Sailing 32′ Bayfield “Clio” from Port Clinton, Ohio to Helsinki, Finland

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Lee Clothes Installed and a Big Thank you to Dawn Schwartzman for the Fabric

Funny how life goes around in circles when you are trying to be environmentally sustainable. I have a Green Building client, Dawn Schwartzman who is the owner of Enriching Spaces a Knoll and Herman Miller furniture dealer and office design studio. I was there taking photos of their HVAC for their LEED Gold documentation when I saw some very cool fabric in a huge roll. That would make some great glider wing covers, but I already had a bunch I hadn’t sewn yet so I passed. Dawn took it to the Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub. That’s where my wife Janet, who goes there at least once a week to troll for decorative tile and other things that catch her imagination, found it and took it to our house. She offered it to our friend Andrew Dignan to recover his trailer cushions. There was a ton of it. Then the seamstress that my brother Tom had arranged to sew our lee clothes let us know she couldn’t complete the project. Bingo, I told Tom I have the exact material we needed. He was done cutting and sewing it in a few days and I just installed them on our three bunks in the last few days. Lee clothes are used to keep you in your bunk when the ship is leaning away from the wind. For me in the harbor, they keep my sleeping bag from falling on the floor. I had a great night’s sleep last night. Thanks Dawn!

Final Details Getting Checked Off the Sailing to Europe To Do List

It’s been some great weather to work on our sailboat “Clio” in the yard at Brands Marina in Port Clinton, Ohio May 25, 2023. Yesterday. I finally tackled the safety railing on the stern of the ship. We’re planing on attaching davits to it so we can raise the dingy out of the water, so the railing needed to be firmly attached to the deck. By drilling a hole in the inner tube we could have the set screw permanently lock the railing. Tom’s been working on setting the instruments and building cable boxes for the instrument wiring. Years of planning and assembling all the parts have come together quickly in the final effort. Willard has been doing a great job painting the deck teak wood with an ablative paint. It doesn’t flake off, it absorbs into the wood. The work reminded me of the month and a half voyage I had with Tom and Captain Eric Forsyth’s Fiona. Our put in date is still May 31, 2023. Then we’ll leave in a few days if the weather window looks good. We have been pretty much on our own each day regarding provisions and we have a large meal in the evening to celebrate another successful day.

The mask was completely rebuilt from each clevis, wire and cable to all new electronics including adding new RADAR and weather instruments. Crew is in high spirits and good moral for the journey ahead. Review of the incredible maritime history of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland last night has us looking forward to visiting the region. Going through our our supplies and eliminating things we don’t need and requesting last minute items from the last visits from home port of Cincinnati. We are ready to be put in as soon as possible.

Willard Sunderland, Owner, and my identical twin brother Tom have been working on Clio for seven years, me four years, to prepare her for ocean travel.

Applying the Ohio Registration numbers

Applying the Ohio Registration numbers

Tom and Willard are neighbors in the Cincinnati area around the University of Cincinnati, Clifton. Willard is a Navy brat and always wanted to learn how to sail. Tom and he both have their Captains licenses and are well prepared to take on the crossing from Boston to Stromness, Scotland.

Port Clinton, OH

We leave from Brand’s Harbor in Port Clinton, OH May 20th or so. We are going to the ship on May 15 and there is about a week’s worth of final preparations before we sail to Buffalo, NY. There we will take the mast down and take the 350 mile canal to Albany, NY at the head waters of the Hudson River.

During the canal and river part of the journey we won’t be sailing at night. But once we leave Manhattan for Boston that will be the real six day trial. If everything goes well we’ll spend a few days in Boston to prepare the Clio for the 26 day crossing. Averaging 125 miles a day for 26 days is 3,250 miles.

Stromness, Scotland, UK

I’m looking forward to seeing Sara Brae Prehistoric Village 20 miles north of Stromness, Scotland. After we tour some scotch whiskey distilleries and take on new provisions we’re off to sail the North Sea to the Copenhagen archipelago to the Baltic Sea.

Helsinki, Finland

Then it’s the Gulf of Finland which is a shallow lake like Lake Erie. Kota, Finland is our final destination, where were are going to put the ship up in a boat yard for the winter.

Next year Willard and Tom will sail around Europe and prepare the ship to sail back to lake Erie in 2025.

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