Now this is a Reef Warrior approved Winter sport!
Hobie Cat Skiing
Now this is a Reef Warrior approved Winter sport!
Hobie Cat Skiing
Since October 1961 the Steel Products has been aground off Sherkston Beach. This abandoned ship has been known as the “wreck” as long as I have been a regular on the Lake Erie shore.
This “wreck” has become a symbol of Sherkston and the reef, a backdrop for countless photos and stories
( click on the photos for a close up)
and a huge part of our lives on Lake Erie’s shore.
I have swam out to it, jumped off the deck ( when it had a deck)
sailed and paddled around it.
Mother Nature has taken its toll on our great symbol of the reef.
With that being said I would like to share the history of the wreck.
The Steel Products was named Venus for 50 years before being sold to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne. The 346 foot vessel was equipped with a crane and often carried scrap steel. After a long career she was taken under tow on October 26, 1961 to be scrapped at Dwor Metal Co. While anchored in heavy weather she slipped anchor on Oct. 28th and went aground. The decision was made to strip her in the spring so a crew of men were left on board for the winter. Come spring a road was built to her and the engines and part of her hull were removed. She was built in 1901 in Lorain, OH by American Shipbuilding Co.
I would like to thank Mike & Georgann Wachter for sharing this bit of history.
The road that was built for the salvage operation was left in place and became a walk way to the wreck through waist deep water. You did have to swim the last 20 yards or so. Many times the friendly locals would answer calls for help because some one who was not a strong swimmer or some one who had a little too much libation got themselves out to the wreck, but could not get back in.
In the early 1980’s the price of steel skyrocketed and scrapers went after what was left of the wreck cutting away much of the hull and deck throughout the winter months. They may have removed the whole thing but the bulldozer they were using fell through the ice and caused some setbacks preventing they job from being finished.
A great place to explore with kayaks and paddle boards,snorkel around as well as fish, this old barge attracts visitors every day.
The recent winters have really taken a toll on the old girl. Low water levels,
heavy wind storms,
It is only a matter of time before the whole thing falls victim to Mother Natures wrecking ball.
Below are some recent photo’s from the fall of 2013 and the winter of 2014.
(Thanks to John for the photo’s)
Our last couple of days in Nor. Cal. took us down the coast, south of San Francisco
One amazing stop we encountered was the Devils Slide, an overlook and paved trail up the coastal mountain with unreal views of the ocean
Moving along to our final destination, Half Moon Bay.
We checked out a couple surf shops, and
spread the word about the reef warriors.
Then it was on to Mavericks. A short drive and walk to Pillar Point to see this legendary big wave spot. Now we did not see this monster wave, although we caught a glimpse of what it can be. Our pics can’t capture what we saw so I will try to explain. Past the boneyard, you could see a swell that would start to rise up and almost form. It was a good way out, there was a pulse to it, a rhythm that you could sense. Maybe if we were on the top of the bluff, or had a better camera we could have captured it. But trust me it was out there.
Here are some pic’s of the boneyard. The rocks were at least 30ft tall and the waves crashing around them were huge.
After a wonderful dinner at The Half Moon Brewing Co. we took in the sunset. A fitting way to end a great trip.
A quick summary, The whole trip was wonderful, the north California area is a photographers nirvana. Gail must have taken 1500 pic’s. (Thank goodness for digital photos). The food everywhere was outstanding as was the service. Napa valley is a wine lovers dream come true.
The whole water culture was a little different than we see on the east coast but the small surf areas and especially the Half Moon Bay area had a feel to them, much like Hatteras. We saw lots of sups on vehicles, as well as surf boards. If the day was not so cold when we were at Half Moon bay we would have rented some sups to paddle around the bay.
If you ever get the chance to visit this area you will not be disappointed.
Happy Easter to all.
Exploring the Napa Valley area is tricky, so much to see and do, choosing which winery to start at, a difficult decision for most I am sure, but not for us. We found the only winery with the 200 yr old pot still that makes rum, and we found it at 2100 feet above sea level.
unfortunately Cali laws would not allow us to taste or purchase this rum at the distillery (but I will find some rum and bring it back for a proper review) we got a great lesson on the stilling process and tasted the wines they had to offer.
and enjoying many great wine and food experiences.
Finally Wednesday afternoon we headed down to San Raphael, for a windy Wednesday paddle board trip.
We headed out from 101 Surfsports
down a waterway into the Oakland Bay. We had a nice scenic paddle to the Marin Islands.
where we were greeted by Capt. Drew
the skipper and 1st mate of the Barbary Ghost http://www.barbaryghost.com/Boat-in_Paddling.html
for a boat ride back to the surf shop.
This was supposed to be a “downwinder” riding chop and bump surfing for a mile or so but as you can see the bay was flat and calm. Capt. Drew tried his best to get everyone a ride as he drove around for a 1/2 hr or so creating some bumps.
We got a good taste of the sup culture here learning about racing and bump and glide boards from our guide Derek and the rest of the paddlers on the trip. We also shared our stories of the reef and the water culture we have on the Great Lakes.
Gidget tried out a Starboard touring board and a SIC Bullet. Both stable boards that performed nicely in the light conditions we encountered. The Starboard just powered it way through the small waves while the Bullet glided right through them. None of that nose slap we get on our boards when the waves just start to pick up. I chose a trusty old Starboard Atlas, the big bro to the Big Easy.
The nite ended with a sunset ride back to 101 sharing experiences and stories with our evening friends
A while back Michael asked us this question,
Why is the rum gone?
At the time I had no real good answer so I rushed a rum post to quiet the unruly horde and hoped to get back on board with rum quest, but I failed miserably. Life, work and lack of ambition got in the way I guess. It has been great fun tasting all the rums but it is sometimes a real challenge to come up with fresh ideas for posts and new ways of describing what I am tasting. Bottom line is sometimes you just need a break to refresh yourself. I am looking for a thesaurus to find new descriptive words and hope to adventure beyond the old rum quest template and find some new ways to begin the quest again.
One way to shake things up will be to ask for input from you, our drunken sailors, please fell free to request a review or write one of your own.
Rum Quest Wednesday will return.
Hope this video will hold you till then, Enjoy!
Some rum reviews to look forward too are;
Kirk and Sweeney
Santa Teresa Selecto