7/6/17 – 7/7/17: Our next stop across Lake Erie was at Erieau (pronounced ear-ee-oh, rhymes with Cheerio). It didn’t look like much on the chart, however we had heard really good things about it from people along the way. From the moment we tied up, we understood why everyone felt that way.
Entering the marina was an experience in itself. As we approached the marina entrance, and even through the breakwall, several boats screamed by us on their way in and out. To enter the marina, you had to maneuver through a fairly wide channel, then make a hard left into the marina proper. Going straight through the channel would have taken us into Rondeau Bay, a shallow 6 mile long by 2 mile wide bay completely enclosed by land (save for this one channel). Once in the marina, we had to contend with a dozen boats in the fairway waiting for gas at the fuel dock, or just moving up and down the fairway. It was quite busy (we miss Roys Point). But there was ample maneuvering space; as we reached the wall they wanted us to tie to, we had well enough room to spin the boat 180 degrees and point our bow outward for an easy exit. We wanted bow out, as they packed the boats along the wall with about 3 feet space between each one.
The marina was run by a local family, who were extremely friendly and involved in the business, from the Grandpa to the Grandchildren. Mom ran the marina slip and amenities business, dad ran the ship’s store (and was also one of their boat mechanics). We saw Grandpa emtying coins from the washer and dryers (he told us his wife sent him down to do it, so there he was)! The grandkids ran the fuel dock, helped out at the check-in desk, and did general maintenance around the marina. Everything was extremely well tended to and spotless, from the pool area, to the laundry facilities, to the washroom and showers. It was, so far, one of our favorite marinas.
The town itself was a little lacking. There were 2 restaurants, an ice cream shop, a couple gift shops, and something called a grocery store, which had plenty of chips and Hostess snack cakes, but otherwise had only one bar of soap, one bottle of detergent, one box of Nilla Wafers, and one package of bacon (which is now in our freezer). There were a few other items there, but it was amazing to see so many things that had a quantity of one on the shelves!
There wasn’t much to do in town, so we did laundry (again), and a little preventive maintenance on the engine (actually we have been trying to solve a persistent and nagging problem that we’ve had with our engine since Lake Superior, but more on that – maybe – in a future post). All in all, we had a surprisingly wonderful stay in Erieau, and it was one of the better marinas we’ve come across in our journey so far.