The Great Loopers Chapter 13. Mister Scaredy Cat.

“People go on adventures to find things they never knew were out there.”

From the log book on August 21 2017. Written by the XO:

7:40 AM Up anchor. Weather partly cloudy w/ small waves and south or southwest wind 10 knots or less.
11:30 AM Forest City Yacht Club, Cleveland, OH.
Miles travelled: 925 to 955 = 30

We had decided that we definitely did not want to visit Cleveland. Absolutely not. Uh-uh. Nope. No friggin’ way. Not interested. Screw that.
Yet there we were at the Forest City Yacht Club in Cleveland Ohio. The thing is, there were not a lot of options within our cruising range. We were lucky to find a spot in this private club. As it turned out, Cleveland was awesome. Who Knew?

The calmest marina anywhere. Just outside it’s breakwater were awful lake conditions.

Living is easy at the Forest City Yacht Club. It’s members are very happy boaters. They have a pool! Air conditioned showers! The XO found yoga nearby, and we both enjoyed the bike and walking paths that Cleveland has everywhere. We stayed three days and caretaker Jerry only charged us for two.

From the log book on August 24 2017. Written by the XO:

Left sometime in the morning (8:45?)
The course was west, the wind was north, so we stayed in Cleveland on the west side (Edgewater Marina).
9:43AM At the fuel dock.

Apparently, Cleveland was not ready to let us go. Here’s what happened:
At about a quarter to nine in the morning, we left the Forest City Yacht Club for the port of Loraine which is about 30 miles away, but we never made it further than the length of the massive breakwater that guards Cleveland’s waterfront.
After a half hour of waves pounding us broadside, we were going nuts. Twenty miles of this? I don’t think so! I made a somewhat frantic call to the Edgewater Marina on the westernmost end of the aforementioned breakwater. They had one slip left. Yay! We ducked in, fueled up, pumped out, and restocked the beer locker. Distance travelled: 5 miles, our shortest trip. We nestled in snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug for the next three days while Lake Erie pumped out nine foot waves.

The Last Slip in Cleveland. Note the massive breakwater in the background.
Bike paths are everywhere in Cleveland. We followed one to this huge downtown marketplace.
On a dinghy adventure.
We followed this waterway. Small boats only.
Clearing skies in Cleveland Ohio.

Why didn’t I want to stop in Cleveland? Fear of the unknown? Perhaps. I can be a bit unwilling to try new things. Anytime I’m boating to an unfamiliar destination, I go over scenarios in my head. Mostly about stuff that can go wrong. But this was our first loop. Everywhere was unknown. That’s a lot of scenarios echoing off my skull, like every single day. Funny thing is, in pretty much every circumstance my fears were totally unfounded. Yet I still had it, this inexplicable trepidation. I dunno. Maybe it’s my minds way of keeping us safe by being ready for anything. Or maybe I’m just not that comfortable with the unknown. Is anybody?
This whole Great Loop thing was a real stretch for me, Mister Scaredy Cat, but I was somehow driven to do it. It taught me something about myself and about this world we share with others. It made me want to be a better man every day. If you’re looping, you know what I’m talking about.
Life is uncharted territory. All I can think about is how much richer mine has become.

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