicken. Some people consider Butter Chicken to be the “Main Dish of Ontario.” It’s particularly popular in Toronto. It’s a mildly spiced Indian curry and it was delicious.9/17/16 – This was another good day to be in port. It was gray and rainy. There were huge waves and a Small Craft Advisory so I grabbed a bus and went to Niagara Falls. Besides taking the Hornblower Cruise (the Canadian side’s Maid of the Mist) I spent a few hours sitting in the park overlooking the falls reading a book. It was a great day.Sunset in Port ColborneI had planned on going to dinner at a craft brew fest in Port Colborne when I got back from Niagara Falls. But the rain had washed it out. I went back to the boat and had leftover chowder that was given to me by a sailor I met in Port Dover. It was peppery and delicious.9/18/16 – I left Port Colborne around 10 am and headed to Buffalo. This is the Point Abino light. It was the shortest sail of my trip – only four and a half hours.BuffaloI stayed at the Buffalo Yacht Club. Technically, the Buffalo Yacht Club is in the Black Rock Canal which protects it from current that is being created in Lake Erie as it drains into the Niagara River. In the distance, you can see the Peace Bridge.Made it.I am in the last slip nearest the Peace Bridge. Going north from here takes you to Tonawanda and the Erie Canal.Peace Bridge9/19/16 – I ventured into Buffalo and although I’ve had Buffalo Wings hundreds of times, there’s nothing like having them where they were invented – The Anchor Bar.That afternoon, I went to the Naval and Military Park. They have on display a Cruiser, a Destroyer and a submarine. The self-guided tour through them was terrific.I walked back to the yacht club along the waterfront.Since I was docked right in the canal, there were dozens of crew boats right off my stern morning and evening. The coxswains seemed to be much louder at sunrise than they were at sunset. They woke me every morning.9/20/16 – After working all morning from the boat, I took the bus to the Buffalo Art Museum: Albright-Knox.This was a terrific museum – particularly for a city the size of Buffalo.This is one my favorite pieces. There was an exhibit by Buffalo artist, Joan Linder. Her works were primarily ink on paper and the exhibit “explores toxic waste sites in Buffalo.” This piece is made on Moleskine notebooks where she makes one illustration that spans six notebooks – making it over 50 feet long.The illustration is a detailed view of the fence outside a toxic waste dump. Very interesting.After the museum, I had a Beef on Weck sandwich at Cole’s – another Buffalo food gem.9/21/16 – I was a long way from home and it is time to head back. I left Buffalo just before sunrise. My plan was to break the trip back to Cleveland into five nice sailing days hitting Dunkirk, Erie, Conneaut, Fairport and Cleveland.This was just an amazing sailing day. There were no waves and I had a steady SSW 8-10 knots wind that allowed me to average 4.7 close hauled knots all the way to Dunkirk, NY.It can be a little disorienting in the salon when the boat is heeled so far. But with no waves, this is still pretty comfortable.The Dunkirk Yacht Club was a pretty interesting place. The building for the yacht club is actually built as part of the docks – out over the water. It is a very welcoming place.9/22/16 – Dunkirk is about 122 nautical miles from Cleveland. The forecast had some nasty weather Friday night running into Sunday morning. I had a window of pleasant weather. If I didn’t leave on Thursday morning and skip several ports, I wouldn’t be getting home for a week. So I figuratively girded my loins and started the long sail back to Cleveland. There are eight suitable ports between Dunkirk and Cleveland. I could stop any time I wanted. I didn’t stop.9/23/16 – I made it all the way back to Cleveland in just under 27 hours. It was a cloudy night but the winds were light and the lake was almost flat calm. It was an easy – but long - motorsail. This picture is of the Cleveland breakwall where they’ve been reinforcing it with new concrete structures called dolomites. These tend to lock together when they’re being shifted by ice and waves. I thought it was interesting that the new dolomites were numbered. This picture has one that is numbered 15999. As I continued west behind the breakwall, the numbers got smaller and smaller to zero.Back home.This is the GPS track of my trip. I traveled 349 nautical miles or 401 statute miles in 81 hours on the water.