2010 -Trans-Atlantic by the Northern Route

JensenNR - May 27, 2010

May 17th, 2010

Along with fellow GLCC members Paul Lundberg and Paul Zadel, I'm helping Dean Rau sail his 40-foot Crealock pilothouse cutter Raven from Bayfield, Wisconsin, to Bergen, Norway. The boat will be leaving the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway, and it's our plan to reprovision the boat at St. Johns, Newfoundland, before crossing the North Atlantic towards the middle of June. I intend to get off the boat in either Ireland or Scotland, depending on where we make landfall, and then make my way to København, before flying back to the States.

If you would like to follow our adventure in Paul Lundberg's blog, please go to https://service.thrivent.com/cpsblog/blog/Raven/ The boat left Port Superior, Bayfield, WI, today.

Paul Zadel and I will soon drive from Minneapolis to Montreal, where we will board the boat. It will be quite a road trip, roughly equivalent of driving the distance from København to Rome (assuming we take one of the ferries across Lake Michigan). However, it's far more attractive than paying for a one-way plane ticket to Montreal. We are very fortunately that Bob Robertson, who will assist taking Raven as far as Montreal, will be able to drive Paul's minivan back to to Minneapolis. It made the logistics so much easier.

May 19th, 2010

The Lake Superior weather has been extremely favorable, allowing the boys on the boat to make excellent time. Yesterday, Raven passed through the Keweenaw Waterway and quickly pushed further east. Today they stopped for a while at Grand Marais, MI, where they fixed a defective electrical wire in the running lights circuit. It had been slowly draining their batteries. Whitefish Point was passed at about 1830, and it is estimated that they will be at Sault Ste. Marie (The Soo) shortly after midnight.

After seeing this blog, GLCC Port Captain (Escanaba) Marilyn Kinsey kindly sent us an email, and offered excellent advice about the best route for us to drive between Minneapolis and Montreal. I was very surprised to learn the northern route over Sault Ste. Marie and along the Ottawa River is actually shorter than going any other way, including if we took one of the Lake Michigan ferries across the lake as a shortcut. I really should have thought it through, and not been that surprised. The suggested route substantially follows the French “highway,” which originally opened up the Lake Superior region, and voyagers were highly efficient travelers for their time. They did not wish to paddle one more stroke than they had to.

So, for like-minded reasons of efficiency, Paul Zadel and I have decided to follow Marilyn’s suggestion and take the northern car route. It may also prove to be a much more scenic drive.

May 24th, 2010

Raven is now at Port Colbourne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal, where they are waiting to lock through. That will take about 24 hours. They have so far made outstanding time down the Lakes. Paul Zadel and I are supposed to be leaving very soon for Montreal, but we're still waiting for the delivery of some last-minute spare parts.

It also likely that I will not be able to make the drive to Montreal, but instead fly back to København, due to recent and unfortunate developments with my dad back in København. It may still be that I can get to Denmark, and then return in time to join the boat at St. Johns in time for the Atlantic crossing. However, for that to happen, things really have to fall into place, and I'm not that hopeful at this time.

May 27th, 2010

As I feared, my 89-year old dad’s serious health problems unfortunately make it necessary for me to change my plans. I’m flying to København on Saturday, so the planned cross-country drive to will not happen this time.

Raven is presently moving along in the St. Lawrence, and should reach Montreal soon. It has been a 10-day trip. They’ve truly made outstanding time down the lakes, especially when you consider this was done on a 40-foot heavy displacement sailboat. It will probably take another 10-14 days for them to get to St. Johns, Newfoundland.

It is a major disappointment to me not to be aboard for the passage from Montreal to Newfoundland. I had greatly looked forward to experiencing this particular area, but family concerns must come first. Now, it’s my intention to join the crew at St. Johns, and still make the Trans-Atlantic crossing. However, much will obviously depend on the developments with my dad’s condition, and if the timing works out. Time will tell.