Today I’m writing this from our tent on the beach at Sara’s Campground in my one PA stop- Erie, Pa. After we stuffed ourselves at the awesome “Like My Thai” restaurant, which I highly recommend- inexpensive and a lot of good food, we were able to pick a quiet little spot off to the side on the fairly packed beach. Lindsy thought it was gonna be a party scene but it turned out to be pretty quiet. This is a family operation and like the wonderful Thai place, they do it right.
Yesterday we left our wonderful accommodations in a boat. Cameron at Monroe Marina really went out of his way to see that we had everything we needed. There were restaurants within walking distance, as I was able to grab a big breakfast before heading out into what so far has been my most gnarly paddling conditions.
Winds were blowing out of the NE at 20-25. The chop was predicted at 3-5. At first I thought it was not even that but it was that, and more easily in some places. A lady who worked at the Barcelona Cafe told me, not in a very nice way, “Well, you have to watch out for them, and besides, you’re not going to go out in that-it’s going to be 3-5!”, when I expressed concern about a power boat high speed race. As it turned out, I went out and I didn’t have to watch out for them. The US Coast Guard guys told me that they were going to be a mile out.
During breakfast yesterday though, the place was packed with long-faced fishermen. They were bummed because the conditions kept them from going out for their scheduled fishing tournament. In the end even the race boats turned around. So I was the only one who got to play in the water. If the wind had been in the other direction there would have been no way I’d have gone out. No frigging way. But wind and swell at my back? That needs to be taken advantage of.
It was a pretty rough ride, though. Because Lake Erie is so shallow, it kicks up in a hurry. The swells are steep and swell periods very very short. This makes it very wearing to catch rides and then you have them for only a little bit. Chasing down the smaller wind swells proved to move me along better than always getting the big ones, but they were fun, too. I think the days paddle fell under the 30 mark-definitely wouldn’t want it to be any longer in that water, even with wind at my back. It was as wearing as some of the stretches of Oregon!
Today I’ll more than likely shorten my paddle-wind has fallen back, still at my back, but it’s due to shift and strengthen. Tomorrow might be a sit out day-we shall see! I could use one, as today will be my 19th day of straight paddling.
Thanks so much for the kind generosity of the Erie Yacht Club-I managed to get a shower and get out if their hair before the wedding reception started there! Wonderful folks who also recommended that can Thai restaurant in town, “Like My Thai.”