Saturday, July 28, 2012


Out of PIb and none too soon. Ships and sailors rot in port,and few places make that more clear. We were there for "Christmas in July" and the town was filled with crowds and alcohol enough to overdose on both.

The wind is not in our favor, so we are motoring hard into it and getting science done along the way. ETA for Erie is tomorrow evening. It will be good to be back for a few days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


We have been mostly under sail since leaving Alpena sunday morning. We stopped briefly on the lake over a shipwreck, the Montana, giving us time to deploy a ROV to investigate. I always feel a little weird about looking closely at wrecks; There but for the grace of god go I.

After sailing down Huron, the wind came around out of the north. We have decided to try something new;we are sailing the river. To our knowledge, this is the first time any itteration of the Niagara has done this since 1814. It is exciting, making eight knots under sail down this river as it used to be done. There is also an awareness of the accuracy and precision required for this.

By this evening, we should be back in lake Erie.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


So I'm not always great at updating, but it's not always my fault. My kindle seems to be liking blogger less and less as time goes on. Hoping to find a way around that at some point.

So after leaving Erie we made our way up for the north. We ducked into Port Huron  for a couple days to avoid heavy seas and unpleasant weather. It isn't the most exciting town in the world, but over the years I've come to appreciate it. We took a quick stop in Alpena, MI and then off to the SOO locks. After the Welland, the SOO is a casual ride, lifting us all of twenty feet.

Shortly after that we made it into Lake Superior, which is always a beautiful thing. We had some nice sailing on the way to Municing, and the channel into there is truly stunning and beautiful. The giant cliffs and massive woods give the impression of truly untouched wilderness. After passing through into the sheltered harbor, we found ourselves tied up, and I was in a place I had never been.

It was a quaint little town, quiet and pleasant with good food and drink. The following day we found an amazing book store/coffee shop and had a good day.

We said goodye to our High School students, and boarded the batch of college students a  few hours later. The boat was crowded, with fourty eight people on board. Close quarters and crowded.

The run to Marquette was breezier than we expected, and we had to send our apprentices off the boat due to an overbooking situation on the trip that way, so it got pretty exciting. Marquette was a pleasant town and I got to go cliff diving.

The officers have put some effort into making sure we get time to rest on the trip down from superior, which is nice. We docked for the night just after clearing the SOO headed downbound, and then anchored after a battle recreation just outside of Lake huron.

We are in Alpena again, headed back out and south tomorrow, ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The fourth of July back in Erie just for the day.

The trip back from Kingston involved more rest than previous trips, which was nice. There was a realization about just how hard we were going to be worked in the canal, and they tried to make up for it.

Kingston itself was complicated, with poblematic planning on the part of the organizers and a severe lack of places to dock. The battle sails went well, however and everyone had a good time with them.

The canal was pretty solidly what we expected, though it went quicker than expected; we got lucky with the traffic. I spent most of my time handling the miship spring, hauling it tight and keeping it tight. My shoulder and back still can feel it.

My shoulder doesn't seem to be getting better, but that may just be a fact of life at this point. Time to heal in october.

We got hit by a couple 45 kt blows on the run from the welland to Erie. Driving rain and some heavy gusts came at us. The second squall hit us within sight of Erie, and pushed us to drop the hook to wait it out. It was frustrating, being that close to shelter, to a sense of home, and being unable to reach it.

The students handled it well, gettings jobs done as they needed to be done. I can never tell in those kinds of situations if I am taking it too seriously, or other people don't tke it seriously enough; probably the former. I'm ok with that.

Today we right her back up and make tracks for Alpena.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Tied up at what I am told is a military academy just outside of Kingston. It has been a long few days with little down tim and less shore leave, but it has been an interesting visit. We did get in some geat sailing and had a hell of a time bombarding the town of Bath this evening.

Tomorrow morning we had back for lake Erie and to points beyond