Day 1: August 29, 2013
Tall Ships and a Tall Tower

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With commitments on Wednesday and a four hour drive to Sandusky, Ohio, I left home about 6:00 AM Thursday. That put me in Sandusky with plenty of time for breakfast and a short walkabout before the noon cruise. The first picture shows a nice little park on the waterfront with one of the high speed ferries at its dock. The boat I would be riding, the Goodtime I, was just down the street. My ticket was waiting and I soon got in the boarding line with all the other interesting people.

Sandusky is home to Cedar Point Amusement Park and Cedar Point is home to sixteen roller coasters. That number puts it in a second place tie with Canada's Wonderland for most roller coasters with California's Six Flags Magic Mountain currently first with eighteen. Cedar Point still calls itself the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World" and I'm sure it is working on regaining the lead.

As we cleared Cedar Point and headed out into the lake, Lee Murdock provided the onboard entertainment. Lee is part folk singer, part historian, and part story teller. He entertains and educates with songs and history -- and history of the songs -- of the Great Lakes region.

We passed a couple of the tall ships as we neared Put-in-Bay but I have no idea which ones they were. None of the ships here this week end are quite as tall as the ocean crossing clippers often associated with the name "tall ship" but it's still a long way from mast top to water.

We got a nice view of the memorial tower behind the masts of the Niagara and Windy as we approached the dock. We docked quite near the Niagara for an even better view.

Because it has been on my mind for a long time, I headed straight toward the tower. I may regret that if, when I return on Saturday, the weekend crowd prevents me from getting a tour of the Niagara. The 352 foot tall Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial provides a great view of the lake and the harbor. A closer view of the Goodtime I and the Niagara is here. Although you cannot see all of the urn that tops the memorial from the observation deck, you do get a good look at what is visible.

Wow! Those ships look like miniature models down there. They are, of course miniature models in the nearby museum. In addition to the mockup of the Battle of Lake Erie, there are several informative panels, displays of artifacts, and a movie that does a really nice job of explaining the battle. And there's a darned nice statue of Commodore Perry, too.

Even though the road fan in me was somewhat put off by the misuse of the US 1 shield (The road does indeed end in Key West but goes no where near Put-in-Bay.) I paused for a beer -- a Great Lakes Brewing product, mind you -- at Put-in-Bay's northernmost bar. Then I returned to the Goodtime I where I got a shot of some parasailing beyond the Niagara and some flying of a different sort nearer by.

I took some more pictures on the way back and other people did, too.

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